According to some Christian outlooks we were made for another world. Perhaps, rather, we were made for this world to recreate, reclaim, redeem, and renew unto God's future aspiration by the power of His Spirit. - R.E. Slater
Secularization theory has been massively falsified. We don't live in an age of secularity. We live in an age of explosive, pervasive religiosity... an age of religious pluralism. - Peter L. Berger
Exploring the edge of life and faith in a post-everything world. - Todd Littleton
I don't need another reason to believe, your love is all around for me to see. – anon
Thou art our need; and in giving us more of thyself thou givest us all. - Khalil Gibran, Prayer XXIII
Be careful what you pretend to be. You become what you pretend to be. - Kurt Vonnegut
Religious beliefs, far from being primary, are often shaped and adjusted by our social goals. - Jim Forest
People, even more than things, need to be restored, renewed, revived, reclaimed, and redeemed; never throw out anyone. – anon
Certainly God's love has made fools of us all. - R.E. Slater
An apocalyptic Christian faith doesn't wait for Jesus to come, but for Jesus to become in our midst. - R.E. Slater
Christian belief in God begins with the cross and resurrection of Jesus, not with rational apologetics. - Eberhard Jüngel, Jürgen Moltmann
Our knowledge of God is through the 'I-Thou' encounter, not in finding God at the end of a syllogism or argument. There is a grave danger in any Christian treatment of God as an object. The God of Jesus Christ and Scripture is irreducibly subject and never made as an object, a force, a power, or a principle that can be manipulated. - Emil Brunner
Ehyeh Asher Ehyeh means "I will be that who I have yet to become." - God (Ex 3.14)
Our job is to love others without stopping to inquire whether or not they are worthy. - Thomas Merton
The church is God's world-changing social experiment of bringing unlikes and differents to the Eucharist/Communion table to share life with one another as a new kind of family. When this happens we show to the world what love, justice, peace, reconciliation, and life together is designed by God to be. The church is God's show-and-tell for the world to see how God wants us to live as a blended, global, polypluralistic family united with one will, by one Lord, and baptized by one Spirit. – anon
The cross that is planted at the heart of the history of the world cannot be uprooted. - Jacques Ellul
The Unity in whose loving presence the universe unfolds is inside each person as a call to welcome the stranger, protect animals and the earth, respect the dignity of each person, think new thoughts, and help bring about ecological civilizations. - John Cobb & Farhan A. Shah
If you board the wrong train it is of no use running along the corridors of the train in the other direction. - Dietrich Bonhoeffer
God's justice is restorative rather than punitive; His discipline is merciful rather than punishing; His power is made perfect in weakness; and His grace is sufficient for all. – anon
Our little [biblical] systems have their day; they have their day and cease to be. They are but broken lights of Thee, and Thou, O God art more than they. - Alfred Lord Tennyson
We can’t control God; God is uncontrollable. God can’t control us; God’s love is uncontrolling! - Thomas Jay Oord
Life in perspective but always in process... as we are relational beings in process to one another so life events are in process in relation to each event... as God is to Self, is to world, is to us... like Father, like sons and daughters, like events... life in process yet always in perspective. - R.E. Slater

Friday, May 20, 2011

The End of Evangelicalism 6

http://www.patheos.com/community/jesuscreed/2011/05/20/the-end-of-evangelicalism-6/
 
by Scot McKnight
posted May 20, 2011
 
I begin with this claim: the church, the local church as well as the church universal, is a politic. Instead of supporting a political party, which confuses the church into serving two masters, the church strives to be a politic. These are my words, not David Fitch’s, but I think they get to the heart of David’s section on how the church is to recover the core of our politics for mission. The problem is the Christian Nation vision, but the solution is to abandon that and to become a politic under the Lordship of Jesus, a politic of the kingdom of God. Fitch, in The End of Evangelicalism? Discerning a New Faithfulness for Mission: Towards an Evangelical Political Theology (Theopolitical Visions) examines four theologians.

The questions we need to face are these: How is your church shaping the politic of the church as part of God’s mission in this world? How is your church a “politic”? The gospel is performed as well as proclaimed. How does it perform the mission of God? Has your church been co-opted by political partisanship?

They are Henri du Lubac, William Cavanaugh, Nathan Kerr and John Howard Yoder. Here’s how he ties them together:

Lubac’s focus is on the Body of Christ in his physical body, in the Eucharist and in the church, but the eucharist has become a place for spectating instead of embodying that Body. Cavanaugh, another Catholic theologian, contends the eucharist births a political presence and engages society for redemption and renewal. It is thus a subversive presence.

Nathan Kerr, however, subverts both of these ideas (and Fitch’s) by contending the church is the church when it is dispersed into mission. Missiology precedes ecclesiology. The church becomes a non-site place! This leads to John Howard Yoder … who advocates the church as those who live under the Lordship of Jesus Christ — when the church embodies the “gifts.” It lives today what the world is to become. The church does this in binding and loosing, breaking bread, baptism, the gifts, and the rule of conversation.

And the church does this as the body that extends the incarnation, by living the kingdom, and by having a porous boundary.

Now Fitch digs: “Evangelicals have put forth the church as Christ’s voluntarist army dispersing individuals into the world to do the work of Christ and his mission.” He says it is “the social body of His Lordship (His Reign) incarnating Christ in the world for God’s mission” (166).

The Sunday gathering is in order to be shaped together into his body for the world in eucharist, preaching the Word and re-entry into the world. Sunday gatherings are not to be distinguished from daily living.


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