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The Global Church Engaging the Nature of Sin

and the Human Condition

Reflecting, Reinforcing, Sustaining, or Transforming 

 

Chapter 10     The Integrity of the Globalizing Church

 

Sections

 

Who and What Converge in the Global Church

The Heart of Its Global Theology

The Heart of Its Global Practice

The Globalizing Church Celebrating in a Fragmenting World

Ch 1

Ch 2

Ch 3

Ch 4

Ch 5

Ch 6

Ch 7

Ch 8

Ch 9

Ch 10 

Printable pdf

of entire study

Table of Contents

Scripture Index

Bibliography

 

 

I, therefore…beg you to live the life worthy of Christ’s calling…

making every practice to maintain the oneness of the Spirit in the bond of wholeness.

There is the whole body and the whole Spirit, just as you were called

to the whole hope of your calling, the whole Lord, whole faith, whole baptism,

the whole God and Father of all, who is above all and through all and in the whole.

Ephesians 4:1-5

 

Leaders to equip the saints…until all of us come to the oneness of the faith

and of the relational knowledge of the Son of God,

to maturity, to the measure of the full stature of Christ in wholeness.

Ephesians 4:12-13

 

 

 

            So, “Where are you today?” “What are you doing here in the globalizing world?” And how is the contemporary global church engaging the nature of sin and the human condition?

Globalization certainly involves more than an economic movement and encompasses political, cultural, technological and ecological processes. The church lives within this globalizing world and has been itself undergoing further globalization. Yet, the modern globalizing of the church has raised issues about the true globalness of the church’s identity and its theology and practice.

            While advocating for a global Christian family, Todd Johnson also makes a case for a global Christian identity:

Increasing contact between Christians around the world sparks reflection on identity. Christians see ways in which they differ (ethnicity, language, denomination) as well as ways in which they are the same (practice, core theology, creeds). When we adopt a common global identity, we begin to tear down cultural divisions and work toward reconciliation.[1]

 

At the same time, Johnson states that Christian identity is a dual identity:

 

     The Christian life is lived out both locally and globally. It is obvious that Christians live in a particular city in a particular country, speak a particular language, and belong to a particular denomination or network (or none at all). But, at the same time, all Christians are tied together by a common faith, by a common commitment to one Lord and Savior.[2]

 

In its practice, Johnson defines what a global Christian family is not:

·       It is not simply the sum of the thousands of local expressions of Christianity.

 

·       It is not created by stirring old forms of Christianity into a melting pot; it represents something new over and above previously existing forms of Christianity.

 

·       It is not a mosaic, since that metaphor conveys a picture of neatly juxtaposed and unchanging cultural forms of Christianity. Instead, differences are fluid and are caught up in ever-shifting global interactions.

 

·       It is not an alien global force suppressing difference; our shared experiences can be anyone’s authentic Christian experience.

 

·       It is not the opposite of diversity; rather, it harmonizes diversity. Far from hovering abstractly above the planet, our global Christian family is a place where we all meet.[3]

In terms of the globalness of the church’s theology, Tite Tiénou raises this question:

Why has Christian scholarship paid so little attention to the “majority of Christians”? Is it because few Christian scholars, even theologians, agree with Andrew Walls that “the future of the Christian faith, its shape in the twenty-first and twenty-second centuries, is being decided by events which are now taking place in Africa, in Asia, and Latin America, or which will do so in the near future”? What would happen to Christian scholarship and theology if all Christian scholars and theologians (from Northern as well as Southern continents) really believed that the future of Christianity no longer depends on developments in the North?[4]

 

Tiénou’s response includes:

     The full participation of theologians and scholars from the new centers of the Christian faith presents a number of challenges. It may be useful, therefore, to review some of these challenges by asking the question, Why, to use Walls’s words, is “the rule of the palefaces untroubled” in Christian theology and scholarship? In my mind, “the rule of the paleface” continues because of the paradox observed by Kenyan theologian John Mbiti: “The Church has become kerygmatically universal, but is still theologically provincial.” Perhaps this paradox helps explain why relatively few people realize that the change in Christianity’s center of gravity “has not only statistical but theological implications as well” (Frostin). One may indeed acknowledge that the theological implications of this reality should lead to the development of Christian theologies from Africa, Asia, and Latin America (McGrath). Nonetheless, the theologies of the Western “province” of the church continue their dominance, even if today “Western theological leadership of a predominantly non-western church is an incongruity” (Walls).

