Tuesday, February 17, 2009

They like Jesus?

So, for this semester, my BSU Bible study is going through the book "They Like Jesus, But Not the Church: Insights from Emerging Generations." Currently, I'm waiting on the DVD sessions to come in the mail, but until that happens, our small group has been reading the first few chapters and having discussions and reflection on the readings each monday evening. Having first read Dan Kimball's work 2 years ago with "The Emerging Church" I decided to sink my teeth into his current book this past summer while working at Camp Dixie and found it a very interesting read. In the book Kimball surveys the current religious landscape and how the emergent/postmodern generation (roughly 20s-late 30s) of Americans are viewing Jesus, the Church, and Christians.

Good news first, they like Jesus.

Bad news, some feel the need to take Christians out back and shoot them.

Now, this is of course an extreme view taken by very few, if any, and serves to rattle the cage of complacency and protection in the Christian community. The challenges and rebukes are well-founded, and he does a great job in explaining that there is hope for both the church and nonbelievers by the way that we present ourselves and Jesus to the culture we are a part of. 

However, one must not feel so much hatred towards the church to leave it altogether. Many people feel that the easiest way to deal situations like this is to just quit the church and live out their faith alone. We were not called to be believers individually, but a collective family of believers that embrace the diversity that the Kingdom of Christ holds. Many of us forget that the word "reform" doesn't signify an overnight change in normalcy, but holds the hope that tomorrow things might start to change slowly, but surely, for the better.

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