Why we need the Church

C.S. Lewis makes the point in Four Loves that it takes a community of people to really get to know someone:

In each of my friends there is something that only some other friend can fully bring out. By myself I am not large enough to call the whole man into activity; I want other lights than my own to show all his facets. Now that Charles (Williams) is dead, I shall never again see Ronald’s (Tolkien’s) reaction to a specifically Charles joke. Far from having more of Ronald, having him “to myself” now that Charles is away, I have less of Ronald … In this, friendship exhibits a glorious “nearness by resemblance” to heaven itself where the very multitude of the blessed (which no man can number) increases the fruition which each of us has of God. For every soul, seeing Him in in her own way, doubtless communicates that unique vision to all the rest. That, says an old author, is why the Seeraphim in Isaiah’s vision are crying, “Holy, Holy, Holy” to one another (Isaiah 6.3). The more we thus share the Heavenly Bread between us, the more we shall have.

Reflecting on this in The Prodigal God, Tim Keller points out that only if we are deeply involved in the life of a local church will we ever truly get to know Christ and become like him.