Tuesday, September 27, 2005

A WEEK WITH INAGRACE DIETTERICH day 2


Inagrace on Christianity:

"The distinctiveness of Christianity, from a biblical perspective, is not that individual Christians believe in God, affirm correct doctrines, live good lives, or engage in good works. What is distinctive is the forming of a particular people who listen to particular stories, discern a particular reality, and live their lives by particular words. The message of the Bible is that through the history of the people of Israel, the story of Jesus Christ, and the outpouring of the Spirit, God calls into being a new people."


My thoughts: There is a lot of talk in postmodern circles that in order for The Church to be relevant in postmodern culture it will have to become "strange" again. Right now many unchurched people are turned off by Christians and Christianity becuase they feel that Christians are hypocritical, irrelevant to their lives and sometimes just plain mean.

I think Christians have forgotten what it means to be "odd" in the world. We want to be the ones in power- whether we're conservative or liberal. And we feel like that if we can have the majority of "our kind" in power within the political sphere we'll MAKE THE WORLD LOOK like God wants it to look.

By claiming our particularity and practices that make us "odd" to the world- honoring the body, radical hospitality, God's economics, knowing how to say "yes" and "no", keeping sabbath, testimony, discernment, shaping communities, forgiveness, healing, worship and praise, and dying well (examples of Christian practices from www.practicingourfaith.org)- we form a peculiar people that although live in the midst of the world begin to look very different and operate quite differently from how the world operates.

When we read scripture together it is to help us see the "alternative vision" which is the Kingdom of God that we are invited to engage and imagine and then to discern how as a community we live that vision out, empowered by the Holy Spirit.

3 comments:

John Wilks said...

Yes! Exactly! The teachings of Our Lord focus on the concept that God is bringing His Kingdom- God is initiating something foriegn to the ways of human civilizations. And we who belong to that Kingdom are strangers where ever we go, we are pilgrim-messengers bringing news of a world which is right at the tips of our fingers in some ways and achingly distant in others.

Zoomdaddy said...

I've been to a lot of Tiger's games this year, and I can tell who is really there to see the game and who is there for other reasons (eg. appease a friend or loved one, peoplewatch, eat overpriced concessions, etc.). To claim that someone who is a mere fan of the Christian story is a Christian as much as someone who loves Tolkien is a hobbit. This distinction between being a community who loves and lives our lives according to the narrative of Christ and those who have derivative beliefs and practices is misguded at best and deceitful at worst. The wheat may be sown with the tares, but they will be separated, just like those who are true Tiger's fans and those who are along for the ride will be separated if the Tiger's play another disappointing season of ball next year.

St.Phransus said...

interesting point zoom. one i'll have to process a bit.