Re: [indieallies-27] Hi ALL! meeting next Tues the 8th!!....

From: Susan W.
Sent on: Saturday, June 5, 2010 6:20 PM
Re: [indieallies-27] Hi ALL! meeting next Tues the 8th!!.... What an interesting conversation thread going on here.  Thanks for bringing such important issues into the light.  What attracts me to this cohort is the opportunity to safely explore doctrine, both in the affirmative (what is it exactly that we say we believe?) and the inquisitive (does this make ultimate sense?)I recommend everyone read sometime the fourth chapter of Karen Armstrong’s The Case for God, where she points out that for the early Christians the Gospel was “a mystery, not because it taught a lot of incomprehensible doctrines, but because it directed the attention of Christians toward a hidden level of reality.” Unfortunately, she goes on, “creed” and “belief” have become confused in the minds of those who try to dumb down the mystery for the literal minded, and the mainstream has still not recovered from that error.   The doctrine (creed) is of little substance until one has been transformed by the mystery into the much more subtle but rich realm of belief beyond words, images, and concepts. Let’s keep talking (and now I’ve just contradicted myself, but that’s what’s so cool about mystery!)


On 6/5/10 8:57 AM, "Bill Sahlman" <[address removed]> wrote:

Thanks Lee.
My friend's use of "controversial" was -- a desire to get at the main points of departure, as we re-read the gospels (particularly) in a new light.
of course, the dilemma comes in view:
he is asking for a modern, bullet-point list of believe statements to be defended
as opposed to a postmodern conversation to be engaged.

still, I thought it was a good exercise, to try and "slide across the table" and look at it from that side.
Thanks for your input. Hope to see on the 8th! Maybe we could talk about this a little then? I appreciate all your thoughts.

Bill



Hi Bill,

Thought 1.  First let me say that I like to break open the words being used in a statement or discussion and look for different ways that the key words can function to possible add depth and dimension to the subject being discussed.  I have separated and numbered my thoughts as I find this helps me communicate more effectively and hopefully reduces confusion to those who may be interested in what I am sharing, like separating wheat from chaff or what is useful or valuable from what is less-useful.

2.  So l
ooking at the definition of the word emergent, it implies, new or young, urgent, possible danger, rising up or coming out "of hiding"; "the seed was hiding in the dirt but had the power within to overcome the darkness that it had been subjugated to."  Something emergent or emerging (new) can pose a threat to to the old way of thinking at least from the perspective of those who can not see or perceive the new.  Remember, without vision the people perish.  
   
3.  Something controversial does not have to end up in an argument, however arguments do happen and it is really only an indication of what is inside of us as "the issues of life flow from the heart."  James 4. 1 seems fitting here "what causes fights and quarrels among you?  Don't they come from your desires that battle within you..."   When one states something in opposition to the establish way of thinking ie. emergent views (new ideas) vs. evangelical views (not as new) what is one's purpose or intent?  To be divisive, to learn, to challenge?  

4.  Avoid quarreling and those who are quarrelsome, be at peace with all men, owe no man nothing but love.

5.  Referring back to thought 1, one's intent needs to be one of sharing for the purpose of "building up" or an attempt to bring greater understanding to the group (body) and not to be contentious for the sake of being argumentative.  "That which one hates do not do to another."  Of course there are those who like to be argumentative too.  We know to beware of these types.  Balance however is key so challenging a position or thought that leads to an argument is not wrong it is only another perspective. If a different perspective aids one in having greater understanding of the topic being discussed then the different perspective was beneficial.  The converse is also true.  

6.  I know I have not shared any "emergent views" controversial or otherwise.  Like Anthony stated there is not really a creed or doctrinal position within the "emergent" camp.   That being said let me tie in Anthony's usage of the word s
ensibility which according to wikipedia "refers to an acute perception of or responsiveness toward something, such as the emotions <http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Emotion>  of another." This ties in with "that which you hate do not do to another"  and "regard others more highly than yourself."  Now tie in (or connect) the word views with perception or perspective.  This is important.  Why?  Because at the heart of your friends question is what does this new, up and coming (emergent) group of people that call themselves Christians perceive or think that is in opposition to the well establish and predominate way of thinking for all Christians (from the evangelical mind.)  I am not saying that your friend has an attitude or is taking sides so separate the question from your friend.  

I feel I have gotten too long winded here and I could add more but I will leave with a friendly challenge for one to study perception; what the scriptures have to say about it and what the physical sciences claims are.   Here is a quote from Thomas Paine, that seems fitting, "A long habit of not thinking a thing wrong gives it a superficial appearance of being right."  He wrote Common Sense in 1776.    I highly recommend it.  Let me say before I am labeled one, an anarchist, (for recommending Common Sense) I do not advocate anarchism.  I do see (perceive) some strong parallels between the Emergent mindset and that of Common Sense and Age of Reason another writing of Paine's, that strongly challenges the Bible, and even criticizes
institutionalized religion.

The essence and function of the Creator is to bestow goodness to His creatures.  He does this through the gifts and talents he has given to people.  

Let us know if this helps your friend.  

L'Chaim

Lee Kelso

P. S.  Sorry I have not been there for the past few outings.  Life has swallowed me up.  I plan to be there on the 6th.


On Jun 3, 2010, at 11:45 AM, Mark Fitzgerald wrote:


I don?t know who wrote this but ?.that is some good stuff.
 
Sounds like they have their head better on their shoulders than I do.
 
thanks
 


Mark Fitzgerald
 
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Testing Support
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Charlotte, NC 28273
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Email ? [address removed]
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From: [address removed] [mailto:[address removed]] On Behalf Of Anthony Smith
 Sent: Thursday, June 03,[masked]:59 AM
 To: [address removed]
 Subject: Re: [indieallies-27] Hi ALL! meeting next Tues the 6th....



A couple stand out in my mind. They are more philosophical than doctrinal. Largely because there's no distinct emerging church doctrine seeing how we all come from different Christian traditions. Emergence Christianity shares a sensibility or philosophical approach and posture more so than a 'doctrine' or 'belief' that is controversial.

 


 
1. Non-foundationalist. Meaning that there is no human philosophical foundation for belief. Some evangelicals would consider the Bible as the foundation and chief authority for Christian life and practice. While many emergents would consider God the ultimate authority and ground and basis for Christian life and practice. Which means that God shows up in the bible, tradition, the community, in the world to give us courage to live the Life.

 


 
2. Deconstruction. Meaning that no human endeavor or assumption escapes being called into question. Whether its what you 'believe' about God, church, Christianity, Jesus, etc.. to how you 'do' Christian life. Nothing is beyond questioning. Many Evangelicals don't like the use of postmodern thought by emergent Christians. They believe,half-wrongly I believe, that using postmodern thought to encourage Christian faithfulness in a postmodern/postcolonial context, is giving place to the devil and relativism. But as Jacques Derrida, French postmodern philosopher once said, "deconstruction is justice." Only when you begin to take a part your 'beliefs and practice' do you begin to see how you have been complicit with injustice.

 


 
Hope this helps.

 


 
grace to you,

 


 
Ant

 
On Tue, Jun 1, 2010 at 12:44 PM, Bill Sahlman <[address removed] <mailto:[address removed]> > wrote:

Hope to see you all then, if you can..  

Either way,  

here is a question I thought you might help me with.

 


 
A friend of mine asked,

 
 
"What are the emergent views that are controversial?" (in his mind- outside of the evangelical norm)

 


 
Anything come to mind? You can email me direct or reply to the group.

 


 
Thanks!

 
Bill

 
 




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