Posts Tagged ‘Social Involvement

02
Dec
11

same-sex marriage and christian reactions

Same-sex marriage is high on the cultural agenda these days.  As Christians, it is important that our thinking on this issue is biblically informed and guided and not simply visceral.   It is also important that we are able to present our understanding as clearly as possible both to other Christians and to non-Christians.  Below are some links that will help to educate us on the issues.  I do not necessarily agree with all that they say but they present a good launching pad for reflection.  It is also worth reading the comments on some as they often present the opposing case inviting us to clearer engagement.

Let me say, it is absolutely clear to me same-sex marriage has no biblical support and for a Christian it is completely forbidden.  It is clear to me too that churches which promote or condone same-sex marriage among their members are apostate in nature and should be avoided.  Bible teachers who so teach should be disciplined by the church as false teachers.  The harder question to answer for me is how far Christians should oppose same-sex marriage being made legal by society.

The bigger question here of course is the role that God expects of his people in society.  Or, to frame this question in contemporary jargon – what is the mission of the church?  Some questions in the mix include: is the church called to be a moral policeman in society; is the church mission to ‘redeem culture'; if we have an obligation to oppose society’s evils then where do we start and where do we stop; where do we find this moral imperative upon the church to attempt to change culture in Scripture?

On the other side many will ask, when faced with injustice and the ability to do something about it, should Christians pass by on the other side?

See, here here here, here, here, here, here, here, and here.

16
Nov
11

what is the mission of the church?

Kevin De Young and Greg Gilbert have written a book called ‘What is the Mission of the Church?’.  It has touched a raw nerve in the younger American evangelical scene.   Some have written fairly critical reviews of it (see here for an inventory of these).  De Young and Gilbert have responded here.

The debate is important for it affects what we understand to be our responsibility to society as Christians.  It is well worth taking the time to read the online discussion at the very least.  I have not read De Young’s book but I know my overall position is nearer to De Young and Gilbert than to those in the ‘missional’ camp (followers more of Christopher Wright and N T Wright).  The problem with the more ‘missional’ or ‘transformational’ paradigm, to my mind, is the biblical meta-narrative assumed.   Its advocates believe the story of the Bible starts with creation and see God’s mission as restoring creation.   They are, in my view, wrong in both counts.

  • While the biblical narrative begins with creation, creation is not the beginning of the story.  The ‘true’ beginning is only revealed as the plot unfolds.  The real beginning is God’s plan in eternity.   God’s plan is Christ and all who find their election in him, information not available in the story’s first chapter (Eph 1).  In other words, God’s goal was never Adam and the first creation but Christ and the new creation.  The End does not complete the Beginning; the Beginning is simply a prologue for the End.  Adam was only the type, Christ is the antitype.  Or, if you like, the Second Man was always the First.
  • If ‘transformationalists’ get the beginning of the story wrong, they also get the end wrong too.  The dénouement is not a return to the beginning but a new beginning that eclipses all that has gone before.  New creation is not creation restored or regained, it is creation radically reconfigured.   The missional perspective builds too much on continuity and does not give nearly enough credit to discontinuity.  They do not credit new creation with being just that, ‘new’.

The result of a misread plot is a skewed understanding of the act in the drama where we find ourselves now.  The task of the church is not to transform society but to bear witness to society of God’s new creation by proclaiming the gospel in word and life.  Of course, with the life of Christ in our hearts we will seek to do good to all men, especially those of the household of faith’ (for that is what Christ did) but that is somewhat different from seeing our mission as ‘the flourishing of creation’.  We will of course respect creation as good stewards of it but what we wish primarily to see flourishing is not creation, but new creation, which in my view is a very different thing.

07
Jul
10

c s lewis quotations

Interesting quote from C S Lewis on social justice on Justin Taylor’s blog.  Another interesting quote from Lewis on intellectual conceit and church fellowship at Ray Ortlund’s blog.




the cavekeeper

The Cave promotes the Christian Gospel by interacting with Christian faith and practice from a conservative evangelical perspective.

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