How does one go through “the process of deep experiences of purgation” without having one’s faith annihilated?Â or perhaps it allows one’s faith to be resurrected?
“If it is true that the real intimacy of participation in the divine life, of spiritual union with God in Christ, occurs only through the process of deep experiences of purgation, then somehow we need to foster communities that allow and even promote this journey.”
I’ve overheard whether the book genuinely can be seen as a manifesto or is it more like a mosaic of hope? I’m reading the book. … some chapters grab me more than others. I guess the same would go for the posts for the blog site. Brian McLaren offers one perspective on the book which hopes to draw people into the conversation more (as he always done even in real person):
“It’s easy to understand why so many people have been saying that “emergent village is a conversation among highly educated, white, middle-class, younger evangelicals.” After all, when Emergent Village puts on events midweek which require air travel and hotel accommodations and rental cars, large numbers of people—notably poor people—are unintentionally excluded. The same is true regarding publishing—which tends to favor certain kinds of “insiders” and disfavors others. The Internet is more egalitarian, but even there blogging still has a kind of elitism. These problems aren’t unique to Emergent Village, of course.
The truth is, emergent did begin with a lot of young, white, male evangelicals (plus some older ones, ahem). But soon, an emerging women’s leaders’ network helped balance the gender difference; simultaneously, the conversation became a hybrid between post-conservative evangelicals and post-liberal mainliners. A number of Roman Catholics and some Eastern Orthodox became involved as well, and people of color are possessing an increasingly high profile.
For evidence of that growing diversity one only needs to read An Emergent Manifesto of Hope. The list of authors shows how diverse the US emergent conversation has become.
Of course, the book is intentionally a manifesto of the emergent village in the United States, which may mislead some people to think that this conversation is exclusively or primarily North American. This would be another misjudgment, but that’s another story.”
I was caught by surprise the stirrings at Bob the builder’s place ðŸ™‚
Love the picture of the cross on the blog post!
Read on with caution … waves of questions:
“Our reaction against the institution is seen in metaphors such as organic, an emphasis on the communal or a focus on less structure more free flowing forms of liquid church. Whilst we may fear the term institution we need to look at what underlies this? As Brian McLaren points out in A New Kind of Christian do we really not like organised religion so that we are advocating a disorganised irreligion? Or are we voicing concerns about how the religion has been organised and practised such that the fruit we experience seems false or hypocritical with words not matching up with actions?
Then again do we need to take a reality check – do any of us ever fully live up to our professions or our intentions? Are we just in danger here of expressing dislike for one form of institution only to be guilty of the same practises ourselves?
Maybe worse are we in danger of loosing something where we become deliberately disorganised or de-institutionalised whilst still bearing all the marks of an institution? Or if eschew structure for a claim of every space being sacred and church present do we risk actually having nothing, a liquid that has nothing to contain it flows away, do we so want to end up soaked into our culture that we become indistinguishable from it?”
“Whilst it is important for the emerging story to engage with what God is doing now we also need to be informed of how we are all part of God’s story, just as we are all parts of the body of Christ. So whilst we can critique the institutional church we must also be open to being critiqued, whilst we can contribute and bring out new things we are also able to learn from what has gone before. “
I can relate to this:
“There is no particular need for us to get big headed or consider ourselves better than others, indeed as many people have acknowledged being involved in the vortex of emerging church can be both a very painful and a very hopeful process. “
Timely … Another good wave of questions:
“How do we avoid the slide into a pathological ecclesiology, whilst attending to the very real problems of church. How do we speak prophetically, idealistically and passionately to the need for church reformation, whilst being practical and pragmatic, without losing the confidence towards action? How do we find the best of church through history, to take us forward into the future, without a blind naive sentimentalism to the past, whilst on the other hand avoiding the fostering of a negative and bilious cynicism that invalidates everything that has gone before us?
How do we navigate these dilemmas and arrive at a positive and enabling vision of church, that leads us to ‘wellness?’”