3language and our deep cultural symbols, the Christian faith is best understood as a culture and alanguage that connect the dots to help us understand the relationships between God, the world, andourselves.
What makes this both interesting and challenging is that we can‘t even talk about ―a‖ worldview.
Instead, we have to talk about a variety of worldviews or parts of worldviews that press themselvesupon us that we have to fit together in some way that seems to make sense. Even this central lensfor how we see and experience things is composite construct of a bunch of direct ways of conceiving of and valuing the world. So
―traditional American‖ worldview might tell us that
family is important; and that in thinking about our decisions and priorities, family should be most
important. We‘re fed status
-oriented worldviews that tell us that what is most important is how important we are, what our title is and the size of our take-home package. Advertisements feed us aconsumerist worldview telling us that our worth is equivalent to what we have and that if we have
less, we‘re worth
-less. To all of these messages, the Gospel offers a word of challenge and critique. Trying to figure our way through incarnate life is hard, but the call of the Gospel is the call to transform how we see,experience, and value things. What does it mean to take seriously the call to the love of God andl
ove of neighbor? ―The old self‖ is Paul‘s shorthand for those old ways of making sense of what‘s
really important, the lusts that we must suppress are much less about sex and much more about ourneeds and insecurities for those things like money, or status, or safety, that ultimately
give us life. As we put on the new self into which we are baptized, we are challenged torevolutionize our experience of the world, to see as God sees, to love as God loves.Rather than a collection of doctrinal thinking points, Lindbeck's understanding of the faith as alinguistic-cultural endeavor most clearly engages with this notion of forming a Christian worldview within the body of Christ in order to bring the body to the maturity of Christ. Now, we are formedin many ways in many places, and at many times. However, as Christians who find our primary identity in our baptism, as members of the crucified and risen Christ, and branches of the same vine,our most important and paradigmatic experiences occur when we are together. You can't be aChristian by yourself! Furthermore, our fullest identity is found when we gather for Eucharistic worship. In the Eucharist, the disparate and scattered members of the body of Christ are heldtogether, are re-membered, forming a physical and literal body of Christ; in the Eucharist, we aremost fully who we are baptized to be in community
and participate most deeply in the mystery andpromise of baptism. Within our Eucharistic worship, we are given the extraordinary opportunity toparticipate within the interior life of the Trinity: as the body of Christ we join with Christ in hispraise of and self-offering to the Father through the Holy Spirit. What we do in worship is not
to gather together as a community, it's not
to praise God together, it's not
to express ouridentity as the gathered body of Christ, it is to make present an eschatological reality where weforeshadow the full consummation of all in all. This is our moment when we enact most clearly whatthe kingdom of God is.