Wednesday, October 08, 2008

Relating to others-Subversion

Recently we had Andrew Cameron visit with us and he began to explore angles on relating to those who do not follow Jesus. Andrew has generously given me permission to explore some of his thoughts on this blog. The exploration is not meant to be exhaustive but identifies four responses.This is part 2 of a 4 part series

‘Subversion’ is usually understood to be a negative force in society. But here, we use the word to describe a way of living that is off-balancing, unexpected, and different, so as either to delight pagan neighbours or leave them uneasy yet curious. ·
  • Consider the salty speech of off-balancing grace (Col. 4:5-6). How does this kind of speech by Christian subversives subtly undermine the graceless presuppositions of pagan neighbours? Have you seen any examples of this? ·
  • Consider the gentle joy of hopefulness (1 Pet. 3:15-16). How does this kind of speech by Christian subversives subtly undermine the graceless presuppositions of pagan neighbours? Have you seen any examples of this? Paul and Peter seem to have been guided by what Jesus said in Matt. 5:1-16. Jesus,
  • Paul and Peter want us to learn how to create doubt in hopeless pagan futility, by lives (and speech) of praise.

A philosopher called Wittgenstein once talked about how ‘hearing what is true won’t help us’ unless we ‘uncover the source of the error.’ ‘We must begin with the mistake and transform it into what is true,’ he said; therefore people ‘must plunge again and again in the water of doubt’ if they are to ‘find the road from error to truth’. ·

  • When Christians are joyful, others begin to doubt their despair ·
  • When Christians are graceful, others begin to doubt their systems of merit
  • When Christians are humble, others begin to doubt vanity and pride.

Think of a pressing social problem in Australia that you can think of. What words of joy and grace might destabilise, unnerve, and offer unanticipated solutions?

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