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

Monday, January 9, 2012

Hallmarks of a Jesus Movement




by Dr. Paul Pierson
Fuller School of World Mission
June 8, 2005

The list of factors observed in revival and renewal movements throughout history is flexible and some of these can be combined. Here is a list I've observed:

* They always begin on the periphery of the institutional church

* They are motivated by a transforming experience (grace) of God by an individual or group

The result is the desire for a more authentic Christian life that often leads to concern for the church and world

Face to face groups for prayer, Bible study, mutual encouragement are important

New methods of selecting and training leaders become important. These are less institutional, more grass roots and lay oriented

There are theological breakthroughs, that is, rediscovery of aspects of the Biblical message that have been forgotten or overlooked by the Church, usually they involve a focus on the gifts of every believer

There is a leveling effect, distance decreases between clergy and laity, social classes, races, men and women, and denominations

* The movement is countercultural in some ways, often because it reaches out to those who have not been valued by their society

Consequently there will be opposition by many in the dominant culture and church

* There will often be manifestations of spiritual warfare. Such movements sense the reality of evil and the need to recognize the vistory of Christ in the cross and resurrection

* At times there will be unusual manifestations of the power of the Holy Spirit; healings, visions, glossalalia, miracles. etc

* More flexible structures of church and mission will be needed and often emerge, different from traditional structures

* The movement will be led to significant recontextualization of the Christian message, which will be communicated more widely by lay persons to those outside the church

* New music is often a characteristic

* Biblical concepts ignored by the traditional church but relevant to the hearers are often discovered

* There will be a growing concern for the marginalized, often expressed in ministries of compassion

* At a later stage this often leads to concern for broader social transformation

* As the movement matures there will be concern for the renewal of the broader church

* As the movement continues to mature many will see themselves not only as part of the particular movement but as citizens of the Kingdom of God, transcending their own movement

* Finally, every movement is less than perfect and often messy at the edges and sometimes, at the center. This is inevitable as long as sinful humans are involved




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