Incarnational Theology for the Church in a Pagan Environment (Or How Jesus Changes Everything)
I. A CLASH with CULTURE (8:1; 10:20; Acts 18)
A. An IDOLATRY SATURATED Environment
B. RESIST or Take PART (8:4,7)
C. Practicing MONOTHEISM in a PAGAN World
II. Finding a THIRD Way (8:8; 10:31; 12:31b)
A. REMIXING an ANCIENT Prayer (8:4-6, Deut. 6:4, Matt. 22:36-40)
B. A COMMUNITY Defined by LOVE (8:7-13, John 13:35)
C. A FREEDOM Defined by the CROSS (9:1-27, Phil. 2:5-8)
III. ASKING the RIGHT Questions
A. Not “How do I RESPOND to culture?” but “How does Jesus TRANSFORM me?” (8:9-13; 10:16-17)
B. Not “How FAR can I go?” but “How LOW can I go?” (10:23-24; Eph. 5:21)
C. Not “WHAT do I know?” but “WHO do I love?” (8:1-3; 1 John 2:3-6)
Questions for Further Reflection:
1. Kid’s Question: Have you ever felt like you were right about something but had to obeyanyway? Why did you obey? Was it out of love, respect, or because you had to?
2. In what ways do you think our culture is at odds with the Gospel?
3. What has been your response to “the culture wars”? Are you a hider, a fighter, or aconformer? How does Paul’s approach in this passage call you to another way?
4. What do you find to be the hardest thing about being a believer living in North America in the 21st century?
5. What do you make of Paul “remixing” the Shema? How does including Jesus in the Story of God and His people change everything?
6. What would it look like to be a community defined by love? How might our church look different if love were our defining feature?
7. How do you define freedom? How does it differ from the freedom that Paul describes in chapter 9?
8. Of the 3 changed questions Jake lists at the end which one will you emphasize in the coming week?