Monday, June 05, 2006

Questions About Being Church

God is love. That is clear. God's love is the condition of the inter-relationship of three distinct persons who are one. Even if this is a mystery, it is still clearly the case. When only one thing is what we choose to say about God, love - the dynamic of the trinitarian existence - is what we would name.

What does it mean for us to be the church of this God? If we were to try and deduce the nature of God from churches that we see today, what would we conclude? What would be the outstanding and striking characteristic?

If people were trying to deduce what is important to God from what is important to us, what would their view of God be?

Like it or not, some value trumps other values. Choices have to be made. Those choices are not always between good and bad or holy and evil. Often they are between better and best; between high and highest. What does it mean for love to trump everything else?

What happens when we are church because of love, and through love? What happens when love is the first and greatest concern, the agenda that has first priority? What would we have to be like as church for people to conclude by looking at us that love is the chief characteristic of our God?

What would be important, and what would not be important?


Ken Haynes said...

ok- just stating the obvious first:

"If we were to deduce the nature of God from churches that we see today" What would some of those values be?

value of being right-which is not bad but the desire is usually not aiming toward the telos of love

the value of pride and success....some people think of their denominations, nondenominations and churches like the pride they have in their favorite football team. Cute- but probably misguided

Although this is blogged about everywhere...I'm still struck by the value of driving a spiritual kingdom through an economoy of "good and services". That one is not so cute.

Some values do trump other values and the good is the enemy of the best....and my sense is that in "church culture" much is done under the mantra of being "well rounded"...

May God help me to live and function in an economy of love

Frank Bellizzi said...


Good thoughts and questions.

Your question about churches made me think of Lyle Schaller's divisions. He says there are four kinds of churches: God, Jesus, Holy Spirit, and Bible. (I think that's in the book, "Looking in the Mirror").

Also, there's a section in Bosch "Transforming Mission" where he talks about how faith, hope, and love trump each other. That's a terrific book, and the chapter I have in mind is especially good. Never thought of that before.