In the late '60s and early '70s there was a resurgence of interest in the Bible's picture of the church as a body. Now you're talking in terms of the DNA of Christ's body. How does the DNA metaphor move us beyond what we meant when we talked about the church as Christ's body?
I read Ray Stedman's Body Life when I was forming my own thinking. Some of what came out in the '70s put a lot of emphasis on community, on the rediscovery of relatedness, personal interrelationship in the work of the Spirit in the church. I want to build on that.
But that's not the whole story. As I look back on my earlier work, I think what I said about community wasn't sufficiently balanced with an emphasis on discipleship and ministry. I'm concerned to maintain that balance.
And how does the DNA metaphor accomplish that?
There are two ways it works. One is that DNA is more complex than we might think if we just use the term body. The DNA metaphor is not a superficial one. It has some depth to it—although I don't want to push it too far. We're discovering more about DNA, and we can appropriate some of those understandings to gain new insights into the nature of the Church—as long as we keep it grounded biblically.
The beginning of the small group movement created a lot of hope for vitality in the church. Today, there are small groups everywhere. Are they delivering on their promise for the church?
Very often small groups haven't delivered. Where small groups haven't worked, it's pretty clear the churches were trying to do it as an add-on and didn't have any real ecclesiology underneath it. The same thing happens with doing a class on spiritual gifts without it being immersed in a deeper understanding of the nature of the church.
Nevertheless, down through ...
- Good Boundaries Make Good Christians
- Thugs in Jesus' Hometown
- The Erosion Continues
- Ground Rules
- 'We Live What We Believe'