By Tim Newark, Angus McBride
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Extra resources for Age of the Crusades
Each dimension of following Jesus – conformation, participation, restoration, and rhythm – is incorporated in worship. In worship Christians meet God in time-honored ways. Worship is where people are conformed to Christ, join in his work, are accepted back into his fellowship, and dance to the beat of his drum. Worship anticipates heaven, where all these things are gloriously fulfilled. But worship is also a training for discipleship on earth. It is the time when Christians learn how to be God’s friends by eating with him.
But they are not selfevident. John Howard Yoder correctly argues that not only do Niebuhr’s types fail to do justice to the rich texture of Christian practices from the early Church to our own time, but, more problematic still, the Trinitarian and Christological assumptions that shaped Niebuhr’s account are less than orthodox (Yoder, 1959: 31–89). Niebuhr’s depiction of the “enduring problem” of the relation between Christ and culture reproduces a Kantian Christ freed from ecclesial embodiment, who can do no more than hover as a transcendental reminder of human finitude.
If the prophetic ministry of the Church is directed chiefly to those outside it, in the form of witness, the priestly ministry of the Church is principally concerned with ordering the life of those inside the body. The prophet exposes what is impossible without God; the priest demonstrates what is possible with him. The priestly role of the Church is to model sustainable life before God – to show what God makes possible for those who love him. This life in the presence of God has the three features noted in the previous section.
Age of the Crusades by Tim Newark, Angus McBride