The Church in Exile? Maybe Not!

There is a great piece by Kate Harrison Brennan on No Place for Exile: How Christians Should (Not) Make Sense of their Place in the World.

She argues that:

Christians, however, cannot return to God’s true vocation by re-claiming the position of exile, or by re-claiming the powerful position of Jerusalem (a point made by John Dickson). Instead, we can and must mirror, as Bretherton suggests, the theo-logic of Jeremiah 29 by following the way of the cross. It is in that journey into exile, we find the beginning of new life and new hope. The way of the cross provides the most comprehensive of challenges to those who hold up the retrograde option of dwelling in exile. It challenges the exilic option as the way to maintain purity in community practices in the face of what is described as general moral degradation in society. It also challenges the assertion that exile is the only option left in the context of radical pluralism when there are real (or perceived) challenges to Christian identity and practice. As Christians, we do not remain in exile. We have to be on the move. Jesus did not give us the option of dwelling in self-imposed exile. We follow Jesus and the journey continues in the way of the cross: we make an offer and invitation to wider humanity to join the journey with us through prayer and service (see Brueggemann’s Journey to the Common Good). In this way, we participate in God’s blessing of society.

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