Sorry for so little to read these days. I seem to be as busy as my last picture would imply. Am reading
- Engaging God’s World: A Christian Vision of Faith, Learning, and Living
by Cornelius Plantinga, Jr. And these quotes seem good and meaty enough to need no further comment from me. Blessings!
Christian hope builds on this platform (the resurrection). In fact, a Christian’s hope rises with Christ because Christians see in his resurrection that God’s grace cannot be defeated, not even by death itself.
I find this the clearest position on why church is essential for believers that I’ve read in a long while:
In New Testament thinking, nobody gains union with Christ by himself. Of course believers may enjoy personal, even mystical, communion with Christ in prayer and meditation…It is possible — in fact, normal– to share with Jesus Christ the day’s events, joys, and sorrows, even the slight ones, and to do so not just by deliberate prayer, but also by perceiving his presence with us in these events and emotions.
But even in private acts of communion, customized to fit our personal circumstances, we are never just free agents. We are members of a worldwide and local body, a whole team of believers, a “cloud of witnesses” (Heb. 12:1). In his commentary ont he Heidelberg Catechism, Zacharius Ursinus says that “when anyone prays alone in his closet, the whole church prays with him in affection and desire.” And so, appropriately, the classic events by which a person attaches to Christ are corporate. The preaching of the gospel is a corporate event. Baptism and the Lord’s Supper are church sacraments, intended to bind to Christ and to each other a whole body of people who don’t necessarily even like each other very much. Some are originally Jews, some Greeks. Some lean left in their politics, some right. Some want traditional church music, some contemporary. Like spokes, the only place these folks fit together is at their hub. Somehow they must all fit “into” Christ.