"Here then is Paul's vision for the church. God's society is to display charity, unity, diversity, and growing maturity. These are the characteristics of a life worthy of God, which the apostle begs us to lead. The more we share Paul's perspective, the deeper will be our discontent with the ecclesiastical status quo. Some of us are too conservative, too complacent, too ready to acquiesce in the present situation and to resist change. Others are too radical, wanting to dispense with the institution altogether. Instead we need to grasp more clearly the kind of new society God wants his church to be. Then we shall not be content either with things as they are or with partial solutions, but rather will pray and work for the church's total renewal. Complacency is unworthy of the church's calling. In contrast to it the apostle sets before us the picture of a deepening fellowship, an eagerness to maintain visible Christian unity (and to recover it if it is lost), an active every-member ministry, and a steady growth into maturity by holding the truth in love. We need to keep this biblical ideal clearly before us. Only then shall we live a life that is worthy of it." (John Stott, Ephesians: Building a Community in Christ, pp. 38-39).
Wednesday, July 27, 2011
John Stott weighs in
Theologian and teacher par excellence John Stott passed away today at the age of 90. Stott has always been an amazing communicator of the good news of Jesus Christ. Before I heard of his death, I ran across this quote in one of his Bible studies and intended to post it anyway. Here he weighs in on the whole issue of the church, commenting on Ephesians 4:1-16: