This afternoon, I was again asked to attend an Advanced workshop. Montgomery noted “We want to have theologically driven churches.” Our theology must be connected to our methodology and our methodology should be informed by our theology.
Biblical theology is concerned with the big picture. Given that God created something good, what is the hope for renewal? We have a God who is personally involved. Dualism (false dichotomies between sacred and secular, or material and immaterial) is thereby excluded. God created culture, so culture matters.
Describes how life was meant to be lived. It provides us with a glimpse into what holy living (that is, wholeness and holiness) looks like from God’s perspective, according to His intentions.
Explains how life became the distorted mess that it is today. It demonstrates why things are not the way they are supposed to be.
Shows us how we can live life as we find it in the good of the gospel. It explains the way back to holiness and wholeness.
Show us how life will be when Jesus returns.
Three Perspectives on the Gospel (adapted from Tim Keller)
-Focus: Jesus’ substitutionary work
-Call/Articulation: Jesus lived the life you should have lived and died the death you should have died. Rest.
-By Itself: Leads to a ministry almost strictly of apologetics, evangelism, and discipleship.
The cross is the basis for our ministry of reconciliation and missions.
-Focus: Kingdom now but not yet
-Call/Articulation: Receive the Kingdom. Reverse the world’s values. Salvation came to the world through power; now receive it by surrendering your will and identifying with the poor and powerless. Repent, change Lords.
-By Itself: Leads to a ministry mainly of community-building and social justice.
-Focus: Grace vs. Works (performance)
-Call/Articulation: Accept your acceptance. You are more sinful that you dared to believe, but more loved and accepted in Christ than you dared hope. Rely on grace.
-By Itself: Leads to a ministry emphasizing prayer, personal revival, and lots of personal counseling.
A balanced ministry emphasizes all three perspectives on the gospel: the cross, the kingdom, and grace.