     Christian theology and scholarship will remain provincial as long as some major challenges continue unaddressed. These include the following: The West’s “hegemony postulate” (Frostin), the West’s self-perception that it is “the center,” the perception of third world scholars as “purveyors of exotic, raw intellectual material to people in the North” (Kalilombe), and the “dialogue of the deaf” (Mazrui) between the West and the rest of the world.[5]

He concludes:

 

     Today, authentic Christian theologizing and provincialism are incompatible. We can, therefore, ill afford to continue on a path where we have colliding “arrogant regionalisms” (Quéau) in current world Christian theologizing. Let us move forward, then, in Christian theology as if we truly belong together. But how do we do so?[6]

            Tiénou and Johnson point out what exists and what is needed for the globalness of the church’s identity and its theology and practice. Yet, in their suggested steps to move forward, they also appear to stay within the limits and constraints of our human condition in the church—steps not without hope for change though perhaps not understanding the underlying issues that need redemptive change for the globalizing of the church. This integrity requires getting to the innermost of the church and to the heart of its persons and relationships in their primacy.

            The globalization of the church needs to be differentiated deeper than the majority shift from the West to the South, and it must be distinguished beyond the sum of its parts in both the South and the North as well as from any hybrid construction. When Jesus cleaned out his house to make it the dwelling in covenant relationship together for all nations, he illuminated the integral antecedent to the uncommon peace of Christ that would compose the church family of Christ for all persons, peoples and nations without their comparative distinctions, yet without losing their diversity. The unity that Paul begs for above is not expressed as a reminder in referential terms to maintain in church doctrine and to advocate in referential language by church leadership, both of which are without relational significance. Paul expresses in the depth of relational terms what Jesus transformed into Paul: the wholeness of Christ composing the whole of who, what and how the church is in its unity, oneness (henotes)—the oneness distinguished only by wholeness together and differentiated from anything less than whole relational terms. The primary identity of the church’s righteousness is Paul’s deep concern over any secondary identity of the church’s diversity (cf. Rom 14:17), the secondary practice of which must always be integrated into the primary of who, what and how the church and its persons and relationships are (cf. 14:18-20).

            The integrity of the church’s identity with its theology and practice is based on an ongoing dynamic determined by a globalizing process. This globalizing process of who, what and how the church is can move either in the direction beyond what exists in order to be complete and whole; or it can move in a narrowed-down direction within the limits and constraints of what exists for a partial (or provincial) identity or a broader identity with a sum of its global parts that does not add up to the whole—even if constructed by a hybrid composition. Another way to say “what exists” is the common practice for persons and relationships that prevail in the surrounding contexts (local, regional, global) of the church. Existing culture, for example, imposes limits and constraints on the church and its persons and relationships unless they go beyond this common prevailing—not necessarily rejecting all parts of that culture but making culture secondary and integrating it into the primary without redefining what’s primary to God and the church family of Christ.

            The globalizing process can engage the church either in the limits and constraints of the common, or in being redeemed beyond to the uncommon. The integrity of the church’s identity and its theology and practice depends on what direction it moves.

 

 

Who and What Converge in the Global Church

 

            As we have discussed in this study, who and what converge in the global church determine how the church and its persons and relationships will be. The pivotal issues for who and what converge in the church involves whether or not their primary source is composed by what exists, that is, composed by the commonization in the globalizing world. The church and its persons and relationships live in the common, and if their commonization is who and what converge in the church, and composes their theology and practice, there is incompatibility with the gospel and incongruity with its relational outcome.

