Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Images of the Church in Mission...

God's 'call to radical, moral and spiritual nonconformity'. He paints the picture of God's people as a 'contrast society'; a 'contrast community'; as 'new and different people of God'; as 'people truly different in holiness'.

I've enjoyed reading Images of the Church in Mission by John Driver. Looking to inspire the church to live up to its reason for being he uses 12 biblical images that centre on four generic concepts found in scripture.
  • Pilgrimage,
  • God's new order,
  • Peoplehood,
  • Transformation.
I liked some of the turns of phrase that Driver employs.

He points out God's 'call to radical, moral and spiritual nonconformity'. He paints the picture of God's people as a 'contrast society'; a 'contrast community'; as 'new and different people of God'; as 'people truly different in holiness'.

I was interested in his dissection of the influence of Constantine. Driver notes several shifts.
  • In holiness from corporate to individual;
  • towards individual spirituality;
  • towards mission no longer being the essential role of a contrast society
He draws the two thoughts together suggesting:
"The price of individualism within church is that of the contrast community being lost. Individual vision of church and salvation characterising evangelistic thought and practice shaped the life and mission of the church - this was the fruit of Constantinianism"
A great book - well worth visiting.

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