Race and ethnicity have always been hot topics for as long as people have been around, and remain so today in a great many parts of the world. In the church too these issues are often present, if only in the fact that many Western churches remain almost entirely mono-cultural and mono-racial even when they are located in culturally diverse neighbourhoods.
At our church meeting yesterday we watched a video clip from the organisation Evangelism Explosion about why many Christians don’t share their faith. I’ve been thinking about this over the last 24 hours and have a few thoughts. Here’s the video:
Why is mission – inviting people of all nations into God’s Kingdom – important for the church to be involved in? Maybe we would answer that by pointing to the “Great Commission” in Matthew 28. Maybe we would give a biblical basis for mission, looking at both the Old and New Testaments. Maybe we would see mission as being at the heart of God, and hence of the whole biblical narrative.
Some of the most confusing and often controversial parts of the Bible are in the New Testament where Paul talks about Christians being chosen by God. Why does God apparently choose some and not others? Who exactly is chosen? Do we have any choice in the matter? What about those who aren’t chosen? Is God fair?
A lot has been written about Rob Bell in the past couple of weeks after he released a video asking questions about Christian beliefs about God, and heaven and hell. Some people have been extremely critical of the video, accusing Bell of universalism, which is to say that God will eventually save everyone and not send anyone to hell. Others have reserved judgment until the book comes out, while others are rightly upset at the nature of some of the criticism.