Orthodoxy vs. Orthopraxis [Jared]

Friday, January 30, 2009
I just read Todd's "Behind the Music" post about preparing for messages and personally, I found it very illuminating. I'd tell you how I prepare, but it wouldn't take an entire post. It consists of digesting every written idea I can find on the topic and then speaking to a lamp in my office for a couple of hours. Ha! In reality it is more nuance than that, but not by much.

What I actually wanted to write about has more to do with the post before Todd's - A Sign of God's Love. You see I've been digging into this book by one of the preeminent minds of the 21st century, Bishop of Durham of the Church of England, N.T. Wright. It's called Surprised by Hope and it is about the traditional Christian view of what happened to Jesus-and what therefore happens to people-when they die. The truth is that most of us draw our theology from Tim LaHaye novels more than from scripture or men who have dedicated their lives to the teaching of scripture and the writing of the early church. And I have been guilty of this myself which is why it takes some serious study to ensure that our theology is as correct as it can be.

Now, to some this may come as a surprise that the staff members at Next Level are so heavy into Theological study because if you show up on a typical Sunday morning the chances that you'll sit through an hour of so-called "deep theological study" is pretty minimal. We figure that the church has had orthodoxy (right-belief) for centuries now, but that this has only occasionally produced orthopraxis (right-living).

But we do know this: right attitudes and actions flow out of right beliefs. So we go to extreme lengths to ensure that we are on solid orthdox ground before we draw out the full implications of our beliefs and encourage people to act upon these ideas. Even if that means a comfortable orthodoxy leads to radical orthopraxis. Wanna know what that might look like. Check out my next post...

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