Power Encounter, Love Encounter, and Pandemic Love


One of the two most popular posts on this blog is:

From Power Encounter to Love Encounter

In that post, I argued that the common missiological model of encounters, Truth Encounter, Allegiance Encounter, and Power Encounter, is flawed.

Antonine Plague

Power Encounter, the challenging of the powers of evil with the power of God for missiological purposes is often ambivalent. Its use is often unbiblical, its purpose is often obscure, and its results are often doubtful. Even the two best examples of Power Encounter in the Bible (Moses and the 10 plagues, and Elijah and the priests of Baal) seemed to have little to no long-term effect on the people the method was directed towards. This is not to say that Power Encounter is without its usefulness.

Rather, it is better to say that its usefulness is far less than “Love Encounter”. Love Encounter is the challenge of Christian’s in modeling Christlike love that stands in clear opposition to the shallow and self-serving condition the world calls love.

An excellent article, one of my favorites is “Pandemic Love” posted by Charles Moore. It is a fairly short article, but uses the example of the early church during times of plague (pandemic) as a model for how Christians should respond today. The following is an excerpt from the article. To see the entire article go to Pandemic Love, an article on the website of Plough Publishing (“The Plough”)

“Our time is not unlike the twilight years of the Roman empire. The god of materialism provides no hope, the structures and institutions of society that are meant to address social needs are indifferent and cold, and the current adversarial atmosphere of mistrust, suspicion, and violence breed fear and loneliness.

In an age of impersonal medicine, fear of death, social isolation, and mounting catastrophe, today’s church has the opportunity to go beyond the precautions of quarantine and vaccine and trust in the ultimate protection: Love. Instead of retreating from the onslaught of pain and death, the church has the chance to demonstrate that Jesus is the resurrection and the life. Instead of fear, which makes it difficult to look beyond the precautionary, followers of Christ can show the world that it is in giving our lives away that we find life. How we live and how we die is our message. If we would but dare more in faith, here and now, then perhaps, like with the early church, an outpouring of new life and real hope, instead of terror and flight, will sweep the earth.” 

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