Wednesday, May 15, 2013

Prodigal Christianity (10) Openness

The final chapter raises an important question.

How do we witness to what God has done through Jesus in a culture where people see a claim that Jesus is unique as intolerance? How can we live in a pluralistic culture without losing our identity as followers of Jesus? These are good questions.

Cultural pluralism makes anything said about God into issue of personal preference and emotive sentimentality.
Brian McLaren responds to pluralism by calling us to see God working in the world outside the church. The danger is losing the efficacy of God’s incarnation in the world through Jesus.
God is a God of justice, and his coming disrupts the status quo, exposing lies, rendering justice, intruding into our lives and reordering all things. Our witness in the world must take into account that God has come into the world in the Son and the Spirit to set the world right. This is the kingdom breaking in. This is justice. We cannot give up on this.
The Neo-Reformed group responds by championing absolute truth. This can leave us looking hard and argumentative.
Two often Christians behave as if no one from the outside would be watching. But outsiders are watching and the see the insecurity at the core of our theology. We look as if we are more interested in winning an argument than engaging those who are outside the faith who have legitimate questions.

The time for aggressive defensiveness has passed. The posture of wielding truth against and opposing religion is over. It separates from those outside the Christian faith and prevents us from crossing boundaries.
Fitch and Holsclaw argue that we must live our daily lives knowing that Jesus is Lord. They suggest that pluralism might be God’s way for accomplishing his purposes in the world.
God has come not into the world to win an argument, but to incarnationally engage a lost and fallen world by inviting all peoples to be reconciled and renewed in Christ.

Justice happens though being with people in the midst of their lives. It is intensely and simply relational.

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