If Gordon Fee was a pastor…

In his book, Paul, the Spirit, and the People of God, Fee recalls a time when during a coffee hour at Regent College, one of his students asked, “If you were to return to the pastoral ministry, what would you do [meaning, How would you go about it? What would you emphasize?]?” Gordon Fee’s answer was without hesitation:

No matter how long it might take, I would set
about with a single passion to help a local body of believers recapture the New Testament church’s understanding of itself as an eschatological community pg49.

I am sure he would mean to work all this out as to what that means over time but I do appreciate this because I am certain that to the be a church that understands itself to be an eschatological community would not mean necessarily to be a “rapture ready” church but instead one that is living out it’s fulfillment as the redeemed and reconstituted people of God in the present evil time.

but I wondered if there are very many pastors out there who are in tune with all this and are promoting this in their own congregations?

5 responses to “If Gordon Fee was a pastor…

  1. I don’t know quite what Fee meant by “an eschatological community”. But to me this is almost the opposite of “a “rapture ready” church”. Christians who are focusing on the rapture (which I don’t believe in, at least as popularly understood) are usually people who have abandoned their responsibility to take their part in a true “eschatological community”, i.e. what I have described as

    a task force of believers empowered by the Holy Spirit to make the kingdom of God a reality in this world.

    • Yeah, I was being a little sarcastic, I am pretty sure he is *not* meaning to be a “rapture ready” church. I think with “eschatological community” he is meaning a community of faith that is living out true calling as the people of God in this world hence “eschatological.”

  2. I suspect there are many pastors who are doing it, but perhaps under some other umbrella, such as Body Life, or the emergent church, etc. I think it is happening in our church, including with our interim pastor.

  3. I for one am. Whether I’m doing it well or not is another issue :-). I actually owe this emphasis in my own ministry to the writings and influence of Fee himself. It has helped me to be reoriented and I pray, my congregation as well.

  4. The A/G has strived to be “rapture ready” throughout its existence. This focus on the imminent return of Christ has caused them to be the most successful missions organization in the history of the church. So, I tend to disagree with the idea that “rapture ready” is detrimental. History shows that has not been the case.

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