Pastoral Musings from Rain City

it's about 'what is church?' it's about whether 'emergent' is the latest Christian trend or something more substantial. it's musing on what it means to live the city, in America, in community, intergenerationally, at this time in history...

Friday, May 13, 2005

A Source for Being Provoked

In my introduction on the sidebar, I speak of how my own theology is continually being squeezed and deconstructed, the effect of which is to bring me out on the other side of the squeezing into a more spacious place. "Why are you being squeezed?" might be a question some would ask. The answer is longer than today's entry, but part of the answer is simple: those who show up and listen to the ideas of others with an open mind will have their understanding of God and the world continually challenged and re-shaped. It is, of course, vital that in the midst of such exposure, we remain committed to truth (rather than expedient shifts for the sake of accomodating cultural drifts). But we will definitlely need to allow ourselves to be provoked, for without such provoking, without allowing our ideas and convictions to be challenged and tested, we will forever remain the same; the same dogmas - same strengths - same weaknesses - same blind spots. Thus entrenched, we are in grave danger of rejecting the true gospel when it appears to us dressed differently. Should we succumb to such rejection, we would join a long line of fundamentalists throughout history who have been unable to make any paradigm shifts along the way, and so ended up missing Christ and the good news.

One great source of challenge to my thinking is NT Wright. A site with links to his writings will give you more material than you can possibly digest, and will no doubt introduce you to his thinking if you're willing to digest an article. I'm introducing him to you today, because he'll be in town this coming week, and his offerings look good. You might want to put your discernment hat on, open your mind, and come listen to him share.


At 3/6/05 14:50, Blogger E.G. said...

I don't know if this is where I should be posting this comment but here I go anyways. In attending Bethany for almost 5 or 6 years, I have sensed the deconstruction and reconstruction of your faith from the pulpit as well in personal conversations we've had. In fact, I came to Bethany during my own deconstructing and reconstructing faith process. I am encouraged to see that you want your faith to be a reality and not a bunch of moral codes or ideologies you live out in your head but a faith that is life-giving and life-changing. There are alot of issues you have blogged about (i.e. politics, poverty, stewardship of our resources). But there is an issue which seemed to stand out in my mind (not without bias of course)that seems to never be addressed from the pulpit or even in personal conversations, which is what are we (Bethany Community Church)doing to address the multi-cultural dimensions of our own congregation? I don't know if this makes sense to you. Bethany is not only growing in numbers but it's also growing in the mulitcultural diversity but how to deal with it or even acknowledge that it is growing in this way is really not acknowledged at all. I'm not saying multicultural issues are a problem but there is no acknowledgement of it. I would love to talk to you some more about it.
Erica Goos


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