Thursday, February 05, 2015

A whole new paradigm

By contrast, according to Acts, sacrificing to the gods, soothsaying, magic, and so forth, do not “make sense” for the early Christians. The reason is not hard to find: the wider predicament in which these practices made sense has disappeared. Thus the collision between the Christian mission and the larger Mediterranean world is both extraordinarily deep and “thick” for the reason that it entails multiple layers of a whole world of sense-making, that is, a social imaginary. In Lystra, for example, Paul and Barnabas’ call “to turn to the Living God” states the challenge to the locals’ pattern of worship and sacrifice to the gods not so much in terms of the practice itself, as if the goal were simply to get the Lystrans to substitute horn blowing for sacrificing, or in terms of the normative notions of pagan sacrifice (for it to work properly, you really ought to be doing it this way rather than that way), but in terms of a different total framework, one in which sacrifice to the gods becomes literal nonsense, or, in biblical language, idolatry.—World Upside Down, pages 145-146

<idle musing>
Amen! Good preaching! This is key to understanding the radicalness of the gospel. It's just as radical today—if we will just listen to the Holy Spirit's nudges. Our culture is just as hung up on the wrong stuff, we just don't see it. Unless the Holy Spirit opens our eyes—and we have to be willing to let him!

And, given my Wesleyan/Arminian viewpoint, he is always nudging everyone of us. Always calling us home. Always giving us an unease with the status quo...
</idle musing>

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