THE JESUS PARADIGM

Restoring the New Testament church in the 21st century

6:34 PM In an election year, the words of Dan Clendenin seem appropriate:

Two radical corollaries follow from the global character of God’s kingdom — the decentralization of your geography and the reorientation of your politics.

Christians are geographic, cultural, national and ethnic egalitarians. For Christians there is no geographic center of the world, but only a constellation of points equidistant from the heart of God. Proclaiming that God lavishly loves all the world, each person, and every place, the gospel does not privilege any country as exceptional. A Bosnian Muslim is no further away from God’s love than an American Christian. A Honduran Pentecostal is no closer to God’s love than an Oxford atheist.

Much has been written lately about American exceptionalism and our global dominance. In terms of economic, political, military, scientific and cultural influence, America is unrivaled. In that sense, it’s accurate to say that America is “exceptional” (although there’s no reason to think this will last forever, or that all our influence is good). But from a theological or Christian point of view, America is no more or less “exceptional” in God’s eyes than Iceland, India, or Iraq. While allowing for a natural and wholesome love, even pride, in your own country (“there’s no place like home”), in the long run, Christian egalitarianism subverts every form of geo-political nationalism. Our ultimate citizenship, said Paul, is a spiritual one (Philippians 3:20).

So … has your geography been de-centralized? That is, are you a world Christian? And … have your politics been reoriented? That is, does your heavenly citizenship trump your earthly?

Good questions, if you ask me.

By the way, Dan’s website, Journey with Jesus, is simply outstanding. He publishes a new essay every Monday. Now that’s consistency!

(From Dave Black Online. David Alan Black is the author of Energion titles Christian Archy, The Jesus ParadigmWhy Four Gospels? and  Will You Join the Cause of Global Missions?. Used by permission.)

Be Sociable, Share!

About The Author

Comments

Comments are closed.