Postmodern Prophet -

Attraction

 The church grew by attraction. That is the First Testament norm.

 John Goldingay, Old Testament Theology: Israel’s Faith, vol. 2 (Downers Grove, IL: InterVarsity Press, 2006), 205.

It has been said that the attractional model of church is dead. I thought of that when I read these two sentences in Goldingay. Perhaps we need to rethink the concept.

John say that people outside the church will know we are Christians by our love. By our love. They’ll know we are Christians by our love.

If people saw that, they would be attracted to the church, wouldn’t they?

It isn’t about attendance, buildings, and cash, the ABCs. It isn’t about programs, ministries, and events. It’s about love. We will attract others when we truly love one another.

I’m afraid we are failing at that.

Personal Update

In October through January I had seven days of chemotherapy each month. The chemo was tolerable, but apparently the overall effect was minimal. That is, I saw no significant improvement from the treatments.

My doctor called personally on Thursday evening and proposed a new course of treatment aimed at an additional diagnosis. I trust my doctor to know what we are doing, so I’ll be having those treatments this week. Then it will take a few months before we really know whether they worked or not.

Writing here may be sparse for several days. Or maybe not, you never know for sure.

Meanwhile, read your Bible. And pray.

Things I Must Tell You

I would rather just keep quiet, but I cannot.

  • There is very little in scripture about what happens after we die. Please don’t let your ideas, even ideas you’ve heard all your life, get reified. Don’t get too comfortable with any one system of thought. Read your Bible and keep an open mind.
  • It seems to me that there is much more in scripture about God setting things right on earth than there is about a disembodied existence in heaven.
  • There is much more emphasis on bodily resurrection at the coming of the Lord than on what happens when we die.
  • I sometimes wonder if Paul would have supported some form of soul sleep between death and resurrection.
  • Perhaps, when the thief on the cross wakes “today” in paradise with Jesus, it will be when he is resurrected on the new earth.
  • When our whole emphasis is on getting people to escape hell and achieve heaven, we are missing about nine-tenths of the gospel.
  • Just read your Bible.

Resurrection Body

“Look at my hands and my feet; see that it is I myself. Touch me and see; for a ghost does not have flesh and bones as you see that I have.” And when he had said this, he showed them his hands and his feet. While in their joy they were disbelieving and still wondering, he said to them, “Have you anything here to eat?” They gave him a piece of broiled fish, and he took it and ate in their presence. (New Revised Standard Version, Lk 24:39–43)

Note the characteristics of Jesus’ resurrection body:

  • He is recognized.
  • He can be touched.
  • There is continuity with his body in natural life.
  • He eats.

Why would our resurrection bodies be any different than that of Jesus? Why would we expect some kind of spiritual life in the clouds?

We are made for earth. We were made to rule the earth, under God. When Jesus returns we will do exactly that, just as we were created to do.

It will be a new earth. Earth will have a resurrection body, too.

Read your Bible.

Being Prophetic

Nowadays … virtually everyone wants to be a prophet, as some claim to “speak truth to power” while thundering from their echo chambers, or glibly offering alternative facts without blinking an eye. Yet, words of deep wisdom simultaneously ring out from others with boldness, clarity, conviction, and faith, … Continued

Source: Being Prophetic Without Being a Self-Righteous Know-It-All – Missio Alliance

I saw this article from Missio Alliance yesterday. Being prophetic without being a know-it-all is exactly what I’m trying to do, so I checked out the article.

The main point are:

  • Do the biblical exegesis.
  • Do the cultural exegesis.
  • Do the soul work.
  • Learn to live with ambiguity.

These are exactly my skill set and exactly what I do on a day-by-day basis. I find that most people are troubled by ambiguity. They want solid answers and often those answers are not available.

The best thing to do is to read your Bible and be patient.

The Image

Mankind is made in the image of God.

What part of people do we identify with God’s image? The heart? The mind? The soul?

No. The whole of a person is the image of God. A woman or a man is the image of God.

When we sin, we fall short of God’s glory and his image might not be seen in us. But when we walk with God, serve him, live with him, obey him, the image of him in us is apparent.

God made us to manage the creation. He made us to rule over creation but not over one another. We are his image in creation.

A Lifelong Commitment

I’ve been told that the decision to try to have a stem cell transplant is “a lifelong commitment”. Sometimes it isn’t even a long lifetime.

The same is true of a commitment to Yhwh. When you trust his Son Jesus to lead you and his Spirit to be with you, it is a lifelong commitment. No turning back.

Count the cost. Are you willing to make a lifelong commitment?

A Room of Wise Elders

Pete Enns shared this quote yesterday, and the more I read it, the more it makes sense.

Scripture is not a room filled with clairvoyant theologians who have the same ideas and agree on every point. It is better understood as a room of wise elders, each an invited guest because of his unique voice and relation to God. Every elder has insight, but no elder has all of the answers, nor are any of them wholly liberated from humanity’s broken, sinful condition. Every voice is of value, but each will perhaps push too far in one direction and not enough in another, and each will push, in some way or another, in the wrong direction. When we read Scripture well, we listen in on the conversations of these elders, and, in conversations with other readers, seek as best we can to understand God’s voice. It is through this communal reading experience that God points us to his one and only solution for our broken condition: Jesus Christ.

Kenton Sparks, Genesis: History, Fiction, or Neither? — Three Views on the Bible’s Earliest Chapters (Counterpoints: Bible and Theology) p. 116.