Sunday, October 17, 2004

NW2BH Ch5 - Life East Of Eden

[Continuing our discussion of Charlie Peacock-Ashworth's New Way To Be Human]

After a long road-trip weekend to the North Carolina mountains, I'm ready to sit a post a little from Ch5 of our book. I think Charlie's grasp on the aftermath of the Fall is right on - much like the way we missed the colors in the fall leaves, everything this past weekend was a little darker and a little more windy than expected, but at least we had a great time together as a family.

"The story of Noah and his family challenge the common misconception that the redemption Story is about God's saving individuals out of the world. That idea reduces salvation to personal escape from the physical world to a blissful spiritual heaven. In reality, redemption history is about and ongoing story and process where people are saved *in* theworld. The way they are saved *out* of the world is by God's choosing them for Himself, removing them out of the world's ways, giving them His ways, and then leaving them in the world to continue the work He has assigned them." (pp. 48-49)

Let me say this up front: the idea of a "personal Savior" in the person of Jesus is not a bad thing. The problem is that the personal side of being a Christian has become individualistic to the point that we "agreeably disagree" in our denominational and doctrinal stances instead of "making every effort to maintain unity in the bond of peace" (Eph. 4:3). "Personal" has supplanted "community" - instead of balancing the two in a way that leads to personal and communal responsiblity, encouragement and growth. Does anyone else see this? Or is this less more a problem of not training and discipling individuals to be productive members of a local congregation? Where is the ball being dropped?

Here are a couple of questions I like from the back of the book (p. 216):
5) Discuss the promises God made to Abraham. Is this the Story you have stepped into?
6) Discuss the similarities between Noah's story and Abraham's, particularly the idea of God's using one man to save a family.
8) Why does God begin the prologue to the Ten Commandments with personal storytelling?


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