4 Crises: The Human Situation: What Conventional View God created the world as perfect, but because our primal Emerging View God created the world as good, but human beings – as individuals, and as is the story that ancestors, Adam and Eve, did groups – have rebelled against God and we find not maintain the absolute filled the world with evil and injustice ourselves in? perfection demanded by God, like a terrible disease. God wants to save God has irrevocably determined humanity and heal it from its sickness,Planetary crisis (Prosperity) that the entire universe and all it but humanity is hopelessly lost and contains will be destroyed, and confused, like sheep without a shepherd, the souls of all human beings – wandering farther and farther into except for those specifically lostness and danger. Left to themselves, exempted – will be forever human beings will spiral downward in punished for their imperfection sickness and evil. in hell.1 Basic Since everyone is doomed to Since the human race is in such desperate Questions: What hell, Jesus seeks to answer these trouble, Jesus seeks to answer this questions did questions: how can individuals question: what must be done about the Jesus come to be saved from eternal mess we’re in? The mess refers both toPoverty crisis (Equity) answer? punishment in hell and instead the general human condition and its go to heaven after they die? How specific outworking among his can God help individuals be contemporaries: living under domination happy and successful until then? by the Roman empire, and divided into various competing sects. Jesus’ message: Jesus says, in essence, “If you Jesus says, in essence, “Other people and How did Jesus want to be among those groups – including your own religious respond to the specifically qualified to escape leaders - are leading you farther and crisis? being forever punished for your farther astray. I have been sent by God sins in hell, you must repent of with this good news – that God lovesPeace-making crisis (Security) your individual sins and believe humanity, even in its lostness and sin. that my Father punished me on God graciously invites everyone and the cross so He won’t have to anyone to question and reject what they punish you in hell. Only if you have been told and instead follow a new believe this will you go to path. Trust me and become my disciple, heaven when everyone else is and you will be transformed, and you will banished to hell.”2 This is the participate in the transformation of the good news. world, which is possible, beginning right now.”3 This is the good news.! Religious Crisis (Spirituality) 1 Of course, there are many modern western non-religious ontologies and framing stories too, plus Eastern ontologies and framing stories – both religious and irreligious. 2 This reflects a Calvinistic Evangelical protestant version of the message. The popular Roman Catholic version might say, “You must believe in the teachings of the church and follow its instructions, especially those regarding sacraments.” The popular mainline or liberal Protestant
Jesus didn’t claim to start a new religion. He proclaimed a new kingdom....
kingdoms relate toprosperity, equity,security, and religion ...
Did Jesus come to create “Christians” or to form disciples who would join God in healing our world?
Clearly, for the earlydisciples, the church wasan expanding circle ofdisciples. It was “theembodiment of Christ.”They saw themselves as learners in his way.
come, follow me Learn of me, take my yoke upon you I have given you an example Make disciples,teaching them to practice everything I have taught you
Be conformed to the image of Christ. Romans 8Be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Romans 12 … that Christ may be formed in you. Galatians 4 Learn Christ… Be made new in the attitude of your minds Ephesians 4 Christ in you, the hope of glory … everyone fully formed in Christ Colossians 1Let this attitude be in you which was also in Christ… Philippians 2
This kind of personal spiritualformation involves intentional spiritual practices (or disciplines):
Actions within our power which we do to train ourselves to do things currently beyond our power, and to become people we are currently incapable of being.- Running a marathon- Making or playing a violin- Learning a language
For example, fasting: - Feeling and acknowledging our weakness in the face of impulses from our bodies.- Practicing impulse control.- Asserting to ourselves the importance of things other than impulse gratification.- Accepting weakness and “poverty” in faith that greater strength and satisfaction can come to us.- What benefits could come from this practice?
The sermon on the mountExplains how disciples of the kingdom are characterized by a “right/justway of living” which “surpasses that of the scribes and Pharisees.” Different attitudes: blessed are … Different role - salt and light Beyond “no murder” to no hatred, anger, insult, or grudges Beyond “no adultery” to no lust or divorce Beyond no lying to no exaggeration Beyond no excessive revenge to no retaliation Beyond loving friends to loving enemies Beyond harsh religious “perfection” to God’s compassionate perfection.