            When the gospel was proclaimed by the early church, the gospel’s experiential truth was composed by the experiential reality that “You will not let your Holy One see decay” (Acts 2:27; 13:35, NIV). The uncommon One constitutes the whole gospel, and the gospel’s uncommon Source composes its relational outcome of his uncommon church family: “if the root is holy, then the branches also are holy” (Rom 11:16; Eph 2:21, cf. 1 Pet 2:9). Paul does not merely reference back to Jesus’ metaphor (Jn 15:1-8) but extends the depth of the integral relational connection between the church and its source—its relational Source and his church family, its uncommon relational Source and his uncommon church family, its whole and uncommon relational Source and his whole and uncommon church family. Who and what converge in the church and how their theology and practice are composed must be compatible with the uncommonness of the gospel of wholeness and congruent with its uncommon and whole relational outcome of the church and its persons and relationships in their primacy of wholeness.

            The integrity of globalizing the church rises with the uncommon Source to be distinguished beyond the common and clearly differentiated from the commonization of its churches, persons and relationships. The church’s global identity cannot go beyond what exists until it is distinguished by the uncommon One. Who, what and how the church and its persons and relationships are cannot be differentiated in their righteousness from inner out until they experience the reality of redemptive change rising with the uncommon One in wholeness. Therefore, the uncommonness of who and what converge in the church is the key for globalizing the church, and foremost who converges in the church must be the uncommon and whole of Jesus. In other words, not simply any Christology whatever its global source, but only complete Christology can account for the uncommon One.

If the whole and uncommon Jesus does not converge in the church, then the globalizing  process of the church moves in a different direction, and the gospel it claims is not the experiential truth of the whole gospel, thereby composing who and what converge both in commonization and with inequality. If the uncommon and whole Jesus does not converge in the church, then the globalizing process of the church revises the gospel’s relational outcome and follows a different theological trajectory from Jesus’ in its theology, and a different relational path from his in its practice. The theology and practice composing the integrity of who and what converge in the global church can only be distinguished by the uncommon and whole Jesus and will unfold in relational significance only with him in reciprocal relationship together by his uncommon whole relational terms. In this irreplaceable relational process, the whole and uncommon God embodies the heart of the church’s global theology and global practice.

 

The Heart of Its Global Theology

 

            The theological task challenging the global church is to transition from the dominance of Western theology to the prominence of global theology. This transition may appear to be easier for the South than the North, when in reality it will be a struggle for both to go deeper than how the theological task is conventionally engaged. If what converges in the church is to be of theological significance, the task cannot remain narrowed down to Western terms and the transition cannot simply be inclusive of as many theologies as are available (notably from the Majority World), and presume that the sum of those parts will be the whole composing global theology. That assumption continues to reinforce and sustain Western terms, which certainly have not had the theological significance of wholeness for the church (locally, regionally or globally) and its persons and relationships.

            The integrity of what converges in the church was crucial to Paul in his fight against anything less and any substitutes composing the church. As the person transformed by Jesus to integrate all the ages of persons, the diversity of all peoples and the differences of all nations into his whole and uncommon church family, Paul would neither reduce nor compromise who and what converged in the church just to be able to claim a global distinction for the church. He made imperative that what converges be contingent on the uncommon One, who converged to constitute the church integrally in the theological significance of the wholeness of Christ and in the relational significance of the word of Christ in uncommon whole relational terms (Col 3:15-16).

            For Paul, only the uncommon whole of Jesus is the measure (“rule”) to determine the theological significance of what converges in the church for its innermost to be whole. The uncommon whole of Jesus is the heart of the global church and complete Christology is the heart of its global theology. Yet, the uncommon whole of Jesus and complete Christology have been and continue to be problematic for the church and its persons and relationships. Certainly, Jesus is perceived in diverse ways by different people, some focused on certain aspects while others emphasizing different aspects.[7] The problem emerges when Jesus is limited to those aspects and the shape of Jesus is narrowed down from his whole person to those fragmentary parts—just as Paul addressed the problem “Has Christ been divided?” (1 Cor 1:13), which has shaped Western Christology. This is the underlying issue of contextualization of the gospel, which results in this incomplete Christology. No matter how many diverse Christologies converge in the global church, their sum does not compose the complete Christology that distinguishes the uncommon whole of Jesus’ theological trajectory and differentiates his relational path. Only this complete Christology composes the heart of global theology that goes deeper than any local and regional Christology and is beyond their cumulative understanding.

