emergent

i’m reading The Complex Christ again… i decided when i first read the book, 12 months ago, that i’d read it when i’d been in the job a while and had some more reference points.

this quote fills me with hope (and challenge)…

“My problem with many of these ‘Emerging Church’ projects is that they are still attempting to bring church up to date by ‘trainspotting’ some aspect of culture and making church fit it. I want to argue that in the ‘Emergent Church’ the emphasis will be on being the train, rather than trainspotting: rather than trying to import culture into church and make it ‘cool’, we instead need to become ‘wombs of the divine’ and completely rebirth the Church into a host culture.” – p.71

wombs of the divine…

it fits with what i’ve been thinking about incarnational theology… is it about whether we take responsibility for incarnating God into a culture, or whether we believe God is incarnated there already, and we are finding the language, images, stories, spaces that point to it.

we’re not rebirthing Christ, we’re rebirthing the Church…

which is both easier (i couldn’t be hip if i tried), and much much harder… i’m thinking about this in terms of the prison… i can’t rely on bringing the truths of God with me in a pre-packaged formula. i have to have the faith that this story of grace, forgiveness, hope, compassion, redemption is unfolding there already, and find the language, image, stories etc. to point to it, and celebrate it.

the bible says there is no place where God will not be before us… it takes a lot of faith to see that in the prison. it’s very tempting to take shortcuts and bring God in but that’s when the hope of the gospel becomes false hope – it’s born of my making, not God’s.

it seems to me that rebirthing the Church into a host culture is the ultimate quest of the emergent church, and maybe prisons, and places like it, are its ultimate test…

i have to say, it’s testing my faith… that can only be a good thing.

1 Comments

  1. ive put the bok on the desk for a second read after i finish pete rollins book and mclarens latest book, it’s definately a book worth going back to every now and then…

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