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  • Writer's pictureDarryl Buckle

>The Shaping of things to come


I have been reading a new book lately…..

The book reflects and in some way leads us through what is currently an unprecedented interest and focus on reshaping the church for mission. Some who love the church in its present incarnation will shake their heads and demand protectively that the church is already shaped for mission. So this book might annoy you… or on the other hand it might be a breathe of fresh air.

anyways here’s something to think about.

Chapter 1 argues that tweaking the system will be of no avail. We do not need an evolution, we need revolution. The authors quote Einstein that “the kind of thinking that will solve the world’s problems will be of a different order than the kind that created those problems in the first place.” We need to step out of the box of Christendom.

Christendom, as opposed to the movement Jesus initiated (Christianity), has been the dominant religious force in the world for 1700 years. Under Constantine Christianity moved from a subversive, marginalized and persecuted movement to the favorite religion of the empire. “Christianity moved from being a dynamic .. movement.. to being a religious institution with its attendant structures, priesthood and sacraments.”

the authors say “We believe the missional genius of the church can only be unleashed when there are foundational changes made to the church’s very DNA, and this means addressing core issues like ecclesiology, spirituality, and leadership… Ok here comes the kicker

“It means a complete shift away from Christendom thinking, which is attractional, dualistic, and hierarchical.”

did you hear that… ” attractional, dualistic, and hierarchical”

The western church has been primarily attractional, and has stood apart from culture and invited people to “come in.”

Frost and Hirsch suggest incarnational as the alternative to attractional.

… “the Incarnation provides us with the missional means by which the gospel can become a genuine part of a people group without damaging the cultural frameworks that provide a sense of history and meaning” and that “in reaching a people group we need to identify with them in all ways possible without compromising the truth of the gospel itself.”

I have been wrestling with this for the last year or so. How to intersect with the community for the purpose of living incarnationally.

how do i do it. how do we as the church do it. how do you teach people how to do it.

I am becoming more and more convinced that this is why we reach so few with Jesus


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