Over the last few decades, there’s been a shift in evangelicalism in particular from the hyper-individualistic message of “personal salvation” to a more holistic, communal, and cosmic interpretation of the New Testament teachings.
Or in other words, Jesus is about more—much more—than simply a personal “fire escape” message. I think that’s a shift that is way overdue. Jesus preached a far more expansive view of the Kingdom of God...cosmogonic in scope. I loved the way the Anglican J.B Phillips paraphrased Romans 8:19: The whole creation is on tiptoe to see the wonderful sight of the sons of God coming into their own. But we mustn't lose the fact that there is very much an individual application as well. Sometimes I like to get in my car and drive. Just take a drive. There may be a destination in mind, but that’s not as critical as the process. My dad liked to do that, too. I’ve got more than a little bit of my dad in me. Many years ago my parents had some romantic rendezvous—at least I like to think it was—and in that moment there was a blurring of DNAs, sporting a new cell that has a father’s eyes, a mother’s nose and a unique mix of personalities. That’s why many years later phrases can come out of my mouth that cause me to think, “Whoa. That sounded just like my old man." DNA is mysteriously powerful. When God slipped into the Jewish skin of Jesus, humanity was in some way linked to Him. When He rose from the dead, the early disciples didn’t just see a man back from the dead; they had already seen that with Lazarus…and eventually that poor dude had to go through the whole mess again. This was very different—they didn’t just see a man back from the dead, they were eyewitnesses to the first New Man of the New Order, or what the New Testament calls the Last Adam. The First Fruits of a new kind of species. As Adam was the prototypical human who rebelled, Adam 2.0 is the prototypical human who redeems. When we receive His death in our behalf, when we surrender our demands and desires and die with Him, we are reborn to become part of this New Creation. New life. New affections. New views. The first deposit of the New Order. All things become new. Paul realized the depth of it when he wrote to some friends in Galatia: I have been crucified with Christ: and I myself no longer live, but Christ lives in me. And the real life I now have within this body is a result of my trusting in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me. GALATIANS 2:20 LIVING BIBLE For me. Paul understood the uniquely personal aspect of the Good News. It is the melding of divine DNA with our carbon-based humanity. We can have the DNA of the Spirit coursing through our souls...and begin to walk and talk a bit like our Father. We are now and not yet. And when you put a bunch of us together, the organism known as the Body of Christ begins to move. Leaders simply set up sign pointers on where we are localized to go.
Dave Workman | The Elemental Group
The Elemental Churches Inventory is a revolutionary web-based assessment system that combines individual and team learning through online tools and videos with sage coaching. It not only gives a focused snapshot of where you are, but provides a comprehensive report with recommended action steps that can be turned into your strategic plan toward effectiveness and health!