Jonathan Parnell: The Church on the Fringe

The Church on the Fringes

December 15, 2014 

The Church on the Fringes

The church is a community of Christians living as the on-the-ground expression of the supremacy of Jesus by advancing his gospel in distance and depth. As theon-the-ground expression, and since gospel advance happens in distance, the local nature of the church is indispensable. The church is the place — the here and now — of Jesus’s new creation reign in an old creation world.

As the assembly of those made new in Christ, we come together in space and time, and we make Jesus known in those blessed limitations. Advancing the gospel in distance means we cross the street, and the oceans, to tell others the good news. It means we go out there into the darkness with the light of God’s love.

Far As the Curse Is Found

But we also remember that out there isn’t the only darkness. If we know our own hearts, we know it gets dark in here, too. So not only must the gospel advance in distance, it must also advance in depth. Jesus came to make his blessings flow “far as the curse is found,” and that means both the curse out there among the highways and hedges of this world, and the curse in here among the nooks and crannies of our soul.

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