Showing posts from June, 2014

The gift of Christian fellowship

For other posts in this series on the book  Life Together , click a number: 1 , 3 ,  4 ,  5 ,   6 ,  7 ,  8 ,  9 . Last time in this series exploring  Life Together, we noted that Dietrich Bonhoeffer wrote during a time when the German Lutheran Confessing Church had to go underground in order to survive. Such times remind us of just how precious the Christian fellowship is that we, in easier times, tend to take for granted. Bonhoeffer comments: It is easily forgotten that the fellowship of Christian brethren is a gift of grace, a gift of the Kingdom of God that any day may be taken from us... It is grace, nothing but grace, that we are allowed to live in community with Christian brethren (p20). The value of the church, is that it is "community through Jesus Christ and in Jesus Christ... A Christian needs others because of Jesus Christ... A Christian comes to others only through Jesus Christ" (p21). In Christian community, we come together to hear God's Word, w

"Life Together" - Dietrich Bonhoeffer

For other posts in this series  on the book  Life Together ,  click a number: 2 , 3 , 4 ,  5 ,   6 ,  7 ,  8 ,  9 . As members of the body of Christ (the church) we have a particular communion with Christ and one another that Dietrich Bonhoeffer helpfully explored in two books: His doctoral thesis  Sanctorum Communio ,  in which he engaged with social philosophy and sociology in interpreting the church as “Christ existing as church-community.” Karl Barth referred to this work, which Bonhoeffer completed at age 21, as "More instructive and stimulating and illuminating and genuinely edifying reading today than many of the more famous works which have since been written on the problem of the church."  His book  Life Together ,  in which he wrote about Christian community in light of the common life he and his students experienced in the underground seminary at Finkenwalde, Germany.   This post begins a series looking at Life Together. It will give us opportunity to ex

The Holy Spirit in the Trinity

If you have about two hours, your time will be well spent watching this lecture from Dr. Gary Deddo (pictured at right) entitled "The Holy Spirit in the Trinity." Gary's lecture was given at a meeting of Grace Communion International mission developers, other denominational leaders and church pastors. Note: Dr. Deddo has turned this lecture into an essay that is published serially on the  GCI Weekly Update blog. For part 1 in that series, click here .

Relational ministry - what does that look like?

The Relational Pastor, part 15 (conclusion) For other posts in this series, click a number:  1 ,  2 ,  3 ,  4 ,  5 ,  6 ,  7 ,  8 ,  9 ,  10 ,  11 ,  12 ,  13 , 14 . This post concludes our exploration of Andrew Root's book,  The Relational Pastor: Sharing in Christ by sharing ourselves . Last time we looked at our part in the ongoing place sharing ministry of Jesus, the ultimate place sharer. Because of who Jesus is (God and man in one person through the incarnation and hypostatic union) he is, in his own person, in relationship with us -- a union so deep that he can refer to his people (the church ) as his own body (the body of Christ). We see this in Acts 9 where Jesus confronts Saul (later renamed Paul) on the road to Damascus, accusing Saul of persecuting him  when, in actuality, Paul was persecuting Jesus' followers. Root comments: To persecute [the] church is to persecute Jesus himself. There is a sharing of persons. The persons of the church are in  Chris

Jesus' place sharing and our part in it

The Relational Pastor, part 14 For other posts in this series, click on a number:  1 , 2 ,  8 ,  9 ,  10 ,  11 ,  12 , 13 , 15 . Last time in our exploration of  The Relational Pastor , we looked at Andrew Root's definition of salvation as a relationship with God in union with Jesus the "place sharer." This time Root unpacks the concept of place sharing as it applies to Jesus, to his followers as they place share with Jesus and to pastors who are called to be "curators" of spaces and places that facilitate place sharing. Jesus as place sharer As Root states, "place sharing is the very state of Jesus' being" (p161). As the ultimate place sharer, Jesus shares the "place" (life) of every human. Root borrows this idea from Dietrich Bonhoeffer who spoke of Jesus as fundamentally a Stellvertreter and the state of Jesus' being as Stellvertretung  (p161). Making reference to the thought of both Bonhoeffer and T.F. Torrance, Root el