Blog: Reflections on Body Life

The question on the table is this: when approaching and walking out faith firstly from a corporate rather than an individualistic mindset, what's different? What does it look like to "think corporately" as we go about life in the Body of Christ? What's different?

One vs. One: Which One Are We?

Corporate. Community. Union. Assembly. Congregation.

Words used in faith-based gatherings to refer to the the Church; the Body of Christ. While distinct in their own ways, all share a common element: the concept ofOne.

For suchOne-ness Jesus prayed in the Garden, "that they may all beone; even as You, Father, are in Me and I in You, that they also may be in Us" (John 17.21).

You know this. But have you ever noticed - even within this concept ofOne- there exist variations?

Look up the word inMerriam-Websterand two distinctions emerge: 1)Oneas a unionor gathering together of many parts to make a whole, and 2)Oneas a singular something with only one part - unique in its singularity.

Reading Through a Corporate Lens

We've discussed this miracle called the Body of Christin terms of a corporate One-ness from which we draw our personal identity where we are at the same time collectively both one in union and one in singularity. If this is true, it changes how we read and apply scripture.

Begin With Community

There is a widening discussion underway that such a corporate identity was surely forefront for the Jewish community who shaped the mindset of the early Church and, as we're coming to recognize, was central to the Apostles who gave it form and substance. Paul's letters to the churches bear this witness. Contrary to our knee-jerk habit of first wrapping his directives and exhortations tightly around our individual particular lives (and, perhaps as an after-thought, making a larger corporate application), Paul turns that upside down and spends most of his time speaking not to individuals, but to and about the church communities as the singular Body of Christ. …

I Am Not A Temple

We've been discussingputting on a mindset of corporate Oneness, and reading God's Word in like fashion. What say we start bringing this down to a personal level? What can (should?) this look like in our doings day-to-day?

Did you ever notice that whenever Paul uses some variation of the word "you" in his letters to the churches, most often the tense of the word is plural, not singular. And even when one finds a singular "you," the intent is still plural, such as when he pulls forward a prophet's exhortation to the singular nation of Israel (2 Cor. 6:2), or when he's speaking to one side of the room and not the other as in Romans (Rom. 2:27).

To Paul, this community – Christ’s body – is at one and the same time both