The Naked Church – Chapter – 11. O Dem Golden Shepherds

The Naked Church – Chapter – 11. O Dem Golden Shepherds –snip– Jesus inaugurated a broker-less kingdom, one in which his Father’s personal care for people and his authority over them would be shared with no earthly leader. His revolutionary words and actions engaged people in God’s life directly and nothing could have threatened the … Continue reading “The Naked Church – Chapter – 11. O Dem Golden Shepherds”

The Naked Church – Chapter – 12 – Firsthand Friendship

The Naked Church – Chapter – 12 – Firsthand Friendship –snip– Leadership is always addressed in the plural. Every example of leadership in the New Testament is shared among teams of mature believers. Shared leadership allows the body to be equipped without being manipulated, since no one person is projected into Jesus’ role. Furthermore, the … Continue reading “The Naked Church – Chapter – 12 – Firsthand Friendship”

The Naked Church – Chapter – 13 Confessions of a Christian Materialist

The Naked Church – Chapter – 13 Confessions of a Christian Materialist –snip– Since that day I’ve reevaluated a number of major Christian tenets. I know I risk sounding heretical here because in this culture we have married materialism to Christianity. We have even given its offspring a biblical name—stewardship—and under its protection we pursue … Continue reading “The Naked Church – Chapter – 13 Confessions of a Christian Materialist”

The Naked Church – Chapter – 14 Righteousness That Comes from Faith

The Naked Church – Chapter – 14 Righteousness That Comes from Faith –snip– Just knowing Jesus, however, wasn’t the only thing for which Paul hungered. He also wanted to be like him: “I consider[all things] rubbish that I may gain Christ and be found in him, not having a righteousness of my own that comes … Continue reading “The Naked Church – Chapter – 14 Righteousness That Comes from Faith”

The Naked Church – Chapter – 15. Programmed to Death

The Naked Church – Chapter – 15. Programmed to Death –snip– How easily Satan must have thought he could snuff out the light of God’s kingdom in the world once Jesus had ascended to the Father! Only 120 followers remained, and they were huddled away in fear. Though the Day of Pentecost must have been … Continue reading “The Naked Church – Chapter – 15. Programmed to Death”

The Naked Church – Chapter – 16. The New Testament Community

The Naked Church – Chapter – 16. The New Testament Community –snip– Recapturing the personal aspect of Jesus’ ministry will not be easy in an age that regards a computer-addressed form letter to be a personal touch. “I love each of you so much,” the pastor says with a smile to the Sunday morning crowd, … Continue reading “The Naked Church – Chapter – 16. The New Testament Community”

The Naked Church – Chapter 17 – Where Has All the Power Gone?

The Naked Church – Chapter 17 – Where Has All the Power Gone? –snip– Whether or not people liked Jesus or agreed with him, the thing that most impressed them was his sense of authority. Even his enemies marveled at the power that flowed from his life. And that is an amazing statement about a … Continue reading “The Naked Church – Chapter 17 – Where Has All the Power Gone?”

The Naked Church – Chapter 18 – Clothed with Power

The Naked Church – Chapter 18 – Clothed with Power –snip– The voice on the phone was calm. “Reverend Jacobsen, this is the emergency room at Kaweah-Delta Hospital. There’s been an accident involving people from your congregation. Could you come down here right away?” Even beneath the nurse’s professionalism flowed an unmistakable current of urgency. … Continue reading “The Naked Church – Chapter 18 – Clothed with Power”

The Naked Church – Chapter 19 – Stained Glass and White Linen

The Naked Church – Chapter 19 – Stained Glass and White Linen –snip– The larger question, however, is whether Jesus is relevant to anything in our lives. Os Guiness reiterates that indictment: “The damning comment has been made of Christianity that it is privately engaging but socially irrelevant.”1 Until the church can answer the difficult … Continue reading “The Naked Church – Chapter 19 – Stained Glass and White Linen”

The Naked Church – Chapter 20 – A Real Jesus in an Unreal World

The Naked Church – Chapter 20 – A Real Jesus in an Unreal World –snip– Not only can God make it here, but it’s the only place he does make it. He is not afraid to meet people in the real world, where every battle is not won, where people hurt and die, where all … Continue reading “The Naked Church – Chapter 20 – A Real Jesus in an Unreal World”