Thursday, December 11, 2008

Revisiting "Emergent"

A New Kind of Christian- Brian McLaren

"Now take a moment and let this really sink in. To the Christian culture of medieval Europe, none of you today could be considered real Christians. True, you might say that you believe in Jesus and that you follow the Bible- but that would sound like nonsense to them if at the same time you denied what to them was essential for any reasonable person to accept: the medieval worldview, which was the context of their faith [(ie-astronomy, Copernicus etc)]. That brings me to an important question for you to think about: Is it possible that we as moderns have similarly intertwined a different but equally contingent worldview, with our eternal faith? And another question: What if we live at the end of the modern period, at a time when our modern worldview is crumbling, just as the medieval one began to do in the sixteenth century?" - Pg 34

"Most modern people love to relativize the viewpoints of the others against the unquestioned superiority of their own modern viewpoint. But in a way, you cross the threshold into postmodernity the moment you turn your critical scrutiny from others to yourself, when you relativize your own modern viewpoint. When you do this, everything changes. It is like a conversion. You cant go back. You begin to see that what seemed like pure, objective certainty really depends heavily on a subjective preference for your personal viewpoint." -Pg 35

"Our interpretations reveal less about God or the Bible than they do about ourselves. They reveal what we want to defend what we want to attack, what we want to ignore, what we're unwilling to question. When Judgment Day comes, God might ask a lot of us how we interpreted the Bible-not to judge if our interpretations are right or wrong but to let our interpretations reveal our hearts. That will be telling enough." =Pg 50

Searching for God Knows What- Donald Miller

"How many people have walked away from faith because their systematic theology proved unable to answer the deep longings and questions of the soul? What we need here, truly, is faith in a Being, not a list of ideas." p 161

"The story bears repeating: I presented the gospel to Christian Bible college students and left out Jesus. Nobody noticed....To a culture that believes they "go to heaven" based on whether or not they are morally pure, or that they understand some theological ideas, or that they are very spiritual, Jesus is completely unnecessary. At best, He is an afterthought, a technicality by which we become morally pure, or a subject of which we know, or a founding father of our woo-woo spirituality."p 159

"And then I wondered at how Jesus could say He was a Shepherd and we were sheep, and that the Father in heaven was our Father and we were His children, and He Himself was a Bridegroom and we were His bride, and that He was a King and we were His subjects, and yet we somehow missed His meaning and thought becoming a Christian was like sitting in a chair."p 157

"I get this feeling sometimes that after the world ends, when God destroys all our buildings and our flags, we will wish we had seen everybody as equal...." p104

"If you ask me, the way to tell if a person knows God for real, I mean knows the real God, is that they will fear Him. They wouldn't go around making absurd political assertions and drop God's name like an ace card, and they wouldn't be making absurd statements about how God wants you to be rich and how if you send in some money to the ministry God will bless you. It seems like, if you really knew the God who understands the physics of our existence, you would operate a little more cautiously, a little more compassionately, a little less like you are the center of the universe."p 38

"If I weren't a Christian, and I kept seeing Christian leaders on television more concerned with money, fame, and power than with grace, love and social justice, I wouldn't want to believe in God at all."p 28

"The very scary thing about religion, to me, is that people actually believe God is who they think He is. By that I mean they have Him all figured out, mapped out....dissected and put into jars on the shelf."p 20

Blue Like Jazz- Donald Miller

"Too much of our time is spent trying to chart God on a grid, and too little is spent allowing our hearts to feel awe. By reducing Christian spirituality to a formula, we deprive our hearts of wonder." p 205

"I think we have two choices in the face of such big beauty: terror or awe. And this is precisely why we attempt to chart God, because we want to be able to predict Him, to dissect Him...We reduce Him to math so we don't have to fear Him, and yet the Bible tells us fear is the appropriate response, that it is the beginning of wisdom...I stood on the edge of the Grand Canyon once, behind a railing, and though I was never going to fall off the edge, I feared the thought of it." p 205

"Many of our attempts to understand Christian faith have only cheapened it." p 202

"It is hard for us to admit we have a sin nature because we live in this system of checks and balances. If we get caught, we will be punished. But that doesn't make us good people; it only makes us subdued." p 18

Fools Gold- John MacArthur

"By the way, true worship is not something that can be stimulated artificially. A bigger, louder band and more sentimental music might do more to stir peoples emotions. But that is not genuine worship." p38

"The showman's ability to lure people in should not impress us more than the Bible's ability to transform lives"p 41

"There are plenty of gifted communicators in the modern evangelical movement [who] massage people's egos and focus on fairly insipid subjects...
Like the ubiquitous Plexiglas lecterns from which these messages are delivered, such preaching is lightweight and without substance, cheap and synthetic, leaving little more than an ephemeral impression on the mind of the hearers." p36

"Choice- saturated, capitalistic, American Christians [need to] discern the difference between seeking God's kingdom and building their own." p 165

"Truth be told, Jesus never spoke in terms of a one-time decision that you make about Him but rather exhorted His hearers to follow Him wholeheartedly for all of their lives. Christ was calling people to a life that continually confesses Him before men. We do not find in Scripture that the test of discipleship is a one time decision." p134

