Let's not neglect the praying-for-one-another thread from the prior post, but this came through from Joseph (I shortened it a bit) and I thought it might be good to ruminate on it together. Please take time to visit the links Joseph provided before commenting:
"The Wall Street Journal had an article in it about the church that Susanna Petrie attends in Brussels. We met the pastor when we were over there a couple of years ago, and Deb and I visited some of their sister churches in London and Dublin.
"The pastor, Carlton Deal, is part of an innovative missional movement dedicated to planting churches in Europe ... http://christianassociates.org/
"I really LOVE what these people are doing ... their approach does lead, however, to some legitimate discussions of what exactly constitutes the "church." I think ecclesiology is going to be the great topic of conversation and debate in our time, as soteriology was for Luther and others in the early sixteenth century.
"...and here is a critical response (in the good sense) from David Neff at Ancient Evangelical Future:
Wednesday, November 14, 2007
Friday, November 2, 2007
Paraphrasing Bob Mumford from the recent ACM conference: the coming of the kingdom looks like unqualified love and unlimited forgiveness in action. Yale theologian Miroslav Wolf, in his book Exclusion and Embrace, writes of the two "movements" in forgiveness: first is exclusion, where the evil that has been done is named, its effects described, and the perpetrators identified. Once this has been done, embrace (re-welcoming the offenders) becomes possible (though not automatic or instantaneous). What forms might a "ministry of unlimited forgiveness" take? How might the church move from being perceived as the place to receive unlimited judgment and condemnation to a place where the excluded might experience being re-embraced?