“Beyond the worship of God and the proclamation of his word, the central ministry of the church is one of formation; of making disciples. Making disciples, however, is not just one more program—it is not Sunday School, a Wednesday night prayer meeting, or a new book one must read. Formation is about learning to live the alternative reality of the kingdom of God within the present world order faithfully. Formation, then, is fundamentally about changing lives. Continue reading James Davison Hunter on “the Central Ministry of the Church”
“Lex orandi, lex credendi” is a Latin theological expression which basically means “the rule of prayer is the rule of belief.” In more colloquial terms, we might say, “You show me how you worship and I’ll tell you what you believe.” The rule of prayer has shaped the development of the Christian theological tradition through its existence. A particularly prominent example is found in the fourth century in Athanasius’s appeal to the worship practices of the Christian community as part of his refutation of the Arian heresy. Essentially, the Arians were maintaining that the Son was a highly exalted creature, but certainly not God. One strand of Athanasius’s argument against the Arians consisted of drawing attention to the fact that the Christian community had worshipped Jesus from its earliest days. If Jesus was only a creature then for the first three centuries of its existence the church was nothing more than a collection of idolaters! Lex orandi, lex credendi. Continue reading Lex Orandi, Lex Credendi and Divine Impassibility
As the dust settles following last Monday’s initial United States Presidential debate, I took the opportunity yesterday to preach on the question of “What does it mean to tell the truth?” I suggested that for Christians telling the truth is inseparable from becoming truthful people, as we find ourselves caught up by the Spirit in the life of Jesus, who is the Truth. For this reason, the Christian tradition has held a special place for the martyrs. The martyrs are those who have borne witness to the truth at the cost of their lives. Although I didn’t explicitly make the connection, a member of the congregation observed that the sermon implicitly contrasted the richness of the faithful witness of Dietrich Bonhoeffer and Maximilian Kolbe with the poverty of the two presidential candidates. Continue reading The Truth Will Set You Free
As a result of a summer filled with teaching, frequent preaching, and lots of marking, along with some much-needed family vacation time to recharge, blog posts in recent weeks have been few and far between. With a very full semester of teaching, congregational ministry and, God willing, the completion of several writing projects on the horizon, the prospects for frequent posting in the days ahead are not particularly promising either. Continue reading An End of Summer Update
At long last, I have finally gotten around to posting the last of the audio from the event celebrating the launch of my book, For the Life of the World: Jesus Christ and the Church in the Theologies of Dietrich Bonhoeffer and Stanley Hauerwas, on the Book Launch Celebration page. The final audio clip features my responses to the three presenters. In order to maintain a manageable file size, I had to edit out some of my preliminary comments and words of thanks. In spite of the absence of these words of thanks from the audio, I remain profoundly thankful for all who helped out in various ways to make the evening such a success.
The audio from Glen Soderholm’s presentation at the launch for my book, For the Life of the World: Jesus Christ and the Church in the Theologies of Dietrich Bonhoeffer and Stanley Hauerwas, has now been posted in the Book Launch Celebration section of the website. Glen drew the fourth chapter of the book, “For the Life of the World: Church and World Revisited,” into fruitful dialogue with his own unique experience as a missional practioner, pastor, and church planter. Continue reading Even More Audio from Book Launch Celebration