“What if the life-giving Spirit is saying to us that nothing has gone wrong but that he is breaking apart the five-hundred-year-old boxes in which we have so conveniently placed the movement of God since the European Protestant reformations? What if the period we are in is another one of those times when the boundary-breaking Spirit is pushing apart the settled, managed, and controlled ecclesiologies that came out of a specific period of European history with its nation-states and the emergence of its hegemony over the world? What if the great shifts of global populations, which have changed the face of continents, are all elements of this boundary-breaking work of the Spirit in our time? In the midst of these shifting worlds, what if the ending of the ecclesiological monologue is another part of this boundary-breaking work? Nothing has gone wrong! The God of Jesus Christ is still shaping the new creation. What then do we do when the Spirit breaks boundaries?” – Alan J. Roxburgh, Missional: Joining God in the Neighborhood, p. 114
I’m inclined to answer this question by stating that I do believe that the Holy Spirit is breaking new boundaries and that the Spirit is at work. I’m also inclined to agree that God is in control and nothing has gone wrong in the sense that God is sovereign and is carrying out His ultimate plans to fulfill His ultimate goals.
I also think that the boundaries that are related to both our cultures and our ecclesologies will die very slowly for some, and quickly for others. Tradition has a funny way of playing a larger role in forming our thinking and practices than we care to admit.
But I absolutely love the concept of the Spirit ending the “ecclesiological monologue” that is found in many of our churches. Break that wall down! Flow through the Church and create a discussion that builds into thunderous adoration and focus on Christ!
Luke is a pastor-theologian living in northern California, serving as a co-lead pastor with his life, Dawn, at the Red Bluff Vineyard. Father of five amazing kids, when Luke isn’t hanging with his family, reading or writing theology, he moonlights as a fly fishing guide for Confluence Outfitters. He blogs regularly at LukeGeraty.com and regularly contributes to his YouTube channel.