Here are a couple reviews of Jones' book
Tuesday, October 4, 2011
Here are a couple reviews of Jones' book
Monday, October 3, 2011
We awaken in Christ's body
as Christ awakens our bodies,
and my poor hand is Christ, He enters
my foot, and is infinitely me.
I move my hand, and wonderfully
my hand becomes Christ, becomes all of Him
(for God is indivisibly
whole, seamless in His Godhood).
I move my foot, and at once
He appears like a flash of lightning.
Do my words seem blasphemous? -- Then
open your heart to Him
and let yourself receive the one
who is opening to you so deeply.
For if we genuinely love Him,
we wake up inside Christ's body
where all our body, all over,
every most hidden part of it,
is realized in joy as Him,
and He makes us, utterly, real,
and everything that is hurt, everything
that seemed to us dark, harsh, shameful,
maimed, ugly, irreparably
damaged, is in Him transformed
and recognized as whole, as lovely,
and radiant in His light
he awakens as the Beloved
in every last part of our body.
Postmodernism thus is not relativism or scepticism, as its uncomprehending critics almost daily charge, but minutely close attention to detail, a sense for the complexity and multiplicity of things, for close readings, for detailed histories, for sensitivity to differences. The postmodernists think the devil is in the details, but they also have reason to hope that none of this will antagonize God. For are not the modernists rather like the Shemites, furiously at work on the tower of Babel, on the “system,” as Kierkegaard would say with biting irony, and are not the postmodernists following the lead of God, who in deconstructing the tower clearly favors a multiplicity of languages, frameworks, paradigms, perspectives, angles? From a religious point of view, does not postmodernism argue that God’s point of view is reserved for God, while the human standpoint is immersed in the multiplicity of angles? (pp. 49-50)– John D. Caputo, Philosophy and Theology
Tuesday, September 6, 2011
by Roger Wolsey
And if you’re a young adult in America, you probably shouldn’t be either. The odds are increasingly against it. Few friends who went to high school or college with me, and even fewer of my more recent friends and acquaintances, identify themselves as being Christian. Many of my peers who were raised in the church have shifted away from Christianity toward other religions — or increasingly, to no religion.
A few years ago, the Barna Research Group conducted a study of young people asking them what they think of when they hear the word “Christian.” The top three answers were, “anti-gay,” “exclusive,” and “judgmental.”
If that’s what Christianity were all about, I wouldn’t want any part of it either.
Happily, it isn’t. Over the past 20 years, there has been a growing movement to reclaim Christianity from those who’ve distorted it into something that Jesus and his earliest followers wouldn’t easily recognize — conservative evangelicalism and fundamentalism. The movement has emerged on two fronts, roughly simultaneously. One wing comes from the mainline Protestant and Catholic Churches that, due to the shift from modern era mindsets into postmodern ones, have shifted from liberal theology to “progressive” Christianity. The other wing comes from young people within the Evangelical communities who are questioning and redefining their tradition and is known as “emergent” Christianity. Combined, these movements are a new Reformation.
Scholar Dr. Phyllis Tickle asserts that every 500 years, Christianity has experienced such renewal movements. We’re due for another one — and it’s happening now. Emergent Christian pastor and author Doug Pagitt suggests that human society is now entering the “Inventive Age” and this correlates with reformation in the religious realms.
I’m a part of this reformation. As a proponent of progressive Christianity I’ve come to question some of the things that have been written about it. The description of progressive Christianity on the website Religioustolerance.org conveys several misnomers. It begins by stating, “progressive Christianity represents the most liberal wing of Christianity, just as fundamentalist Christianity is the most conservative.” I challenge that statement in two ways. Progressive Christianity is influenced by a postmodern mindset and liberal Christianity is a product of the modern era. Progressive Christianity is a post-liberal phenomenon.
Moreover, people are increasingly not seeking to be convinced by logical or rhetorical evidence in order to come to Christ. They sense that faith isn’t something that one comes to through debate, data, or arguments. Instead, they realize that faith comes by noticing the lives of people who have faith and then living into it themselves. Today’s generation embraces a more nuanced, experiential, paradoxical, mystical, and relational approach to faith and spirituality. We like it relevant, down-to-earth, and real. This is the same approach that the early Christians experienced and understood. What’s referred to as “progressive Christianity” isn’t really new. It’s a reformation of the Church to its earlier, pre-modernist and pre-Constantinian roots. Rather than focusing on exclusion, judging, and damning, progressive Christians reclaim our original values of inclusion, grace, acceptance, justice, and unconditional love. In reality, it is progressive Christianity that is conservative — conserving what made Christianity such a beautiful gift to the world in the first place.
Progressive and emergent Christianities are trees that have been growing parallel to each other — largely without much awareness or inter-action. It may be fair to say that progressive Christians are more unanimously pro-LGBTQI while emergents are of mixed minds on those matters. However, we’re now in a “mash-up” culture where the lines are increasingly being blurred and emergent Christian writer Brian McLaren appears to now be identifying as a progressive Christian. The recent Wild Goose Festival held in North Carolina was a national gathering bringing together leaders and participants from both traditions.
Unlike the dated description from ReligiousTolerance.org (“they are not particularly vocal about their beliefs”) progressive Christians are increasingly loud and vocal.
We are reforming Christianity for the 21st Century.
Monday, September 5, 2011
The Grace Collective blog grew out of the Emergent Santa Fe facebook Community Page. A small group of us has formed around sharing our experiences of the Emergent movement's ideas on following the Way of Jesus ("Where two or more are gathered . . ."). We're people in the Santa Fe area who find value in having a dialogue around emergent movement writers and concepts. We're excited about exploring what it means and what it looks like to be a follower of Christ in the 21st Century. Our intention is to create a safe place to ask questions and converse about faith, spirituality, social justice, the environment, and fair trade, among other things.
If you are not yet familiar with the Emergent phenomena, keep checking back to see our experience as we document it in this blog.
In other words, "Come and See!" And if you like the ideas and experiences that we share here, contact us either through this blog or our facebook page. That way you can join us in person and share with us.