            The christological problem involves more than how Jesus is perceived and gets to the depth of how Jesus’ person is received in the uncommon whole relational terms by which he vulnerably shares his whole person with us in relationship—not by common referential terms that perceive Jesus dispensing information about him and God to compose our Christologies. That is, common to all persons, groups, peoples and nations is a shared human ontology and function that Jesus addresses to make relational connection with the primacy of our persons regardless of our secondary distinctions. Unless we in our primacy experience the reality of how Jesus is, we will not have the theological significance to compose the experiential truth of who and what Jesus is. This integral relational and theological process involves the perceptual-interpretive framework from our theological anthropology that composes the primacy of persons and relationships in whole ontology and function. When the uncommon whole of Jesus who converged in the church is whole-ly received in relationship only on his terms, the complete Christology of who converged will be the measure determining what converges in the church’s global theology deeper than local and regional theologies and takes it beyond its cumulative understanding (as Paul illuminated, Phil 4:7).

            The Christology we use will be the gospel we get, along with who and what converge in the church. The uncommon peace and equality of Christ composing complete Christology emerges from the gospel of wholeness and uncommon equality to unfold in the full soteriology of the ecclesiology of the whole, the complete theological significance of which converges in the global church. Foremost in who and what converge is the whole and uncommon God distinguished only by the Trinity, not by an overly christocentric Christology.[8] God’s whole relational response to the human condition emerged initially with the good news of covenant relationship together based on whole relational terms (tamiym, Gen 17:1-2); and God’s full response to our human condition was embodied by the whole Word and now brought to completion by the Spirit in the palpable Word. Jesus did not take credit for this relational response to our human condition because it vulnerably involved the whole and uncommon God, the Trinity, nothing less and no substitutes (e.g. Jn 12:44-45, 49-50). Accordingly, we should not highlight just Christ in our Christology, nor should we assume only Christ converged in the church (e.g. Jn 14:17,23; Eph 2:22). The wholeness of the Trinity and the equality of the trinitarian persons integrally distinguish the theological and relational significance of the good news of transformed relationships together. This involved not only the response by the whole and uncommon God but also required God’s whole response to the breadth and depth of the human condition, our human condition, and to the sin as reductionism—not sin just in ethical-moral terms, and further than honor-shame—prevailing in persons and relationships from the beginning.

            The dynamic relational process and ongoing relational outcome of the Trinity’s uncommon theological trajectory and whole relational path converge in the relational context composing the church to determine the integrity of who and what converge in the global church. It is in the Trinity’s likeness embodied in the face of Christ that the global church and all its persons, peoples, nations and relationships together are transformed new in their primacy of wholeness—not composed by their secondary parts and distinctions. Thus, the likeness of the whole ontology and function of the Trinity also composes the heart of our theological anthropology, which is indispensable for the integrity of who, what and how the church and its persons and relationships are in their primacy of wholeness and equality together. When this integral theology both whole and uncommon is the heart of the church’s global theology, its theological significance unfolds in the heart of the church’s global practice.

 

The Heart of Its Global Practice

 

            Since the whole of God and not merely part of God constituted the gospel of wholeness and uncommon equality, the relational outcome of who and what converge in the global church must also—by the nature of the Trinity’s wholeness and equality and not out of obligation or duty—be whole and not merely parts of the church and its persons and relationships. The experiential truth of nothing less than the whole and not just part of God’s presence, and the experiential reality of no substitutes for the whole of God’s involvement by engaging just secondary parts, integrally compose the heart of who and what converge in the church and are definitive for how the church and its persons and relationships are also to be present and involved in their practice. Anything less and any substitutes compromise the integrity of who, what and how they are in their primacy of wholeness, even with traditional and esteemed parts assumed to be indispensable.

