Wednesday 21 February 2007

Worthy of more thought

I took this book to the coffeehouse tonight: Emerging Churches - Creating Christian Community in Postmodern Cultures.

I read through a chapter about doing away with the sacred/secular divide and then I flicked through earlier chapters of the book to briefly review what I had underlined. A couple of paragraphs stood out because I wrote in the margins, "worthy of more thought". See what you think about the reaction of leaders in the emerging church to identifying with Jesus and his message of the kingdom of God:

Rooted in the work of N.T. Wright, emerging churches embrace the gospel [literally the "good news"-Cosmo] of the kingdom as revealed in Mark 1:15-18. At the outset of the Gospel narrative, the good news was not that Jesus was to die on the cross to forgive sins but that God had returned and all were invited to participate with him in this new way of life, in this redemption of the world. It is this gospel that the emerging church seeks to recover. As one leader confided privately, "We have totally reprogrammed ourselves to recognize the good news as a means to an end - that the kingdom of God is here. We try to live into that reality and hope. We don't dismiss the cross; it is still a central part. But the good news is not that he died but that the kingdom has come."

Worthy of more thought, I think.

Today is Ash Wednesday, the start of the period known as Lent which runs up to Easter. I'm not giving anything up for Lent. (I'm not actually sure what the point of this exercise is unless it's something substantial - I don't think giving up chocolate for a few weeks compares to the agonies of crucifixion.) Instead I'll take up this thought: Did God come to Earth to live or die?

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