What's the Bible Have to Say About...
There are many places in the Bible where the lives and witness of God's people jump out at you as emblematic of how life under God's rule might be lived (see Characters in the Bible
). But there are other places where a second look reveals answers to some interesting questions about the church and the place of lay people in its enterprise. And in other places, the "answers" might themselves be really no more than questions solidified over time, taking the appearance of answers. The question for Christians, then, is to discern from the Bible what God has in mind for their lives and for the church.What's the Bible Have to Say About...
- The role and place of professional clergy in the life of the church.
- The value of money in the lifestyle of Christians.
- The centrality of the church — as institution — in the lives of faithful believers.
- Funding the mission of God through the local congregation.
- The existence and function of denominations.
- The true purpose of the congregation.
- The meaning(s) of "the Good News."
- God's rule over both the sacred and secular realms.
- Power already held by individual Christians.
- God's disbursal of gifts among God's people.
- The supposed needs which the church fills.
Some Passages and Chunks of Scripture to Re-examine:
- Song of Solomon (as metaphor for the relationship of Christ and the church)
- 2nd Timothy (to see where Timothy learned his pastoral abilities)
- Matthew 23 (to find out where Jesus' condemnations of religious leaders of his day might fit into our own day)
- Mark 7 (to see how Jesus' teachings supplant the religious teachings of the ancestors)
- Luke 16 (to see how easily we could condemn people whose shrewdness makes them a living)
- Revelation 2-3 ( to compare models of congregations — good and not so good — with contemporary fads for "church")
- 2 Corinthians 10:1 - 13:10 (to see how Paul's struggles with authority as an apostle compared with contemporary pastors' struggles with their roles)
- 1 Corinthians 12 (to plumb the possibilities in "body" analogies for the church)
- Proverbs 31 (to see how women live faithfully and invisibly powerful)