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Archive for the ‘Bob Thune’ Category

One of our great challenges as a church is to approach community as a way of life, not just as a disconnected series of events. We are finding this to be a rich discovery that sometimes threatens to leave people behind.

Apparently we’re not alone – from Bob Thune, Lead Pastor of Coram Deo in Omaha:

When we planted Coram Deo, we made the radical assumption that people would actually be willing to pursue intentional community. Perhaps this assumption was faulty. Though many people in our church have made intentional decisions to be in community with one another, many others have not. The objections are generally the same: busyness, crazy work or school schedules, family obligations. But could it be that what keeps us from community is not that we are “too busy,” but that we are simply not disciplined?

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Bob Thune is doing some great work with Coram Deo, an A29 church in Omaha, Nebraska. Later this year, World Harvest will be releasing some of Bob’s work on gospel-centered living that I’m looking forward to working into our life together at Christ Church.

Here’s a recent post from Bob about what it means for us to be gospel-centered people:

  1. We must know the gospel (gospel message). Most Christians overestimate their own understanding of the gospel message. The gospel is something “into which angels long to look” (1 Peter 1:12). And angels are smarter than you. Which means: if you think you “get” the gospel, you probably don’t. We must devote ourselves to an ever-deepening knowledge and appreciation of the gospel of Jesus.
  2. We must experience the gospel (gospel motivation). The gospel is not just a message to be believed, but a power to be experienced. Until the gospel transforms our motivations, we will obey God primarily out of things like fear, pride, duty, or guilt. Those motivations simply aren’t strong enough to sustain lifelong, radical obedience. Only when we begin to live out of our new identity in Christ will we find ourselves loving God deeply and obeying him freely.
  3. We must live the gospel (gospel means). Popular Christianity has adopted a very truncated view of what it means to “share the gospel” (think evangelistic tracts, outreach events, and Christian radio). But the numbers don’t lie: these methods aren’t working. Why? Because they’re only part of the equation. The gospel demands that we ask: how do we declare and demonstrate the reality of the gospel in everything we do? How can the gospel inform and transform our daily rhythms so that the very stuff of “normal life” becomes a tangible expression of the gospel? What if our neighbors not only heard the gospel from our mouths, but saw it reflected in how we eat and celebrate and listen and rest and express generosity and participate in community?

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To be a gospel-centered church, we must understand the gospel, experience the gospel, and live the gospel. Last Sunday we sought to deepen our understanding of the gospel by contrasting the full biblical gospel (saved and sent, by God and for His glory – 1 Peter 2:9) with two common reductions of the gospel (being saved and being sent). Each of these reduces the gospel to something less than it is; each is true, yet incomplete.

The table below might help illuminate the differences more fully.

SAVED SENT SAVED AND SENT
Nature of Sin Internal/Personal External/Social Idolatry (Personal AND Cultural)
Salvation Saved from Guilt Saved from Selfishness Saved from Self-Worship, to live for God’s glory
Jesus Gets me to heaven Shows me how to live Is the source of my life and the object of my worship
Mission Get People Saved Get People Active Live for the glory of God

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