Scot McKnight recently spoke at the Apprentis Institute at Friends University. He demonstrated his knack for a turn of the phrase. Recounting Peter’s ongoing conversion, Scot described what Peter learned in his vision on the roof. Aside from discovering there is some good food to be eaten once he was knocked off his “kosher block,” he (Peter) learned the Jews ” were not a cut above any other people.”
After he finished his talk he sat with James Bryan Smith and Dallas Willard for a brief conversation. You should look for the recording of this session for both McKnight’s talk and the conversation that followed. Willard remarked that how one understands the Cross event informs their vision of God. Scot interjected that there needs to be some hard work looking into how we now understand the word translated propitiation in Romans 3. Would have paid twice the price to hear a few hours on that discussion.
Those are two clippings from sitting in on Scot’s session. I had a great time hanging out with Mark Scandrette. It had been almost four years. We talked about practical spiritual formation and the role of the pastor. You should pick up his new book, Practicing the Way of Jesus: Life Together in the Kingdom of Love. Now to some clips from my online reading over the past week or so.
The rhythm of life in Christ is inward in community, and outward in mission. We live this rhythm because we are the Body of Christ, the expression of God’s life in the world. And God is an eternal community of love, overflowing into mission (the sending of Jesus and then of the Spirit).
So deconstruction becomes a type of easy shorthand for systematic dismantling the components of one’s faith or theology, throwing out those pieces that don’t make sense and then putting it all make together again. This is the trajectory I see some in the emergent church taking and its one that seems to be gaining popularity.
And that’s why I am not interested in leaving deconstruction behind for mere surface reconstruction — because for me deconstruction is, as friend of mine put it, a sustained spiritual practice, fostering a deep sense of awe and wonder at the world and incessantly reminding me that the divine always lies ahead of even my best theological ideas.