tch-logo.pngSession: Things that make (Steve Timmis) go 'Hmmmm…'

The first thing that makes Mr. Timmis go hmmm is the fascination with new ways of 'doing church'.   It doesn't take much to see a number of new books, blogs and conferences speak to the changing nature of the church.  (In fact, it's a subject I've posted on many times.)  Timmis quoted J.C. Hoekendijk, a Dutch theologian.  In Hoekendijk’s view, a keen ecclesiological interest was generally a sign of spiritual decadence.

"Our God is not a temple dweller. In the strict sense of the word he is not even a church god. He advances through time; ever again he lets the new conquer the old. He is not a God of the 'status quo,' but rather the Lord of the future, the King of the history of the world, and, as such, also Head of the church…We must maintain the right order in our thinking and speaking about the church. That order is God-World-Church, not God-Church-World" (J.C. Hoekendijk). 

Much of what Timmis sees in the contemporary fascination with ecclesiology is an obsession with the church itself.  Timmis warned that the emerging church, can in it's restoration attempt end up recovering the form of church rather than the heart.  As they lead the Crowded House (a house church movement) they see the nature of what they are doing as a gospel initiative not an ecclesiological experiment.  Timmis states, "Any non-gospel initiative is an exercise in self-indulgence."

Reflection: How is the nature of your church a gospel initiative?