“‘If God is our father, the church is our mother.’ The words are those of … John Calvin. Several Biblical passages speak in this way (notably, Galatians 4:26-27, echoing Isaiah 54:1). They underline the fact that it is as impossible, unnecessary, and undesirable to be a Christian all by yourself as it is to be a newborn baby all by yourself.”
Simply Christian: Why Christianity Makes Sense
by N.T. Wright (HarperCollins, 2006), p.211.