Kingdom Noise Apprenticeship

MODULE 3 || STAGE 2 by seancooper
October 27, 2008, 3:05 am
Filed under: Uncategorized

In your current cultural setting, do people view the Gospel as relevant or irrelevant?
What should we aim for and avoid as communicators of the Gospel?
Describe you understanding and application of Hausa riddling for your culture. Does it have any relevance? Explain.


9 Comments so far
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In my cultural setting the Gospel is very relevant. It has been really cool because I lead a bible study with two friends and we have about 12 girls in high school that are involved and we’ve been going through the book of Mark. What has been so amazing and I am learning so much studying this with them is that were not even to Mark 3 yet and we’ve been breaking down Mark for the past 6 weeks. There is such rich lessons contained in each line that they girls can’t help but find so many ways on how RELEVANT these lessons are to them in their schools and just how they live.
I think we should aim to communicate the Gospel and only the Gospel. 2 Timothy 2:15 talks about “correctly handling the word of truth”. So many times we talk of stories in the bible or things that aren’t really said in the Bible, but stories or traditions we’ve heard over time and then assume they are written when they aren’t. The Good News is good already with out us adding in so much other puff and smoke.

Comment by laurenberlin

Dan Lacich spoke at college ministry last night and interestingly enough dealt with Philippians 1 and the question of Gospel relevance. His summary was that the Gospel seems irrelevant to most people today because it is not provocative and simply blends with the same goals and values as any person, Christian or non-Christian.

In our own American culture, for instance, he made the point that we have taken the United States Declaration of Independence and essentially made it the Christian ideal: Life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. In other words, since most Christians are pursuing those things with equal zeal as those who are not believers, our values blend to be the same and we are not set apart in any provocative way that reflects the New Testament Gospel.

Comment by Sean

The Hausa riddling is very strange to me in the same way that math does not click with my wiring. I can’t figure out if it’s poetry or an equation, maybe both.

What I did find fascinating is the way riddles are used in certain African cultures to teach a catechism of values. I think about the Heidelberg Catechism and its way of posing questions and responding with biblical truths. I like the blend of how the older riddles are not allowed creative, new answers while the contemporary riddles are more open to the possibility of better answers. Is there something we can learn about our own doctrine and faith from this type of approach?

Comment by Sean

What should we aim for and avoid as communicators of the Gospel?

I’m thinking of the old saying: You should say what you mean and mean what you say. Are we capable of doing this with the Gospel?

Comment by Sean

I feel like the gospel often gets overlooked in non christian cultural settings that I exist in, primarily at school. The fascinating thing about it is that the gospel exists and is talked about indirectly. It has everything to do with perspective. For example, in one of my classes there has been a significant recurring discussion about a theory called simulacra. In short, simulacra is an effigy, image, or representation of something that has already been created. Basically this means that there is no such thing as virgin creativity. That everything is inspired by or a replication of something else. Obviously there has to be something at the root of creation. I brought this up in class, that if if simulacra is true, what was at the origin? I agree with this theory, and I feel like the answer to my question is… God. He created and everything that humanity makes is in some way shape or form, reflecting the creative nature of our creator. We are trying to imitate what He set in motion. I think this is a powerful truth and it inspires me to want to create even more. I feel like God’s creation and humanities desire to reflect that creation directly and indirectly expresses the gospel and proves God’s existence.

Comment by Jeremiah

I still don’t have the reading, but I was reading the comments and I wish I had hear Dan’s talk! It sounds interesting, and like it might speak to some things I have been reading lately. I don’t know what he said, but I do think Christians have kind of mixed the gospel with the American ideals… especially in the way we feel like we should fight for our rights to liberty, life, etc.

I believe a key part of the gospel that is relevant to Americans is the idea that we already have life and freedom in Christ, and because of that we can humble ourselves, serving others, even when it means foregoing our own “rights” at times. This is extremely relevant in our culture, because we have been brought up with the kind of individualism that values someone who fights for their own rights, and refuses to submit to people who may infringe on those rights. We have our right to space, time, our own property and money, etc and if we let anyone infringe on that we are a push-over. It’s important to remember though that Jesus, even though he was God, chose to lay down all of his rights for the sake of others and we are called to be imitators of him. The good news is of course, that he rose again and so, ultimately those who chose to take his right to life (for example) were thwarted, and we can thus lay down our life and rights knowing we free in him.

This is how, for example Paul could be content in prison and he could advise slaves to be obedient serving their masters (he tells them to serve them as if serving the lord).

Of course, we are also called to respect other’s rights (he also told the masters to love the slaves as their brothers for example), so the American values are wrong, just badly applied at times, when we seek our own good before others. I often fail in this area, but I think my experience living in community helps me overcome that. In order to maintain peace in a community of 15 I often need to humble myself and clean the house by myself when people are supposed to help, or patiently listen to someone when I feel like I deserve some alone time. Of course, I’ve often forgotten to do the dishes when it was my turn and my housemates humble themselves and do them for me. I think this is a huge part what it means to submit to one other as Christians, and is a really cool way of embodying the gospel.

It’s also really central to our ministry hear, loving and caring for people who often infringe own our rights of space, time, and the freedom of association : ) and giving of our lives and resources without worrying about the return… telling them that we do this because Christ did this for us.

So anyway, that’s a long ramble and I can’t really speak to the Hausa question, but I hope that relates somehow to this discussion.

Comment by Sarah Lynne

*sorry i meant that the american values aren’t wrong! (that’s in the fourth paragraph)

and in the second to last paragraph substitute hear for here and own for on : )

Comment by Sarah Lynne

Sarah Lynne,
I love your insight about Paul and Prison. That was part of the focus last Sunday night. His completely different approach to life in general and as a prisoner in particular, caused people to ask why. That is what I mean by provocative. Our lives should provoke a response. People should want to know about following Jesus because they see something different in us that they want that in their own lives.
What you have to say about giving our lives and resources without worrying about the return is a wonderful example of the provocative Christian life. In the context of this group we would say it is making Kingdom Noise.

Comment by Dan Lacich

I think in my personal setting right now the Gospel is very relevant. I was just thinking of my speech class that I’m taking right now, our first speech we had to write was anything about ourselves. I wrote mine on how service within my family and my church has impacted me throughout my life, and I thought that I would be the only one or part of very few that would bring up religion at all, but to my surprise I was very wrong. Probably half of the class or maybe more brought up their religious upbringing or impact that it had on their life with either just a mention of it or their whole speech was based around it like mine was. Many of those speeches that I heard, and maybe even the one that I gave, I would consider provocative. Since I moved home from FSU I haven’t really been surrounded by a place where I could be completely open about my faith besides church. Being in this class where I can write a speech about anything I want has definitely opened up many doors into what I feel bold enough to say or what to keep in a Christian bubble.

I think striving to be a provocative christian is a great tag line to making Kingdom Noise. For me, after hearing Pastor Dan speak for two weeks at college group, this is something that I have thought about throughout the week more than ever. Making Kingdom Noise is sometimes hard to explain to fellow christians, but being a provocative christian to make kingdom noise adds a whole new meaning and understanding to my life and I’m excited to live out each day to the best of my ability to glorify God.

Comment by laurenmclaughlin0

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