Stuck in a closet with Leonard Sweet:
"[RELEVANT magazine:] "For the church not to speak to pop culture, not to use images that come from it and sounds that come from it, smells that come from it, well ... that's not being very
incarnational ... In order to incarnate Christ into the culture that is there, then we have to look to
redeem pop culture."
(Quoted at Rick Warren's pastors.com)
These days, the word “incarnational” can be heard in
most denominations and postmodern churches. It’s at the
heart of the new, experiential form of Christianity --
the transformative movement attempting to unify the
world under the banner of the evolving “Church”. It fits
right into Rick Warrens global
and Brian McLaren's
Kingdom of God.
It calls for a non-offensive form of the “gospel.” No longer
is the emphasis on God's Word and personal regeneration
through the Holy Spirit. The new emphasis is primarily on
collective experience and unifying
community service. To avoid conflict, the true
gospel -- including the "offense
of the cross" -- must be banned along with other
Here is a list of quotes that show the postmodern usages and definitions
of this word. They
generally agree with each other.
As you read them, keep in mind that this words puts the
focus on community
which supposedly demonstrates the love of
Jesus. These servers are trained in politically correct
communication and experiential oneness through the dialectic
process. The true message of
salvation rarely fits the program.
over content" generally assumes
that anyone who claims to be a Christian can serve “incarnationally,”
because Jesus lives in and through them. Yet, since the
actual gospel is minimized, this lofty assumption is now
applied to people everywhere who have neither been "born again"
nor taught His Word. Therefore, an
"incarnational ministry" may completely ignore God's
Word and gospel. Claiming to demonstrate His love and
unity, it hides the "divisive" message of salvation.
This misleading label
ignores God’s warnings about the world’s
deceptions and rebellious attitudes
that quench His Spirit in us and shuts out the
victorious life He promises those who--
trust in our Lord and
are filled with His love
and rely on His Word
follow His narrow way, and
refuse to compromise their faith.
"Eddie Gibbs (Emerging Churches) provides the insight that the 'emerging church' seeks to
end the dualism between sacred and secular so that all of life becomes sacred.... Everywhere we go,
we are His church, His Body, His life with skin on.
We are on holy ground everywhere that we are because He is with us,
in us, and working through us. In this way, there is no sacred verses secular because our whole lives, even as we are out in the cultures we live within, are
organically connected to His kingdom life.
Therefore my focus is on how to bring the reality of the sacred into my everyday life
and culture and world....
"The Lord spoke to Jim Montgomery, from DAWN Ministries, these words:
'See to it that I, the Lord, truly become incarnate... in every small group of people on earth." Jim suggests that what God wants to do is communicate His wonderful message of the Kingdom in a totally contextualized way in every small group
"Wherever we go as believers, God is present because
we are incarnating His presence. The form of church gathering that we use is simply... an important community-family context, OUT OF WHICH
we live incarnationally in the world....
"Most of us were trained that, in order to
'serve Christ' in the world meant that we had to give our testimony or share a gospel tract once a day. This is NOT contextualized incarnational living.
Then, as we wrestle with what this means, we become servants to those around us. We do not say much about our faith because we don't want to
'do it the old way' so we quietly 'share our faith' with our deeds. Somehow, this also seems to come short of
living incarnationally when compared to the powerful impact that Christ
had on those around Him."
C.S. Lewis Chronicles
-- A Compendium of Information about this Great Writer:
"That this brilliant agnostic came to recognize the validity first of Theism, and then of Christianity, provides an amazing testimony. That he could also communicate the gospel so effectively to the
'common person' is an additional evidence of his skill. Lewis, a faithful member of the Anglican communion, was no defender of denominational particulars. His calling was to promote a profound vision of "mere Christianity," which is nothing less than the heart of the faith.
His theology was thoroughly incarnational -- focusing always on Jesus Christ."
A Critique of Brian McLaren by Bob DeWaay:
"Reading Brian McLaren’s book, A Generous Orthodoxy, I thought for a moment Hank Kimball had become a theologian. The subtitle gives more than a slight hint as to why it reads like this:
'Why I am a missional + evangelical + post/protestant + liberal/conservative + mystical/poetic + biblical + charismatic/contemplative + fundamentalist/Calvinist + Anabaptist/Anglican + Methodist + catholic + green +
incarnational + depressed-yet-hopeful + emergent + unfinished Christian.' If this confuses you, welcome to
'post-modern' Christianity in the age of despair."
