A while back, I was listening to a radio interview between Alice Cooper and Ozzy Osborne, and part of it was their musing upon why a lot of modern music sucks. They eventually came to this conclusion: a lot of modern artists have forgotten to listen to the Beatles. They commented that, whilst not always lyrically great, the melody of the Beatles was phenomenal.
I think we as Christians have done the same, but with our literature. There's a lot of Christian non-fiction literature available to the average joe that just plain sucks. Their research is horrific, assuming they even did any, and their ideas and use of scripture would probably make the great Christians of the past spin in their graves. Of course, the reason for this problem is the same with a lot of modern music: "We've forgotten to listen to the Beatles" of Christian Literature. We don't have to agree with what they teach (for even they disagreed), but what I've read their work is of a much higher quality than a lot of the new stuff I've read.
In all honesty, I think one of the reasons why the western church is in such a crappy condition today is the fact that we've forgotten to 'listen to the Beatles' of our history. We've forgotten to read the greats of Church history (like John Wesley, Martin Luther, John Calvin, Augustine, and Aquinas, just off the top of my head). Heck, we've even neglected to read THE Book. You'd think we as Protestants would be especially eager to read the Bible because we (supposedly) adhere to Sola Scriptura, which kind of makes we wonder if preachers should start doing a series on reliability of the Bible (not to mention a good sermon or two as to what Sola Scriptura really is; I'm pretty sure a lot of the church today doesn't have a clue as to what SS is really all about).
The Solution is, of course, to start 'listening to the beatles' of our Christian heritage. Another thing we should do is start reading our Bibles. You know, those big honking books that have "READ ME" written in the layers of dust they've collected.
Now if you'll excuse me, I have to go read some more of the Systematic Theology I'm working on.