            In order for mere parts of the church or of persons and relationships not to make assumptions about the primary focus and involvement of their function, their theological anthropology will need to have the significance in likeness of the whole ontology and function of the Trinity to ongoingly help them distinguish the primacy of persons and relationships and thereby differentiate primary practice from the secondary. Without this integral theological and relational process, in reciprocal relationship with the palpable Word, the integrity of who and what converges in the church is commonly compromised.

            The global church’s practice cannot be reduced to practice for persons and relationships prevailing in human contexts, nor can it be negotiated in its primacy with any common practices deemed important, if not necessary. These practices impose limits and constraints on the church and its persons and relationships that prevent them from global practice. The consequence is to engage in a narrowed-down practice that is either provincial or for the common good without wholeness; or it could be some hybrid of both, for example, which imposes a provincial template on those different for their conformity, or which reduces everyone from their primacy in order to be defined in their plurality (as in multiculturalism), which can only presume their integrity in wholeness and significance of equality.

            The gospel of wholeness and uncommon equality emerge directly from the wholeness and equality constituting the ontology and function of the Trinity, and therefore the gospel’s relational outcome unfolds in direct likeness of the Trinity’s wholeness and equality. Wholeness and equality are not mere ideals or just referential identity markers for the global church but rather the determining heart of the church family of Christ (just as Jesus prayed), from which emerges and unfolds the church’s global practice for the primacy of all its persons, peoples, nations and their relationships together. The church and its practice cannot be global unless they are composed in wholeness and with equality. Yet, what renders these to mere ideals or reference points is to view them from a narrowed-down lens of the common, which consigns them to the hereafter—contrary to the truth and reality of Jesus’ defining prayer for his global church family to be experienced today “so that the world may believe.”

            The uncommon globalizing of the church must be differentiated from the common globalizing world in order for the globalization of the church to be distinguished. What distinguishes the whole and uncommon God’s family in a globalizing world is the primacy given to persons and relationships in its purpose, priority and function—the practice of which is ongoingly subjected to commonization. The integrity for distinguishing the globalization of the church is defined and determined only by the wholeness and equality of the Trinity, who transformed the innermost of the church at the heart of its persons and relationships to their primacy of wholeness and equality. The integrity of wholeness and equality can only be composed in uncommon whole relational terms to differentiate the globalization of the new, uncommon, whole relational order of the church family in likeness of nothing less and no substitutes of its God.

            On this uncommon whole relational basis, the church is accountable to join with Jesus to clean out its fragmentation and inequality of persons and relationships to become the family dwelling for all persons, peoples and nations in their primacy. These are the experiential truth of who and the experiential reality of what converge at the heart of the church’s global practice. In this irreducible and nonnegotiable process of redemptive reconciliation, the global church increasingly builds—perhaps along with yet beyond the Habit for Humanity—‘Uncommon Dwellings for Humanity’ that will grow and mature the ages of all persons, the diversity of all peoples, the differences of all nations, and their relationships together in their primacy to be whole and equalized in the reduced ontology and function shared by all humanity.

            In the globalizing world, the globalization of the church both challenges the church’s presence to be vulnerable to the sounds and silence of the human condition, including our narrowed-down condition, and holds responsible the church’s involvement in relational response to the full spectrum of this condition evolving from the beginning. Listening foremost to persons in their consciousness and relationships, what the global church hears from the beginning are persons embedded in their outer-in distinctions and confined to relational distance, separation and brokenness (“were naked and covered up their persons with one another”). The common relational consequence that emerges throughout the full spectrum of this condition is the existing fact and prevailing reality of ‘relational orphans’, who also pervade the church needing to be made whole and equalized (cleaned out of its fragmentation and inequality) for its globalization as the family dwelling for humanity. Relational orphans are also who and what converge in the church, and they remain relational orphans until the church’s global practice gathers together all persons, peoples and nations in direct relational connection, equalized relational involvement and thereby intimate relational belonging in the whole and uncommon God’s whole and uncommon family.

