Well, this is a day late.

Yesterday I spent the day on a trail ride. Actually it was a work day; trail maintenance. Mantracker is coming to our neighborhood and my brother is going to be the guide!

Anyway, here is a two part interview where Pastor Neil Christopher briefly shares his story and then he and Pastor Nar begin a discussion on mysticism, ecstatic utterances, Gnostic Christianity, and go head-on into one of the most widely debated topics in Christian theology: Ultimate Reconciliation.
Part 1.
Part 2.

By the way, the Sunday Morning Podcast may be late for the next month as I will be participating in some ranch rodeos.

This week I have a Q video for your viewing enjoyment.

I must say that I operate out of a very similar paradigm as Brian. The paradigm shift I went through to get here has been as drastic as the ‘born-again’ paradigm shift I experienced two decades ago. As a matter of fact, you could say that I have been ‘born-again’ … again!
Like Anne Rice, I could easily say that, in the name of Christ, I am no longer a Christian, if by christian you mean Protestant/Evangelical orthodox; the orthodoxy that flows from a ‘Constantinian Shift’ Theology. [Constantinian Shift: Hebrew/ Early Christian faith's marriage with Greek philosophy/thinking and Roman's power/politics].
In one generation, what it meant to be a Jesus follower did a 180°. For example:

Pre-Constantine, to be christian meant you were anti-violence/ pacifist – persecuted, in part, for a refusal to pick up arms.
Post-Constantine, one could not be part of the Empirical army if they were not ‘a christian’.

To top that off, at this point in history, we have Christians starting to kill other Christians for their differing beliefs. Creedal Christianity gave birth to death and violence within Christianity that results from the us vs them mentality it produces; from crusades and heretic hunts to God hates fags!

The way I see it, it is out of this Constantinian Shift that most if not all our modern theology/understanding of God is birthed. This is the prime filter through which we understand God, interpret the scriptures and interpret our spiritual experiences.

In the above video, Scott is operating more out of a paradigm that is the result of this Constantinian shift. Brian [and myself] are trying to operate fro somewhere else.

The protest-ants have no problem saying that the catholic “institutional church” had been traveling down a wrong path; but God forbid if the question of whether they are and have been on the wrong track is put forth to them. That is when they pull out the ‘H’ word. The image of a fork in the wrong road is a great metaphor for the issues that just don’t make sense to me any more: heaven/hell; universalism/ exclusivism; Calvinism/Arminianism; liberal/ conservative. Call me a heretic, but these issues and many more of the fundamental stuff, are, in my mind, obsolete and irrelevant. They deal with questions and issues that are only relevant on the  road modern Christianity finds it self on. I have repented (done an about face) and am looking for the fork in the road that our modern Christianity missed in the distant past. My goal is to take the ancient, pre-Constantine faith and bring it in to the modern/ post-modern era. And I don’t expect it will look very churchy to many.

Interview with Philip Gulley, author of If The Church Were Christian, discussion of Church in the Inventive Age, and good vibration in Right On.

More…

Reggie McNeal: “The church doesn’t have a mission; the mission has a church.” via

The various “new perspective” scholars bother some people because for all their differences, they generally agree that Luther and Calvin grappled with Paul as if Paul was like them – a 16th Century Reformer whose primary antagonist was a religious institution very much like the medieval papacy.

I think we’re at a real renaissance period in biblical studies. Yes, some will fight new perspectives on old texts tooth and nail, just as they did in the 1st and 16th centuries … declaring that the old wine is good enough, thank you very much. But new wine keeps showing up in old vessels … and so this is a wonderful time to be alive and enjoy the flavor.
McLaren

I think the conversation is more important than the conclusion. Not everyone believes this. To many (and I think this is a fundamentalist value), knowledge of the truth is valued more highly than the search for it.
The Naked Pastor

CBC Tapestry:Interview with Richard Rohr

But first enter into a Modern Lament: by Reverend Vince, Amy Moffet and the band – as heard on a recording of a group discussion during the Trans4m Conference.

Maranatha

You are my strength, when I am weak,
You are my strength, when I am weak,
You are my strength, when I am weak.
Maranatha, Maranatha, Maranatha.

I’ve given up, sometimes when I’ve been tired,
I’ve given up, sometimes when I’ve been tired,
I’ve given up, sometimes when I’ve been tired.
Does it move You? Does it move You? Does it move You?

I curse the day, when  I received the light,
I curse the day, when  I received the light,
I curse the day, when  I received the light.
When you deceived me, When you deceived me, When you deceived me.

I’ve fucked it up, so many times,
I’ve fucked it up Lord, so many times,
I’ve fucked it up Lord, so many times.
Hallelujah, Hallelujah, Hallelujah.

I found my home, in Babylon,
I found my home, right here in Babylon,
I found my home, here in Babylon,
Here in exile! Here in exile. Here in exile.

Some of the nuttiest American religious leaders today (and in the past) have latched on to one form or another of Christian Zionism.
Frank Schaeffer

The Anabaptists (and those who affiliate with them, ecclesially or theologically) have been profoundly shaped by the work of the Mennonite theologian John Howard Yoder, in particular his epic book The Politics of Jesus. A central tenet of Anabaptist theology is the Constantinian heresy, also called Christendom. According to the Anabaptists, Christianity became corrupted when the Roman emperor Constantine declared Christianity to be the official religion of the Empire. Up to that point, Christians, as a marginal and powerless group, were able to faithfully live out the Sermon on the Mount, a life and witness very much in contrast with the violence of Empire. But in the wake of Constantine and the establishment of a “Christian Empire”–called Christendom–Christians, now holding power, had to make critical concessions. No longer could the Sermon on the Mount be followed literally. Thus, Constantinian theologians stepped in to reconcile the teachings of the radical, peasant rabbi with the gilded halls of power and affluence. The two, you might expect, didn’t fit well together. So Christianity became diluted and corrupted. More, Christianity became an instrument of the state. Being a good Christian meant being a good citizen and a flag waving patriot. Jesus and the Empire were now one and the same.
Experimental Theology

“For too long we have read scripture with nineteenth-century eyes and sixteenth-century questions. It’s time to get back to reading with first-century eyes and twenty-first century questions.” – N.T. Wright VIA

I’m not sure what it is, whether it’s the exotic unfamiliarity of Buddhism in contrast to the assumed familiarity of Christianity, or the fact that Buddhists are less numerous and politically significant in the West, or something else entirely. But when the Dalai Lama speaks of ahimsa, people lap it up. But when a Christian speaks of nonviolence, people call it irresponsible.
Matt Stone

It is a tragedy that, among those who uphold the banner of redemptive violence (especially at a global level), the voices of Christians are often the loudest.  What Sharon Baker sets out to do in Razing Hell is remind those who follow Jesus that the way to peace is through restoration and reconciliation, not retribution.
Razing Hell

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