Monday, December 6, 2004


We have made the most important unit in the world, and in the church, the individual. We have made it 'all about me'. We have failed to disciple converts because we no longer relate in genuine 'koinonia' and because we have made the salvation of individual souls the conclusion of our mission. We have in many senses made the beginning the end.

Our standard definition of Christianity has become about an individual decision. We love to tell people that God has a wonderful plan for their lives - and this is true - but before that, God has a wonderful plan for His world and He is building His Kingdom not simply 'working' for our salvation,. For God so loved the World!!

The opposite of My plan for my life is not God's plan for my life but God's plan for the World - a plan that I am invited to be a part of. Our over individualization of the gospel has bred passivity. "It's like a line in the sand, and we say," The most important thing in life is to be on the other side of this line." OK. People cross the line. What then? They try to get other people to cross the line. OK. What then? I see a huge contrast between crossing a line in this way, and following Jesus on a journey. It's as if we have taken what is for Jesus the starting line and turned it into a finishing line. Sounds like another case of modern reductionism - going for the greatest efficiency, the most measurable results, the least common denominator."

Brian McLaren, A New Kind of Christian (San Francisco CA: Jossey-Bass Inc.2001) p. 130

This individualism has also resulted in a shallow Christianity. Our churches are full of people who know so much and do so little.

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