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Dr. Lou Kaloger: The Story of Scripture and the Art and Architecture of the Church

Video-IconVideo Content: At June, 2016’s annual AFFN Convocation, Network member Dr. Lou Kaloger presented “The Story of Scripture and the Art and Architecture of the Church.”

With many examples and illustrations, Lou invited the audience to look closely at the architecture and imagery of church structures and their contents through the ages. He then focused on often overlooked, seemingly small, but extraordinarily significant details in the works that reveal how artistic and architectural elements instruct and tell the whole story of God.

Lou holds degrees in fine arts and biblical studies and a doctoral degree in Worship Studies from the IWS. In addition to serving as pastor of Tampa Covenant Church, he is a professor and regular contributor to the online Relief Journal.

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A Longing Fulfilled

9tB2M3cDianne Collard:

Adapted from a presentation given at the 2014 Ancient Future Faith Network Gathering in Orange Park, Florida.

Introduction

Have you ever had a longing? That “yearning desire” for something that just doesn’t seem to be satisfied? A thirst that you are always seeking to assuage, even while going about your normal life?

The word for this longing in German is Sehnsucht— a soul search. I have known such a search. Perhaps you have as well.

The term for “longing” is used at least forty times in the Scriptures. King David, in the midst of deep pain over his sin and his need for God’s mercy, writes in Psalm 38:9— with great emotion— “O Lord, all my longing is before you, my sighing is not hidden from you.” In the ancient system of physiology, the kidneys were believed to be the seat of desire and longing— the deepest part of our being. David felt this longing in is deepest recesses of his being.

The Apostle Paul wrote of such a “longing” in Romans 8:19 as he writes that “creation itself waits with eager longing . . . to be set free from bondage”. In 1 Corinthians 5:2, he writes, “For in this tent we groan, yearning to put on our heavenly dwelling.” This is Sehnsucht.

Longing. . . . .

I’ve known such a longing. I want to share a couple of deep longings of my life.

Learning of the AFFN and attending the 2014 Gathering in Orange Park, Florida, was a partial fulfillment of a deep longing of my heart. I’ve been a Christian since I was a child and have always attended Protestant, non-liturgical churches— some really good, some not so good. Today my husband and I serve in a small, inner-city church that offers many opportunities for ministry in the lives of hurting people. And yet, as I have grown older, the longing in my heart for something more has grown— sometimes overwhelming me. That longing was for a deeper relationship with God and an experience & expression of worship that was authentic, powerful, and life-changing. In this search, I investigated Eastern Orthodoxy with Frederica Matthews-Green. I was introduced to the writings of Robert Webber and his concept of Ancient-Future Faith. My heart was stirred that it might be possible to drink deep in the Word of God and have worship enhanced by the writings of the early Church Fathers. I learned of an expression of worship that is more than perfunctory or emotional. I wanted with all my heart a CONNECTION TO AUTHENTICITY. But, member of AFFN, you already know what I mean, as you’ve been immersed in this search for many years.

In September of 2013, we re-connected with some long-time friends in California and learned, to our surprise, that they were deeply involved in AFFN and were serving in an excellent church that is, in its DNA , committed to the Ancient-Future Faith principles. Subsequently we spent time worshiping with this community and I have spoken there. I felt as if my parched “kidneys”— the seat of my longing— experienced a refreshing rain. We were so excited about this, we sent our pastor from North Carolina to California to spend a week with the leaders of this church. There we soaked in the “hows and whys” of such worship. Now, we are in the process our worship in our house church to one that begins to meet the “longing” of my soul.

The Longing for Healing: A Personal Testimony

In my life, I’ve known an even deeper longing, one of healing and wholeness following the murder of our eldest son in 1992. It was in this time of deep grief that God met the most severe longing of my life.

I had no background in art— either as an artist or a patron. Yet, it was through the powerful vehicle of visual art that I encountered God and He began a miracle of healing. In desperation, I ran from my flat in Vienna, Austria, and began walking the little lanes of the First District. As it was snowing and I needed warmth, I took rescue in the Kunsthistorische, the art history museum.

“It takes years to look at a picture,” writes Thomas Hess. I spent hours gazing at the various paintings. At first it was depictions of war and destruction which mirrored the despair of my heart. In the following days, paintings reflecting the Passion of Christ arrested my attention and I wept. I distinctly remember one large painting that pictured the act of taking Christ down from the cross and placing him in the arms of his mother. I wept as I entered into Mary’s grief. In that particular painting, a little angel, called a putti, was situated in the bottom right corner. This little angelic being was crying at the unimaginable death of the Son of God. My grief poured out in tears as well. From that time until now, all renditions of the Pieta, which reflected a mother’s grief, mirrored my own expression of pain.

