I’ve been reading (or rather, supposed to be reading) lots of Tillich for my Tillich course this spring. But rest assured that over the next two weeks I’ll be reading skimming a lot of Tillich to put together my journals for the class. But for my film class, we had to read some from Tillich’s Theology of Culture. In the conclusion of Theology of Culture, Tillich wrestles with the question of communicating the Christian message, the Gospel. He focuses on our communication of the Gospel being genuine, and not something we are simply doing so that others will accept it. He also says that in order to have proper communication, we must have participation as well: “Where there is no participation there is no communication.” I think this has important implications for evangelism and how we go about sharing the good news of the Gospel today. Finally, after discussing his theology of sin and what New Being in Christ looks like – he has a message for the church.
“The Church is the Community of the New Being. Again and again, people say, ‘I do not like organized religion.’ The Church is not organized religion. It is not hierarchical authority. It is not a social organization. It is all of this, of course, but it is primarily a group of people who express a new reality by which by which they have been grasped. Only this is what the Church really means. It is the place where the power of the New Reality which is Christ, and which was prepared in all history and especially in Old Testament history, moves into us and is continued by us.”