Here is a great interview. Great because it is between two Christians that have VERY different opinions and theology. Phil Shepherd – the Whiskey Preacher –  is interviewed by Chris Rosebrough of Pirate Christian Radio.

God Is Not Emergent” – Tony Jones

I hope that in the next year, emergents and missionals, organics and liturgicals, conservatives and progressives, can stop writing each other off. If I have to stop calling it the ‘emerging’ conversation in order to help missional and neo-pietist folk feel more welcome at the table, I will. Because I think that’s what Jesus – the whole, living Christ – wants.
zoecarnate

On Israel and the raid on the Flotilla:

But my ire today isn’t limited to this current humanitarian/political nightmare. What is really disappointing to me is the automatic support that many Christians give towards ANY actions that Israel takes. Do they equate Israel’s actions to God’s sanctioned will? If so, I’m thinking that is based on some really shoddy Bible study.
Captain’s Blog

A thought on heretics:

As I’ve said before, that stands to reason. As humanity evolves, our understanding of God does as well. Please hear me on that: God does not change, but our view of God does. Or it should. And again, that makes sense if we truly see transformation as a desirable bi-product of faith. Transformation is impossible without heretics; transformation is led by heretics.

It seems to me we’re in good company, as Jesus himself was the great heretic. He was the visible image of the invisible God who declared that existing religious dogma was no longer in force. And as a man, his contrary opinions eventually got him killed.
Waving or Drowning?

Finally, regarding the oil spill:

For too long, we evangelical Christians have maintained an uneasy ecological conscience. I include myself in this indictment.

We’ve had an inadequate view of human sin.
Russell Moore

I am beginning to envision a horrific picture of the body of Christ. I DO NOT like what this vision shows me. The Body of Christ more resembles the Bride of Frankenstein.

In order to have a heavenly image of Christ’s body, we need to look at the whole body. The problem is that there are cancerous portions to the body feedings on itself. When pushed, they may say the others outside of their sect, are part of the body, but in their minds and in their doctrines they see the others as outsiders.  “Those who do not believe [insert doctrine here] like us are deceived!” is their battle cry.

“The liberals are deceived,” cry the conservatives.

“The conservatives are deceived,” cry out the progressives.

Do I think some are deceived? Absolutely! As a matter of fact, I am confident that I am deceived – I just don’t know where yet.

As I started to get a grand image of the Body of Christ, I started falling away from the congregation that I was apart of. And I believe that this was of God. As a [post-]Charismatic [not anti nor non, but post], I would say that this part of the Body is hemorrhaging. And not only I, but many ex-leaders and even current leaders of this movement are calling for its wake-up call.

For example, one of the sore point of what I came out of was the idea of “God’s Authority” and “God’s Government”.  Not that all charismatic’s have the same idea or model of what this looks like, but the particular portion that I came out of very much had a papal/apostolic authoritative headship model. We all had authorities that we needed to submit to.

I believe that this model is a deception! I believe that this model is derived more from the Old Covenant and from the ruling of Rome then it does from Christ’s upside-down teachings of a non-authoritative, influencing, servant leadership. There is still accountability, there is still God’s order and governing, it’s just that these do not look like the world’s equivalent.

However, this debate is neither here nor there. The fact is that the poison of the cancer is not in these differing views but in the total rejection of the rest of the Body’s input. Truly the extreme of the apostolic/papal governance model is but one of many models used throughout the rest of the body. And all these other views have their biblical scholars that will argue for their positions. I firmly believe my position is the most sound biblical, christocentric position, and I will stick up for it. However, the deception greater than me being wrong in my position, would be my believing that my position is God’s position. The deception most dangerous to the Body of Christ is any teaching given in such an authoritative spirit (spoken from a pulpit as fact, as biblical and as non disputable) that it trumps all other opposing teachings in the Body and is seen as God’s Teaching. Such an arrogant, self-righteous authority is the fruit that reveals its source.

 There are countless other beliefs and doctrines that we need to get over. Discuss them, dialogue over them and debate them? Sure; To take a stand in one position as though it were God’s?  God forbid.  Once we stop fighting for these positions as though they were our own, then and only then can God himself lead the whole Body into the truth.  And I would not be surprised to find out that many of these opposing views are all part of the Truth.

If  I were to be honest, I do not hold out much hope for a better picture of the Body of Christ any time soon. One that includes Orthodox, Catholic, Protestants, Anabaptists, Reformed, Charismatics, Emergents, pre-modernists, modernists, post-modernists, …. I do not hold out much hope because this Body is made up of humanity; specifically, a breed of humanity that is, and historically has been, divisive and hateful towards one another in the name of God, rather than loving one another out of the heart of God.

I can only hope that some would read this and take comfort and loosen their strongholds. However, I know that the reality is that for some this will be heard as the rant of a deceived liberal apostate.

The Emergent Village’s 2010 conversation is happening in Atlanta GA Nov 1-3, 2010 at First Presbyterian Church

Postcolonialism and the Missional Future of the Church

With speakers:

I had the opportunity to work with Richard Twiss in the early 2000’s at a number of Christian First Nations Gatherings. I was a member of Silent Warrior, a drama/dance team that focused on the reconciliation of First Nations and their culture with Christianity and its culture. Great times.

St. Paul wrote, “When I was a child, I thought as a child…” And he’s right.

We may want to believe that this isn’t the case — that we have always had a homogeneous consistent world-view — but it’s simply impossible.

Reality isn’t monolithic.

Reality — as much as we might crave for it to be otherwise — isn’t fixed.

We often come to new understandings.

And once we come to new understandings, we can’t go back to our old, comfortable ways of thinking.

It’s amazing how often we all willfully pretend otherwise — we continue to associate with people and engage in activities that we know are no longer beneficial to us, purely for nostalgia’s sake.

Rabbi Brian

I listened to a few interviews on the Drew Marshall Show where Drew asked the more traditional guest where they had made or realized change over the course of living out their faith. The answer more often then not was, “They haven’t changed. ” I find this amazing. Christian faith and orthodoxy has been changing ever since the first few decades after Jesus’ death and resurrection and yet they are content to continue thinking as they always have.

If we are Christians that want to be faithful to the historic orthodox and creed’s, at the very lest we would need to become Orthodox. However, this would only bring us back to the fourth century.

There are historical Popes that would be declared Heretics today by the standards of the Catholic  Church itself, let alone the Orthodox or Protestant Church. If our faith is not growing; if our theology is not progressing, then we are still acting and thinking like children. This is why I am content to align myself with the Emergent Church- even if I don’t know what that means and even if I do not agree with everything they/I believe.

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.

The future belongs to those willing to let go, to stop trying to minimize the change we face, but rather to maximize the discontinuity. William Esu writes,

A new form of congregational life is dragging Christians kicking and screaming into the twenty-first century. The self understanding, focus, corporate culture, leadership, organizational styles, and strategies are radically different from those experienced throughout the twentieth century. The future church offers new opportunities and problems and requires a new mindset…

Brian McLaren, church on the other side: exploring the radical future of the local congregation