"Mindless emotionalism, often hyped up by repetition and "letting go", comes closer to the paganism of the Gentiles (cf Matt 6:7) than to any form of biblical worship." p126

"The music has been carefully and purposefully brought to this intense emotional peak. One senses that this is the whole purpose of the congregational singing-to elevate emotions to a white-hot fervor. The more intense the feeling, the more people are convinced they have truly "worshiped"." p 120

"When we look at contemporary ministry, we see programs and methods that are the fruit of human invention, the offspring of opinion polls and neighborhood surveys, and other pragmatic artifices. Church growth experts have in essence wrested control of the church's agenda from her true Head, the Lord Jesus Christ." p37

A Generous Orthodoxy- Brian McLaren

"Has [Christ] become (I shudder to ask this) less our Lord, and more our mascot?"p86

"How many of us have used the cross in Caesar's way, to dominate, rather than in Jesus' way, to liberate?" p 91

"Is it any surprise that with this understanding of salvation, churches tend to become gatherings of self-interested people who gather for mutual self-interest--constantly treating the church as a purveyor of religious goods and services, constantly shopping and "trading up" for churches that can "meet my needs" better?"p118

"This competitive Protestant religious market eventually spawned a kind of infomercial mentality, where each group advertised its unique features, seeking loyal customers for their religious products and services." p137

"To the degree they preoccupy themselves with the question of who's right , to the exclusion of considering whether they are truly good (as in bearing good fruit) they're destined to fade, wither, fail. To the degree that they have sold their spiritual birthright for a political ideology, they must repent; neither left nor right leads to the higher kingdom." p154

"We must, therefore, never underestimate our power to be wrong when talking about God, when thinking about God, when imagining God...language can be a window through which one glimpses God, but never a box in which God can be contained." p170,171

"I believe that we must be always reforming, not because we've got it wrong and were closer and closer to finally getting it right, but because our mission is ongoing and our context is dynamic. For this viewpoint "getting it right" is beside the point; the point is being and doing good as followers of Jesus in our unique time and place, fitting in with the ongoing story of God's saving love for Planet Earth." p 214

"Believing as I do that doctrinal distinctives are a lot like cigarettes, the use of which often leads to a hard to break Protestant habit that is hazardous to spiritual health (and that makes the breath smell bad)..."p217

"While some Protestants seem to let Jesus be Savior, but promote Paul to Lord and Teacher, Anabaptists have always interpreted Paul through Jesus, and not the reverse." p231

"Just as the early Christians could not imagine the gospel outlasting the Roman Empire, 19th century Evangelicals couldn't imagine the gospel outlasting modernity, the empire of Scientism, consumerism, and individualism." p268

"Given the chance, would Christianity eradicate every vestige of the world's other religions?" p286

"We must be open to the perpetual possibility that our received understandings of the gospel may be faulty, imbalanced, poorly nuanced, or downright warped and twisted." p 294

"I am more and more convinced that Jesus didn't come merely to start another religion to compete in the marketplace of other religions. If anything, I believe he came to end standard competitive religion (which Paul called the law) by fulfilling it; I believe He came to open up something beyond religion- a new possibility, a realm, a domain, a territory of the spirit that welcomes everyone but requires everyone to think again and become like little children" p299

"A generous orthodoxy must look back on our first 2,000 years of Christian history and face our failures, our atrocities, our abdications, our cowardice, our complicity, our betrayal of Jesus, and say to ourselves, "Never Forget"." p 305

"True prophets (those who bring a new word from God to assist in the current process of emergence) are crucified; false prophets (those who promise shortcuts that will cause regression or stagnation) are made rich and famous. The process is messy." p 323

"In Christian theology, this anti-emergent thinking is expressed in systematic theologies that claim (overtly, covertly, or unconsciously) to have final orthodoxy nailed down, freeze-dried, and shrink wrapped forever." p 325


Signa Bly said...

Hello Jimi,

I've been a big fan (and reader) of your blog for many months and really enjoy your views and perspectives on books that offer much more depth on walking with Christ than the typical Joel Osteen "pop christian phyco babble".

Keep up the great work. I have many questions to ask you. I do not possess your knowledge or expertise in areas of Christianity. My biggest challenge is in areas of faith and praying to God asking for certain tangible blessings.

In Christ,

Anonymous said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Anonymous said...

Your blog is very nice, blog is one of nice way to express  our view for some one,  have a look also below this words, it belong to jewelry sector.  Shilpi impex  is  manufacturer , wholesaler and  supplier  of  silver gemstone  and  silver jewelry.

jaipur silver jewellery

silver jewellery

silver jewelry

indian silver jewelry

rajasthani silver jewelry

wholeseller and supplier of  indian silver jewelry

handcrafted silver jewelry

handmade silver jewelry

famous silver jewelry

bezel silver jewelry

buy online silver jewelry

Silver jewelry jaipur

Leading  online silver jewelry firm

indian semi precious stones

silver bridal jewelry

silver wedding ring

silver jewelry jaipur

precious and semi precious stones

semi precious gemstone

Wholesale Silver Necklaces & Pendants