"This beginning workbook for Renovaré Spiritual Formation Groups features guidelines for starting a group, study plans for the first nine sessions, and a questionnaire that helps map the way ahead. Based upon
six major dimensions of the spiritual life found in the life of Christ and Christian tradition: Contemplative: The Prayer-Filled Life; Holiness: The Virtuous Life ; Charismatic: The Spirit-Empowered Life; Social Justice: The Compassionate Life; Evangelical: The Word-Centered Life; and
Incarnational: The Sacramental Life, this workbook program provides all the necessary ingredients to start and maintain a Spiritual Formation Group.
RENOVARÉ - The Journey (Common Disciplines):
Incarnational: The Sacramental Life.
By God's grace, I will joyfully seek to show forth the presence of God in all that I say, in all that I do, in all that I am.
Questions of Examen:
In what ways have you been able to manifest the presence of God through your daily work since our last meeting?"
Jesuit Conference: Society of Jesus --WITH CHRIST ON MISSION:
"Section III. INCARNATIONAL SPIRITUALITY.... Love of God our Lord as Chief Bond in the Society.... Now there are varieties of gifts, but the same Spirit; and there are varieties of services, but the same Lord; and there are varieties of activities, but it is the same God who
activates all of them in everyone.
"...the chief bond to
cement the union of the members among themselves and with their head is the love of God our Lord. For when the superior and the subjects are closely united to his Divine and Supreme Goodness, they will very easily be united among themselves,
through that same love which will descend from the Divine Goodness and
spread to all other persons, and particularly to the body of the Society.... Consequently there will be also total
contempt of temporal things...."
GATEWAY RESTORATION NETWORK -- Christian Community Development
Theology of Ministry - by Dr. Wayne L. Gordon:
"Relocation: Living Among the People.
Living out the gospel means desiring for one's neighbor and neighbor's family that which one desires for one's self and family. Living out the gospel means bettering the quality of other people's lives spiritually, physically, socially, and emotionally as one betters one's own. Living out the gospel means sharing in the suffering and pain of others.
How did Jesus love? 'The Word became flesh and dwelt among us, and we beheld His glory as of the only begotten from the Father, full of grace and truth.' (Jn 1:14)
Jesus relocated. He became one of us. ... A key phrase to understand
relocation is incarnational ministry." ("from:
House Church Basics -- Pt. 3: Missional Church
One of the hallmarks of the house church movement is that it seeks to be what the church, in fact, is: missional. Jesus went everywhere proclaiming and demonstrating the reality, love, and power of the Kingdom (healing the brokenhearted, setting captives free, proclaiming God’s acceptance, etc.) The church (the people of God) goes and does the same.
This means that church, first of all, needs to transition from being a “come and see” place to a “go and be with the lost” movement.
Celtic Prayer Retreat -- Celtic Christianity at a Glance:
"What distinguished Celtic Christian faith was that it emphasized the importance
of calling people to a vital personal faith in Jesus Christ that impacted every
area of life. Their faith was emphatically Trinitarian in nature... It was also incarnational and Jesus was intimately known as
'God with us'. There was also a strong connection to creation and the knowledge that because all that is created comes from a loving and generous God, all aspects of creation can be God’s means of revelation and testimony."
3 Million Voices:
"3 Million Voices seeks to mobilize an “army” of faith-filled Christians, of all ages, to live a lifestyle of Prayer – Care – Share directing our efforts collectively toward an end of AIDS; and as such serve as a discipleship model for
incarnational living. Those who commit to join 3 Million Voices are encouraged to sign the Declaration of Commitment indicating your intention to a lifestyle of Prayer - Care -Share to end AIDS."
(Check links below) "Besides the primary networks of World Evangelical Fellowship Missions Commission (www.worldevangelical.org/missions.htm), Lausanne Committee for World Evangelization (www.lausanne.org) and the AD2000 & Beyond Movement (www.ad2000.org) which began this process, GCGR will bring together many other networks and ministries which share these values:
+ mobilizing the whole church to take the whole gospel to the whole world in the holistic, incarnational and transformative manner described in the Lausanne Covenant (www.gospelcom.net/lcwe/covenant.html)."