Part I – Reflections on EvangelicalismPart II – What Evangelicalism IsPart III – Critiques and Possibilities – BiblicismPart IV – Critiques and Possibilities – Spiritually Transformed LifePart V – Evangelicalism as a SubcultureA critique on the movement as a subcultureWhat I like so much about Quakerism and the Emerging Church (not necessarily both together) is that they both hold values that extend beyond the restrictions of Evangelicalism and modernity…. A majority of church growth is transferring memberships from one Evangelical church to another (typically to bigger??? and better??? churches that offer more programs and services to me as a consumer).This is the leg-up that the emerging church has on other groups, most of these people have un-learned their christianese, been baptized back into a real world where God rules over all not just the sacred.???
This spiritualism of Christianity has lead countless men and women to navel gaze??? in attempts of becoming spiritually transformed while at work, in public and even in the steeple-house they are rude, gossips and care only for those things which will elevate their status.With so much focus on getting people to change their minds and be spiritual??? we have forgot to make real disciples out of people in a way that they actually look like and live like Jesus…. On the other hand though we must no lose site of the fact that Jesus did in fact challenge people to change not only their spiritual beliefs but also their allegiances, in other words people converted but in such a way that they radically changed they way they lived to become a disciple.
I even sent a couple emails with tips to the Rep three weeks before they wrote anything.This whole things was an exhausting process for my friends and I, as we collectively spent a 2-3 hours each day researching the league, the history of Mike Heard, Jevon Blake and Gregory Railey, investigating the ins and out of their stories, answering emails from players, even talking on the phone to one of Canton’s city officials Kelly Zachary (who is a very kind lady I might add) and news sources. Everything that went onto my blog from day one was the culmination of a lot of hard work and time spent by a number of people who were aiming at stopping the scam before it caused to many problems, and attracting the eye and ears of the Ohio media.Unfortunately it got personal when my brother was fired (in front of his teamates) from his position on the team because Heard, Railey and Blake figured out that I was the one posting all the info about the league and causing trouble.???
When we welcome the authority of tradition, the Holy Spirit, the community of believers and the Bible then we level the playing field and invite the whole of creation to come and know Jesus.Viewing the Bible as an Authority, which guides and directs the believer’s life is a strength within the Evangelical community…. The Bible is a part of this work, but when Evangelicalism downplays other parts of God’s work in order to elevate the written word they have forgotten that it is the Spirit that birthed the Word, the community and the tradition.
I am not sure where I fall, nor do I really think it matters all that much, in the Evangelical rubric, but I can affectionately repeat what Brian McLaren says about Evangelicalism in his book A Generous Orthodoxy,Big E Evangelical refers to a segment of the church that I love and from which I hail, but which I don’t thin I understand so much anymore, and in which I may no actually be wanted anymore (116).???I must confess I personally have grown weary from the many constraints of theological assumptions that make up much of the Evangelical movement, and I agree with a number of scholars that many of those presuppositions and its core values have limited the work of the Church…. (Understanding Fundamentalism and Evangelicalism, 4)Even among evangelical scholars there is some disagreement as to the essentials, as Mark Noll points out Scotlands David Bebbingtons four main beliefs that make up the core of evangelicalism: ???Biblicism (reliance on the Bible as the ultimate religious authority), conversionism (or an emphasis on the new birth), activism (or energetic, individualistic engagement in personal and social duties), and crucicentrism (or focus on Christs redeeming work as the heart of true religion).
There are at least five main things that make up Evangelicals George Marsden states that the essential beliefs are: (1) The Reformation doctrine of the final authority of the Bible, (2) the real historical character of Gods saving work recorded in Scripture (3) salvation to eternal life based on the redemptive work of Christ, (4) the importance of evangelism and missions and (5) the importance of a spiritually transformed life.??? Even among evangelical scholars there is some disagreement as to the essentials, as Mark Noll points out Scotlands David Bebbingtons four main beliefs that make up the core of evangelicalism: Biblicism (reliance on the Bible as the ultimate religious authority), conversionism (or an emphasis on the new birth), activism (or energetic, individualistic engagement in personal and social duties), and crucicentrism (or focus on Christs redeeming work as the heart of true religion).???
She’s been reading Bolger’s book and this of course brings up many questions about the use of sacraments for old and new faith communities. Many Emerging Churches do away with the wafer and pretend wine for the communion of breaking bread together in the form of community meals.
JR and I have begun what may be an on going techie/creative evening of blogging, and working on our sites. Here’s photo from the night. Technorati Tags: friends, blogging
In any case we’ve gotten at least more interested in TV shows.A Bit About MediaIn”The (Magic) Kingdom of God: Christianity and Global Culture Industries” Michael Budde he talks about the “old art of TV bashing” and quite frankly his tv-bashing is pretty good – because what he points out is the impossibility to cultivate kingdom practices within a community of faith when so much time is spent in front of the television…. One of the main purposes of media is to create a desire or need – so that people keep coming back.This is why churches and every Christian must be careful with the intake of what kinds of things we allow to influence us. Many of us have been formed not only in the consumerist culture of American but also in the “consumerist” culture of our churches – we’ve learned how to consume spiritual life in the same way that we consume any other product that is sold to us. In “Emerging Churches” Ryan Bolger states, “When churches decide to make entertainment their main focus, they create a continued expectation and desire for more.
How we can make art out of something mundane – art not just for art’s sake (though this is meaningful also) but for the sake of finding the creator through doing activties of participatory worship, sacrmental living, etc. Thus we have the “church of art” below.The church has for a long time lacked creativity, I must say that Quakers have even further to go before they catch up with the already-far-behind Protestants. To attack one’s own spiritual life because it doesn’t fit into certain molds of piety is not the way to go about finding in roads to God.Rather we need to be schooled again in creativity – we need to find God in the novels, the movies, indie and folk music (all other types are must be void), the riding to and fro, the listening, and the silence.There is a balance of both.