Thursday 28 July 2011

Paul Beasley-Murray on Salty Christians

Paul Beasley-Murray, ‘Salty Christians’, Ministry Today 3 (1995).

Okay, I think the title might make a bit too much of the reference in Matthew 5:13, but this is a terrific article (from a paper first presented to a Baptist Assembly Seminar at Bridlington, on 27 April 1994) which resonates with many of our concerns at the London Institute for Contemporary Christianity.

Beasley-Murray lists some of the ways we keep the salt in the salt cellar, essentially keeping people in the religious ghetto of the church – by our preaching, our teaching on stewarship, the activities we lay on and expect people to attend, our concept of mission, and because the ‘close identification of many a ministerial ego with many a church has created a psychological need to emphasise the church over the kingdom’.

Then, more positively, he writes about ‘mobilising salty Christians’ – through preaching and teaching, in the leading of public worship, in decision-making meetings, in Bible studies, in support groups for particular occupational groups, in running a stewardship campaign with a difference, in running church membership classes differently, and in giving people time to live in the real world.

Lots and lots of practical wisdom, much of which still bears repeating.

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