New Chapters

I have received some feedback that my last sermons were overly complicated and theological. There is much insight to this comment. I do not believe that how I preached last week is or ought to be a regular sermon for our church.

But I do wish to explain myself (and I will try not be too defensive).

First, as I have said previously, simplicity on this side of complexity is worth little – simplicity on the other side of complexity is priceless. DAC needs to pivot. In part because we are now learning to live ‘with’ (not waiting for after) coronavirus. There is a ‘new normal’. The world has changed. In part because I am the first new senior minister in 18 years. It’s a new chapter. In part because West Daptoids are coming in their thousands, and we need to be ready for them. Clarifying why and how we need to change is a difficult conversation. The new simplicity will come.

Second, because when you change things, it’s important to go back to basics first. To remind yourself of what is core. To make sure you don’t throw the baby out with the bath water. Or, to use the drama metaphor, to make sure that we are telling a new chapter of the same story, and not telling a new and different story all together.

Third, because theology is practical. Proper theology is not abstract speculation. Theology is speaking correctly about God and his creation. If we are created to image bear and reflect God – if God makes promises to and covenants with his creatures – if our actions at their best are an attempt to listen, trust and follow him – then understanding and speaking correctly about God and his story is fundamental.

Remember, God has made us in his image, capable of hearing, thinking, and making choices. Our actions (as actors) tell a story. God’s story is eternal. We just happen to be the extras called to perform in the present. Good theology keeps actors faithful to the director and his script.

This series will become practical. For those of you who are wired for action, please bear with me. Social change is usually slow and incremental. At the moment it feels like changes are in leaps at warp speed. But the front end of this sermon series is a ‘boot camp’ before we take up our new postings.

Rev David Rietveld

Senior Minister

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