Ok, I know I have to look at a new book by Robby Waddell The Spirit in the Book of RevelationOne part of the description says “Biblical and literary studies are situated within the context of a Pentecostal community as attention is paid to the prophecy concerning the temple and the witnesses in Rev 11.”

This interests me because of my reflection today on Church and Kingdom.  In many of the larger churches, mega-churches, there is a teaching that to flourish you must be “planted in the house of the Lord”.  This comes from a reading of Psalm 92:13.  I could argue the logical order of this process but I am not sure that is really what is at issue.

I think the issue is an understanding of hermeneutics.  Christ has come and the temple has been done away with – we are now the temple of the Holy Spirit.  Yet we keep going back to Old Testament models of the Temple for the contemporary church.  We develop a “house theology” rather than a “Spirit-in-Us Theology” that sends us out into the world, a maintenance theology rather than a missional theology.

Why does this happen?  I think in part because of poor hermeneutics.  In part because mega-churches need the support to continue their work, though some have been forced to share their premises when things have gone bad. In part because it is easier to consider being blessed than to consider how to be a blessing by giving time, talents and resources to people with names and faces. In part because it is easier to repeat the mistakes of ages past and become new Cathedrals that will possibly be near-empty in a few generations time rather than listen to the Spirit and figure out how He wants us to go and make disciples rather than call them in to where we are comfortable.  Mind you no one I know says Durham Cathedral has comfy chairs after a thousand or so years.

Funnily enough I think Robby’s book will be interesting because like me he has to struggle with  being Pentecostal, understanding the Spirits work and working in a tradition that itself is both calling people in and sending them out to those inside and outside the temple.

So do you think we should have a house theology or a sending theology?