Wednesday, June 30, 2010
I read John's book recently and I find it hard to summarize without this becoming a lengthy post, so let me mention some of the highlights of this book: John tells his story of moving from a sectarian evangelical, tied as he was into his own personal salvation and his own personal reading of the Bible. He also talks of his profound encounter with God when he recited The Apostles' Creed and came to terms with the profound meaning of "catholic": that the Church of God is universal and that God would want us to cooperate and work together in God's kingdom mission.Here McKnight strikes at one of my recent biggest pet peeves - that we think theology is religion - that we are saved by our theology - that theology defines a follower of Christ.
John has some pragmatic suggestions, like cooperating at the local level by different pastors and churches, and he wants us to see that unity we have will be more along the line of the missional work of God in this world instead of our explicit theologies.
There is a big difference between "theology matters" and "theology is all."
The point about letting theology stand in the way of mission and cooperation is an important one, but what I really am uncomfortable with is that we use theology as a block to actual change. What that means in practice is that the church, that we, are no different, in reality than anyone else. If we believe, if our theology is correct, then we are OK, even if we look and act exactly like those that don't believe or think like we do. What utter nonsense!
Do you think God bothered to incarnate, die, and be resurrected for the sake of what we think? What an awful, self-centered idea.
There is much more to us than our brains. I think we should start with humility. Then maybe we will get out of the way enough for the rest of it to take hold. - maybe.