An interview with James Davison Hunter for his book: To Change the World has really captured my attention today.
Here is a quote:
“In contrast to these paradigms, the desire for faithful presence in the world calls on the entire laity, in all vocations—ordinary and extraordinary, “common” and rarefied—to enact the shalom of God in the world. Christians need to abandon talk about “redeeming the culture,” “advancing the kingdom,” and “changing the world.” Such talk carries too much weight, implying conquest and domination. If there is a possibility for human flourishing in our world, it does not begin when we win the culture wars but when God’s word of love becomes flesh in us, reaching every sphere of social life. When faithful presence existed in church history, it manifested itself in the creation of hospitals and the flourishing of art, the best scholarship, the most profound and world-changing kind of service and care—again, not only for the household of faith but for everyone. Faithful presence isn’t new; it’s just something we need to recover.”
This speaks directly to the kind of reflection and thinking that led me on a path of planting Ordinary Community some 10 years ago now and is continuing to sharpen our mission and presence as a people. I need to unpack all of this a lot more in my own mind and heart, but it rings so true with my reflections for a decade. The thirst for new, to be exciting, to be relevant, to be popular, to be politically powerful etc. etc., are not the ideas of the Kingdom of God, they are the dressings of American consumer culture in 2010 A.D. To be a people set apart, to live within our culture but to incarnate the Christ of the Kingdom in that place, that is my pursuit. We don’t do this perfectly, but it is the intention of our hearts as a people. Ordinary Community, let’s never stop asking the questions of what it means to be Church in our culture, in our context and in our time.peace,Marshall