How then can we turn from a consumerist church to become a race-less and class-less church? This practical question drives chp 6 of Paul Metzger’s Consuming Jesus. There has been lots of theology and lots of abstraction so far, and in this chp he gets down closer to some brass tacks of reality.
The next book I will begin working through is Robert Webber’s last book, The Divine Embrace. Sorry for this late notice, but I will begin Webber’s book Monday.
What do you think of Metzger’s five proposals given below?
Metzger contends that the consumerist church is divisive — churches from members, churches from churches, churches from diversity. He proposes a “communal and co-missional model” (136). And he proposes “relocation” though he seems to mean by this a “permeability between churches” rather than everyone moving into the inner city.
His operative word in this chapter is redistribution. And he makes five proposals:
1. Redistributing need: the haughtiness of give-only needs to give way to a give and receive model, where there is mutual exchange between all churches as they minister to one another. Including poorer groups ministering to wealthier groups.
2. Redistributing blame: we are all complicit in the racism and classism of the church.
3. Redistributing resources, talents and good: We should make all we can, save all we can and give all we can (using John Wesley’s famouis expression).
4. Redistributing ownership: taking ownership together and keeping the money inside a community. Here his focus is on community building.
5. Redistributing glory: the glory is God’s, not our local church’s.