Renovation is a great book and like “The Divine Conspiracy” I’m finding it so rich that I’ll probably read this book for the rest of my life. I’m in chapter 5 now and I’m still mulling over some concepts introduced in the preface of the book! Here are some of my preliminary thoughts (I’ll quote Dallas in italics),
I love the metaphor of a window into a different world, the “kingdom among us” that Dallas uses, it reminds me of the chronicles of Narnia! He says,
“It is a divine world and a divine life. It is life in the “kingdom of the heavens.” Yet it is a world and a life that ordinary people have entered and are entering even now. It is a world that seems open to us and beckons us to enter. We feel its call.” (p9)
The fact that the kingdom manifests itself in the ordinary events of our days and times fascinate me; for so many years I relegated God to “church activities” or “spiritual activities” and discounted the ordinary things as conduits of Grace. I guess I lived with closed eyes … The kingdom message that Dallas preaches, especially the fact that it’s not a realm relegated to the life after this one, offers so many practical ways in which we can realize our faith NOW. The only thing we have to do is open our eyes, and show our congregations what’s already there.
It also opens spiritual formation for everyone and shatters the notion that it’s only for the monastic and the contemplative person. Just the other day I asked people to write the rhythms down that they would consider “spiritual” and able to connect them with God. Not one person in a group of twenty wrote down “work”. It’s a classic example of how compartmentalized we’ve preached and lived the gospel!