1349767087451Everywhere I saw my pain and despair reflected. But, my longing for deep healing from grief and despair wasn’t assuaged. Then— after exhausting the Kunsthistoriche Museum and other traditional galleries, I found myself— for the first time— in a Museum of Modern Art, the Albertina. Here I encountered the art form most foreign to me— abstract or non-representational art. To my shock, without any preparation or understanding of this art form, God spoke to me in “sensations too subtle for words” (Robert Henri).

I gazed on various paintings done in abstraction, God spoke a truth into my heart that I’d never considered before. This is what I understood God to reveal, “I am the ORIGINAL abstract artist, Dianne. Before Genesis 1:1 when I created the heavens and the earth—all you can know and experience—I exercised my imagination, because nothing seen had existed before. Nothing in my original creation was representational. It was all abstract. And, before I spoke the world into existence, I formed the building blocks of all you see in nature and in art: line, color, design, texture, space, order.” And I worshiped the Almighty, Creator God.

Artists have sensed this reality of the “building blocks” of creation. American artist, Georgia O’Keeffe wrote, “I found I could say things with color and shape that I couldn’t say any other way– things I had no words for.” Another artist, French Impressionist Edgar Degas expressed, “In a single brushstroke we can say more than a writer in a whole volume.”

God “spoke” these words into my heart and soul– into the area of deepest need and longing, “These basic elements of line, color, design, order, space and texture are the underlying elements of all that is seen in creation.” I met– experienced– the Creator in a powerful and transforming way. I explained it in this way, God began healing me deep within my soul as the Creator who transformed chaos into the beauty of creation; turns mourning into dancing; and can enable a grieving, broken mother to thrive, not merely survive, after the murder of her son. The medium God used was abstract and non-representational art. The power was God’s alone.” The result? Profound worship…that filled that longing in my soul and in that worship, the healing began. God assured me, that just as all of creation is formed from these disparate pieces that formed creation, He could take broken pieces of my heart and make something beautiful.

In the intervening years of contemplation and research, I’ve come to believe that I experienced the “power of the abstract”. It is in the abstract that the mystery and transcendency of God can be displayed. It speaks of Creator, while representational art shows the Creation. Both point back to God, but it was in the abstract that my healing began.

As with many non-liturgical, “free” church members, I’ve known a “visual anorexia” in my life and my experience with church. I didn’t know how to live with this new reality of the power of art and the nexus of art and worship. I was afraid to share this experience for many years because it was so “outside” my conservative Christian box and I feared it would be criticized. But God not only started my healing and the met my deep longing for wholeness through this experience, He also gave me a new calling and purpose for my life. He gave me a passion for finding and encouraging artists of faith. This was so unusual— I could never have thought of it by myself!

We were missionaries in Europe, so I began looking for artists-of-faith in every European country where we worked. I would ask them about their journey of faith and their art expression. Repeatedly I heard the pain of alienation by artists-of-faith from the organized, evangelical church. Seldom did I hear positive stories, but rather, testimonies of rejection. My heart was heavy for these lovely, creative children of God.

At the same time, I began doing cultural investigation. I learned that in postmodern Europe, the arts were the language of spirituality but most of the “free” churches had rejected all use of the visual arts. I was perplexed and saddened.

In 2001, I attended the Hope 21 Congress which brought together Christian leaders from every corner of Europe. I timidly asked to observe in the track for artists. Again, I heard the pain and despair of these artists in relationship to the work and purposes of the church. At the end of the week, I asked to share my testimony of how God had used visual art in my healing process. I ended by imploring them to not give up the use of the creative gift in the work of the Lord as it was needed by the world, the church, and by non-artists such as myself. I sat down, feeling rather foolish, and left with a personal commitment to find out why the church treated artists, especially visual artists, the way that it had. This ultimately led to my doctoral research which was completed in 2004. I observed, researched and interviews pastors of (free) evangelical churches and artists-of-faith in Germany/Switzerland (birthplace of Protestant Reformation) and Spain (birthplace of Counter-Reformation) regarding the use (or non-use) of visual art. The essential findings of why visual art (and artists) were alienated were these:

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Attractive Christmas Kitsch or Authentic Christian Icon?

