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How Christian Worship (not Consumerist Worship) Forms a Missional Community

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What we do in worship and in educational processes is not to add bits of information to the piles of data people obtain elsewhere; instead, rich worship will convey the framework of faith in which everything is to be understood.

"You did not choose me but I chose you. And I appointed you to go and bear fruit, fruit that will last...."John 15:16.

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1 [ Back ] See chapter 2, "Two Kinds of Body Offerings," in Marva J. Dawn, Truly the Community: Romans 12 and How to be the Church (Grand Rapids: Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing Co., 1992; reissued 1997), pp. 11-18.
2 [ Back ] For the exact quotation, see Mary Jo Leddy, "The People of God as a Hermeneutic of the Gospel," in Confident Witness, Changing World, ed. Craig Van Gelder (Grand Rapids: Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing Co., 1999), p. 311.
3 [ Back ] See George Hunsberger, "Sizing Up the Shape of the Church," The Church between Gospel and Culture; The Emerging Mission in North America, ed. George R. Hunsberger and Craig Van Gelder (Grand Rapids: Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing Co., 1996), pp. 333-46.
4 [ Back ] See George Lindbeck, The Nature of Doctrine: Religion and Theology in a Postliberal Age (Philadelphia: Westminster Press, 1984). Page references to this book in the following paragraphs are given parenthetically in the text. See also Timothy R. Phillips and Dennis L. Okholm, eds., The Nature of Confession: Evangelicals and Postliberals in Conversation (Downers Grove, IL: InterVarsity Press, 1996).
5 [ Back ] Ibid., 127, emphases mine.
6 [ Back ] Ibid., 39.
7 [ Back ] Ibid., 125.
8 [ Back ] Ibid., 126.
9 [ Back ] Ibid., 118.
10 [ Back ] Ibid., 128.
11 [ Back ] Ibid., 132.
12 [ Back ] Bruce Shelly and Marshall Shelly make somewhat the same point in Consumer Church: "Can Evangelicals Win the World without Losing Their Souls?" (Downers Grove, IL: InterVarsity Press, 1992).
13 [ Back ] This section contains a small portion of my keynote address, "Culture: Around, Against, In the Church's Worship," given in April, 1997, at the Institute of Liturgical Studies, held at Valparaiso University in Valparaiso, Indiana. That address will also appear in a compendium of proceedings from the Institute's three-year program on "Worship, Culture, and Catholicity," 1997-99. My thanks to director Dr. David Truemper for permission to use this adapted version here.
14 [ Back ] Bernice Johnson Reagon, interview with Sharon Anderson, The Other Side's Faces of Faith: A Collection of Our Favorite Interviews, p. 9. Page references to this article in the following paragraphs are given parenthetically in the text.
15 [ Back ] Ibid., 11.
16 [ Back ] Ibid., 10.
17 [ Back ] Wendell Berry, "Conservation Is Good Work," in Sex, Economy, Freedom and Community: Eight Essays (New York: Pantheon Books, 1993), p. 28.
18 [ Back ] Ferenc Mat, A Reasonable Life: Toward a Simpler, Secure, More Humane Existence (New York: Albatross Publishing House, 1993), pp. 77-85.
19 [ Back ] For excellent materials on the "missional church," see the following resources from the Gospel and Our Culture Network: Hunsberger and Van Gelder, eds., The Church between Gospel and Culture (cited in note 3 above); Darell L. Guder, ed., Missional Church: A Vision for the Sending of the Church in North America (Grand Rapids: Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing Co., 1998); Van Gelder, ed., Confident Witness, Changing World (cited in note 2 above). For information on the Network itself, contact Judy Bos, Administrator, or Dr. George R. Hunsberger, Coordinator, The Gospel and Our Culture Nework, 101 E. 13th St., Holland, MI 49423-3622.

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Issue: "The Malling of Mission: How Suburban Values Control the Church Growth Movement" May/June 2000 Vol. 9 No. 3 Page number(s): 28-35

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