Ken Myers, who writes at Mars Hill Audio, is a leading voice calling the church to truly be the church, living and serving the nation so that its very culture is transformed. We have quoted Ken before.
Ken recently posted a penetrating three-minute monologue about the nature of true discipleship. His comments are a remarkable reflection of the DNA message regarding the task of the church in discipling the nations.
Ken’s message is well worth three minutes of your time. Here are some summaries to whet your appetite:
- Christian teachers and writers frequently speak of “engaging the culture” or “reaching the culture.” But this obscures what culture is. If culture is a way of life how can we speak of “reaching” a way of life? Culture used this way seems to denote a group of people rather than the way of life shared by these people.
- Is the church only a bearer of a message? Is it an educational, journalistic or advertising institution with a short, abstract set of propositions or claims to communicate? Do the claims of the church of Jesus Christ concern only personal sin and personal salvation? No, the church presents a way of life in the present.
- [Quoting Leslie Newbigin] “A preaching of the gospel that calls men and women to accept Jesus as savior but does not make it clear that discipleship means commitment to a vision of society radically different from that which now controls our public life today must be condemned as false.”
- The church properly understands itself as a people, not a club, clinic, show, service provider. The church’s task is to cultivate its members into disciples who observe everything their Lord has commanded. It sustains a way of life into which new members are brought, a culture which is in keeping with its Lord’s work in creation and redemption. The church’s way of life, its practices as well as its beliefs, will frequently be out of synch with the ways of this world. The church calls people to abandon their old allegiances and commissions them to confront dehumanizing cultural institutions in favor of forms that will honor their God and those who bear His image.
- Discipleship is a work of alternative enculturation. [Quoting Andrew Davison] “To present the Christian faith is to present a new way to understand life and the world in which we live … a new way to understand what is real.”
- This alternative understanding is incarnated in alternative cultural forms that are sustained across generations and when possible shared with our neighbors.
Go here to hear Ken’s talk.
– Gary Brumbelow