Friday, December 08, 2006

Communicating the Gospel - Overview - Chapters 1-4



Below is my assessment assignment for my Residency Class: Communicating the Gospel with Covenant Theological Seminary.

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Communicating the Gospel
Communicating for Life
Author: Quentin J. Schultze

Chapters 1-4

The initial concept of Co-creation is that we are emulating or mirroring our creator by co-creating our culture with our communication, which is a gift from God. I also found the idea of being symbolic stewards of creation that echo God’s reality. It describes the impact of our communication that defines how we see others and ourselves as well. Second, is the concept of shalom. Peace and love should be the banner in which we as sharers of this great gift called the Gospel should never forget where we were when we had not received such amazing Grace packaged with the Gospel. Thirdly, the author presents the ideas of transmission theory and cultural theory in communication. These distinguish between communication (transmission)to the masses in a generic broad sense without regard to specific cultures and just wanting to be effective. Compared to (cultural) which focuses on being interpretive and creative. Lastly, there is a challenge in the use of symbols and the possibility of those symbols to mean different things to different people. Many Christians will align themselves in groups that agree on the same symbols when interpreting scripture or establishing doctrines and confessions.

The four relationships that the author mentioned reminded me of the Ten Commandments and the greatest commands that Jesus talked about in Matthew 22:34-40
The Greatest Commandment
34Hearing that Jesus had silenced the Sadducees, the Pharisees got together. 35One of them, an expert in the law, tested him with this question:
36"Teacher, which is the greatest commandment in the Law?" 37Jesus replied: " 'Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.'[
b] 38This is the first and greatest commandment. 39And the second is like it: 'Love your neighbor as yourself.'[c] 40All the Law and the Prophets hang on these two commandments."
I really like this as it reminds me how God gave us these Ten Commandments as expressions of love. Love for God and love for our neighbor. Communication is also a gift from God so that we can communicate this love and the Holy Spirit helps us with communicating with God and Communicating the Gospel to our neighbors. Even when we don’t communicate perfectly we have one that somehow gets the message across. So, I don’t have to worry if I’m going to mess it up. We can “co-create” together.

One area that made me think to myself, “What did he say?” It was in Chapter 2 when the author wrote.

“Every time we identify with someone else we practice what God perfected in Christ. God took the form of a human being in order to identify with humankind.”

Now I know this may be a small part or a by-product of why God took human form. But, I think more can be said about how before the foundations of the world, that God pre-ordained Jesus to come not only to “identify” with us but mainly to be a Lord, Savior, Redeemer, Master, Teacher, Servant and our High Priest. He brought us Peace. Not Peace to make a better world in “time” but peace for us in eternity with Him.

Acts 10:36
36You know the message God sent to the people of Israel, telling the good news of peace through Jesus Christ, who is Lord of all.
Romans 5
Peace and Joy
1Therefore, since we have been justified through faith, we[
a]have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ, 2through whom we have gained access by faith into this grace in which we now stand. And we[b] rejoice in the hope of the glory of God.

Shalom! Peace, be with you. This theme of peace throughout these four chapters reminds me how we are to be always ready to give an answer for the hope that is within us, with gentleness and respect. (1 Peter 3:15). The idea of God graciously giving us the gift of communication is really a great idea. I have always thought that we wouldn’t understand the love of God and the relationship between Jesus and the church unless God instituted marriage. And now I would like to add communication to that. We can see that throughout scripture there are occasions when the Father and the Son are communicating and displaying the love that they have for each other and also for the humanity that God has created for the Son. Lets create man in our image (Gen 1:26). It is a challenge for us in our culture to remember to be gracious in our communication. Especially, with those that are unbelievers. We have to remember that they are the mission field and we are to be reconciling them to Christ.

2 Corinthians 5:17-19 17 Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; the old has gone, the new has come! 18All this is from God, who reconciled us to himself through Christ and gave us the ministry of reconciliation: 19that God was reconciling the world to himself in Christ, not counting men's sins against them. And he has committed to us the message of reconciliation.
Grace and Peace,
Chris Allen
Coram Deo!!!

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