 

            As the church and all its persons and relationships unfold in their global theology and practice based on uncommon whole relational terms, the integrity of globalization of the church is distinguished in its wholeness and equality in likeness of the Trinity’s wholeness and equality. The uncommonness of this relational outcome fulfills Jesus’ defining prayer for his church family both in their life together and extended to the world, in the present and sojourning together as family in uncommon whole relational terms into the future, “just as I am and was sent.’

            Until this relational outcome is the experiential reality of the global church, Jesus keeps knocking on church doors for the relational connection and involvement necessary to enjoy new life together.

 

 

The Globalizing Church Celebrating in a Fragmenting World

 

            The economic globalization of the world has increasingly widened, even accelerated, the gap between the rich and the poor—apparent even in the U.S. with growing poverty and homelessness, while the poor around the world unknowing of their poverty have experienced the fact of poverty. The reality of this gap has further fragmented the lives of the haves as well as the have-nots in their common shared ontology and function. Yet, Jesus said that this inequality will always exist in the human context and thus must not preoccupy his family’s involvement in caring for the poor at the expense of the primary (Mk 14:6-9, cf. Dt 15:11).

            The church has been called to make whole the fragmenting world, with even all of “creation waiting with eager longing for the relational response of God’s whole and uncommon family” (Rom 8:19). The global church’s call to make whole, however, is contingent on the globalizing church family being whole at the heart of its persons and relationships, and thus living in their wholeness and equality. From the church’s innermost to its outermost, this involves the irreducible and nonnegotiable primacy of all its persons and relationships together. The foremost priority of the church family that composes the globalizing church is celebrating their primacy in transformed relationships together both equalized and intimate. And the first relational involvement and response in celebration is worship of the whole and uncommon God—the ongoing reciprocal relational involvement with the Trinity’s vulnerable presence and intimate involvement with the primacy of our persons and relationships.

            Mary’s person (Martha’s sister), neither limited nor constrained by sociocultural distinctions, engaged this primacy with the relational involvement of her whole person responding to the whole of Jesus’ person—which Jesus defined as “involved in [ergazomai] good relational work [ergon] to me.” That is to say, Mary was intimately involved in the primacy of relationship with Jesus on the uncommon relational basis of ‘good with wholeness’—which is inadequately rendered merely as “she has performed a good service for me” (NRSV). Mary’s wholeness and equality converged with those gathered as the church family of Christ to magnify the relational significance of the gospel of wholeness and uncommon equality, and its relational outcome composing the globalizing church family with all its persons, peoples, nations, and their relationships in nothing less and no substitutes of their primacy from their innermost to their outermost. Foremost in their primacy is the relational significance of their worship response to the Trinity dwelling vulnerably and intimately with them in whole and uncommon family together. The primacy of Mary’s person in wholeness and equality and the uppermost priority of her relational involvement are the integral basis for Jesus to also magnify Mary’s relational significance for the globalizing of his church family to unfold with her integrity.

            The globalizing church celebrating in a fragmenting world may appear somewhat incongruous, at least untimely, notably where suffering or persecution is taking place. Globalizing the church, however, unfolds with integrity by the uncommon peace of Christ, who and what converge in the church for the primacy of its persons and relationships no matter what secondary conditions exist, and situations and circumstances surround them. Along with this basis for celebrating, the Spirit in the palpable Word is ongoingly present and relationally involved for reciprocal relationship together so that those belonging to the global church will not be relational orphans (just as Jesus promised). That’s why Paul made it unmistakable that “God’s family is not about secondary practices but of the integrity of our righteousness, our wholeness and joy in the Holy Spirit” (Rom 14:17). With the experiential reality of the whole gospel’s relational outcome, together with the palpable Word, the globalizing church has joyful relational basis to be celebrating—and needs to celebrate its wholeness and uncommon equality for the fragmenting world to witness the hope to be made whole and equalized. Without celebrating the experiential truth and reality of who and what converge in the globalizing church, the global church’s witness cannot be the whole witness necessary for the whole gospel.

