Paul (Saul) was the first post-modern preacher, nearly 2000 years ago!
How does that work?
In Acts 13:16-43, Paul speaks to the people gathered at the Jewish meeting place (synagogue), explaining the message of Christ and the news from God using their culture and their understanding – working his way through the prophets and major events of the Israelite people to the contemporary times using scripture and prophecy.
Then in Acts 14:8-18, Paul speaks to the gentiles, running out among them and explaining the God message to them using their own culture and understanding by highlighting their experience, and pointing them in the right direction, away from the wrong way they were facing.
So, Paul, to the Jews, spoke their language of tradition, prophecy and scripture and to the ‘gentiles’, spoke their language of experience, where they had no scripture or tradition to draw on.
The usefulness of that to us is to remember that:
Firstly, postmodernism is nothing new, so not to get too carried away by this ‘new thinking’.
Secondly, to emulate Paul by speaking into people’s understanding and culture, adapting the presentation and medium of the message of Jesus depending on the audience.
Thirdly, to engage people in a way that is relevant to them to share the story of God and his plan, not try to force the message across in language, presentation and tradition-fuelled jargon that makes no sense to the listener.
We aren’t running an exclusive club, we’re sharing the most inclusive message ever spoken by anyone. Lets remember to include people in the way we interact, not put them off by making it only accessible by those ‘in -the-know’.
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The Beatitudes according to Don Davis
- Fortunate are those who are so desperate that they must depend on God alone
- Fortunate are those who’s hearts are completely broken over loss, because God himself will carry their load
- Fortunate are those who are gentle and humble and lowly for the kingdom belongs to them – the little guy, the nobodies
- Fortunate are those with deep longing and huge appetite for God’s righteousness for they’re going to get what they seek
- Fortunate are those who find it easy to forgive because God is going to easily forgive them
- Fortunate are the ones that will God’s will alone, the pure in heart that just want what God wants because these are the ones that will see God one day
- Fortunate are those who make themselves instruments of peace among conflict because they are the ones that are going to be seen as the kids of God
- Fortunate are those who are mistreated because of righteousness because the kingdom belongs to folks like this
- Count yourselves fortunate when, because you identify with Jesus and his kingdom, you get enemies. When you ‘buddy up’ with Jesus you can’t be everyone’s friend. If you love Jesus and get beat-up because of him, your reward is “booming in heaven”
Shared at Mars Hill on 08-11-2009
It struck me that God’s love is not dependent on his approval.
God does not have to approve of us or what we do to love us.
But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us.
Obviously, God does not approve of our sin, but he still loves us enough to allow Jesus to die so our sins will be forgiven.
It doesn’t make a lot of sense to us as humans, we are stuck, because of our quirky and backwards nature, in the pattern of loving people when we approve of them.
Maybe this happens because we feel that if we love people we don’t approve of or people who’s actions we don’t approve of, we think we are condoning their behaviour.
God’s ultimate act of love in Jesus was emphasised and underlined time and time again through the life of Christ as he reached out and walked with, touched, embraced the untouchables, the unlovely, the ‘poor in spirit’, the people that had not won anyone’s approval.
Jesus crashed into the lives of the people that were least approved and he lavished love on them – the very people that needed it most.
Jesus answered them, “It is not the healthy who need a doctor, but the sick. I have not come to call the righteous, but sinners to repentance.”
Lets not get any delusions that we are any better than any of them, we need Jesus just as much now as any of the people he spoke to >2000 years ago.
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