In the business of theology it is hard not to be controversial - Jurgen Moltmann

Sunday, 5 August 2007

core business of the church

One of the most important things that Christians need to know about the church is that the church is not of ultimate importance. ... What is of ultimate importance is the reign of God, and it is from the church's commitment to preach, serve and witness to that reign that the church receives and maintains its identity. ... The point of the church is not the church.  The church can only be church if it is poised toward the kingdom, continuing to embody the ministry of Jesus as the face of the Spirit, sharing in the abundant trinitarian life God shares in history.  The church is missionary by its very nature.  (original italics)

Stephen B. Bevans and Roger P. Schroeder, Constants in Context: A Theology of Mission for Today (2004), p. 396.  

Sounds familiar, huh?

Yes, it does remind me of an analogy from Karl Barth (Ben: was it him?), that the church exists because of its mission, just as fire exists because of combustion.  If there is no burning, there is no fire; likewise, when there is no mission, there is (or should be) no church. (Something like that.) I am glad to have been embedded in this line of thinking ever since my early years in church.  And yes, I am proud that my church taught me that; thank you, Rev. Lo.

Ironically, so much church-talks nowadays, wherever you are in the world, are church-oriented, church-focused, church-this, church-that. 

Well, you got me, 'church growth' ... uh oh! Could be one of the worst ideas over the last half a century.  

Dear God, have mercy on us.  And dear church, give me a break.


hmvchan said...


飲者 said...