Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Yoder- Is God doing something in the world through the church ir not?

“What then should be the path of the church in our time? We muse first of all confess — if we believe it — that the meaning of history lies not in the acquisition and defence of the culture and freedoms of the West, not in the aggrandizement of material comforts and political sovereignty, but in the calling together ‘for God saints from every tribe and language and people and nation,’ a ‘ people of his own who are zealous for good deeds.’ The basic theological issue is not between Bultmann and Barth, not between the sacramental and the prophetic emphases, nor between the Hebraic and Greek mentalities, but between those for whom the church is a reality and those for whom it is the institutional reaction of the good and bad conscience, of the insights, the self-encouragement — in short, of the religion of society.”

– John Howard Yoder, The Royal Priesthood (Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 1995), 61-62.

1 comment:

Mike Bull said...

Very true.

However, this is not a dichotomy, but a cart-before-horse error. As with Solomon, if we get our hearts and our worship right, God also gives us the acquisition and defence of the culture and freedoms of the West, the aggrandizement of material comforts and political sovereignty as well, because we will use these things to be a blessing.

The gospel is charity, not revolution. James Jordan writes:

“The Bible is not a history of poor people struggling under oppression. Nor does the Bible ever give any example of poor people rising up and overthrowing established order. Deliverance, when it comes, comes from people who are not poor helping those who are. The Bible history is a history of wealthy and royal people, giving us an example of how we are to think and live now that we are all wealthy and royal in Christ as members of His Kingdom Body.”

Ain't no far left wingers in the Bible. Wealth is good, and it springs from the Sanctuary, receives incarnation through our own toil and flows as a blessing into the outlying lands.