Monday, February 11, 2013

Looking Forward to February 17, 2013 -- 1st Sunday of Lent

THe Scripture Reading this week is: Luke 9:51-62; 10:1-6

The Sermon title is The Church in the World: Gospel in One Hand, Paper in the Other 

Early Thoughts: Why do we need to be aware of the world around us?  Why not go ahead in our own way?

Admittedly these question are asked more for rhetorical value than anything else.  Obviously we try to link faith to life right?????  It would be foolish to try and do other wise?????

One of the great theologians of the 20th Century was the neo-orthodox thinker Karl Barth.  Barth has long been reported to have said that we need to do theology with the Bible in one hand and the newspaper in the other (although what exactly he said on the issue is unclear as this article discusses).  ANd for decades preachers have taken that idea to heart.  Mind you I suspect that the dictum needs to be updated, maybe to something looking a bit more like this...
A screenshot I built on my computer today...

But why is it important to know our context (I take it for granted that it is vitally important)?  In a word "relevance".  Faith is not a hived off part of our lives, faith is something that informs the rest of our lives.  If we do not ensure we are aware of what is happening in the world around us then it is too easy for our faith to become disconnected with our lives.

What questions do the events of the world (both around the block and around the globe) ask of us, of faith, of Scripture?  What challenges are raised up?  How should people of faith and the church (because sometimes those are different answers) respond?  We only approach these questions by keeping the Gospel in one window and sources of news/information in another.

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