Monday, October 10, 2005

Loose Ends

I’m trying to tie together some things that I’ve been thinking about the last couple years or so. Here’s some of the thoughts, slightly condensed.

In one of his books, Robert Capon describes the church as being a sacrament, a sign, of grace. The church’s job is not to teach morality, but to proclaim the good news. He has been accused of being universalist, though he claims he is not. I believe he would affirm that God’s grace is for all people, but some will reject it. Capon doesn’t limit God’s grace other than to say that some simply refuse it.

I believe the good news is better than I believe it is and I believe God is bigger than I believe He is.

With regards to Calvinism and my walking away from that theological system…it seems to me that God’s original intention in election was to be a blessing to all people. In the Calvinist system that original intention is reversed and God’s ultimate blessing is reserved for only some.

I believe Jesus is who He says he is.

Okay, so more recently, I’ve been reading The Jesus Creed. In it Scot McKnight says that the Jesus creed is the Shema (redefined) and loving your neighbor as yourself. Jesus redefines loving “God with all your heart, soul, mind, and strength” as following Him. In other words, if we were to ask the question, “How do we love God with all our heart, soul, mind, and strength?” Jesus would respond, “Follow me.” (Actually, he’d probably tell a story or ask a question in response, but we’ll stick with this for now.)

On October 2nd, Rob Bell preached a sermon in which he discussed (among other things) Jesus comment in the sermon on the mount where Jesus encourages His listeners to “let your light shine before men, that they may see your good deeds and praise your Father in heaven.” There’s something about being the church- following Jesus- that leads others to praise God.

I want people to know Jesus, to love Him and follow Him. Yet I am weary of thinking of evangelism only in terms of converting people to Christ. By this I mean it seems that it is easy to think of evangelism only as getting others to think like us. It seems that the gospel is bigger than that and has to be bigger than that. Perhaps, crazy as it seems, loving and serving others is the best sort of evangelism there is.


Blogger bga said...

I love this conclusion and how you got there. The end.

11:58 AM  

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