For all things related to Christianity, these will be thoughts, commentary, readings, and other links and stuff to what I consider important as we head to the future and the role of faith in our lives.
What is Truth?
I remember being a college student in the 80’s, and postmodernism was just starting to become more common as a philosophy. I’m sure the origins of this philosophy was born many years earlier, but as we sit here in the 21st century, the effects of postmodernism has come to full fruition in the individualization of “truth” of each person’s “lived experiences.”
With the reality of everyone living out their own truth, is it even worth pursuing this question? What is Truth? Is it even knowable? Here’s what Jesus says in John 18:38:
“You are a king then?” Pilate asked. “You say that I’m a king,” Jesus replied. “I was born for this, and I have come into the world for this: to testify to the truth. Everyone who is of the truth listens to my voice.“
So yes, I believe that this question is as relevant as ever, especially when we have generations of people growing up without any moral and values foundation, thinking that truth is malleable and relevant only when it benefits them. Ravi Zacharias and R.C. Sproul give two good definitions of what truth is, and that is the foundation from which I will speak about truth in faith, culture, and society.
The Church: Past, Present and Future
The church is dead. Long live the church!
I’ve been involved with church for over 27 years, in some form or other, and these last 5-8 years have really spurred me to reassess what I believe is the current and future state of the Church, made up of human beings, collectively known as the bride of Christ. I truly believe that the institutional church is dead, or is a dead man walking. The body is still walking, but the spirit has left. There is a new way, which I believe was always what God had intended for his church, and that is the organic church. Some call it home church, house church, microchurch, but the essence of this new way is the decentralization of the body into small 10-25 people gatherings in homes or other gathering places.
I’m not alone in this, but I believe more and more people are seeing what it truly means to be the church. People like Francis Chan’s We Are Church, the Tampa Underground Network, author of Pagan Christianity and Insurgence: Reclaiming the Gospel of the Kingdom Frank Viola, Salt Churches.
I always longed for the church that I read in Acts 2:42-47:
The Fellowship of the Believers
42 They devoted themselves to the apostles’ teaching and to fellowship, to the breaking of bread and to prayer. 43 Everyone was filled with awe at the many wonders and signs performed by the apostles. 44 All the believers were together and had everything in common. 45 They sold property and possessions to give to anyone who had need. 46 Every day they continued to meet together in the temple courts. They broke bread in their homes and ate together with glad and sincere hearts, 47 praising God and enjoying the favor of all the people. And the Lord added to their number daily those who were being saved.
And I agree wholeheartedly with what Viola writes here:
What I advocate is Christ-centered, face-to-face community. And that’s what I describe in my earlier books from 2008 and 2009. This means a community that is taking care of one another 24/7 . . . not just twice a week for a meeting. A community that has a shared life together, like an extended family. A community that has been equipped to have open-participatory gatherings where each member shares the riches of Jesus Christ (I’m not talking about anything that resembles a “Bible study,” by the way). A community that makes decisions together under the headship of Christ, rather than under a human head. And a community who’s goal in life is to pursue Jesus Christ and His Eternal Purpose together. Such a community has been birthed from the apostolic declaration of the explosive gospel of the kingdom. That kind of community, friends, has always been rare on this earth.
I use these names interchangeably, but I am advocating for a philosophical shift that also includes structural changes. So, the ethos of what the Bible teaches is what I’m aiming for, regardless of how people call it.
Other Articles and Commentary on Organic Church
The End Times
I’ve always been a pre-millennail pre-tribulationist in terms of my view of biblical end times. In short, I was a futurist, thinking that all of the book of Revelation was in the future, with all the trials and troubles yet to come. However, I’ve recently come across (I know, this is how obscure or unpopular this view is) the partial preterist view on the end times. Along with this, I’ve also read on a few other viewpoints that have shed more insights into God and angels and other fascinating layers that I’d not considered before. I’ll leave you with a review on a book about partial preterism. I think it explains it well.