Wednesday, December 01, 2004

Convergence - ANKOC, Perspectives and Origins

Well I'm going to go out on a limb here...
I've been digging through A New Kind of Christian for the past few weeks. I know that I'm way behind on that book. Recently, two really good friends just raved about it, and one of them got me a copy. So I dived right in. And for some reason, it just didn't hit me that hard. I liked it, most of it is good, but it just didn't capture me like it did my two friends. So I've really been trying to figure out why.
Two major big deals in my life were taking the the Perspectives class in early 2003 and going to Mosaic's Origins conference earlier this year. Both had a huge impact on me and gave momentum for a huge change in thinking for my approach for student ministry. It's funny because neither were focused on youth ministry per se.
As I thought about the book and why it was kind of anticlimatic for me, I think it's because a lot of the concepts were ideas that I had been exposed to at either Perspectives or Origins (and also reading An Unstoppable Force).
So I decided to list some big concepts in ANKOC and list parallel ideas and notes from both Perspectives and Origins/Unstoppable Force. I'm mostly doing this for me, but also so that you readers might benefit from this as well.
#1 - The grand story of the Gospel – Chapter 6
"The Bible tells the family story – the story of the people who have been called by the one true God to be his agents in the world. So I think we need to let go of the Bible as a modern book, but that doesn’t mean we discard it. Not at all. When we let it go as a modern answer book, we get to rediscover it for what it really is; an ancient book of incredible spiritual value for us, a kind of universal and cosmic history, a book that tells us who we are and what story we find ourselves in so that we know what to do and how to live."
talks about Gen 12 to Rev 5 being one cohesive story
God’s people formed to participate in His purpose – active communicators of His blessing
"The story of the Bible is God’s intention to bring the nations to himself. Genesis gives us the context of the problem, Revelation gives us the hope of the ultimate resolution.
1 – the story of Jesus
2 – stories of those within the culture whose names have faces and who not only bring the mythology of heroes and legends but demonstrate the humanity of everyday people who are neighbors, family, friends.
Apostolic leaders are not only great storytellers, in many ways their lives tell a great story. The themes are consistent with our faith’s core metaphors of sacrifice, death and life."

#2 - Conserve and preserve native cultures, instead of an aggressive conquest and control model – Chapter 9
Idea 1 - Redemptive Analogies - artifacts/analogies of culture that fits in with Biblical worldview, reflect the Gospel story through symbols of the existing culture
Idea 2 - Missionary communication as:
- learner
- storyteller
- trader
Idea 3 - Samuel Voorhies’ ten principles of holistic Christian transformational development (see middle of the article)
One of their guiding principles is "Relevance to the culture is not optional."

#3 - idea of a cultural Christian versus a Jesus follower - Christianity as an enemy of the Gospel – Chapter 8
"Demonstration must accompany proclamation. Instead of saying ‘They are wrong, we are right, follow us,’ we should say, ‘Here is what I’ve found, what I’ve experienced, what makes sense to me. I’ll be glad to share it with you if you’re interested.’"
Idea 1 - #1 argument against Christianity in the Asian culture – Christianity is a foreign religion – they must see that it is possible to be fully Chinese and fully Christian – popular saying is 'one more Christian, one less Chinese'
Idea 2 - the Muslim C scale – how far Muslim and following Jesus at the same time?
"A Christian revolution must live in tension with human societies and cultures. We want to see an authentic Christian expression in every culture on this planet – in fact we are called to make it so. But there must never be a moment when we perceive Christianity as equal to the culture itself. When we begin to see being a Christian and being American as indistinguishable, we lose the transforming essence of our faith. The ultimate goal of American Christianity should not be to make us good citizens but to make us revolutionaries in the cause of Jesus Christ."

#4 - Let the Bible read us.
God wants us to dream big about reaching the nations
A story makes people tune in. “My wife and I …”
People connect with a story.
You’ve seen yourself in Scripture at one point or another.
Preach versus share
You can preach doctrine all you want without ever changing one heart.
Are you sharing from your actual experience with the living God?

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