According to some Christian outlooks we were made for another world. Perhaps, rather, we were made for
this world to recreate, reclaim, and renew unto God's future aspiration by the power of His Spirit. - R.E. Slater
Secularization theory has been massively falsified. We don't live in an age of secularity. We live in an age of
explosive, pervasive religiosity... an age of religious pluralism. - Peter L. Berger
Exploring the edge of life and faith in a post-everything world. - Todd Littleton
I don't need another reason to believe, your love is all around for me to see. - anon
Thou art our need; and in giving us more of thyself thou givest us all. - Khalil Gibran, Prayer XXIII
Be careful what you pretend to be. You become what you pretend to be. - Kurt Vonnegut
Religious beliefs, far from being primary, are often shaped and adjusted by our social goals. - Jim Forest
People, even more than things, need to be restored, renewed, revived, reclaimed, and redeemed; never throw out anyone. - anon
... Certainly God's love has made fools of us all. - R.E. Slater
An apocalyptic Christian faith doesn't wait for Jesus to come, but for Jesus to become in our midst. - R.E. Slater
Christian belief in God begins with the cross and resurrection of Jesus, not with rational apologetics. - Eberhard Jüngel, Jürgen Moltmann
Our knowledge of God is through the 'I-Thou' encounter, not in finding God at the end of a syllogism or argument.
There is a grave danger in any Christian treatment of God as an object. The God of Jesus Christ and Scripture is
irreducibly subject and never made as an object, a force, a
power, or a principle that can be manipulated. - Emil Brunner
Ehyeh Asher Ehyeh means "I will be that who I have yet to become." - God (Ex 3.14)
Our job is to love others without stopping to inquire whether or not they are worthy. - Thomas Merton
The church is God's world-changing social experiment of bringing unlikes and differents to the Eucharist/Communion table
to share life with one another as a new kind of family. When this happens we show to the world what love, justice, peace,
reconciliation, and life together is designed by God to be. The church is God's show-and-tell for the world to see how God wants
us to live as a blended, global, polypluralistic family united with one will, by one Lord, and baptized by one Spirit. - anon
The cross that is planted at the heart of the history of the world cannot be uprooted. - Jacques Ellul

Saturday, March 15, 2014

Revisualizing the Church as Fellowship and Community

SHE’S NOT A MEGACHURCH. SHE’S MY SISTER.

http://shaunaniequist.com/shes-megachurch-shes-sister/By Posted in - General on March 11th, 2014
When I was three, we lived so close we could walk to the church my parents started. When the first building was being built, we’d walk over every evening to watch the construction. We had little hard hats, my brother and I, and we’d check every day what had been done, what new beams or walls, what new electrical or plumbing.
I know that my church’s name is shorthand for all manner of things—seeker movement, megachurch, modern evangelicalism, whatever.  But those words don’t tell you who she is.
She’s my sister. She’s less than a year older than me. Here in Chicago, we call that Irish twins. She was my playground, my safest place, my home more than the house I grew up in. I’ve worked there, cried there, stood in weddings there, witnessed funerals there. I fell in love there, working alongside the man who became my husband.
People ask what it’s like to be a pastor’s kid. I don’t know the difference. What’s it like to be anyone else’s kid?
What I know is that the church is my family every bit as much as my aunts and uncles are. What I know is that the very best parts of who I am today were nurtured along by that incredible community—by Sunday school teachers and junior high small group leaders and mentors and friends who walk with me still.
I know it’s a thing. I know people write about it, rage against it, have strong opinions about it. But I’m not talking about all that. I’m talking about who she is.
If I could reach through the computer and take you by the hand, I’d walk you through the hallways and tell you stories of confession and redemption. I’d show you where I learned to read God’s word, where I learned to listen for his Spirit, where I gave my life to him and to his purposes here on earth.
I’d show you where I got a concussion in junior high, and where I was standing when a boy reached to hold my hand for the first time. I’d show you where I was baptized, where I was when I watched the Twin Towers fall on September 11th, where I sat trembling just before I preached there for the first time, scared out of my mind.
I’d introduce you to Casey, who I met in 6th grade, who is one of my dearest friends to this day. I’d sit you down to talk with Dr Bilezekian, my Dad’s mentor, a man who’s been like a grandfather to me. I’d introduce you to men and women who’ve been volunteering there for more than thirty years, holding babies or packing up groceries in the care center or sweeping up, long after the services are over.
My church isn’t perfect. Sisters, of course, know each other’s faults better than anyone else. But being a sister also means you get a front row seat to the good, the beautiful, the fiercely loving and thoroughly grace-soaked best parts of it all. The view from here is breathtaking.
For a long time, I didn’t write much about my church. I needed, for a long time, to talk and write about other things, to make a way and a voice for myself that wasn’t only defined by the pastor’s daughter part of my life.
But this church of mine, this sister: it’s not only the church of my childhood. It’s the place where I pray, sing, confess, take communion now. It’s the community that shapes me, walks with me, instructs me, holds me now.
I’m not little anymore, and neither is she. But she’s still my sister.
You learn all sorts of things growing up the way I did. And one of them is this: the labels never suffice. The articles and blogs and books and outside opinions never will capture the real thing. They’ll reduce it to policy, numbers, data.
They fail to capture what a church actually is: real live actual humans, showing up day after day, year after year, building something durable and lovely over time, together, with prayer and forgiveness and love.
They forget that it isn’t an institution. It’s a family. She’s my sister.

Confessions of an Ex-Apologist: "In Defense of Why I Left My Calling"




On Being an Ex-Apologist
(Hardman, part 1 of 3)
  • Why is it that so many apologists are so consumed with the discipline that it seems to be what they eat, drink, and sleep?
  • Why is it that so many insist on “defending the faith” in the classroom, no matter what sort of insult, interruption or shame that brings the professor and class?
  • Why is it that so many are threatened when popular boundaries are brought into question by none other than fellow Christians?
  • Why is it, as I have seen personally, so many apologists turn out to be jerks, little different in rhetoric and spirit than the New Atheists they so fervently wish to counter?
Can the Devil not find his way into the apologetics camp too?

- Randy


* * * * * * * * * *



The Exodus of Inerrancy and Entrance Into Authenticity
(Hardman, part 2 of 3)
- Randy