What I've been thinking and what I've been reading for you to compare notes.

Tuesday, January 09, 2007

No Perfect People Allowed

This book was on my Christmas want list and our youngest daughter Bethany and her husband David gave it to me.

Published in 2005, I have been wanting to read it for some time.

I will update my reading progress by journaling in this blog - if no one else reads - at least it will help me solidify my thoughts.

The most pertinent comment of his introduction: "This is truly the most diverse generation in American history, and, as you'll see,
it's a generation not easily reached by a one-size-fits all approach." (Page 10)

I wept when I read the Scripture Burke gave as his basis for chapter one, probably because right now is one of those times the Holy Spirit is really stirring my heart with Christ's compassion for those who don't know Jesus. "Look around you! Vast fields are ripening all around us and are ready now for the harvest." (Jesus - John 4:35)

"Do not be deceived: Neither the sexually immoral nor idolaters nor adulterers nor male prostitutes nor homosexual offenders nor thieves nor the greedy nor drunkards nor slanderers nor swindlers will inherit the kingdom of God. And that is what some of you were..." (Paul, 1 Corinthians 6:9-11)

I sense God is going to stir my heart by reading this book. This is the highest goal I long for when reading Christian works.

"Unless Christians leading the church in America change, and unless the church begins living out the magnetic attractive force Jesus had on the world, the Christian church in America will become completely marginalized in decades." (page 15) "...doing church like this is a mess...but its a beautiful mess!" (page 16)

"This is the emerging church, not church for a post-Christian culture, where Christians huddle up behind the fortress walls and make forays outside into the messy culture, but a church molded out of a post-Christian people - and indigenous church, rising up out of the surrounding culture to form the Body of Christ!" (page 17)

"Emerging cities of America have much in common with Corinth: wealth, education, leisure, sports and entertainment 24/7, the most religiously diverse population in the world...but much like the church in the pagan, pluralistic, promiscuous city of Corinth, the twenty-first century church will be messy if its't to be effective." (pages 19-20)

"Are we raising up a generation of leaders ready to lay down their comfortable lives to dive into the muck of cultural America? Or are we just playing church..." (page 20)

Those types of comments set the stage for the vision of the book.

"Our responsibility is not to make people grow or change. Our task is to create the right soil, a rich healthy environment, in which people can grow up in faith until the invisible God is made visible through His body, the church. But how do we create soil in which the invisible is made visible? This is the art of culture creation and the focus of this book." (page 22)

"The culture is what seekers pick up on immediately." (page 23)

In the rest of the chapter he defines culture (in the local church) and how to understand cultural context.


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