I am an avid reader. I’ve usually got a few books on the go at once. Currently, I’m reading The Meaning of Jesus: Two Visions, How to Read the Bible, Revelations, and A Celebration of Discipline. I just purchased The Renovare Spiritual Formation Bible and have begun reading that. Yesterday I completed reading A New Reformation, where Matthew Fox lists his own 95 theses which he posted on the historically famous Wittenberg door. He describes a new approach to Christianity, which he calls Creation Spirituality. He has much to say about the nature of God, in the sense that he embraces the feminine or motherhood of God along with the masculine/fatherhood, and denies the notion of a punitive father god, so prevalent in theistic religion today.
It is a small read, only took me a few days to get through, yet powerful in the way in the challenge to embrace a postmodern spirituality. The thoughts are very radical, and I am not quite ready yet to accept some of the notions. Things like the equation of Christ and Buddha, and homosexuality as God-given, strike against what I have always known. I need to give these issues more serious thought and attention. I am leaning more and more his way as time goes on.
You can read Fox’s 95 Theses here
This is fucking hilarious……I think I’m a bit inspired by Stupid Church People today.
To think, I was doing some of these fucked-up crazy antics at one point! Hagin and Copeland were my modern faith heroes. How times do change.
Been thinking about the question of being a part of a church in our age. In my limited experience, it seems that even the most postmodern churches are still very much tied to the modern church structure. Pastors, sermons, programs, an us-and-them mentality, the people being primarily passive in participation. After feeling unable to continue attending church for a little while, and then joining my girlfriend at her church, I feel even more strongly about my aversion to modern church structure, though I have always been somewhat disillusioned when still an active participant. Sermons frustrated me; they seem to have very little impact, yet are treated as the centrepiece. The service is very much an individual experience. I bear with this now only for her sake, I do not wish to pull her away, and prefer to be there with her than away alone.
What a faith community looks like outside of the modern context is still somewhat of a mystery to me, but that is OK. My best guess is that it takes the form of something more of a discussion, so that each person contributes regardless of their level of knowledge. Every person can have the oppportunity to lead. The form of worship expression is entirely up to the group; some may be more liturgical, some quite musical, some simply talking. I don’t know how this will happen, I hope that God will help me see it to fruition in my local context.
Wow, I could barely do anything last week, the mind was such a blur I could barely think to write anything remotely interesting. Now I’m back to normal, I’d love to follow up on some of the earlier posts. I’m moving house this week, finally getting closer to my girlfriend and in a house that has a fridge and freezer! Yet I still have no internet at home, and wonder whether I really should. I don’t mind doing this stuff at work or in the library. I was an addict! I couldn’t get enough of the web. I wanted to do a blog for a while but didn’t want to encourage the problem. Now I’m in a job that has lots of quiet moments, it makes perfect sense.
Thank you those who are making comments, though due to the spam links I will be moderating them now.
The title is a bit of an overstatement, because I have lost none, but now engaging with them in meaningful dialogue about this journey is very difficult. They know the Gary of the past, the one who was quite firm in doctrinal convictions, who held a high moral ground, who spoke loudly against worldliness in the church. Little wonder then that communicating a significant change in direction is a frustrating experience. I related well to Dan in A New Kind of Christian, who goes through the transition struggle as a pastor. It is particularly difficult when your friend is a Southern Baptist seminary student!
I kind of made up that title to reflect something I’ve just been thinking about, namely how we can have a tendency to ‘prefer’ certain people and ideologies over others. Hence, if you read a review of a particular book on Amazon, you will see some viewpoints that suggest the author is the absolute ‘best’ in their field, and another suggesting that the theories are completely wrong. Now that I have been reading Marcus Borg, who reconstructs the Bible as ‘history metaphorized’, I have been seriously exposed to what is known as the ‘liberal’ side of theology. Yet I do not object in the slightest, rather I take it seriously and find much to delight in. I can do the very same on the conservative side. I have chosen now not to take sides; I am experiencing what Leif Hansen describes as ‘Bleeding Purple’, the tension of embracing both worlds. If you have not yet done so, please go listen to Leif’s insights.