Dialogue Vision

We engage hearts and minds with the relevance of Christ – spiritually, culturally and socially.

Culturally

Dialogue was born out of an apologetics ministry and therefore we are passionate about exploring how the gospel and culture interact. We are not ashamed to say that we try to exercise more of a thinking spirituality and we do that through debates, philosophy talks, movie clubs and meaty sermons. Therefore you shouldn’t be surprised to find references to Matthew, Marx, Mumford and Sons and Monty Python all mixed together.

Often you’ll hear someone getting excited about the cosmological argument or natural law theory or the latest fantasy movie. The point is, Dialogue is a place where we really encourage people to love God with their mind – to not be afraid of asking the difficult questions and most importantly, to make sense of our faith (and sometimes our doubts) in community.

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We demolish arguments and every pretension that sets itself up against the knowledge of God, and we take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ.

– 2 Cor. 10:5

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Always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have. But do this with gentleness and respect.

– 1 Peter 3:15

Socially

We don’t think it is possible to be a follower of Jesus in South Africa without being mindful of the deep inequality that exists in our beloved country. Instead of being paralyzed by this reality we thank God that we can live in a country where we have the opportunity to learn from and serve many who fall in a different social bracket. Dialogue attempts to live this out through a number of initiatives. Whether it is tutoring in Mamelodi, fixing potholes, helping emerging farmers or food vouchers, Dialogue tries to do its bit in building relationships across social and racial divides. It is out of these relationships that one can meaningfully and sustainably partner to help address inequality.

We also feel called as a community to reflect something of the diversity of South Africa in our congregation. Our country and especially our city, has a very divisive history and we believe the church can play a prophetic role in modelling what true reconciliation looks like. It is when black and white stand next to each other in worship that our unity in Christ is most evident. It is in that inter-racial proximity under the cross that our respective cultures take its secondary and rightful place. This diversity is not only a reward in itself, but in a polarized country, a multicultural church can really evangelise a culture that has largely given up on the idea of reconciliation. It is our prayer that Jesus’ prayer may be demonstrated in our community

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The King will reply, ‘Truly I tell you, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me.’

– Matt. 25:40

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There is neither Jew nor Gentile, neither slave nor free, nor is there male and female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus.

– Gal. 3:28

Spiritually

Dialogue believes what the broader church has believed for millennia. We are however committed to what C.S. Lewis called “Mere Christianity”, meaning that we bind ourselves to the essentials of the faith (see our statement of faith), but leave a lot of room for what we consider non-essential beliefs such as baptism, election, spiritual gifts, etc. Dialogue can thus be an uncomfortable place at times. Perhaps you dislike Calvinists, Charismatics or Creationists? Well, in our community we have some of those. We also have a few Armenians, Theistic Evolutionists and even Vegetarians. We think these conversations are important, but they are not essential to our faith and we want to create an environment where we can grow in faith whilst living in this tension. As a matter of fact, we believe a big part of our spiritual growth happens when we develop the spiritual maturity to fellowship with Christians who hold beliefs that are different than our own.

 

More importantly we believe that Christianity is not just a set of beliefs, but rather a life that Jesus calls us to. This life, that Jesus describes as living in the Kingdom of God, is something we strive towards. Hence at Dialogue we attempt to practise the way of Jesus. We believe that Jesus really meant what He said about things like anxiety and greed, but also things like forgiveness, simplicity, solitude, service and all the other spiritual disciplines. Although this can be incredibly difficult to live out, we stumble forward in our pursuit to love God and others just a little bit more than yesterday.

We believe that Jesus really was who He claimed to be and His Way is utterly worth following.

 

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In essentials unity, in non-essentials liberty, in all things charity.

– Rupertus Meldenius

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Be perfect, therefore, as your Heavenly Father is perfect

– Matt. 5:48

We share this with you, because if you are, like us, excited about this vision, we want to ask you to consider the following:

Pray

This is not to sound pious – it really makes a difference. Pray for our growth, holiness, the lost, the leadership. It is in prayer that our hearts momentarily align with God and we need to discern God’s heart for our community. We thus urge you to please consider our community in your prayer-life.

Invite

Invite people to be part of this, whether they are sceptic, believers or nominal believers. If you think someone might benefit from our ministry, invite them along. At Dialogue we really do not just want to exist for our so-called members. As a matter of fact, many of our activities are specifically aimed at those we wish to invite into Christian fellowship.

Serve

Serve where you can. We have loads of activities running all the time. We always need more musicians, tutors, welcoming-team, technical support, cell groups, prayer etc.

Be hospitable

Be hospitable to outsiders. Most people commit to a church not because they like the sermons or the music, but because they feel welcome. Please go out of your way to engage with newcomers. It is horrible to go to a place for the first time without knowing anyone. We can make it easier by really seeing and engaging with everyone at church, not just our circle of friends.

Give

Give to the church so the ministry can continue and expand. Also a big thank you to those who are already giving.