Making the Gospel Relevant

“Christian faith is not about some god who is an abstract presence somewhere else but about the living presence of God here and now, in this world, in exactly this world, as we know it and touch it and smell it and live and work in it. That is why, incidentally, all the well-meant talk of “making the gospel relevant” to the life of the world is false and vulgar. It secretly assumes that God is a stranger among us, who has to be introduced to us and to our anxieties and triumphs and issues and efforts. The meaning of Jesus Christ is that the Word of God is addressed to people, to all people, in the very events and relationships, any and every one of them, that constitute our existence in this world. That is the theology of the Incarnation.”

 – Mr. William Stringfellow (1928 – 1985),
American Episcopal lay theologian.
A Keeper of the Word, p. 140.


  1. Thank you–I will use this quote by Wm Stringfellow in a Spiritual Formation group I am leading. I will also read his writings.


    1. Julia, I hope Stringfellow is helpful for the group. I really appreciate his incarnational approach and how he ties that to action in the world. Thank you for reading my blog and leaving a comment.

      Peace, Mike+


  2. So I guess the challenge is to make the life of the world relevant to the Gospel. It’s nice to start the day with you … have a good one.



    1. Thanks Ellen. Your comment is insightful and right on point. Sometimes it seems the Church tries to complete with society and culture instead of standing over and against them offering a new vision, a different life, a way to God.

      Peace, Mike+


    1. Yes, Don, I would say that is true. I probably do hold a somewhat panentheistic view. I base it on the incarnation which I believe has cosmic dimensions. The incarnation affects all of creation though it finds its most complete expression in and through humanity – the Person of Jesus Christ; fully divine, fully human. Likewise the created order, nature, is in some way sacramental. It is created grace pointing back to the creator.

      From reading your blog I am guessing you hold a similar view?



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