Sunday, April 20, 2008

the Gospel and culture...

Well, it's my last quarter, and I graduate in June! Woohoo! But, in the meantime, I'm gonna be reaallly busy with my last two classes and presenting a paper at the NW AAR conference in a couple weeks. Keep me in your prayers! Anyway, just thought I'd post a little blurb I recently wrote on the message board for my New Testament class:

I think our culture is struggling to live somewhere between "modernism" and "postmodernism." We're trying to have our cake and eat it too. We still want "proof" when it comes to believing what people tell us, but we want the individual freedom to pursue our own agendas in a manner that is very subjective and experiential. But the Gospel, I think, cuts against both: We will never have enough "proof", we must have faith, and that faith is never meant to be just an individual faith, but the faith of a community. In spite of our culture, I think that the Christian community must continue holding onto the pronouncement of Jesus as Lord, and trust that the transformative power of the Gospel is what really changes people, not "proof," whether rational or experiential. Of course, how that might look practically... I'm not entirely sure. The Gospel should clearly impact the way we live, and treat other people.



Roy said...

"We will never have enough 'proof', we must have faith, and that faith is never meant to be just an individual faith, but the faith of a community."

And which community might that be? If the implication is a Christian community, then which Christian community? The Roman Church? Protestant? Orthodox? The Non-Denominational Church of Holiness Our-Way-is-the-True-Way Primitive American Baptist up the street?

The idea of community is an important one. But let's not forget that while it does often provide the group w/ a system of checks and balances, it is also made up of people. And for most of us in "community" there is a startling similarity of agreement that has to be maintained for the community not to splinter. And sometimes those agreements are as likely to be based on myth, deceit and corruption as they are truth, love and edification.

Probably stating the obvious but you DID ask for thoughts.

Geoff said...

Yep, it's true, deciding upon a community is never foolproof. But there is always a risk when you align yourself with any community. That is another form of faith... and unfortunately many people have had their faith shattered by corrupt communities. But I submit that the community of God, in its truest form, is still worth our faith.