Following Jesus into the Culture

I’m currently making my way through An An Emergent Manifesto of Hope edited by Doug Pagitt and Tony Jones. This volume contains a number of divergent voices from what is known as the “Emergent Church;” a rising tide of individuals who seem extremely serious about the missio Dei “mission of God.” For this reason in addition to others I consider myself among their number.

One compelling voice is that of Ryan Bolger assistant professor of church in contemporary culture in the School of Intercultural Studies at Fuller Theological Seminary. In addition to writing Chapter 11 of this volume, he teamed with Eddie Gibbs”>in Emerging Churches: Creating Community in Postmodern Cultures

Chapter 11 is titled Following Jesus into Culture: Emerging Church as Social Movement. In this chapter Bolger describes one of the movements of the Reign of God as a communal movement.

He states that:

“Every activity Jesus performed he did in a sociopolitical context.Jesus could have simply sought to transform society at the macrolevel, but instead he created a microsociety to transform culture. This 24/7 community addressed all of life. As a new type of family, they practiced alternative politics, economics, and social structure. The Sermon on the Mount served as their founding charter 

He goes on to suggest that churches involved within the kingdom of God are to embody the message of the good news by learning how to serve, how to forgive, how to love, and how to open up our homes.

When the church stresses the microlevel rather than the macrolevel there truly is a different way to be and live. It calls forth expressions of a living organism that now embodies that for which too long and too often has been proclaimed verbally. We who follow Jesus, as never before have the opportunity to express an entirely different way of life, rather than conforming to either the secular culture or that of Christendom were able to authentically enter into our neighborhoods up close and personal, loving people for Jesus’ sake.

One Response

  1. Good note, Look forward to reading it sometime

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