Classes, Refreshers, and Ecclesiologies

Well, for years now I’ve read stuff on what it means to be church. Seriously, I’ve read books, participated in church plants, consulted youth ministries, and interviewed people for podcasts etc etc etc. Well, now it is all running together. I’m sure where I first came across the names or the concepts, but today I had a refresher on both H. Richard Niebuhr and Avery Dulles. Here are a few basic concepts from my lecture notes with Dr. Luther Smith, of Intimacy and Mission.
Niehbuhr’s ways of describing Christ and Culture:
Christ against Culture
Christ of Culture
Christ above Culture
Christ and Culture in Paradox
Christ the Transformer of Culture
Five models of church as described by Dulles:
Church as Institution
Church as Mystical Communion
Church as Sacrament
Church as Herald
Church as Servant
At the end class, Dr. Smith really challenged us to get into these descriptors used in these texts with friends, conversation partners, and even with those we disagree with. As Dr. Smith put it, we need to work hard in order to “grasp the significance of this in advancing the conversation about what means to be involved in church, rather than getting stuck with having the same terms and meaning different things”.
If you haven’t read these texts before, I’d suggest it. If you have, I’m wondering if you have thought of using these texts in this way? That is to help people and communities to understand how different perceptions can lead to different models of engagement with culture? Also, in case you missed it, here is test to see what your Dulles model of Church tendency might be.
Be back soon. Off to be with The Tales of Aqhat and Gilgamesh.

One thought on “Classes, Refreshers, and Ecclesiologies

  1. Hey Josh, Tyler from B’ham. I’ve enjoyed the interviews you’ve been doing for the podcast. you’ve got the right name for it too so it was a seamless transition.
    hey, i’d like to talk with you about when you hosted Peter Rollins in the flesh (i was told that happened). we’re slated to host him in Feb (18th-19th) and would like to hear about how you guys handled some logistical stuff, if you had an interpreter for his Irish brogue, etc. could you shoot your # and a good time to call to ? I’d appreciate it greatly. Thanks bro.

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