I used to say that the greatest apologetic for the postmodern world was a worshipping community. [This line actually came from Jimmy Long in his book Emerging Hope.] I’ve changed that. Today, I believe that the greatest apologetic for our postmodern world is a community of Jesus followers who live counter-culturally by not seeking great wealth in the accumulation of things, but by seeking great riches in serving the needs of the world. If the contemporary church, if you and I were to take seriously God’s challenge to care for the sick, the broken, the poor, the widow and the orphan, the world would sit up and take notice. If we truly sought to live the words of John the Baptist in Luke 3, like the early church in Acts 2, and like John in 1 John 3, the world would turn upside down.
My argument here is that the world is itching for something real, something authentic, and something that addresses the deep ache in the hearts and lives of real people. Throughout Scripture and history, the counter-cultural nature of Christians has been the apologetic to a world headed in directdions that leave the hearts, minds, lives, and relationships of real people in a situation of dire emptiness. When the love of God spills deeply into the dark chasm of the cries of the soul, then then people take notice.
My argument still, then, is that our world today would be surprised and delighted by serious Christians willing to live a downwardly mobile life modeled after Jesus, who gave up everything and became nothing for the sake of others. (cf. Philippians 2) The real questions I have are how will we do it, and how will we hold one another accountable to doing it?
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