Another Option: Duane W.H. Arnold, PhD

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29 Responses

  1. Michael says:

    I think there’s a book here…and I think this description of the church is what the remnant will look like going forward…

  2. Linn says:

    Duane, I again thank you for a thoughtful article to start my day! I think the modern church has fallen into the trap (although most of us wouldn’t admit to it) of orchestrating settings where we can invite people to “hear” the gospel with minimum emotional investment on our part. Examples from my own church would be fall fest (Halloween alternative), comedy night with a local Christian celebrity, VBS (where the majority is kids from other churches whose parents have them attend every VBS in the area as a form of daycare), Easter egg hunt, etc. They are fun, and we do get a few unchurched folks, but they are not the visiting, being around the neighborhood and engaging the inhabitants kinds of activities that the friars did.

    Personal application-most of my family has never met Jesus personally. Some of them are too far away to see often (although I call and text), but the local ones are always too busy to see me. If they invite me over. I jump at the opportunity. I was asked to the birthday potluck for my two great-nieces this weekend. I will be there to enjoy time together, and to share Jesus in any way I can. I’m hoping for more such opportunities as COVID seems to be winding down in our area. I’m skipping fall fest at church, but I think this engagement is more important.

  3. Duane Arnold says:

    Michael

    For people like the two of us, the so-called Benedict Option has an appeal… solitude, study, etc. For myself it would be easy and, frankly, easily done. The times, however, call for pastoral engagement, and not just for clergy, but for the laity as well. Yet, we still must recognize the importance of pastoral care emanating from a community of faith. Pastoral care is not about “Lone Rangers” or would be prophets in the wilderness. In the end, it is an extension of the Incarnation by Christ’s Body…

  4. Duane Arnold says:

    Linn

    Many thanks! Nothing makes up for reaching people “where they’re at”… Sounds like you are making the right choices!

  5. Em says:

    Question i am pondering today is, HOW does a born again (redeemed) soul develop the “mind of Christ? ”
    Let this mind be in you…….

  6. Michael says:

    All the graces of the Christian life come through the process of following Jesus.

    As we take to heart the words of the Sermon on the Mount and His other teachings and apply them to life and relationships, we are transformed.

    The cruciform life lived out is what “renews the mind”.

    The language of being “born again” is at best incomplete …the reality is that we’ve been saved, we’re being saved and we will be saved…

  7. Duane Arnold says:

    Michael

    The pluperfect of Acts wins every time…😁

  8. Michael says:

    This “option” is about living out the Incarnation among the world…which we shouldn’t have had to be reminded of…

  9. Xenia says:

    Michael, Amen!

  10. Duane Arnold says:

    Michael

    I think we have forgotten the “Body of Christ”, except in the abstract. When that is left behind, living out or extending the Incarnation becomes something else altogether.

  11. Michael says:

    I think we have lost what it means to be a Christian and what it means to be the church.

    Part of the problem is the goal is to get people “saved” and “born again”…when the biblical goal is to become a disciple.

  12. Duane Arnold says:

    Michael

    I would add to that… Yes, a disciple but one that is in a community of faith.

  13. Em says:

    A disciple in a community of THE FAITH ….. thank you …

  14. Em says:

    but Michael, our Lord said that we must be born again? Perhaps, we give that term a shallow meaning today? …. not understanding a spiritual birth?

  15. Duane Arnold says:

    Em

    “A disciple in a community of THE FAITH ….. thank you …”

    …And exactly what tribe of the Christian Church would that be?

  16. Michael says:

    Em,

    There is no question that there is some sort of conversion that happens .
    What is missed is that being “born again” is the beginning of the process, not the end goal.

    The NT talks a lot about “salvation” holistically, progressively… including the entire creation…

  17. Jean says:

    The adverb “again” also means “from above” and stresses that this birth is both new and God’s sole work. John’s prologue makes that clear:

    “But to all who did receive him, who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God, who were born, not of blood nor of the will of the flesh nor of the will of man, but of God.” Not of blood = not by decent from a family or tribe; nor of the will of the flesh = not by circumcision; nor of the will of man = not by works.

