Last week was the big Emergent Village theological conversation that I had the pleasure of  helping to organize. It was a wonderful event and this week I put some time into catching up on blog stuff.

Over at Ethnic Space, I started into 3 part series. Part 1 dealt with Pipelines and Straight lines

What really concerns me is that we don’t even see the straight lines. It never even dawns on us that they don’t exist. They occur nowhere in nature. They are imposed upon the land and laid over the land. They don’t come from the terrain and are not in partnership with the place.
And yet we never see them. The western mind sees what-is and assumes its giveness as a self validating presence.

Part 2 examine the Two Trolls that guard the bridge to a new way. It starts in 1421 when the Chinese land on the Pacific coast of N. America and ends by looking at Descartes’ nipples and belly buttons.

In response to Rachel Held-Evans’ call for men to address this ideas of ‘masculine Christianity’ I offered Bananas, Bullies, and the Bible: why you can’t start in the middle.

Like Ray Comfort and his banana, John Piper ends up making the opposite point than he wanted to! Comfort intended to exalt the original design but instead highlighted human cultivation, influence and adaption. Piper desired to show how God has made us but instead showed how we have made God.

I also look at the problem of Preaching for Happiness.  I start by quickly outlining the 3 predominant christianities in Canada and the US

  • Prophetic Christianity – critiquing the empire
  • Therapeutic Christianity – chaplains to the empire
  • Messianic Christianity – escaping everything (including the empire) through utopian visions

and then examine the amazing flowchart of happiness that I found.

In the middle I say “If the point of the gospel was to make people happy then this progression would be the best and most helpful thing that has ever been invented.
But, and this is a big butt, if the point of the gospel is anything other than making people happy, then this kind of formulaic thinking is the most distracting thing in the world.”

Around here we continued the conversation about the Wesleyan Quadrilateral of reason, experience, scripture and tradition. I think that the quad has a place in the 21st century but might need a little tweaking.

So, that is some of what I have been up to this week. I had a lot of catching up to do after the conference – a lot of ideas that had been building up.  I hope that you will jump in and join the conversation! See you next week.

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