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Close Encounters of the Kingdom Kind

• Adam Dyer, Greg Boyd

Greg interviews Adam Dyer, pastor of Yeovil Community Church in England and the Director of Jesus Collective. Through the conversation, we learn about practical ways God is working through his people when Jesus is placed at the center.

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During their conversation, Adam and Greg talk about a variety of topics. The first pertains to the death of Christendom, which could be described as a culture in which the Christian narrative is inherited because it is woven through the dominating power structures. However, we live in a time that is accelerating toward post-Christendom. Adam proposes that this is actually a good thing, that it provides space for people to embrace an authentic faith, instead of simply acquiescing to the common shared trend of the larger culture. He then shares how this new space actually opens up conversations with people who are not Christians because they see what their church is doing. This is based in his experience of finding that people do not want to hear what the church has to say, but they are open to talking about what the church is doing in service to others.

Adam and Greg talk about the alternative version of power that Jesus offers the world. The people of Jesus’ culture expected a leader to come and rule, as did all other rulers. But instead God comes and reverses things and loves his enemies. Adam examines the passages where Jesus says that we can move mountains, that we can pray for others, and we can forgive others, and he shows these are about the removal of religion that is based in power. He says that God’s power is power dispersed, not power that is accumulated.

They also talk about the experience of polarization within the culture and within the church. Adam shares how most people are equally exclusive; they include the same number of people, because they exclude all others who do not share their views. To be Jesus centered means that we are broadening the space to include all, sharing life with others who see things in differing ways. He says that a polarized church has nothing to say to a polarized world. Therefore, if we are going to bring the gospel of Jesus we must offer a life that stands in contrast.

Adam and Greg’s conversation closes with a dialogue about hope and the fact that we live in a time where many feel hopeless. Adam proposes that hope is the contrast to poverty. Poverty is the experience that roots people in the immediate, that whatever struggle you are facing is perpetual. Hope is the antidote to poverty, because we catch a vision that things can change.

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Topics: Community, Conflict, Power

Sermon Series: Unraveling Truth

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