Sunday, May 24, 2009
Saturday, May 16, 2009
Jonathan Dodson provides some ideas on Simplified Missional Living. Here are two ideas that kind of go together:
Volunteer with Non-Profits
Find a non-profit in your part of the city and take a Saturday a month to serve your city. Bring your neighbors, your friends, or your small group. Spend time with your church serving your city. Once a month. You can do it!
Participate in City Events
Instead of playing XBox, watching TV, or surfing the net, participate in city events. Go to fundraisers, festivals, cleanups, summer shows, and concerts. Participate missionally. Strike up conversation. Study the culture. Reflect on what you see and hear. Pray for the city. Love the city. Participate with the city.
Sunday, May 03, 2009
Jonathan Leeman presents a Theological Critique of MultiSite Churches. It is a very good read, but more interesting to me was Leeman's discussion of what constitutes a church:
What shall we say constitutes a particular church on earth? The answer which the Bible gives us, I think, is very simple and very basic: a particular church is constituted by a group of Christians gathering together bearing Christ's own authority to exercise the power of the keys. Three things, then, are necessary for a church to be a church: you need Christians, a gathering that bears Christ's authority, and the exercise of that authority in the keys.Leeman goes on to explain:
In Matthew 16, Jesus hands Peter and the apostles the "keys of the kingdom" to bind and lose on earth what is bound and loosed in heaven. What is Peter to bind and loose on earth? Commentators and creeds differ on the answer. Some say doctrine. Some say people. For a variety of reasons, I think it's the latter. But no matter how you answer the question, most writers seem to acknowledge that, one way or another, the end result is that Peter and the apostles would have the power to bind and loose people. The goal here, after all, is to build Christ's heavenly church, which they are to do on earth through this power for binding and loosing. Also, in Matthew 18, which D. A. Carson helpfully calls "an application" of the authority granted in Matthew 16, the church is told to treat an unrepentant individual as an outsider—to exclude him; and then Jesus again invokes the authority of the keys, seemingly as a foundation for the church's authority to do so. Notice two things about this. First, the authority given to Peter and the apostles in Matthew 16 is handed to the local church in Matthew 18. Second, the local church in Matthew 18 employs that authority to exclude an individual. Insofar as "binding and loosing" are opposites, I take it as self-evident that the authority to exclude implies an authority to include or to unite (plus, if chapter 18 merely presents one application of the authority given in chapter 16, there's no reason to limit the authority to that one example of application). This makes further sense of the context of Matthew 16, where Jesus gives the power of the keys to the apostles, again, for the purpose of establishing the church on earth.