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Just finished listening to this podcast. Excellent material. Starting 'Surprised by Hope,' this week, and I'm really looking forward to it.
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Glenn, I really enjoyed Sunday School this week. My wife and I have spent many hours discussing the ideas that you've been talking about over the last several months. I'm wondering what you think the implications will be, though, of reevaluating the gospel as we understand it. Obviously, we cannot change our perspective of God's plan and there not be any kind of change in what we do. So, how does this change our 'activity' as Christians?
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Great thoughts, Glenn. I've been thinking about this for the last week, since your original tweet about the difference between the preaching in Acts and how we approach the Gospel today. Obviously, we're missing the mark as a Church, but how do we get back on the right track? What steps do we need to take, as individuals and corporately, to share the Gospel as it is, rather than the consumer-friendly model we have been?
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I admit it. I’m in love. Head over heels, lost in my own thoughts, smitten, twitterpated, in love. My heart has been captured by my God. For some time now, I’ve felt aimless and without purpose. I could mentally list off the multitudes of Christian reasons why my life, in... Continue reading
Posted Jun 14, 2010 at David's blog
Well, I'd say we're all enjoying it. At least I think so! "I don't think I fully agree with the sentiment that we are to be concerned, as a primary mode of social change, with hoping to change people's hearts and minds towards Christ..." I don't believe that social change is something attainable, anymore than 'reaching the lost' is. Societies are not changed en masse, they are altered one perception at a time. It is a gradual process. Also, as I indicated before, 'change hearts and minds' are not the end of God's plans with us. If it were, we would certainly be whisked away at conversion. Government is a tool for establishing guidelines for an orderly society, but it cannot, of itself, establish social norms or legislate cultural opinion. I'm not advocating for political apathy, but rather trying to establish that our practicing for a new heaven and a new earth involves more than political activism. Government can help to resolve issues, but is not the solution itself. Most of our social 'issues' are not politically resolvable anyway. I think we can get so caught up in political activism and involvement that we lose sight of the bigger picture and end up running around in circles over votes and political parties and who said what on CNN.
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I love this line: "Christians ought to in some way pose a kind of threat (not violent or belligerent) to systems of evil." I think Christians should make those with evil intent nervous, the same way the Israelites made their neighbors nervous: we have God behind us, and He's pretty big. --- In no way did I mean to imply that we shouldn't take a stand against injustice in the world. Certainly, suffering across the globe is not part of God's design for the earth. What I was getting at is that many people I know have a flawed idea that the ONLY solutions to those injustice are political solutions. While God certainly does work through political and social change, I think we should be open-minded enough to realize that he is not limited to those avenues. It's interesting, too, taking a look at these ideas of this being a 'practice round' for the new creation that's coming. If we are joint heirs with Christ and we're going to rule with him, just what is it we'll be ruling over? It's obviously not going to be each other. If it is indeed the rest of creation, then it makes me want to take a closer look at how I'm treating the rest of creation now.
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David is now following Glenn Packiam
Jun 9, 2010
Hey Dedmon, I had a few thoughts about your comments. I think that maybe the key to our confusion stems from a misunderstanding of our responsibilities. We don't have a responsibility to bring about any kind of 'societal change.' The gospel that Jesus preached, and the one we believe is not one of a changed society, but of changed people. While we share and live in a community of people, God's most amazing work is that which he does in an individual's heart. We can get caught up in the role of the Church in our society, and easily forget that the simpler, and probably more effective changes, are going to come from individual people. I'm not concerned personally with creating a model Christian society. Really, I believe that to be impossible, and attempts to subvert government or politics to align with my ideals (even with the Bible) are misguided. When we do that, we admit to the lie that government is more powerful than the people who create it and more powerful than the people it is created to protect. Our error is to have believed that injustice is remedied corporately by government laws, regulations and rules, when really, it is by God working through His people in the smallest parts of life.
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