Chris Alford:

Cat NativityWhat with this month being chock full of Christmas spectaculars of all kinds, sacred and secular (or something in between), my mind is spinning with questions about artistic taste. Whether your own church’s Christmas celebrations fall more toward the sacred, or secular, I think churches of all stripes, and perhaps evangelicals in particular, would benefit from asking more and better questions about taste. Why? Because the questions and answers may reveal much about our theology— and maybe something about our communities of faith, too.

Not too long ago I re-read Robert Webber’s The Younger Evangelicals and was especially thinking about one of the characteristics of 20-somethings— that  illusive, highly-prized, much-sought-after demographic— when it comes to the arts. Someone has been quoted as saying that bad theology leads to bad art. I’m wondering if our desire to attract people to church, especially if it’s a first priority, has ill effects on our art and theology.

So let’s ask a difficult question: This Christmas season, are we giving people good art and theology, or might we be giving them “kitsch”?

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Ancient-Future Resource Partners

Marketplace Directory Page: A brand new feature of the AFFN is now up and running: The Marketplace, where AFFN Resource Partners promote their materials… and many AFFN members have already signed up! Our website traffic is off the charts… and growing! We have more than 13,000 pageviews a month and about 1,000 brand new visitors monthly. The Marketplace […]

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The Nexus of Prayer and Visual Art

Chris Alford: AFFN Contributing Member Dianne Collard is back with another terrific article, this time with a look at the places where visual art and contemplation and prayer come together.

 

Introduction:

VeraIconGerman19CenturySetting the context and stating the purpose of a paper probably should not be done in negatives— telling you what it is not. And yet it seems that is what I must do. This paper is an overview, a synopsis of some of the published writings on the subject. It is not a detailed analysis of the role of the visual in Christian practice. Likewise, I will not attempt to discuss the purpose of the visual in general worship services. There will be no discussion of the psychological issues regarding this subject, nor how postmodernism and the arts affect the language of spirituality. I will also neither attempt to be prescriptive nor pejorative.

What I do offer to the reader is an overview of the visual in devotional practices, as well as a short historical review of denominational distinctions. The paper will close with some examples of visual aids used in promoting devotion to God. I hope that it will encourage you to include visual art in your own devotional practices.

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To download and read the complete paper, please click here.

 

Image above right: Vera Icon. Unknown German artist. 19th century.

 

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A Perspective on Europe and Europeans

Glenn Collard:

EuropeGlobeIntroduction

It was Winston Churchill who made famous the statement “Russia is a riddle wrapped in a mystery inside an enigma.” This oft-quoted illustration makes sense to many of us who have lived in Europe. Numerous times people have asked me to explain why Europe is in a down-trend spiritually. My first challenge in answering the question is trying to find a simple way to explain a complex subject. Understanding a subject as vast and comprehensive as Europe is a daunting task. My thoughts are offered here in hopes to begin to address this complex subject.

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After World War II many people considered Europe to be “post-Christian.” The  cumulative effect of two world wars was devastating. Europeans were caught in a malaise of hopelessness. Many of the Christian mission agencies working in Europe today were born in the ashes of post war Europe. Deeply moved by the destruction of life during the war, these missions sought to bring a new awareness to Europe with the hope of Jesus Christ.

Today’s Europe is different. It can rightly be said to be “pre-Christian.”  By saying that, I’m referring to the thousands of immigrants who now live in Europe. I also refer to the generation of Europeans who rejected Christianity and did not teach their children about Christ. As will be seen further in this paper there is a real sense that Europe has moved to something reminiscent of the days of the NT when Paul and other early Christians preached the Gospel and planted churches there. The picture of Europe is a challenge to comprehend. Understanding Europeans in order to know how to relate to them with the love of Christ is our task.

It must be said from the beginning that my perspectives on Europe are truly that–perspectives of my own, based on living among them for 14 years, and another 10 years of ministry from the US. I have many friends throughout Europe. It must also be made clear from the beginning, to speak about Europe as a whole, (as though in every country everything said here is exactly as stated), would be to exaggerate it. If I did that I would greatly misrepresent Europe and my good friends. The Europe we know is a montage, a complete picture made up of a number of complete pictures. Thus to represent them as one would be to ignore their uniqueness as God created them. It would under value their enormous contribution to the world of their art, their great thinkers, their theologians, their educational institutions, their writers and the magnificent structures they have created over the centuries. In short, it would denigrate their impact on the world. The reader is encouraged to see these sweeping generalities as merely helpful guidelines to better understand. These are descriptors based on my own experience.

