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Showing posts from October, 2013

Participation in Christ, part 5 (anthropology)

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This post continues a series looking at "Participation in Christ (An Entry into Karl Barth's Church Dogmatics)" by Adam Neder. To read other posts in this series, click on a number: 12, 3, 46, 78910.

In chapter 3, Neder addresses Barth's biblically-informed, Trinitarian anthropology, noting that it views Jesus' humanity as inclusive of all humanity:
The ontological determination of humanity [meaning the determination of humanity's fundamental being] is grounded in the fact that one man among all others is the man Jesus...[he] alone establishes and reveals human nature... Barth's anthropology is an attempt to take this thought seriously, to follow it wherever it may lead, and to resist the temptation to either deviate from it or stop short of saying what must be said on the basis of it (p29, emphasis added). Accordingly, to know what human nature is, we "look to the place where it has been once and for all enacted and definitively establishe…

Participation in Christ, part 4 (obedience)

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This post continues a series looking at "Participation in Christ (An Entry into Karl Barth's Church Dogmatics)" by Adam Neder. To read other posts in this series, click on a number: 12, 3, 5, 6, 78910.

For Barth, our participation in the love and life of Jesus Christ is by a grace that involves obedience. Though obedience is sometimes construed in ways that are antithetical to God's grace, Barth sees obedience and grace linked within the covenant that is ours with God in Christ, our Lord:
In showing His grace, God proves Himself both Savior and Helper... [His] exercising of lordship is kind as well as good... [Grace] rules by offering God to His covenant partner as Lord of the covenant (Neder, p19). Paradoxically, the covenant "rest" (freedom) we are given in Christ (by grace) is realized in obedience to Christ as Lord. According to Barth, God's grace sets us free first to hear Christ and then to obey what we hear him tell us as our Lord. "…

Participation in Christ, part 3 (objective & subjective aspects)

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This post continues a series looking at "Participation in Christ (An Entry into Karl Barth's Church Dogmatics)" by Adam Neder. To read other posts in this series, click on a number: 1, 2, 4, 5, 6, 78910.

In his chapter titled, Election and Being in Christ, Neder examines Barth's "Christocentric treatment of election as an aspect of the doctrine of God..." (p15). For Barth, these two core doctrines are deeply and intrinsically connected for Jesus himself is the content of election. Therefore, according to Barth, Jesus should be the church's sole criterion when thinking about the topic of election. If this were the case, Barth believes that the result in the church would be...
...joy, not terror; incomprehensible light, not incomprehensible darkness; clarity, not obscurity, [understanding that] ...in Jesus Christ God is freely and graciously for humanity rather than against it... This is not merely one variation of God's will, but God's onl…

Joining Jesus in his ministry of reconciliation

This post is from Charles Fleming, mission developer for GCI in the Caribbean.

The most practical definition of mission that I know is this:
Mission is joining Jesus in crossing a frontier (geographic, cultural, generational, life-experience) with tangible expressions of Jesus’ love (word and deed).  To illustrate, I want to share a powerful story told by pastor Ty Grigg on The Ecclesia Network. It's titled It Starts with Lamenting.

Pastor Ty's story
Angela stood up to the podium and pulled out a piece of paper. Normally, during our worship liturgy, we watch an “icon,” that is, a short video or projected artwork that reveals something about the way the world is and the ways God reveals his glory in our world. This Sunday, we would hear a story of lament from Angela:
My cry today, my lament today is for the Church, the bride of Christ, to be a voice--a beacon of hope, a light, a refuge in this time. By this time, I mean post-Trayvon Martin. As Angela spoke honestly from her own…