Tuesday, January 04, 2011

Where we drink from?

The last couple of days I've reflected on Kevin Dedmon's The Ultimate Treasure Hunt which comes out of Bethel Church in Redding, California. As my reviews show I think there's some good stuff to take from there but certainly some things about which I have big questions.

I think this is ok.

Something I've loved learning from Terry Virgo over recent years is how to spot some good in people but not have to buy into everything they're about. So, at our church leaders conference - the safest context where the delegates ought to be our most discerning people - we've had CJ Mahaney, Mark Driscoll, Rob Rufus speak, while Tim Keller and John Piper have spoken at other leaders contexts, while Bill Johnson certainly has a measure of influence in the movement too.

None of those are totally on the same page as Newfrontiers - Mahaney seems to be a little less charismatic though is probably little more than millimetres away from Newfrontiers.;Another step back Piper. Driscoll is a bit like Piper, convictionally charismatic but not practically very much, but valued for their missiology and preaching and reformed emphasis. Keller's Presbyterianism seems pretty non-charismatic but his gospel-centredness is something to lap up, while Rob Rufus seems to be way out the other end of the spectrum charismatically, likewise Johnson, which we feel to be important.

None of us has everything right, and we need those who differ from us to sharpen us up, to expose our blindspots, to challenge our assumptions and to give us angles to look at things.

That's not a license to feed on weirdness - my food must always be the gospel, but there are lots of people with a lots of difference emphases and perspectives who are nonetheless gospel people.

One of the things I value working with UCCF is a similar approach, though I think we probably play it a bit safer most of the time
, nonetheless there is plenty of diversity on our teams, built relationally around an evangelical centre. See fig. for a rough snapshot of our staff team in one area of the UK (a sample of 16 staff). Similar diversity is evident among the students we work with as we gather around the gospel with a generosity of spirit to make Jesus known and see churches built as students are reached.

I can read the books of those whose churches I might not be totally comfortable in, likewise I can work passionately with people with whom I differ greatly because for all our differences we're those whom Christ has come to with his great gospel, with himself. The freedom to be generous comes from depth in the gospel, and it's this gospel that teaches me to be generous, since the Triune God has shown me his generosity in the gospel.

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