Friday, October 22, 2010

How real is your church?

Church is “the history of particular persons realizing by the Spirit’s gift the new potential for human nature.” A challenging quote from Ponder These Things: Praying With Icons of the Virgin

It echoed this insight by Neil Ormerod:

“major divide in ecclesiology, between those who study ecclesiology as an idealist Platonic form in some noetic heaven, and those who study it more as a realist Aristotelian form, grounded in the empirical data of historical ecclesial communities.” in The Routledge Companion to the Christian Church

The temptation to construct church in ideal forms. To deal with metaphors and images and DNA’s rather the particular communities that are with us now. If we just rearranged our DNA, if we could just start again, if we could just return to the early church, if we could just have a few more musicians or young people.

Yet the true grace of transformation is that God could take particular humanity, the reality of what is, and through that catch a glimpse of the Kingdom.

Almost, like, yes, an emerging church 🙂

So as part of prayer, I began to place particular persons, specific names, actual communities in the phrase. Church folk I have argued with. Communities I have been disappointed with. People I wish would change.

It was hard. I kept wanting to trade up for idealisms. But the Incarnation of Christ walked among the real, the local, the particular.

God, through these particular persons, unfold your new potential.

Posted by steve at 09:05 AM

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