Thursday, November 19, 2009

Transforming Theology Blog Tour - Video Interview with Harvey Cox Courtesy of Homebrewed Crhistianity

As promised, video from an interview with Harvey Cox regarding some of the theses of The Future of Faith. What Cox expresses in the video manifests the same concerns I expressed in my review of chs 2 and 3 of the book.

Watch the video and let me know your response!

Homebrewed Christianity
» thinking » When I talked to Harvey Cox…

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Last night C. and I went downtown for a birthday celebration--dinner at a chic café, a free concert concluding in Beethoven's 3rd, and a birthday brownie purchased at Starbucks that we nibbled on the train back uptown. (NB: We're still holding out. No peppermint mochas until after Thanksgiving!) An all together good way to turn twenty-seven.

The train was crowded--droves of people stepped on board with us as the theatre district let out for the night. C. found a seat, and I started out standing next to her. But four or five stops later, a seat opened up, so I scooped it up and set to sipping my decaf and ignoring the bustle of people around me.

Specifically, I was attempting to ignore the man sitting next to me, but this took some work. He was fiddling with the headphones of his personal radio, and this was quite the task because he had only one arm. I wasn't exactly sure how to respond. Do I offer a helping hand?--I could already see that could be in bad taste. But wouldn't I want someone to help me untangle my headphones.

He broke the silence first. "I'm not getting off; I'm just switching radios. This one gets bad reception. My cell phone radio is better up here." I asked him about his cell phone, about pre-pay cell phones in general, and I eventually helped him untangle his earbuds.

We compared cell phones. I pulled out my beat-up freebie-with-sign-up model. He asked if I was a student. I told him I'm going to seminary. He asked how I'd decided to do that.

And the conversation seized up. How do I answer that on the train? I stumbled about a bit, gestured that it would be a long story, and spluttered something about wanting to tell people about Jesus. The guy nodded with a knowing look.

It was the kind of moment where you might think God is testing you. What do you really believe, Josh? Will you confess my name? Will you speak the good news even when it could get awkward?

We talked a bit more. He'd grown up in a ministry family in a very repressive Holiness church. Now he's an artist, a photographer--though he chose his words very carefully in telling me what he did. He'd walked away from church and found it hard to relate to the people at the church where he'd grown up. A lot of his friends had died.

He was headed further north than me. As we rolled into my stop, I gritted my teeth, my muscles tightened, and I told him why I'm in ministry. "Things look so hopeless right now. I want to tell people that there's hope, that when Jesus came back to life after dying on a cross it proved that God is with us and wants to bring us into his good life."

I stood to walk out into the night. "My name's I.," he said. "It's been good talking with you." He grasped my hand. I said I hoped to see him around sometime, and I walked out onto the platform.

Walking with God – Why Is It So Hard? « Godspace

Christine Sine posts a wonderful reflection on the importance of relationship in our lives of following Jesus. Here's an excerpt:

Christianity is all about relationships. God created humankind to live in relationship – with God, with each other and with God’s good creation. Primarily the Fall broke relationship – it disconnected us from God, distorted our mutually caring relationships with each other and destroyed our stewardship of the earth.

We live in a world that still has a very distorted idea of relationships and we often accept this without a murmur because our lives too are a series of tasks to accomplish rather than a relationship deepening experience.

Our world majors on disposable relationships. We move, we change jobs, or we change churches and we disconnect from the relationships that under girded our previous life. Even our involvement in issues of social justice become tasks to accomplish that result in few if any relationships. No wonder we can swing from passionate concern about tsunamis in Samoa to child trafficking in Thailand without any concern for the impact of our swinging concerns.

And it is easy for us to justify our disconnect… especially when our relationships are seen as tasks to accomplish rather than as opportunities to both experience and represent the God who cares so passionately for our world that he sent his son to live amongst us.

Walking with God – Why Is It So Hard? « Godspace

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Monday, November 9, 2009

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Kyria Blog: Twenty-One Things the World Will Say About Christians

Kyria Blog: Twenty-One Things the World Will Say About Christians

I stumbled across this over on Kyria Blog:

These are Lauren Winner's 21 characteristics that - if we all are faithful now - the world will say about Christians by the end of this century. In other words, she hopes that the average person on the street in the year 2092 might think of these qualities when asked what Christians are like.

By the end of the 21st century, Christians will...
1. Be peacemakers.
2. Be expected to be the first ones to show up when disaster strikes.
3. Rest, because they know they're not the ones in charge.
4. While resting, reconfigure their work.
5. Live well in their bodies, whether by their diet, their sex lives, or the clothes they wear.
6. Practice boredom. They will not succumb to the "fetish of the new or the cult of novelty" when it comes to their faith.

7. Be truth-tellers, even if the answer is "I don't know." Even "authenticity" and confession can be a pose.
8. Practice silence in small and big ways, including in solitude.
9. Live in communities where everyone has access to power, and everyone can and will share it with others.
10. Live in communities where women can do anything.
11. Go to church with the people they live near.
12. Persist in making Kingdom demands. This means taking the same request to God, over and over!
13. When we think about God, we think about what needs to change next. This is largely informed by Tozer: what we think about when we think about God is the most important thing about ourselves.
14. Eat fewer strawberries. We will tread lightly on the planet and not risk the energy and harm to our planet just so we can have strawberries in January.
15. See ourselves as small characters in a larger story. As Winner's colleagues at Duke suggest, a "saint" can fail in a way that a "hero" cannot, which opens the doors to ideas like forgiveness and new possibilities of God.
16. Lament. ("We don't do this well. Jews do it a bit better.")
17. Throw good parties. Afterall, we're here to practice for the heavenly banquet!
18. Not gossip. This means talking about someone who is not present. Period.
19. Have unity without obliterating diversity, and that's because of the Trinity.
20. Understand something about grace (despite our 19 wonderful attributes above).
21. Describe reality and the spiritual sacraments in such a way as to "make mouths water and hearts hunger."

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Church Is/Should Be . . .

I picked up this video from Eliacín's blog.

TransFORM: Missional Community Formation from TransFORM on Vimeo.

the 1930s all over again

A friend posted a link to this article on facebook. Give it a read and let me know what you think.

Monday, November 2, 2009

Transforming Theology Blog Tour - Update: Other Bloggers to Check Out

Check out some of the other bloggers on the Transforming Theology blog tour:

Transforming Theology Blog Tour - The Holy and the Story - Particularity, Dialogue, and the Kingdom / Harvey Cox, The Future of Faith. Chs 2 and 3

AAR is coming up, and I hope you are looking forward to the Transforming Theology session at AAR this year. Stay tuned; I will be posting video from the session.

Thus far I've only worked through the first six chapters of The Future of Faith. But even only a third of the way into the text, I have a number of questions and reflections on Cox' project. I encourage you to pick up a copy of the book and to continue the conversation with me and with others on the blog tour.

the Jesus Manifesto » the least of these my brethren

the Jesus Manifesto » the least of these my brethren

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