Church and World

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From Doug Ottati’s Reforming Protestantism: At the same time that we are in the world, because the world is God’s good creation, we are also called to acknowledge that we are with the world, confessing our common faults and sins. The church is simultaneously against the world – which is to say that we are called to a prophetic witness, to stand with the disenfranchised. Ottati puts it this way: “Genuinely reforming churches will not shrink from the prophetic task. . . . [T]hey will denounce the persistent scourges of racism, sexism, and homophobia. They will point to severe economic disparities among communities linked in a single garment of global interdependence…[The] world may respond with benign neglect and refuse to take the church seriously. . . . In that case, prophetic churches have all the more reason to remain in the world, refusing to leave it alone. [The church] has every reason to be pests and persistent nuisances, calling into question business as usual. . . . The prophetic task may have its cost and burdens. . . . The task of faithfully objecting to the forfeiture of the good and abundant life for which we are fitted may place the church into direct opposition to the principalities, powers, and climates of opinion. . . . It may lead others to question the church’s good sense or prudence. . . . By the faithful logic of theocentric devotion, none of these possibilities constitutes a reason to relinquish or attenuate the critical and prophetic attitude. . . . God alone is God, and we should serve no others. Reforming churches have to remain true to the first commandment.”

Roger

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