Sunday, October 21, 2007

Preparing to Tackle an Elephant

Next week Dave wraps up the 4ward series at church. After that, I'll teach two weekends in a row on the topic of generosity. We are going to call the series "Tackling the Elephant." The idea is that the reality of the Kingdom Among Us leads us to live a radically generous life. Most of us aren't radically generous though. (That's the '"elephant in the room.") There are a myriad of reasons why, but a major reason is that we simply don't talk about personal and communal economic issues much as a people.

I have been diving into the economy of God in the Levitical Law and the rest of the OT. There is an economic reality on every page of Scripture. We can't really say we are into Yahweh without wrestling with the fact that he is an economic God.

Of course, after we try to get our heads around God's desire for the economy of Israel manifest in revolutionary ideas like kinsman redeemer, jubilee, land sabbath, gleaning margins for the poor, tithing, sacrifices, provisions for aliens and widows, and restrictions on hording food, personal debt and the amount of time worked each week - after we think through that - we come to Jesus who takes it all and re-revolutionizes God's economy. The Kingdom coming brings a new theo-socio-politico-economic community. The economy of Israel is redeemed and fulfilled in Jesus, the Kigdom and the new community (church).

Most of us who follow Jesus in post-modern America have a lot of catching up to do. Cultural Christianity tends to teach on "giving" primarily as a way to raise funds for ministry programs, which is probably part of why we should give, but only part...and probably not the main motivation. I've spent the last few weeks immersed in this stuff and hope to find my way out in 13 days when I will be charged with teaching these things to my community. It feels like I am swimming in an ocean of information searching for the right bucketful to share with others.

All that and I hope to make a video with a live elephant. My job is interesting if nothing else.

1 comment:

Gotta_smile said...

I'm looking forward to your message, Joe. Let the word of God speak through you, we need it. Besides, you really have nothing to lose after you told us all to "Go to Hell". The way I see it, we're going to need the funds to get in there and do the things we are called to do.

***If you missed Joe's message on the Gates of Hell, download it at

Look for:
October 7, 2007 4WARD: Becoming a Luke 4 Community: Outward Focused Joe Boyd