November 2009


“In theology there is a term called “adiaphora.” It is a term used to refer to things which, theologically speaking, we are indifferent to.” (Richard Beck)

Things I care more about:

  1. Justice
  2. Community/ ‘Organic Ecclesia’
  3. Unity in Diversity
  4. Dialogue
  5. Kingdom of God

Things I  care less about:

  1. Doctrine for doctrine’s sake
  2. Meetings/Programs/’Institutional Church’
  3. Orthodoxy
  4. Debate
  5. Eternity

What is on your lists?

On Original Sin and the origins of doctrine:

Christianity obviously has a doctrine of Original Sin. Christianity also has a concept of Original Inherited Sin (i.e., it was/is passed through conception and birth?). I’m sure this doctrine and concept has more to do with Plato and the influence of the philosophical School of Alexandria upon early church fathers (they wrote the doctrine and theology) more than it has to do with Jesus of Nazareth and Hebrew thought and theology …
read more…

It was not until the fusion of Platonic and Aristotelian theology with Christianity that the concepts of strict omnipotence, omniscience, or benevolence became commonplace.
Wikipedia

On faith:

I know no faith except Christianity. I walk the Christ-path into the mystery of God, but I do not believe that God is a Christian. Christianity is a noble human system whereby millions of people have journeyed into the mystery of God and transcendence. The goal of faith is not to become Christian: it is to become whole.
John Shelby Spong

On the future of faith:

All of this underscores what many of us have seen coming for the last decade plus. We have entered what many think is the first stage of the long term breakup of Christendom.
John Armstrong

Confined to the parameters of liberal rationalism, [evangelicalism in the west— a movement whose members adhere to conversionism, Biblicism, activism and crucicentrism] has mounted no challenge to the present political order and offered no intellectually acceptable explanation for how one is to live and think in the postmodern world. As this magazine has chronicled, its brightest children are throwing up their hands in record numbers, defecting heavy-heartedly to less temporal churches, or to no church at all.
Get Over It[via]

You Scored as Emergent/Postmodern

You are Emergent/Postmodern in your theology. You feel alienated from older forms of church, you don’t think they connect to modern culture very well. No one knows the whole truth about God, and we have much to learn from each other, and so learning takes place in dialogue. Evangelism should take place in relationships rather than through crusades and altar-calls. People are interested in spirituality and want to ask questions, so the church should help them to do this.

  • Emergent/Postmodern                         82%
  • Neo orthodox                                          61%
  • Modern Liberal                                       57%
  • Classical Liberal                                     54%
  • Evangelical Holiness/Wesleyan        46%
  • Roman Catholic                                     39%
  • Reformed Evangelical                          32%
  • Charismatic/Pentecostal                     25%
  • Fundamentalist                                        4%

Interesting results from taking a short and completely anonymous quiz titled What’s your theological worldview?. I guess the big surprise for me is that I answered more for Roman Catholic then for Evangelical. The descriptive paragraph is completely accurate.

“You are the salt of the earth. But if salt loses its flavor, how can it be made salty again? It is no longer good for anything except to be thrown out and trampled on by people. You are the light of the world. A city located on a hill cannot be hidden. People do not light a lamp and put it under a basket but on a lamp-stand, and it gives light to all in the house. In the same way, let your light shine before people, so that they can see your good deeds and give honor to your Father in heaven.
Matthew 5:13-16

But as for you, communicate the behavior that goes with sound teaching. Older men are to be temperate, dignified, self-controlled, sound in faith, in love, and in endurance. Older women likewise are to exhibit behavior fitting for those who are holy, not slandering, not slaves to excessive drinking, but teaching what is good. In this way they will train the younger women to love their husbands, to love their children, to be self-controlled, pure, fulfilling their duties at home, kind, being subject to their own husbands, so that the message of God may not be discredited. Encourage younger men likewise to be self-controlled, showing yourself to be an example of good works in every way. In your teaching show integrity, dignity, and a sound message that cannot be criticized, so that any opponent will be at a loss, because he has nothing evil to say about us. Slaves are to be subject to their own masters in everything, to do what is wanted and not talk back, not pilfering, but showing all good faith, in order to bring credit to the teaching of God our Savior in everything.
Titus 2:1-10

So that. Our lives need to be lived in a way so that. This is not in regard to morality per se. It is very much dependent on cultural context. And I see no reason that we cannot apply this to doctrines and theology as well. Not that a theology should be rejected if it is unpopular, but we should take a second look at it.

For instance, the doctrine of slavery:

  1. Slavery is an idea that the bible condones.
  2. Our current culture does not condone slavery.
  3. How should we as Christians view slavery?

We can now go back and find other ideas throughout the bible that we can now allow to supersede the idea of slavery. What are the other theologies, practices and ideas that we should take a second look at? After all, very few theologies are found unquestionably in the scriptures. For instance, even the trinity is a doctrine that developed over the course of 300 years before it was hammered out and became creed.

My theological pick is ‘original sin’, the fall and the penal substitution view of atonement. My cultural practice pick is anything that reeks of a money grab.

What are your picks?

Orgasmic Holiness: A life style live in such a manner that others say, “I want what he has.”

The video says it all!

An amazing array of Christian leaders from across the denominational spectrum have convinced me of some bad news and some encouraging news. The bad news: the Christian faith in all its forms is in trouble. The good news: the Christian faith in all its forms is pregnant with new possibilities. (ix)

from A New Kind of Christianity: Ten Questions That Are Transforming the Faith (available February 9, 2010)

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(originally posted on Brian’s site)

  • Scot McKnight commenting on priesthood of all consumers.
  • A review of Greg Boyd’s newest book, The Myth of a Christian Religion: Losing Your Religion for the Beauty of a Revolution by Scot McKnight:

    “History teaches that the best way to destroy the Church is to give it political power”

  • From A Former Leader’s Journey

    When I finally walked out I realized that I had been put into a prison of my own imagination. God was not like this. I did not have to do all the stuff to keep my business safe or prospering. He did not promise me a business where nothing went wrong. He promised to be my God in the midst of my business – nothing more. And you know what? It is more than enough. It is wonderful.

  • Author/Speaker/Theologian Wolfgang Simson said it is important for Christians to “stop bringing people to church, and start bringing church to the people.”
  • “God has no use for Zombie Christians. Only submitted ones. Just sayin’. :)” by Jeff McQ

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