Persecution drives the persecuted to live very close to their message – they simply cling to the gospel of Jesus and thus unlock its liberating power…it enables them to distil the essence of the message and thus access it in a new way….they also have to jettison all unnecessary impediments, including that of a predominantly institutional conception of ecclesia.
This comes from Hirsch in ‘The Forgotten Ways’. I’m sure that some of us can find things to quibble about in this statement. Perhaps it even makes us feel uncomfortable. Perhaps it challenges how we do church.
It’s worth asking though, isn’t it? (Painful as it is to recognise that our ways of doing church are just cultural forms – accoutrements, if you like, against the irreducible minimum.)
But which bits are part of the irreducible minimum and which parts are just the packaging?