10 Jan Theologically Robust + Culturally Relevant
Author and pastor A.W. Tozer once said, “What comes into your mind when you think about God is the most important thing about you.” And we agree: the way a person thinks will radically affect the way he lives. Behavior is the byproduct of belief.
Storyline strives to be a thought-provoking church, where weekend services both stir up affections and engage the mind. We organize groups that rally around inspired Scripture. We create children’s and student ministries that aim to teach the beauty of the Christian worldview. We delight in learning.
But Doesn’t Pride Puff A Person Up?
It’s a reasonable question: doesn’t knowledge puff a person up with pride? The biggest brain in the early church (Paul) warned us that adding to our knowledge could subtract from our souls. He said, “Knowledge puffs up; love builds up,” (1 Cor. 8:1). Being actively engaged in ministry—serving others through tangible acts – is the antidote for arrogance. The local church provides endless options for exalting others through life-on-life ministry.
On the opposite side of the seesaw sits cultural relevance—a must for the local church. Any church that underscores the life of the mind runs the danger of becoming monastic, losing touch with society. Jesus commissioned his people to go into the world and win the right to speak. Storyline strives to build meaningful relationships with those who disagree, seeking to understand before we are understood, hoping to win the right to represent Christ in the public square.
How We Teach This Tension
In Storyline’s Starting Point class we challenge people to take the Bible seriously, to launch a devotional life, and to utilize resources, recognizing that much of learning is self-learning. But we don’t stop with emphasizing spiritual maturity. Each person in this class also receives an Impact Card with three obvious blanks, in which they can write the names of three far-from-God people in their lives. These are the specific persons one seeks to woo into the kingdom through loving acts of service.
Any theology that cools one’s heart for the prodigal is defective. The long-lost sons and daughters were the passion of Jesus Christ, and our knowledge of him should fuel us to action as well.