Tuesday, January 30, 2007

Summing It Up

As I talk with other Christ-followers about all that's going on in their passions and lives, I wonder if there might be two categories that sum it all up, one having to do with pesonal spirituality and the other having to do with Christian culture.

First, I hear a lot of people expressing a desire to reconnect with the person and mission of Christ, with the reality of the Holy Spirit and the miraculous, with authentic community among believers and unbelievers, with the needy and broken of this world, with God's stewardship of our planet, with spheres of living that are integrated and in proximity vs. segregated and geographically separated. It's the desire to live a life that is whole and wholly cooperating with God's Master Plan for the universe. It's the desire to live a life that builds up and builds into rather than pulls apart or passes by. It's the desire to live a reconciled life, the life commissioned in 2 Corinthians 5:18 that sums up our spirituality. It is the desire for a Connected Life.

I also hear a lot of people identifying Enlightenment- and Modernity-based ecclesiologies as too self-serving and too self-reliant. They recognize that democracy and capitalism are poor models for Christian practice and that the word "church" has come to mean something God never intended it to in our modern vernacular. They see the trajectory of traditional and contemporary "church" practice as both resulting from a colossal derailing that must have taken root within just a few hundred years after Christ's ascension. These people recognize the path to truly building and becoming the body of Christ requires more than a return to medieval practice but rather a radical return to the Word of Scripture - interpreted not by academic theorists by the Incarnation of Jesus. They are participating in what appears to be a timely, grass-roots, Spirit-sparked Postmodern Reformation.

1) Connected Life
2) Postmodern Reformation

Does this sum up all that we are experiencing, talking about, and writing on these days?


Duncan McFadzean said...

John, good post and I was with you until you start talking about eccelsiologies and then the syllabels started getting too many :-)

I think you're right. I think that you can see the missional movement expanding, a desire to build community, a desire to love practically, a heart for the lost and for the poor, a desire for justice and for change.

I also think you see, primarily in the Emerging type conversations, a desire to retink what we think about God, about who He is and what He really said to us, about how we express that and about how we relate to others.

Some of the latter conversation makes me feel uncomfortable but I'm still listening to it, or as much as I can understand anyway. My own heart is being turned to the former, but I expect as we work out the former, we may end up achieving much of the latter.

John Lynch said...

That's so insightful, Duncan!

I too see the heart of God aiming primarily at our living a Connected Life. And I agree that the Postmodern Reformation, as much as it flows within the passions of God, is really the impact of that first reality expressing itself in culture.

Thanks for that clarity. It helps me! (P.S. I love your name. Scottish or Irish?)