Formative Vs. Avertive Christianity (re-post)
I wrote the following for a recent paper, and thought I'd share it here. Dr. Steve Lowe talks about Formative vs. Avertive Christianity as part of his Missional Church class at Erskine Seminary. It's a great class and if you don't have time to take it, just get the book list from his syllabus and you'll have a great armchair education on the subject. Any way, here are my thoughts:
God’s mission to reconcile us to Him through Christ involves a present and future thread that forms His action. His blessing flows from the nation tothe nations, as channels from a river extend well beyond their source into other lands and even other bodies of water.
A Formative Christianity engages and reforms this world as a way of journeying to the next. Formative Christianity recognizes the nature of it salvation as one that will in turn bring others to salvation. An AvertiveChristianity tries to stay away from the world as much as possible until it can escape to the next. Avertive Christianity is hardly the recipe for cultivating culture--digging in, sowing seeds, plowing the field, and reaping the harvest of disciples for the Kingdom. As Christopher Wright states, “...the whole Bible renders to us the story of God’s mission through God’s people in their engagement with God’s world for the sake of the whole of God’s creation.”