When we have praxis as the focal point, it’s easy to write off what we live as ‘one can be good with out god.’
All our efforts to do something are just accomplishing… what? Kingdom work? The good news of God? We are only a sign and a fortaste of the kingdom when we act out of Jesus’ interest in humanity.
Church planting/seeding Jesus shaped communities should be the ends that our efforts work towards, not “only” doing good. Yes, good needs to be done, and yes doing good points people towards the reality of the kingdom that has broken into history, but if good is all we do, we are acting short sighted and too easily find our selves unable to speak how we are different from mearly a cause for social justice.
If we end poverty, stanch the Aids epidemic, change the economic system but have not God’s love driving and being the end result of our actions, we have nothing.
This requires a theological shift in our thinking: orthodox praxis will never end in theologicaly based doxology. If we are going to live and do from a heart orientation of worshiping YAHWEH, we must let understanding and thankfulness be the catalyst to our actions.
Our theology must find it’s roots in the thinking of 1 john 4: “in this we know what love is- while we were enemies of God, he sent Jesus (his only begotten son) to be the peace offering for our lives of brokenness, enmity, and hurt.”
With out a hope based theology grounded in love, we will never truly be the change we long to see in this culture/city/nation/world.
The ’emerging conversation’ did allot to spur us to think differently, however it didn’t go far enough. The focal point became praxis, and while that was/is a needed change in the church, it was not enough. proof of this lies in the fact that ‘missional’ (which was birthed out of a praxis change) has become a buzzword, yet is still undermined by the churches actions and assumptions. We are willing to be missional, but we still need the larger building, the new parking lot, the cool branding… At it’s core, we are still prosperity driven, ‘christian culture’ building, separates that have labeled our efforts at making a difference (in our favor) missional, therefore telling our selves we are doing what God wants.
Our theology needs an overhaul, just like it did in the days of Luther and Calvin. If we fail to let true love (the kind that Jesus displayed in his life, passion, death, and resurrection) reshape our theological understanding of sanctification, holiness, mission, and ecclesia, we will never be the church the world needs.