Thursday, December 04, 2008

The Gap between Christ and Culture

Recently as a staff, we've been dialoguing about God's intended design for the local church within the community it is located. We have envisioned, re-envisioned, brain stormed, mind-mapped, debated, disagreed, agreed, prayed and raked through passages of Scripture over this question. It continues to be a shaping influencer on the development of the church we believe God has called us to be.

Kary Oberbrunner in his soon to be released book The Fine Line: Re-envisioning the Gap between Christ and Culture, makes a thought provoking observation.

“Every generation
must answer the most basic ethical question of the Christian faith,
‘What does it mean to be in the world,
but not of it?’”

As the quote indicates, this isn't a new question, yet it is one that every generation not only has or should ask, but often one that many generations has struggled to answer.

This is The Fine Line. Kary explains,

“...Our difference from the world,
not our similarity to it sets us apart.
But even though Christ followers are called to be different,
we’re also called to transform the world.
Here lies the tension.
We can’t be so far removed from the world
that we lose contact,
and we can’t be so much like the world
that we’re no different from it...”

If you're interested in pursuing parts of this book before it is released, you can download and read a sample chapter here.

Interview with The Fine Line author Kary Oberbrunner

Pre-order The Fine Line


Kary Oberbrunner said...

Thanks for the shout out Jerrell! I think your team will love the book. I will be praying for you guys. said...

That looks like a good read... not just though provoking-but changing:)

Hermi said...

Another word for the gap is the "margin". I am curious, what kinds of things did the staff disagree on concerning God's design for the local church? How many members of your staff represent those marginalized/ "in the gap" in our community?

Jerrell Jobe said...

There is often a "gap" that exists between the Christ and Culture. That is a slightly different subject than the "marginalized in our community."

Granted how the Church sees Christ engaging and intersecting Culture will at some point include the "marginalized," but Culture is much bigger than that.

As to our staff, more and more we are trying to learn how to have open, honest, transparent dialogue. This includes first and foremost, learning how to listen. Listen to what's actually being said, not just what we think is being said.

We've discovered, while others are talking, we're usually not listening, rather still talking in our heads. This becomes apparent when we interrupt someone else while their talking.

As it relates to the "staffs" perspective on whether our local church should affect our community, no bones about it, we all agree it absolutely should. The amazing thing about the body of Christ is, we are each gifted in unique ways and will therefore be used by God to engage different segments of society differently.

As the song says, He is the God of this city and there's more great things to be done...