(Part VII of VII of Pastor Foley’s introductory essay to Rev. Richard Wurmbrand’s Preparing for the Underground Church. To order a print or electronic copy of the bilingual Korean/English edition of Preparing for the Underground Church, including Pastor Foley’s introductory essay and a foreword by Voice of the Martyrs historian Merv Knight, visit Amazon or click here to visit the bookstore page on our website. For Part I of Pastor Foley’s introductory essay , click here.)
What is most challenging and unprecedented about our situation [as Christians in the West as the sexual revolution pummels the church] is that in the past, when persecution came, the church could return to its underground roots of family.
As can be seen in Rev. Wurmbrand’s “Preparing for the Underground Church” essay, the church could very naturally meet among households, which Christianity has always considered the “first church” of the faith anyway. As Radner notes, family is both “the central basis for metaphors of spiritual formation” as well as “the actual realm of spiritual formation’s enactment.” It is where traditions are passed on, especially, as del Noce points out, “ the idea of indissoluble monogamous marriage and other ideas related to it (modesty, purity, continence),” as well as sustaining Christian notions of chastity, religious singleness, and friendship.
But family is precisely what has been uprooted by the sexual revolution. Thus, the second and third volumes of this series will address the habilitation of Christianity’s “first church,” the family, in the context of preparing for the underground church.
- Volume 2, “Planting the Underground Church,” to be published in April 2017 as the Lord permits, is a practical guide to how underground churches are built “from the ground of family up” rather than “from the pulpit down.”
- Volume 3, “Living in the Underground Church,” to be published in November 2017 as the Lord permits, is a set of discipleship tools and hermeneutics from church tradition to equip Christians for hearing and doing the word in the context of the underground church. Our prayer, as always, is that we contribute nothing new to Christian theology.
And indeed, that is why we turn now [Editor’s note: in the book itself] to an essay written nearly four decades ago [Rev. Wurmbrand’s “Preparing for the Underground Church”] to learn that nothing we are presently facing is, in Christian terms, new at all.
For in all times and places, including here in South Korea, Christians must be ready to preach, pray, or die at a moment’s notice.
 See 1 Timothy 3:1-5.
 Ephraim Radner. 2016. A Time to Keep: Theology, Mortality, and the Shape of a Human Life. Waco, TX: Baylor University Press, Loc. 2097.
 Augusto del Noce, 2015. The Crisis of Modernity. Kingston, Ontario: McGill-Queen’s University Press, p. 161.