Friday, April 17, 2009

Goldsworthy on Maturity

Paul's expressed hope for believers is that they might be perfect, or complete (eg Col 1:9-10,28) - it is the goal of Christian maturity. This maturity is connected to wisdom, as the comprehension of God's ultimate purpose in Christ, which in turn connects to the discernment of God's primeval intentions in the Old Testament. Goldsworthy offers this 'tentative definition' of Christian maturity:

A mature Christian is one who is able to look at the whole of reality through Christian eyes. He is in the process of achieving an integrated overview of reality in those areas that belong to his experience as well as in those areas that he knows only theoretically. He is learning to understand all things in terms of what they are in this corrupted realm and of what God intends them to be by virtue of his redeeming work. Thus, he is an integrated person who is learning daily through the gospel how to relate, not only to himself, but to all things according to the creative purpose of God. Trilogy, 356

The challenge to the Church is to make maturity the goal of ministry. Making disciples must be defined in these terms, not merely to bring people to the point of professing faith.