I have been in the process of writing my follow up to my last post regarding communal doctrine. I want to make sure it is really sweet, but in the process I came up with this list, which I am imagining to be a work in progess. Feel free to push back or add to this.
What has to be learned by the American Church:
- Issues regarding authority need be re-thought. You simply make claims about biblical issues that just can't be substantiated with the History of Judeo-Christian tradition. (Read Craig D. Allert;s "A high view of scripture?")
- Speaking of traditon, it should be recognized more. How do you think Christianity was transmitted pre-text? D. H. Williams is a great starting place.
- Proper Trinitarian Thoughts, an emphasis on all three members and teaching on how they properly interact with one another.
- The difference between issues of justice and evangelism needs to be fleshed out. While the justice piece has been important in the Mainline Protestant churches, it is not thought of as an evangelical practice with kingdom/gospel dimensions.
- The Holy Spirit and His place within the sphere of worship. It is evident in the words of your liturgies, but it needs to be put in practice.
- Cultural adaptation needs to happen, this means that things change in order to keep things refreshed. This won't destroy the richness that is a positive trait, but will allow it to continue to be what it has always been, but in a way that translates to the non or de-churched.
Again, these are just working lists. I want to think about an Evangelical list and a Pentecostal/Charismatic list. I really see these not as destructive, but as ways that the church can hopefully grow in the 21st century. For those that minister in "Non-Sexy" churches, and are searching for re-vitalization, I think these are points that have to be thought of. The more people I meet on the street that consider themselves "religious" have no denominational or traditional loyalty, they just want to see a Church that functions like Jesus lived.