Snapshots

Perhaps the best way to present the picture of Europe is to see it as a series of snapshots allowing us to cogitate on it, in order to gain perspective and understanding. My desire is to encourage the reader to juxtapose his or her assumptions held and conclusions drawn in order to look freshly at Europe and perhaps redefine understanding.

These snapshots are fraught with meaning at every level of interchange with Europeans; from politics and international relations, to ministry development and personal relationships. I encourage the reader to consider the comparisons brought forth here:

Churches and Cathedrals

The subject of Europe immediately conjures up mental pictures of its empty churches and cathedrals. Because these great edifices stand silent and virtually unoccupied, they become exhibit A in the trial of this apostasy, as lamented by Americans. My appeal is for us to recognize the “stories” embedded in them of the generations who built them as their best attempt to glorify God. Let us see them for the enduring story, cast in wood and stone adorned with precious gems and great works of art, that attest to the faith of those who built them. These magnificent  structures are far more than empty tombs, or monuments to be pitied. They are silent voices speaking of the majesty of God. Rock solid and enduring, they testify of the creator God, reflecting his glory and speaking in to the cacophony of contemporary culture. By their solidarity they stand as silent witness to the consistent reach of God to fulfill his purpose in the affairs of men.

EuropeChangingChristianity and the World

Today we must recognize the face of Europe is changing. The world has come to Europe as a result of Europeans going to the world with the Gospel. The 3 branches of Christianity were born and still are based in Europe: the Eastern church, the Western church and Protestantism. The peoples of the world received their form of Christianity from these branches. Today immigrants from all corners of the world have found a home in Europe. They are bringing both their religion native to their culture, as well as the Christianity they received from missionaries who impacted their home cultures. (This is a phenomenon where the Holy Spirit is reversing the influence of those who once received taking back to those who once gave.) So in Europe presently, many of the largest churches are comprised of immigrants, such as those who have come from Africa.

Security and Meaning

Europeans have a sense of belonging derived from their place in history. They have a long, rich and colorful past. Their sense of the present is derived from the vibrancy of their past. Their view of the future is not projected far. They are content with their place in history. The future is not a major concern as something to be conquered. Thus Europeans are anchored to their commitment to continuity. It’s their sense of commitment to their history that gives them security, stability and self worth.

In contrast, Americans look to the future, almost ignoring the past. Our sense of self worth and confidence is derived from our optimism of the future flavored with a sense of manifest destiny. To this we feel “called” to accomplish great things. Problems are welcomed as opportunities to conquer. This all results in a kind of bravado Europeans interpret as arrogance. We see them as stodgy and unwilling to take risk. They see us as foolhardy, short sighted, simplistic and naive. Americans are quick to judge. Europeans are cautious, that caution being flavored with a desire to be inclusive of other Europeans. Rapprochement of European governments is highly pursued after centuries of conflicts. They focus less on power and more on multinational cooperation.

Cultural Christianity

I’ve presented the idea of the sense of continuity by Europeans which affects how they see the church. Largely, they are not interested to be part of the church themselves, yet they see themselves as “Christian” because of this corporate sense of belonging.  They baptize their children in to the church, sometimes marry in the church, and are buried by the church. Although they are not personally committed to faith, it’s still important to have the church as a kind of “anchor” for their meta narrative.

Peace at Any Price

A drive to achieve perpetual peace is the inner motivation for contemporary Europeans. This is in contrast to Americans who rely on military might, conducting affairs internationally with arcane rules and laws, as far as the Europeans are concerned. Americans seek to resolve conflicts with a unilateral approach as Europeans watch them nonplussed and bewildered. Europeans confront issues holistically with patience and forbearance. Americans tend to see issues and conflicts as right or wrong, black or white, good or evil. But Europeans maintain a sense of continuity, not feeling the necessity to resolve issues in the same sense of urgency. They look for the “tie that binds.” In the past the ruling houses of Europe engaged in marriages of convenience in order to control and maintain peace. Contemporary European governments follow a path of creating inclusive alliances. In the last 100 years, Europeans nearly annihilated themselves, resulting in an attitude today of avoiding hegemonic interplay which they understand would destroy them. The underbelly of this attitude is the value they place on the high morality of humanism. This sense of morality is an interesting alchemy of biblical Christianity and Enlightenment humanism. Nevertheless, as Christians, we can appreciate their value of affirmation of human life because we believe in the sanctity of human life as God given.

