Posted On April 28, 2011

Incarnational living is Christ-centeredness; meaning, Christ is interwoven into the warp and woof of the homogeneous fabric of faith. Christ is above culture. Sure, the church strives to place Christ “in” culture, but the sovereignty of Christ means that He already supersedes culture. His position is outside of time. Being Christocentric means that I acknowledge all things are in, through, for, and by Him (Eph. 1:3-14). When the Lord stated “Render to Caesar the things that are Caesar’s and to God the things that are God’s” (Mt. 22:21), Jesus implied three things: (1) Caesar may claim to be “Augustus” (the title denotes god-like, or majestic), but God is the One and only God; (2) all things are God’s, and government exists for God’s purpose, and (3) all things pertain to, and are created for, God. Caesar owns nothing! He is a created being. Christ, is above culture, but has established all things “in” Him. The Word of God launches this understanding past our human finite minds, more than once: Christ was/is the Creator (Jn. 1:1; Col. 1:16-17; Rom. 11:36).

The ancient Christian church acknowledged Christ as the entirety of their lives. They lived the Gospel within every community they reached. With no personal Bibles, buildings, or Sunday school classes, the church thrived on what they knew to be true in their hearts: the Gospel. “Classical Christianity affirms the centrality of Christ to all creation and offers a distinct way to deal with the problem of evil…which permeates all the structures of existence…they affirm the unity and coherence of all things in Christ (Col. 1:16-20).”[1] For this reason, believers are to meditate on Christ (the Word) to renew minds (Rom. 12:2) and pray for one another (James 5:16). We are to seize Christocentric-living (Eph. 4:15), which knows humility (Phil 2:3), and love (2 Cor. 5:14); “put[ting] on Christ” (Col. 3:12), and crucifying the flesh (Rom. 7:5). Bringing the Kingdom principles into community is more than a church plant; it is more than meeting unmet needs; more than a Bible study in the local barista; it comes from the implementation of Christocentric living, coupled with intentional discipleship and interaction with the unsaved.

If Christians truly believed that Christ was resurrected and lives, then there would be a transformation so powerful; so evident, so infectious, that no emperor, culture, or government would be able to squelch its growth. George Hunter, in his book The Celtic Way of Evangelism, expresses the nature of how powerful and comprehensive the understanding of living Christ was for the Celts. He states, “Celtic Christians had no need to seek [outside secularism]. Their Christian faith and community addressed life as a whole…help[ing] people [to] live and cope as Christians day to day in the face of poverty, enemies, evil forces, nature’s uncertainties, and frequent threats from many quarters.”[2] While this may not seem like evangelism, the act of living out one’s faith by Christocentric-driven devotion was indigenous for the Celts; something which needs to be engulfed into a paradigm shift of thinking in Westernized Christianity. Let us all reflect upon this:

“[This] is not the way you learned Christ!—assuming that you have heard about him and were taught in him, as the truth is in Jesus, to put off your old self, which belongs to your former manner of life and is corrupt through deceitful desires, and to be renewed in the spirit of your minds, and to put on the new self, created after the likeness of God in true righteousness and holiness.” ~ Ephesians 4:20-24


[1] Webber, Ancient-Future Faith, 40-41.

[2] George Hunter, The Celtic Way of Evangelism: How Christianity Can Reach the West…Again, (Nashville, TN: Abingdon Press, 2010), 20-21.

 

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