Considerations on Church-Renewing Movements 1
“1. Proposals in renewal will be inescapably theological in content. They will presuppose some sort of ecclesial picture of what the church is supposed to be and to do. It is all too easy to forget this, not least because Christians in the West are woefully weak in their thinking about ecclesiology. Either they refuse to think about it at all, or they simply accept uncritically the conception of the church that they have inherited. Yet ecclesiological considerations are crucial in any deep conception of ecclesial renewal. Our conceptions of renewal depend in part on some governing model of what the life and work of the church should be. We operate with some picture of how things really ought to be in the church at large” (3).
· If Presbyterians, Anglicans and Lutherans, with their professedly meaty ecclesiology and sacramentology, imbibe in a renewing-resurging paradigm that is Restorationist (specifically, Baptistic and Zwinglian) in its undercurrent, what will the result be?
· Will this renewal plan create cognitive dissonance in their parishioners (“Why do we act like Baptists, but sprinkle babies?”)?
· Will we be turning our churches into parachurch organizations or Tupperware parties with a cross, instead of an intentionally Christian Church that is unashamedly Trinitarian and is nurtured in Word and Sacrament, with Prayer?
· By following this or that model will we be segregating our fellowship across ethnic/economic/political/chronological lines? In other words, does this particular program market to specific age groups, economic groups, racial groups etc, and exclude others who are followers of Christ (see my post on that here)?