Monday, March 23, 2015

Cross-shaped witness

So what is an appropriate politic for those who claim allegiance to the crucified Messiah? It is the task of every Christian community, in each and every time and place, to seek the will of God, the mind of Christ, and the guidance of the Spirit in discerning how to be such a community of the new covenant within the host culture, which is to say in the “world.” That world, is both the object of God’s love and the locus of human rebellion against God. The church’s presence in the world, as an alter-culture, including its alternative politics, is thus grounded in the twin realities of divine love, on the one hand, and human sin and need, on the other. The world, or the human city (in Augustine’s words), is therefore both the focus of the church’s cross-shaped mission and the source of the church’s cross-shaped suffering, its temptations and trials. The church is salt and light. Its cruciform voice will be double-edged, like that of the prophets, offering both critique and hope, judgment and salvation, with both aspects of its message shaped by the cross.— The Death of the Messiah and the Birth of the New Covenant, page 221

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