Europeans and Global Reach with the Gospel

In a very practical sense Europeans see Americans much as Europe’s own Spanish writer Miguel de Cervantes characterized the Spanish hero Don Quixote. As the Don approached conflicts it was often in his own perceptions of reality, even of creating his own realities, in order to fend off the destructive forces around him. He was there to save the day, right all wrongs, defend honor and make all things right. Just as Don Quixote acted, “tilting at windmills” is the way Europeans see Americans responding. This quixotic style permeates even our missionary strategies, plans and actions. Americans can feel rebuffed and even sometimes “used” by Europeans because we do not understand Europeans and assume motives they never intend. Our actions are resisted reflexively by Europeans because they see those actions as reactionary and unbalanced. It behooves us to recognize, there are overtones to all this as we conduct ministry throughout Europe.

Wisdom beckons Americans to take a position as a “paraclete”, to come alongside Europeans. Allowing them to be in charge of their own affairs is much better to achieve lasting results. In so doing we develop a partnership with them as we mutually engage in the responsibility to reach the world with the Gospel. It was without equivocation as to ethnicity or standard of living Jesus gave the same charge to his church to present the Gospel to all peoples.

It’s intriguing to ponder what it could mean if God considered Europe important to become his ambassadors since he sovereignly directed Paul to go West in to Europe with the Gospel (Acts 16). It was Paul’s intention to go east until God arrested him and turned him the other way. Since the Gospel was sent to Europe, rather than to the East, I ponder the degree of obligation we have under the Great Commission mandate Jesus gave his church. To be clear here, I’m not saying the Great Commission was given to Europe and the US alone. Although, I do wonder about the privilege of position the Sovereign God placed on us. Could there be a unique responsibility to lead, to model, to demonstrate for others what it means to follow the command of Jesus to go to the world? This leading, modeling and demonstrating is the preferred action for us instead of directing in order to achieve results we want. It is our obligation to raise up others by speaking in to cultures other than our own and cooperating with God as he brings about a people for his name, from every tribe, tongue and nation.

We Americans are motivated to do the right thing. Even though we have good intentions we miss the mark when we proceed in uninformed ways. Doing the wrong thing in order to reach our objectives is unacceptable. The unintended consequences of our actions sometimes communicates a message to those we seek to serve and motivate to respond themselves … that ministry must be done our way. It’s natural for a person to act in accord with the way things have always been done in one’s own culture. As Americans, we have developed our altruistic approach to international ministry on the basis of our economic ability to drive our objectives. Since those we seek to serve may be incapable of driving the ministry financially, even in their own country, they expect us to pay them to accomplish our goals which they have adopted. To be certain, we want to give, and we must give as stewards of all God has entrusted to us. Yet, in so doing, we may rob them of their dignity, creating dependency and perhaps truncate their growth in maturity as stewards themselves. Their trust may be in us Americans rather than the Lord. Those we seek to serve often expect us to exercise faith to provide for them, instead of exercising faith themselves. It behooves us to exercise patience and wait on God to direct his own work. But avoiding the temptation to set our goals and create our strategies is sometimes difficult.

In many countries of Europe today, the philosophy of socialism has fostered a system of sharing of personal and societal resources. Christians pay taxes to the government who in turn distribute finances to the church. This may sound foreign, even threatening to an American. It’s not all bad, it’s just one way of living and one way of governing a culture. The downside may contribute to a lack of maturity in stewardship within the church. In spite of this, Europeans have created and supported many causes around the world, not the least of which are those of European missionaries.

Commendable Partnerships

Here is the good news. I see our European friends embracing the sense of responsibility to be good stewards of their resources. It’s encouraging to realize several nations in Europe are already assisting other nations to develop their own national ministry. It’s easy to give a biblical view and apologetic for the goal of each nation to become autonomous and help other nations as well. That is the principle of multiplication and discipleship Jesus laid down for his church. Some Europeans still struggle with the reality of personal stewardship and responsibility, but there are signs of Europeans changing as they take on accountability of stewardship.

Todays Opportunities in Europe

Europe has been much maligned as being the source of Post-modernism. Unfortunately, many American Christians see this transition of world view as evil personified.  To many Evangelical Americans, Post-modernism is a disease to be overcome. We must work to understand Postmodernism. It seems there are many “lay definitions” and assumptions which exist. The fact is there are two streams of Post-modernism, destructive and reconstructive. The destructive stream is as it’s name would imply, a belief that there is no such thing as absolute truth, every thing is ultimately absurd. This attitude gives license to uncontrolled freedom which results in total self exaltation. The reconstructive stream recognizes spirituality, though not necessarily biblical spirituality that leads to faith in Christ. They do not need to be convinced of a supernatural existence. Reconstructive Post-moderns desire to have truth demonstrated to them in genuine ways that are often lived out in relationships.