How are disciples formed? Through practice(s). ___public worship ___solitude ___sabbath ___meditation ___eucharist ___silence ___study ___spiritual direction ___practicing God’s presence ___prayer journaling ___fixed-hour prayer ___contemplative prayer___service ___submission ___simplicity ___feasting/ fasting ___pilgrimage ___self-denial ___identifying with Jesus ___reconciliation ___giving ___confessing sin ___reciting creeds
How are disciples formed? Through practice. ___public worship ___solitude ___sabbath ___eucharist ___silence ___study ___spiritual direction ___practicing God’s presence ___prayer journaling ___fixed-hour prayer ___contemplative prayer ___service ___submission ___simplicity ___feasting/ fasting ___pilgrimage ___self-denial ___identifying with Jesus ___reconciliation ___giving ___confessing sin ___reciting creeds But this is only half the story …
Jesus calls disciples - men and women who will learn to live a new way of life and experience transformation.Then he sends them out as apostles … people who would bring transformation to the world.
the well-formed disciple/apostleLove God! ! ! ! Love neighbor, enemyVia Contemplativa! ! Via ActivaGood heart! ! ! ! Good worksTrust!! ! ! ! ObeyTransforming (1)! ! Transforming (2)Disciple! ! ! ! Apostle“interior castle”!! ! kingdom of Godgodliness! ! ! ! otherliness
the well-formed disciple patient kind not envious doesn’t boast not proud not rude not self-seeking not easily angeredno record of wrongs doesn’t delight in evil rejoices withtruth always protects always trusts always hopes always perseveres never fails
The purpose of personal formation is socialtransformation
And social transformationrequires personal transformation.
There must be ongoingtransformation at every level: Economic, political, social, familial, community, artistic, ecological, legal, business, military, scientific, educational, etc.
How are disciples formed? Through personal practices. ___public worship ___solitude ___sabbath ___eucharist ___silence ___study ___spiritual direction ___practicing God’s presence ___prayer journaling ___fixed-hour prayer ___contemplative prayer ___service ___submission ___simplicity ___feasting/fasting ___pilgrimage ___self-denial ___identifying with Jesus ___reconciliation ___giving ___confessing sin ___reciting creeds
How are apostles formed? Through missional practices.___forgiving ___hospitality ___praying for healing ___not judging ___confronting evil ___serving ___listening ___associating with the lowly ___holy kiss ___speaking truth in love ___neighborliness ___loving enemies ___preferring poor ___speaking for justice ___proclaiming good news in word and deed ___giving to poor ___throwing parties for poor ___walking to other side of street to serve ___giving ___encouragement ___empathy
How is the world transformed? Through communities of people participating in transformation.
Does Christ’s church have a mission?Or does Christ’s mission have a church?
As the Father sent me, so I send you. (John 20:21)
… the church is the community that joins God for global transformation on every level …It is a community of transforming individuals who participate with God in the transformation of the world: the coming of the Kingdom of God.
Spiritual formation is the development of people who are agents of God’s healing … Agents of peace, reconciliation, creativity, courage, patience,urgency, generosity, solidarity with the poor and oppressed, truth- telling …
Working out the dynamic tension … Social movements:Confront social institutions, call for change Social institutions: Conserve gains made by previous social movements Oppose current social movements
1. Adopt Jesus and the gospel of kingdom as your primary message2. Read and preach Scripture from a Christ/gospel focused- perspective. (Tent, not flat or tilted) 3. Learn your environmental address.
4. Learn your social context ...study, but especially get out and ask. 5. Speak to governmentand civil society leaders 6. Develop a theology of movements, institutions, and communities.
7. Develop a range of simple, doable, durable practices andprojects for people to get involved with.8. Make space for people to issuecalls to form new mission groups. 9. celebrate small wins
10. Keep it spiritual ...watch language, monitor love forenemies, pray, reconcile, surprisewith acts of kindness, interpret in light of Scripture.