THE Christian Way… (?)

Product Details In chapter 12 of The Call, Os Guinness explains the corporate nature of Christ’s call.  Christ calls individuals to follow him, but he calls them into a church, a body, an assembly.  One thing that this corporate calling means is “that we must honor the purpose and interests of the church of Christ in all our individual callings.”

“One way we fail to do this is through the error of ‘particularism’ – the idea that there is only one particular Christian way to do a thing and, of course, that our way is ‘the Christian way.’”

“The fallacy of particularism stems from the fact that God has not spoken definitively to us about everything.  Obviously he did not intend to.  It is an error for Christians to make relative what God has made absolute.  But it is equally an error for Christians to make absolute what God has left relative.  As G. K. Chesterton wrote, ‘If there is one thing worse than the modern weakening of major morals it is the modern strengthening of minor morals.’”

“Put differently, where God has not spoken definitively, we can legitimately say, ‘This practice (political decision, lifestyle, or whatever) is not Christian’ – if it contradicts the teaching of the Bible.  But we cannot legitimately go on to say, ‘This practice alone is Christian.’”

“This point means that there is no one Christian form of politics any more than there is one Christian form of poetry, raising a family, running an economy, or planning a retirement.  Many ways are definitely not Christian, but no one way alone is.  We should especially beware of voluntary associations using the title ‘The Christian X, Y, or Z.’  All to often, and especially with Christian political organizations, such names are not only improper in principle but also confusing in practice because they mislead the watching world into identifying the group with the church as a whole” (p. 98).

Os Guinness, The Call (Nashville: Thomas Nelson, 2003).  (The underlined words above were italicized in the original.)

shane lems
hammond, wi

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