This commitment we have to communities is very biblical. Europe, in the 4th century, saw the Irish monk we call St. Patrick, uniquely practicing evangelism/discipleship by establishing communities where people were invited to belong in order to believe. We have somehow turned that around to practice community as the reward for believing. One must first believe in order to belong. Careful investigation of the scriptures shows us the writers of the NT and the practice of the early church was more like Patrick practiced. We are in a wonderful place to convey true biblical faith to European Post-moderns by virtue of our creation of communities of faith. These are the incubators  where transformation of life takes place.

There is today a layered effect of spirituality in Europe. While true, there have been movements of the Spirit over time, still the reality is Europe is syncretistic. This syncretism is a mixture of paganism with Christianity layered over the top of culture and world view. The bottom layer is a plethora of pagan religions, natural to the unregenerate cultures. In centuries past, Christianity was superimposed on them, often by well meaning kings and queens. This is a cacophony of intentions that includes political alliances conceived for national preservation or prominence, as well as true spirituality.

Today the world has come to Europe bringing both foreign religions and true spirituality. The picture is one of an international religious smorgasbord featuring Islam, Hinduism, Buddhism, New Age Mysticism and every other variety extant. Add to that African religions, and African, Asian and Latin American Christianity. The latter three results from the penetration of European missions in to foreign lands, with immigrants who have a true relationship with Christ now living in Europe. One interesting fact in Europe today is the effect these Christian immigrants are having on Europeans. As stated already, some of the largest churches in Europe are immigrant churches.

Careful observation of Europe today reveals the Spirit of God brooding over Europe as he prepares the Bride of Christ for the coming of the Bridegroom. There are traditional churches holding on to what they believe is their responsibility to maintain the status quo and keep the faith. However, simultaneously, new ones are emerging that look very different from the traditional church. We live in a dynamic time. We are seeing a movement in the church, something of a reformation. It’s a reformation of what I call “church structures.” This is seen in the unusual ways God’s people are gathering, places where they gather to worship and cultivate relationships in order to penetrate their cultures. There are Christians who are involved in movements of the arts, prayer and house churches that go virtually unnoticed and unreported in the media. These Christians are becoming culture changers.

There are sweeping changes bubbling up from underneath the surface of the cultures connected to innovative manifestations worldwide. As Habakkuk 1:5 instructs us, “Look among the nations, and see; wonder and be astounded. For I am doing a work in your days that you would not believe if told.” While this was said to encourage Israel by the prophet of God, to announce and remind Israel of God’s plan and purpose, we see the truth of it being worked out in our own times. This work of God is the fulfillment of Jesus’ commission to go to the world with the Gospel, recognizing the great plan of God is to bring a people to himself out of the lost masses of humanity. I propose Rev. 5:9-10 summarizes the whole message of the Bible. “Worthy are you to take the scroll and to open its seals, for you were slain, and by your blood you ransomed people for God from every tribe and language and people and nation, and you have made them a kingdom of priests to our God, and they shall reign on the earth.” God’s heart is communicated as we realize he has a “plan”, called redemption. He has a purpose he is fulfilling since the foundation of the world, by placing his redeemed ones in a new Kingdom of which he is the Sovereign King! God has no peer and his ways are beyond our comprehension.

Conclusion

As stated at the beginning, I do not consider myself an expert on the subject of Europe. I only humbly offer my perceptions gleaned over the years in the hope they will be helpful. It’s my desire to draw people outside of Europe to understand and develop a love and appreciation of all that is Europe, its history and its place in the plan of God. In doing so I challenge everyone to pray for the peoples of Europe to come to faith in Christ. Pray also for a great outpouring of the Spirit who is Holy to bring about renewal in the existing churches and a great spiritual awakening. We want to contribute to movements that would sweep the continent resulting in the new reformation taking place. Let us speak to others on behalf of Europeans to encourage a ground swell of understanding and commitment to support a resurgence of the once mighty influence of Europe.  In so doing we’ll unite with them to reach the world for Christ. I have given myself to that task. Will you join me? Will you  join others who have the same commitment? Truly, this is a time for Christians to participate with the Spirit as God fulfills his promise long ago delivered to Habakkuk and foreseen by the Apostle John in the Revelation of Jesus Christ.

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