We live in a time of radical change. The world in the 21st century is so complex and interconnected that a place to hear new ideas and exchange perspectives is advantageous.
The desire is to engage the Christian tradition while exploring contemporary thought and integrate them where possible.
This is done in the hopes of giving the church an authentic witness in the midst of a pluralistic societal context.
These posts are conversation starters that employ a progressive, emerging, innovative and thoughtful lens.
None of us want to bogged down in the ‘argument culture’. This blog is not full of criticism or critique but a hopeful presentation of what can be by looking at what currently is and some of the history that led up to here.
I challenge the status quo but with the optimism of what can be.
The advantage to a post-modern approach is that it acknowledges a multiplicity of possibilities. There is more than one way to approach an issue and how you start often impacts where you end. New days, new questions, new possibilities, new tools and new conclusions are just part of picture.
Some ideas that come up over and over again in the conversation:
I believe in necessary Complexity. Things are not simple. Simple dualisms and false binaries will not suffice for the road ahead.
Language provides the lens through which we interpret our world. Word pictures and conceptual frameworks are key for both conversation and ultimately action within our communities.
Narrative is the raw material for theology. Jesus told stories. The Bible is a story. Life is more than bullet points. Faith is more than propositions and formulas. The way that we talk and live should reflect this universal nature.
The ideas and words we use to frame and process are powerful. This involves word pictures, metaphors, new vocabulary and illustrations.
We don’t live in a 3 tiered universe. Telescopes, microscopes and space travel have changed how we thing about the universe. Former conceptions of the cosmos were influential on theology and doctrine – they are being rethought and renovated in light of our new understanding.
The world’s religions grew up in specific and historically located contexts. We are in the midst of a inter-National, trans-Cultural and multi-Racial world changing era of transformation.
The challenge is to re-interpret, re-envision and re-invigorate our unique heritage and tradition in light of this new day. The process is being undertaken all over the world by people of every stripe, color and generation in every religion and denomination.
Emergence Theory is a helpful way to understand and participate in the conversation of our day. It stands in contrast to top down – hierarchical – institutional models and their mechanistic and method-heavy approaches.
I am leery of schools of thought where God ends up looking like a blind watchmaker, cruel puppet master, absent land lord, divine trickster or a chess player playing both sides of the board. These notions ask to be reevaluated. I am asking where those pictures come from, how they got such a stronghold on our thinking and if we want/need them anymore.
I am not advocating a new type of Christianity,
I am acknowledging that Christianity is always being made new.
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