           

    The globalizing church in the integrity of transformed relationships together, indeed, converges with the psalmist to

 

“Sing joyfully to the whole and uncommon God,

                 in the whole righteousness orchestrating your relational steps;

     It is beautifully fitting for those not fragmented to praise God the Subject

—not to idolize some part of God as Object—

Praise the whole of God with the diversity of your instruments

                 and your different music

                 —but in wholeness and equality as the globalizing church—

Sing to your present and involved God the new song,

                 composed in uncommon whole relational terms,

                 and shout, clap, dance, even cry, with joy!” (Ps 33:1-3)

 

 

And the globalizing church also converges with Mary to

 

“Sing to the triune God the new song

                 —the song congruent with your transformation—

Sing to the Trinity with praise face to Face,

Witness ongoingly to the good news of the Trinity’s salvation.

Make known in significant relational terms the Trinity’s innermost vulnerable

       presence among the nations, and distinguished involvement among all peoples.” (Ps 96:1-3)

 

           

        Then, let the global church gather whole-ly in the transformed relationships together of the ages of all its persons, the diversity of all its peoples, and the differences of all its nations to celebrate singing the experiential truth of the whole gospel and the experiential reality of its relational outcome in wholeness and uncommon equality with this song composed with the palpable Word:

 

 

     The Global Church Celebrating

 

You God are whole and uncommon,

Distinguished beyond all the common,

None to compare, none to compare

You God are whole and uncommon.

 

Your Word is whole and uncommon,

Distinguished from all in the world,

Here to transform, here to make whole

Your peace is whole and uncommon.

 

Chorus 1:

   Praise the whole and uncommon

   God beyond all that is common,

   You have transformed, you make us whole

   Your family whole and uncommon.

 

We are not parts of the common

Fragmented apart from God’s whole,

We are transformed, we are made whole

Peace together whole and uncommon.

 

We are God’s whole and uncommon

Distinguished family from the common,

No longer old, raised in the new

Now together like the Trinity.

 

Chorus 2:

   Praise Father, Son and Spirit,

   Thank you for family together,

   You equalized, you reconciled

   All persons, peoples and nations.

 

We shout with joy in our hearts,

Clapping and dancing inside to out,

No longer apart, no more orphans

God’s family whole and equal.

 

We sing the new song from within,

Proclaiming joy to all the world,

Here is your hope, here is your peace

Wholeness together beyond common

 

Chorus 2:

   Praise Father, Son and Spirit,

   Thank you for family together,

   You equalized, you reconciled

   All persons, peoples and nations.

 

[everyone shouting, clapping, dancing to the Trinity]

 

   Yes! Yes!! Yes!!!

   All persons, peoples and nations.[9]

           


 

 

 


[1] Todd M. Johnson and Cindy M. Wu, Our Global Families: Christians Embracing Common Identity in a Changing World (Grand Rapids: Baker Academic, 2015), 78.

[2] Johnson, 83.

[3] Johnson, 81.

[4] Tite Tiénou, “Christian Theology in an Era of World Christianity,” in Craig Ott and Harold A. Netland, eds., Globalizing Theology: Belief and Practice in an Era of World Christianity (Grand Rapids: Baker Academic, 2006), 44.

[5] Tiénou, 45-46.

[6] Tiénou, 50.

[7] For a sample of diverse christological perspectives from around the world, see Gene L. Green, Stephen T. Pardue and K.K. Yeo, eds., Jesus without Borders: Christology in the Majority World (Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 2014).

[8] How some in the Majority World address the theological significance of the Trinity is discussed in Gene L. Green, Stephen T. Pardue and K.K. Yeo, eds., The Trinity among the Nations: The Doctrine of God in the Majority World (Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 2015).

[9] ©2016 Kary A. Kambara & T. Dave Matsuo. Sheet music in printable pdf is available at http://4X12.org.

For the global church in transformed relationships together to further celebrate singing the new song to the whole and uncommon God intimately, my wife (Kary A. Kambara) and I also wrote another worship song, composed in the key of Jesus with the Spirit and sung with Paul (2 Cor 3:16-18): “‘Singing’ the New Song” (Worship Songs, 2011), Online at http://4X12.org.

 

 

 

©2016 T. Dave Matsuo

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