The #ReimagineFORUM @ Discipleship.Network

Equipping Your Reimagine Journey

#ReimagineSCRIPTURE... Text + Context + Pretext!
Phil Miglioratti
Note:
In order to reimagine disciple-making, evangelism, prayer, justice, Church,
we are driven back to and into Holy Scripture.
In order to reimagine disciple-making, evangelism, prayer, justice, Church,
we must read and respond rightly to the text, the context, and even our pretext.
• • •
If we are going to seriously pursue an obedient response to Romans 12​:2​ to “be transformed by the renewing of our minds,“ then we will have to do this on a corporate, not​ merely personal level.
For too long, disciple-making has focused solely on individuals learning what the Bible teaches; salvation history (older testament chronicles, new testament gospels), declaration prophecy (major and minor prophets), worshipful poetry (Psalms, Song of Songs), practical theology (epistles). Even in an all-the-church gathering, preaching and prayers target individual response to scriptural admonitions. And there is nothing wrong in that. Except what it fails to address.
 
The Church must begin afresh to apply the admonition of Romans 12:2 to the corporate obedience of the gathered community. Leadership must also have a disciple making strategy for the various ministries of the congregation. A reviewing and revising of every ​small group, age-focused activity, missional initiative by the renewing of our minds;  a true reset of how we think about the purpose and plan of every component of church life.

Renewing our minds does not mean reimagining from our own imaginations. It means pursuing a ​​Spirit​-led, ​Scripture​-​fed assessment of every division and department​,​ system and structure of how ​t​h​is expression of the Body of Christ is organized​ and operational​.
  • ​Worship
  • Fellowship
  • Discipleship
  • Leadership
  • Stewardship
  • Citizenship​

In order to see how God might  us to  re-shap e the church, we must  re -e xamine (for many the first time)   how to fellowship with God in praise and prayer, how to grow in discipleship with Christ as we live-out the truths and teachings of scripture together in service, how to grow in leadership and stewardship by serving through our spiritual giifting and calling, 

This  reimagine-Scripture assessment requires three  difficult disciplines.

  1. First, o​u​r foundation ​mu​st always be the​ biblical​ text​.
    • Our mind must be refreshed and renewed by the Holy Spirit's guidance through Holy Scripture
    • ​Read it. Pray it. Discuss to discern it.
    • Repeat. ​
  2. Secondly, our focus must ​discern the​ context​.​
    • ​Interpret the scripture passage (word, phrase, verse, story) with an understanding of the biblical context
      • Translation: what does it say?
    • ​Research both biblical context​ of the text and the sociological context of that time *who, what, where, when, why?)
      • Instruction:  what is the author's original purpose of this content?
      • Application: what was the author's hoped-for outcome, action-step? 
        • Remember and Return?
        •  Repent (change direction: "do not be conformed; be transformed")?
  3. Thirdly, our framework must consider​ how our current perspective acts as a pretext.​.
    • The application/implementation process must be based on the text but is always lived-out in our context.
      • Our current vantage point of both personal needs and societal issues; these trials and troubles invariably influence our thinking (and even our translating).
      • Are we safe and secure or hungry and in danger (personal, neighborhood)? Are we represented in the corridors of power? Are we majority or minority?
    • Become aware of the ideas that have influenced your worldview.
      • Everyone ​has a distinct worldview​ that shapes  how they think, perceive, react to the world and in their surroundings.
      • This impacts our understanding of truth, application of our values, and implementation of our resources and activities.
      • "A worldview is a collection of attitudes, values, stories and expectations about the world around us, which inform our every thought and action​...and is expressed in ethics, religion, philosophy, scientific beliefs and so on (Sire, 2004). A worldview is how a culture works out in individual practice." (Dictionary)
      • ​Assess how your collection of traditions, ​experiences​, preferences, presuppositions,, ​even political leanings​,​ influence (or infect) your​ operating system.​ 
        • Then assess how your worldview informs how you reimagine-Scripture; translating, interpreting, applying.
      • Doctrine is not a worldview but ​biblical ​truths and teachings must inform and influence every component of our personal perspective (ideology-framework, mind-set, value-system, culture-code)​.​
    • Re​cognize​ how your world and your worldview ​are at work ​when you chart the course of your journey of ​reading-researching-studying-​living out the Word of God.​

I have sought your face with all my heart;

    be gracious to me according to your promise.

I have considered my ways

    and have turned my steps to your statutes.

I will hasten and not delay

    to obey your commands   ​   ​   Psalm 119:58-60 

 
Th​e sacred writings​...​are able to make you wise for salvation through faith in Christ Jesus.​ ​
Everything in the Scriptures is God’s Word. 
All of it is useful for teaching and helping people and for correcting them and showing them how to live. 
The Scriptures train God’s servants to do all kinds of good deeds. ​​            ​          2 Timothy 3:15-17 ESV/CEV

ACTION-IDEA

  • ​Read this text. Review additional translations. Write your own paraphrase
  • Romans 12:2:  Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God's will is--his good, pleasing and perfect will.  NIV
  • Do not be shaped by this world; instead be changed within by a new way of thinking. Then you will be able to decide what God wants for you; you will know what is good and pleasing to him and what is perfect.  CEV​
  • And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, so that you may prove what the will of God is, that which is good and acceptable and perfect. NASB
  • Do not be conformed to this age, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, so that you may discern what is the good, pleasing, and perfect will of God.  CSB
  • Don’t copy the behavior and customs of this world, but be a new and different person with a fresh newness in all you do and think. Then you will learn from your own experience how his ways will really satisfy you.  TLB
  • Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect.​ ESV​
  • Don’t let the world around you squeeze you into its own mould, but let God re-mould your minds from within, so that you may prove in practice that the plan of God for you is good, meets all his demands and moves towards the goal of true maturity. JBP

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A major motivation in writing this commentary is the need for the Church to make disciples who know how to "read" the Bible.

It has been my observation many who believe it to be the the inspired, inerrant, infallible, Word of God unknowingly assume their reading of Holy Scripture is also inspired, inerrant, infallible.

The point of the article above is to remind us that:

  • The original inspiration of scripture is confined to the original autographs. The text we read to day is VERY close but it is not the original parchment (or tablet!).
    • "God has transmitted his very substance into every Scripture, for it is God-breathed. It will empower you by its instruction and correction, giving you the strength to take the right direction and lead you deeper into the path of godliness."   2 Timothy 3:16
  • We must approach scripture interpretation and personal/corporate application with a humble reliance upon the leading of the Holy Spirit.
    • Our presuppositions-preferences-prejudices combine to give each of us a distinct perception that influences how we interpret and then how we apply what we read.

We can trust the Holy Spirit to give us a trustworthy understanding of Holy Scripture but only as we yield and listen to the Spirit's voice, often through other voices in the Body of Christ.

Read. Humbly.

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