Proclaiming what God has done in space and time

This is why those churches that have banished pulpits or are “getting beyond” the truth question are going beyond Christianity itself. The proclamation of the New Testament is about truth, about the truth that Christ who was with the Father from all eternity entered our own time. As such he lived within it, his life, like ours, marked by days and weeks and years. He lived in virtue of his unity with the Father, living for him, living as the representation of his own people before the Father, his very words becoming the means of divine judgment and of divine grace. But in the cross and resurrection the entire spiritual order was upended, his victory reached into and across the universe, and saving grace is now personalized in him. The world with all its pleasures, power, and comforts is fading away. The pall of divine judgment hangs over it. A new order has arisen in Christ. Only in this new order can be found meaning, hope and acceptance with God.It was truth, not private spirituality, that apostolic Christianity was about. It was Christ, not the self, who offered access into the sacred. It was Christ, with all his painful demands of obedience, not comfortable country clubs, that early Christianity was about. What God had done in space and time when the world was stood on its head was Christianity’s preoccupation, not the multiplication of programs, strobe lights, and slick drama. Images we may way, entertainment we may desire, but it is the proclamation of Christ crucified and risen that is the church’s truth to tell.

David Wells, The Courage to Be Protestant, (Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing Company, 2008).

2 replies
  1. Robin Boom
    Robin Boom says:

    I cannot understand the logic of ‘banishing pulpits’ as going beyond Christianity. Since John Chrysostem (not sure of spelling), the pulpit has hijacked true Christianity, where the meeting of believers has become an event where the faithful listen to a monologue with no right of reply, or discussion. The banishing of pulpits is a return to first century Christianity, where dialogues took place and the meeting was interactive. If the New Testament is about ‘Truth’ as you claim, then lets see a return to 1 Cor 14v26 where we read ‘When you come together, EVERYONE has a hymn, a word of instruction, a revelation’ etc.

    The pulpit needs to be replaced with genuine Spirit-led communion with God and with one another, and not the entertainment driven services you allude to which I agree, is not the best environment for people to encounter the Living God.

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