Abductive Columns

Thursday, November 09, 2006

New Wineskins

In Jesus day wineskins were made of leather. Fill an old, dried out skin with new wine, and it will burst as the fresh beverage ferments. There is fresh ferment in the 21st century church, causing new wine to spill out as old church structures fail.

What is “church structure?” We think of buildings and denominations, but church structure also means forms and patterns the churches uses to carry out its mission in the world. If these structures are not made of goatskin or bricks or committees or worship teams, then what are they made of? Where do we find the best material for new wineskins?

3 Comments:

At 12:35 AM, Anonymous Steve said...

In the 60's, the liberal church used the same wineskin illustration. In the 70's the Jesus People used it. In the 80's and 90's the church growth movement used it.

The illustration is valid, but mainline folks have used it, and so have cults.

What is the difference between something new and of God and something just new?

 
At 8:50 AM, Blogger Cindy said...

"What is the difference between something new and of God and something just new?"

Steve, I think that's the essence of Fred's question- which is essentiallly the big question faced by the post-modern church today. What is it that makes the difference between a superficial change and a paradigm change. It's turned out to be a much harder question than most of us thought it was. Things we thought in the beginning were evidence of "new wineskins" turned out to be the same old skins, perhaps with a little new color put on the outside. The material for the new wineskins has to come from christ. Is it even possible to know the difference between a superficial change and a through and through change until the new has been tested for years? 10- maybe even 5 years ago I would have said yes. I'm now afraid the answer may be no.

 
At 11:25 PM, Anonymous Steve said...

I wholeheartedly agree, it is hard to know.

 

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