Friday, August 26, 2005
Thursday, August 25, 2005
We met in Commons—Penny, Nadine, Mitch, Iven, Tony, and I. Tony said I had an idea. They looked at me. I told them that Tony was lying and I didn't have an idea at all. They looked at Tony. Tony gave me a dirty look and told me to tell them the idea. I told them I had a stupid idea that we couldn't do without getting attacked. They leaned in. I told them that we should build a confession booth in the middle of campus and paint a sign on it that said "Confess your sins." Penny put her hands over her mouth. Nadine smiled. Iven laughed. Mitch started drawing the designs for the booth on a napkin. Tony nodded his head. I wet my pants. "They may very well burn it down," Nadine said. "I will build a trapdoor," Mitch said with his finger in the air. "I like it, Don." Iven patted me on the back. "I don't want anything to do with it," Penny said. "Neither do I," I told her. "Okay, you guys." Tony gathered everybody's attention. "Here's the catch." He leaned in a little. "We are not actually going to accept confessions." We all looked at him in confusion...
Wednesday, August 24, 2005
Monday, August 22, 2005
Friday, August 12, 2005
the sort of evangelicalism the EM is striving for is anabaptist. As we in the EM seek to fashion a label and a category for what is going on, perhaps the only genuine label that comes close is "anabaptist." Some of you may know of the famous booklet published by William R. McGrath called The Anabaptists: Neither Catholics nor Protestants. In many ways, I think the EM is a new statement of McGrath's claim. The best history of the movement is William R. Estep, The Anabaptist Story. I could wish that many in the EM would read this book, but realize that it is the story of another movement. The EM and Anabaptism are clearly different, but the spirit of the two is similar. Radical reformation, radical ecclesiology.Personally, I'm not at all sure that "anabaptist" is a genuine label for what's going on in emerging church circles. It's certainly true that most of the good/useful stuff I've heard in emerging circles is at least 4 centuries old, but dressing up like Shakespeare doesn't make one a playwright! And I think it's also true that many of the negative elements of early anabaptism are evident in the emerging church: a tendency to speak of "us and them," a fairly wreckless desire to push the boundaries and "reform" further, a possible-and-partial rejection/ignorance of what's gone before. But is the spirit of the two movements really the same, or is the similarity just a happy coincidence? Read more...
Tuesday, August 09, 2005
- Choosing peace through daily practices (How good does that look?!)
- The Scandal of the Evangelical conscience
- Anabaptists meeting muslims (Really looking forward to engaging with this one.)
- God & Violence
Now rest, my long divided heart, Fixed on this blissful center, rest. Here have I found a nobler part; Here heavenly pleasures fill my breast!
Monday, August 08, 2005
- When I observe a fault in you that rankles me and evokes in me an immediate label ["Jerk!"] to explain the differences - then I have reason to suspect that the fault I see in you in is me too. (My immediate inner argument with this statement is significant evidence of its possible truth.)
- There is no such thing as resistance in pastoral counselling or pastoral care relationship; there is only my inability to see the situation fully from the other's perspective or my unwillingness to recognise their right to say no. (My resistance to this conclusion suggests that I do not fully see how it applies to my last "difficult" counselee or my most recent "painful" conflict.)
- There are no communal conflicts with a single cause, a solitary villian, or an evil person who must be named, neutralised, neutered, or nuked. (But any community in conflict is much relieved by the simple act of identifying a scapegoat and loading the blame on its head.)
- When the temptation to label, finger, blame - or its reverse side, to excuse, exonerate, defend - becomes more attractive than exploring the whole, I will whisper to myself, "It's the system, stupid!" (Lasting change is system change. Lingering healing is communal growth. Effective pastoring pastors the system as well as the participants, the body as well as the organs and appendages.)
- Labelling, diagnosing, defining discrete linear causes in a conflict situation is a kind of nominalism that loves the Bible more than its central figure, the proposition more than the one who proposes, the menu more than the meal.
Saturday, August 06, 2005
Friday, August 05, 2005
Thursday, August 04, 2005
Wednesday, August 03, 2005
...it seems to me that too many people are assuming (or, at the very least, acting as if): The Kingdom of God is the Church which is Christianity.That was very carelessly put, so I'm glad of the chance to elaborate. I don't mean this statement exegetically. I can't really think of that many (Conservative Evangelical) Christians who have a thought-out understanding of the meaning and function of "kingdom" language and who conclude that "the Kingdom of God" is synonymous with "Church". That's not what I meant at all. Read more...