Thursday, July 29, 2010

Whose body is it

In Alan Hirsch's book The Forgotten Ways he talks on p. 198 about the body of Christ. It's a subtle little difference he's pointing out, but I think it's an important one. He quotes Peter Ward: "...for to say that the body of Christ is the church is not the same as saying that the church is the body of Christ."

See, sometimes I think we want to do church our way and claim Christ is joining us or is found in what we're doing. But it's much more about us joining him. Subtle yet powerful distinction.

As Hirsch says, "When we say that the church is the body of Christ, it claims a certain authority for a particular expression of church. To say that the body of Christ is the church is to open up possibilities as to how it might physically and organizationally express itself. The body can express itself in many different ways and forms."

As he also says, "The reality of the church is to be found only 'in Christ.' Christ is our origin and our truth. To be a Christian is to be joined to Christ and to be joined to Christ is to be joined to his church."

Good stuff.