Updated: Sep 10, 2019
There is nothing particularly special about the church. It has no glory of its own. In the light of the recent child abuse scandal that has impacted many church denominations as well as many secular institutions around the world, it is difficult to make any claims of moral goodness, although the church as exhibited such qualities at times. Indeed, the church as no monopoly on truth and any truth claims must be expressed with a high degree of humility and without arrogance in the post-truth society in which we live. There is nothing special about the concrete church in all its messiness that should automatically expect to be respected in our own right or to be loved by the world. The only thing we can boast about is ‘Jesus Christ and him crucified.’ The reality is that we are not called to witness concerning our self as the church but only to Jesus our crucified, risen and ascended Lord and sometimes we do it well and at other times we fail miserably. From the world’s perspective to live a life of witness to Jesus Christ and his death on the cross is irrational, fantastical it is complete utter foolishness. This is at the heart of what it means to be a disciple. Likewise, the concrete churches claim to uniqueness rest in its Spirit-empowered orientation to Jesus Christ and through him, to the triune God and to the fact that we are guided by the Scriptural witness and by the Spirit to be the uniquely explicit witness to Jesus of Nazareth. However, we should not expect any such claims to hold sway out there in the world. It is wiser not to make any such claims. Instead, we should do what we are called to do and proclaim Jesus Christ and him crucified by whatever means that are at our disposal and let the chip lie where they fall.