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Role of Christianity and the Church in the world today

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What is the task of Christian discipleship and the mission of the church in the world today, based upon the views of Martin Luther King, Jr in "Letter from Birmingham City Jail, Dietrich Bonhoeffer," "Ethics and Gustavo Gutierrez," "Sacrament of Liberation"?

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Gutierrez seems very clear on the opinion that discipleship involves a return to a Christian paradigm common in the first-century, but embodying it in a "critical" fashion. This means, based on his discussion of the gradual union and then separation of church and state, that the role of the church is now found in counter-position to that state. In other words, in order to function properly, the church must first and foremost view itself as not so much an enemy but a challenge to the process of the "nation-state" politic. Also, note that this position incorporates a sense of "otherness" for the church - to put it simply: if the church is not looking out for those outside of it, it ceases to properly exist. In fact, Gutierrez seems to go as far as claiming that the "Christ and His Spirit" are in this world outside the church itself, a truly radical ...

Solution Summary

The role of the church and discipleship is discussed from three unique but inter-related vantage points: liberation, civil disobedience, and personal salvation.

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The family as a whole is under great pressure in today's culture.

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The family as a whole is under great pressure in today's culture. Lives are more hectic, the media presents a life style that is often not embraced by the Christian community, and many families do not have the luxury to live near their extended family. In what ways can the family set limits and communicate healthy life style choices to their children? What responsibility does the church community have to provide support and structure in our current culture? As we have researched, this term culture is learned both through the family and the "agents of socialization" all around us. Do you see the family losing or winning the battle as the "strongest influence" in their children's lives? In what ways can the community be a successful part of the socialization process of today's children?

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