    Just like in any birth, the new born child of God has no say nor contribution to his/her birth. It is 100% the work of the parent, in this case our heavenly Father for the sake of His Son who He put forth as our Mercy Seat to all who believe.

    The new birth is also eschatological. The new creature lives already in eternity (i.e., in the kingdom of God, seated in heaven, in the age to come which Christ inaugurated at His resurrection). The new creature is righteous and holy and lives by faith.

    Creation, which is also in bondage to corruption, is progressively getting worse, as Revelation indicates, and it too groans for the resurrection and the new heaven and new earth.

    The current heavens and earth are going to be burned up and God is going to provide His saints with a new heaven and new earth. God does not repair the sinful flesh or the corrupt heart or the corrupt earth that produces thorns, but He promises to make all things new.

    The goal for all Christians is to invited to the marriage feast of the Lamb.

  18. Em says:

    Michael @2:56
    Point taken…. Yes, it is the beginning – certainly not the end

    Dr. Duane @2:15… The “tribe” is not found in any one denomination…. IMNSHO. 😇

  19. BrideofChrist says:

    As a brand new Christian at age 19, I was a college student ( I was saved on Campus at San Diego State by Campus Crucade for Christ! Gid bless them!) I felt led by God to become a public school teacher so I changed by major from Sociology to Elementary Education studies. Most of my 30 year teaching career was in in low income schools in the San Diego area and I learned some Spanish along the way and I became an ESL teacher anf eventually a reading specialist. I had two of my own
    biological children also! After 28 solid years of teaching, I caught TB from my students in those low income schools. Luckily, I made a full revovery. God called me to teaching knowing that I would become a teacher of remedial, low income. and minority students. Both of my own two biological children were determined to be intellectually gifted, in an interesting paradox! We go where God leads, just as these good friars did. It doesn’t mean we won’t face dangers, but we know that God will be with us if we following His calling.

  20. bob1 says:

    BOC,

    Hats off to you!

    IMHO, you’ve definitely been doing the work of the Lord!

    God bless you.

  21. Em says:

    bob1 @6:10
    Well said! ! !

  22. Duane Arnold says:

    BofC

    Your comment is an exceptional example of lay vocation… thank you!

  23. Em says:

    “It seems to me that our tome calls for engagement…”
    Indeed it does….
    Do we need to pray for a spokesman? ? ? A leader? ? ?

  24. bob1 says:

    I think the answer vis-a-vis engagement is within Duane’s article:

    “… sustained and visible actions for the good of all.”

  25. Duane Arnold says:

    Em

    We’ve had far too many so-called “leaders”… In my opinion, Christ calls us to be followers, first and foremost.

  26. Em says:

    Point taken, Dr. Duane.
    So-called leaders brings up the questjion, “Who made you the boss of me?”
    Followers of Christ? Perhaps we need to be taught….. Hmmm

  27. Jean says:

    Jesus describes three types of leaders: the Good Shepherd; hirelings; and wolves. Disciples should follow and listen only to the Good Shepherd.

    This to me is what is the biggest missing in the church today.

    Sheep follow their shepherd. Jesus in John 14 also describes a disciple as one who imitates the behavior of Jesus. The world hates a disciple because he/she imitates Jesus. Note that Jesus loved everyone how came to Him for help, and didn’t turn anyone away who sought His help. That pissed off the religious establishment. Jesus didn’t spend any time railing against the pagan government or empire.

  28. Jean says:

    Let’s say you pull out of the driveway to go to a movie, or sporting event, or a birthday party, or shopping, etc. and you see your neighbor in his driveway with a dead car battery. Do you need to be taught by a theologian what to do?

    Following Christ is not like learning calculus or discovering hidden wisdom. The issue isn’t what to do, but will we follow?

  29. Em says:

    Good points @4:15 and 4:27, Jean
    assuming you or he has jumper cables…. 🙂
    and 4:15… “none were more blessed than those who searched the Scripture to verify what was being taught.” are we lazy today? i think it is possible…..

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