Wednesday, May 31, 2006
Tuesday, May 30, 2006
Saturday, May 27, 2006
A few years ago, Lynn Paddock sought Christian advice on how to discipline her growing brood of adopted children. Paddock -- a Johnston County mother accused of murdering Sean, her 4-year-old adopted son, and beating two other adopted children -- surfed the Internet, said her attorney, Michael Reece. She found literature by an evangelical minister and his wife who recommended using plumbing supply lines to spank misbehaving children.It sends chills up my spine. Read more...
Thursday, May 25, 2006
Thursday, May 25, 2006
"We might define true community as that place where the person you least want to live with always lives" (Parker Palmer)Community as Loyalty In chapter 2, David Augsburger defines community as 'a web of stubbornly loyal relationships knotted together into a living network of persons.' However, we need to remind ourselves that it is not merely a social network of individuals, but a web 'held firm by a central strand resolutely attached to Jesus' (p. 61). As previously, Augburger contrasts mono, bi and tri-polar spiritualities in their respective approaches. (He always manages to do it graciously though. I must pay closer attention to how he pulls that off!) Monopolar spirituality tends to connect persons on the basis of a shared universiality: the solidarity of humankind. Bipolar spirituality will often connect people in the shared receptivity towards the transcendent. Or, to put it in popular terms, think of that equilateral triangle often used as an example of Christian marriage. The two bottom-corners are the two Christians and as they move closer towards the top they are moving closer towards each other.) In contrast, tri-polar spirituality 'realizes that love of God and love of neighbour become one when united in shared life together'.
Wednesday, May 24, 2006
Tuesday, May 23, 2006
Tuesday, May 23, 2006
Monday, May 22, 2006
Monday, May 22, 2006
Friday, May 19, 2006
I am currently in the frustrating situation of having a real blogging-bug (i.e. eager to blog), but not actually possessing the time or energy to do so. So, I thought I'd treat you by showing that I really do not progress in the slightest, by posting something that I posted elsewhere, back in 2003.
However, I should admit up-front that I am obviously smug from how "on the ball" I was.
I've been thinking about how we do theology in a post-modern context. I have got a whole lot more thinking to do on that one, but I am really helped by some of the Anabaptist approaches to Scripture. Remind me to blog on that sometime.
This got me thinking about those cherished doctrines that we will have to re-think in the emerging church. We may come out of it with the same conclusions as our modernist evangelical friends, but how we reach those conclusions will, I am fairly sure, have to change. (An obvious example would be our appeal to proof-texts as the basis for our ethics. Saying that the Bible says we should not murder, does *not* solve the abortion debate once and for all!) We wil also need to be aware of those doctrines that will become increasingly unpalatable to those around us. Some of these will be beliefs that are currently almost definitive of Evangelicalism.
So, here's my prediction - in no particular order - of doctrines that will a) be dropped b) be revised beyond all recognition or c) be held onto, but at a cost:
1) The belief in a literal, physical return of Christ to the earth (I don't even need to mention the rapture, do I?!)
2) Homosexual orientation or activity being unacceptable
3) The inerrancy of Scripture
4) 6-days Creation
5) Conscious faith in Christ as the only way to "heaven"
6) Charismatic gifts being limited to the Apostolic age
7) The belief in ever-lasting conscious torment
8) No sex before marriage (we just need to start being honest about that one!)
Thursday, May 18, 2006
Sunday, May 14, 2006
Thursday, May 11, 2006
Christian practices have what we may call an "as-so" structure (or correspondence structure): as God has received us in Christ, so we too are to receive our fellow human beings. True, the way in which Christ's life is exemplary has to be carefully specified. Above all, the important difference between Christand other human beings should counter both the temptation to supplant Christ and the presumption that human beings can simply "repeat" Christ's work. But in an appropriately qualified way, in relation to the practice of hospitality as well as in relation to all other practices, we must say: As Christ, so we. (Practicing Theology, p.250)The Scriptural passages that could be claimed in support of this notion include: Mt. 6:10; Jn. 20:21; 1 Cor. 7:17; Rom. 6:4; 15:7; 2 Cor. 2:6; Eph. 4:32; 1 Cor. 15:49. Interestingly, this goes further, as seen in Romans 6:4, 6, 11. There the analogy appears to be "As Christ is dead to sin and alive to God, so likewise you are dead to sin and alive to God." Augsburger suggests that 'the indicative - what Christ has done for us - is followed by the implicative of a moral, relational, [imitating] call.' (P. 33.) However, this is more than simply a copy-cat ethics. Yoder argued that there is no general concept of living like Jesus in the New Testament - and Augsburger agrees. Instead, what is being prmoted is a correspondence, where our actions reflect (mediate?) the (perceived?) actions of God. The idea is that 'the believer's behaviour or attitude is said to "correspond to" or reflect or "partake of" the same quality or nature as that of the Lord.' (P. 35.) Read more...
Tuesday, May 09, 2006
Monday, May 08, 2006
Radical attachment to Jesus is not believing something about Jesus (a pietistic experience), or believing in Jesus (a conversionist experience), but believing Jesus (in discipleship) and believing what Jesus believed (in imitation). So, as he believed, love of God, love of neighbor, and becoming one's true self are three indivisble sides of the primary spiritual triangle.David Augsburger spends his first chapter unravelling and developing the notion of the Imitation of Christ, so important in Anabaptist spirituality. He makes it clear that before we engage in such a journey we need to ensure that we are following/imitating the right Jesus (not the Jesus of our imaginations, Sunday School posters or popular imagination). The Jesus we seek to imitate is the Jesus of the gospels. Radical Attachment includes participation as well as imitation. (Cf. Col. 2:6-7; Eph. 3:17-19.) Augsburger claims that 'participation is the soul of all active imitation of Christ.' (P. 27.) This entails a visible connectedness with Christ and others. And this is what rescues the notion and practice of imitation from being well, simple (and legalistic) imitation. Read more...
Saturday, May 06, 2006
- What did the Old Testament prophets call Jesus?
- What did God call Jesus?
- What did Jesus call himself?
- What did his friends say about him?
- What did his enemies say?