If we're awake, we will have a keen sense of the powerful undertow of a culture that has discarded almost every reference to, or value of, Jesus Christ. To the world, the church is too often considered an obsolete community with little to say and even less to offer by way of 'relevance'. Given room to breath this thought has the potential of leading believers to forget that the church is the place where we keep fellowship with the almighty God.
It was Donald MacKinnon who once said, 'The Church is an eschatological society. It is a society which is concerned primarily with the bearing witness to the triumphant Passion of the Son of God... This witness the Church bears in virtue of her character as the mystical body of Christ'. As such, MacKinnon reasons, 'The Church's action is conditioned by her essence'. To put it otherwise, we could say that unless the church understands her identity as established and upheld in and through the person and work of Christ, then how she lives in the world - how she acts - will be inevitably determined by outside voices.
The current series in our article section, written by Garry Williams, addresses this deep concern and examines what it means to be the church in a post-Christian culture. The first article, found here, shows just how distracted by technology the church really is and how this distraction affects our ability to hear the read and preached word of God. His second entry, published yesterday (and found here), explores how the church must have a cruciform existence, that is, living in the shadow of the cross. When the church loses her distinctiveness as a community of the cross, she becomes 'ordinary' - or, to use MacKinnon's language, she loses her 'essence'.
I encourage you to read Garry's first two articles and anticipate the following two. We trust that you will be edified and moved to appreciate even more the wonderful fellowship of the saints that we are blessed to share in by virtue of the deep love of God.