Today I sat in on an apologetics session at the Queensland Theological College. The guest speaker was Bill Edgar from Westminster Theological Seminary. The key point picked up by my ears on the opening hour was that the Gospel has an inherent attribute of ‘change’. First let me say that I agree with the statement but I can’t leave it in that state without the addendum of definition.
This wasn’t a failing of the address I sat under as it had a different discussion to address, being ‘the dynamics of cultural change’. However my mind was racing to work this one through as the approach of some members of the emerging church use the premise of ‘change’ to “reimagine Christianity”.
In my mind the pursuit of change is demanded and appropriate in the pursuit of truth. The concern in rising to the goal or the capturing of the flag is that we don’t overshoot the mark. If we achieve the goal surely the role should transform from advance to one of maintenance and defence. Even more as the Gospel has been revealed the very works of the Gospel writers, Paul and writers like Jude call us to this response.
For false christs and false prophets will arise and perform great signs and wonders, so as to lead astray, if possible, even the elect. Matthew 24:24
Beloved, although I was very eager to write to you about our common salvation, I found it necessary to write appealing to you to contend for the faith that was once for all delivered to the saints. Jude 1:3
So how does the attribute of ‘change’ outwork itself in our lives? I believe we primarily enjoy change because of the Gospel in two directions. In the horizontal we are drawn or run to the Lord bringing change to our lives in a positional sense. From the vertical perspective our relationship with God develops over time and experience bringing change to our intimacy and to our maturity as we learn to bathe in the heart and presence of God.
Another construct of the dimensions of change maybe in terms of the accumulation of knowledge. This aspect of growth provides ‘depth’ but we would be well warned to concentrate on our upward call to maturity in the faith as a first reliance.
I’m aware I have opened up the doors on my own thoughts so we will revisit this one further at a later date.
Jump in with some comments below, send me resource links and ideas. I’d love to hear some additional thinking.