THE SHAPING OF THINGS TO COME: MISSION AND INNOVATION FOR THE 21ST CENTURY CHURCH
Michael Frost and Alan Hirsch
Due to Hirsch and Frost counteracting
centuries of church structure it was challenging to not become defensive of their extreme positions. Through the analogies used in the book to illustrate their ideas, it seemed that the incarnational church could do no wrong, whereas the attractional church could do no right. It’s like when there is a bad smell in the room you always blame the dog. Sure enough the dog does create some bad smells at times, but it’s also an easy scapegoat. The bias towards incarnational church almost got to a point where everything negative that has happened in the world is a result of how the church has not embraced relevant mission.
That being said, the pivotal revolution to building the Kingdom of God is relevant mission in our communities and the authors continue to promote this idea throughout the whole book. There is a quote that says, “When we get to Heaven we’ll all get a 7/10 for theology.” We can theologise and pontificate until we all pass away but the way we have lived our lives will speak of the real faith we believe in (p.121 orthopraxy vs. orthodoxy). It was refreshing to hear ‘that in God’s economy our actions do have an eternal impact’ (p.115) and the way we are to live out our whole existence is important to our expression of faith. While still holding in balance our understanding of God’s grace that is extended to all people through the sacrifice of Christ, there was a powerful explanation from Hebraic thinking that ‘the sacred deed is full of God’s glory’. (p137)
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This article was written by Linda Bailey
Linda started theological studies in 1999 in Australia. After working for ten years in various church ministries, she now works as the breakfast producer at 89.9 LightFM - the Christian radio station in Melbourne, Australia. She writes blogs every day about passages she is currently reading in the Bible. Follow her on Google Plus +Linda Bailey or Facebook by clicking the like button on the right of this page.