Sabbatum Excerpt: William H. Willimon on Church in the Culture


“Though Christianity has not been fully disestablished in our culture, it is rapidly losing its once privileged place. Therefore, we pastors are forced to develop a new paradigm for our work. The most appropriate paradigm… has its roots within the apostolic church – the paradigm we see embodied in the Acts of the Apostles where the church is moving into the world, constantly interacting with the world, but always with a consciousness of its radical distinction from the world. In Acts, the church is clearly moving west, toward Rome. But it moves toward Rome with a massive educational effort. Rather than educating Christians to adapt to the world, the church sought to adapt the world to the church, to convert the world rather than to be subverted by the world…. this is the age in which we now live.”[1]

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[1] William H. Willmon, “The Pastor as Teacher: Christian Formation,” Pastor: The Theology and Practice of Ordained Ministry (Nashville: Abingdon Press, 2002), 207. Print.

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