“In, but not of the world” or “Not of the world, but sent into it”?
|August 29, 2012||Posted by Rick Hogaboam under Christ & Culture, Evangelism, Missional Thought|
David Mathis challenges the notion of being “in, but not of” the world. He proposes that a better understanding would be “not of, but sent into” the world. He sets up his thoughts here (link at the end for the full post):
“In, but not of”— if you’ve spent much time Christian circles, you’re probably familiar with this slogan. In the world, but not of the world. It captures a truth about Jesus’s followers. There’s a real sense in which we are “in” this world, but not “of” it.
In, but not of. Yes, yes, of course.
But might this punchy phrase be giving the wrong impression about our (co)mission in this world as Christians? The motto could seem to give the drift, We are in this world, alas, but what we really need to do is make sure that we’re not of it.
In this way of configuring things, the starting place is our unfortunate condition of being “in” this world. Sigh. And our mission, it appears, is to not be “of” it. So the force is moving away from the world. “Rats, we’re frustratingly stuck in this ole world, but let’s marshal our best energies to not be of it.” No doubt, it’s an emphasis that’s sometimes needed, but isn’t something essential being downplayed?
© 2012, Rick Hogaboam. All rights reserved.