Tuesday, November 25, 2014
Tuesday, November 18, 2014
I have to admit, when I was asked to contribute a chapter to this work, I felt a little overwhelmed. I have known some of the other authors and have read many of their books, articles and blog posts for years. I never considered myself to be on the same level as a writer or spiritual leader. I am however, extraordinarily grateful to have been invited and to have been able to contribute to this work. I cannot say how important this book will become to the transformational (or emergent, or simple) church, but I can say that helping to write it and reading the other contributors has been incredibly uplifting to me. Here is a brief excerpt from the chapter that I contributed:
What do we know about Jesus’ outward appearance and what people saw when they looked at Him?
We can draw a clue from one of my favorite stories in the Bible, found in John 8. The religious leaders bring a woman to Jesus who was caught in the very act of adultery. They demand that He give the righteous condemnation she deserves. Instead, Jesus says, “Go ahead, you who have never sinned throw stones at her.” This crowd, which was ready to carry out the death sentence on the woman, departs until only Jesus and the woman are left. Then Jesus asks the woman, “Where are those who accuse you and would condemn you?” The woman looks at Jesus and says there is no one.
The Pharisees expected Jesus to condemn this woman. He would have been completely just to do so; however, when she looks at Jesus, she already knows that there is no one left to condemn her. Jesus confirms this and says that He does not condemn her either, but she already knew it, just from looking at Him. Oh that people could come into our churches, regardless of their lifestyle or sin condition, and we could ask them that same question, “Where are those who would condemn you?” Then we would know that people see in us the same love and acceptance that Jesus displayed.
If you love the Church of Christ, but are not necessarily in love with how we "do Church" in the traditional institutional churches, then you need to read this book. 24 different viewpoints, not on what the church is doing wrong, but on what it can be doing right.
You can pre-order you copy here:
Simple Church: Unity Within Diversity