02 October 2007

it takes a church...

In the previous post I mentioned that our parish leadership had all read a book together. The book was Tod E. Bolsinger's It Takes a Church to Raise a Christian: How the Community of God Transforms Lives (Brazos 2004).

Bolsinger's thesis is that if salvation involves the restoration and renewal of humanity in the image of the Triune God, then salvation must involve the communal life of the people of God in Christ. It is through the relationship-centered, sacramental life of God's people that the Father, Son, and Spirit are made known, transforming our worship and witness.

We had discussed the first parts of the book at an earlier meeting, so on Friday we finished up our discussion, looking at the third part of the book, the last seven chapters. In these chapters Bolsinger addresses Christian worship as an action of the believing community, a command performance before the face of God. He goes on to speak of the role of Scripture in the church and the interconnection between the written word, incarnate Word, and proclaimed word of God, shared among the people of God and understood in their enactment. Finally, Bolsinger outlines ways in which all his reflections are aimed toward the missional character of the church, bearing witness supported by prayer and discernment.

The It Takes a Church to Raise a Christian is well worth reading and study by leadership and small groups. In addition, Tod Bolsginer's blog It Takes a Church... offers helpful and insightful ongoing reflections.