Plenary 2: Being Human, Becoming Christian: An Embodied Reconciliation Of Heaven And Earth

Speakers: Alan Hirsch, Cherith Fee Nordling, Deb Hirsch, Tory Baucum

Is this life all there is as far as our humanity goes? What would it mean to receive the Christian hope of salvation as “for the body” as opposed to merely “from the body?” As we think about and participate in the story of God’s involvement with the world from creation to new creation, how might this transfigure our bodily enactment of God’s future in our present relationships?

As the North American Church seeks to participate as fully and faithfully as possible in God’s mission in the world, questions about the nature of humanity, sexuality, and desire are among those at the forefront of our minds and conversations.

Entire denominations are splitting, local churches are being divided, new books are flooding the market, and the witness of Christ in and through his people is under fire in the public arena. All of this compels us to come together to engage in critical dialogue and ask fresh questions with an openness to the Holy Spirit.

This starts with a return to Scripture – asking how our imagination for mission might be renewed if we start with original design (Gen. 1-2) and not original sin (Gen. 3), and look forward to the completion of that design in Jesus, the true image of God and ‘New Adam’ who presently embodies our human destiny. With an unwavering eye on our human destiny in Christ, we are enabled to discover what it means to become more human as well as more godly and to better see others as God does, with affection and not alarm.

Humanity, sexuality, and desire are all good gifts of God, designed to be enjoyed now and perfected in eternity. What we are after then, are the theologically rich and ethically radical implications of living within the reality of God’s now-and-coming Kingdom that enable us to enjoy these gifts most fully, both now and forever.

Download the PowerPoint for this Plenary here.

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