The writer of this chapter, Howard A.Snyder, is a Free Methodist pastor and Wesleyan Theological professor.
He has authored eighteen books. His interest in church and renewal has been the focus of his career.
Five portions of Scriptures help us to understand the biblical image of the church.
- John 15:18-19 In the world not of it
- Romans 12: 2 conformed to Christ not the world
- Luke 12: 29-32 the flock of the kingdom
- John 17:18 sent into the world
- Revelations 21:23-27 the glory of the nations
Snyder believes the church must be a kingdom community. If the church is not at odds with the world it’s alligence to Jesus is suspect. The church is not merely a religion organization but people of God, community of the Spirit and the Kingdom of Jesus Christ, our Sovereign Lord.
While studying this I thought of the difference between disciplineship and believer. Disciplineship = desire, discernment, decision making, discipline, dwelling in the Word and dependence on the Holy Spirit. While a believer =professes faith but doesn’t include the action that disciplineship has. Counterculture of our time seems to be the disciplineship vs. Believer. The Sunday church attendees vs. the food kitchen volunteers. The big church building vs. homeless sleeping in the streets.
To better understand the author I read parts of two books by Snyder.
- Homosexuality and the Church:Guidance for Community Conversation published 1984 during the Aids crisis
- The Problem with Wineskins:Church Structure In Technological AgeIt is hard to escape the conclusion that today one of the greatest roadblocks to the gospel of Jesus Christ is the institutional church. “new wine must be put into fresh wineskins. ” The old Judaism could not contain the new wine of the gospel of Christ. Which raises the question – is it time to burst the old wineskins of the present church to allow the freshness and newness of the WayShower to come again.