Search results for: The Ex-Reverend

Christian Identity – Guest Post from The Ex-Reverend

Evidently The Ex-Reverend found yesterday’s lunch conversation worthy of reflection. For those who know Greg it may come as a shock that he is not really pining to pound the Church and Christians at every turn. But, he is not letting the Church or Christians off the hook easy when we trot out well-rehearsed euphemisms as explanation for our “beliefs,” much less our praxis.

In some regards you would understand Greg better if you found him something of a modern day Viktor Frankl asking questions about meaning. Please do not invest the analogy with more than the penchant to ask questions. Greg did not suffer in a concentration camp but did endure experiences which prompt the same sort of existential interests. Along the way Greg pushes us like Inigo pressed Vizzini in The Princess Bride with, “You keep using that word. I do not think it means what you think it means.”

Here is a re-post with permission. “Christian Identity, or Can Baby Jesus Get Some Love.” Read More

Question from The Ex-Reverend

Over lunch today my friend The Ex-Reverend noted that he would ask Christian churches not having worship on Sunday, “Why?”

I found this an interesting question. And, it demonstrates a genuine interest in understanding. So many think the motive is always to undermine and undercut Christianity, Christians, and “the Faith.” Not true.

So, I am throwing out the question, “If your church is not having worship on Christmas Day (Sunday), why not?”

Christian Without Adjectives – Labels and The Ex-Reverend

Labels. I recall strolling the streets of Barcelona with a group of pastors. One member of our group and I were locked into a conversation about labels. One aspect of our gathering was to talk about the idea of “multi-affinity” churches. In some sense, those churches who may be described as “multi-affinity” could not be so neatly pitched into a category. They defied labels.

Was the church liberal, conservative, fundamentalist, evangelical, missional, emerging, denominational? How did the church self-identify doctrinally? According to confession, creed, aesthetic? Multi-affinity churches, it would be described, worked with a variety of groups even if there was not lock-step agreement on all matters of life and faith.

I admit to thinking labels are lazy. My friend believed them helpful. I believe them to be confining. My friend believed them to be important for context. We did not agree. We are still friends – and that is not simply a label.

In one of my first “Clippings” posts, I noted the recent swirl around labels, categories. The dust-up and discussion continues. I am working on a freelance project addressing one of the recent labels a particular Christian movement used to self-describe its overall ethos.

Over the past decade labels have contributed to a hyphenating of Christianity. Read More

Reductio Absurdum . . . Or, The Ex-Reverend Parses Martin Marty

I recently returned to Ethics As Grammar. David Fitch recommended I read Kallenberg to access Wittgenstein via Hauerwas. How is that for a project?

My interest derives from my friendship with The Ex-Reverend. Language, vocabulary in particular, forms much of the critical evaluation offered by The Ex-Reverend. Kallenberg gives a progression for what is meant by understanding W, no not Geroge W., in Philosophical Grammar.

Essentially, as I see it, the move is to evaluate how language is actually applied. Or, in something of an admittedly overly simplistic default, “words mean something.” And, when they enter a given context we learn that words do not always have a global, or universal, sense. The result is an attempt to parse.

My personal intrigue is not just on the level of finding the best means of communicating faith when often the standard words are so variously applied – see the recent trend from missional to gospel-centered. Mix in a little Fitch and it is not hard to see W at work in Fitch as he parses Zizek for the rest of us.

Casual conversations with youth and 20-somethings, even early 30-somethings, prompts some of us to realize the vocabulary most often used in our churches has been an arrogant oversimplification fearing if we talked faithfully about life and faith it would be just too hard to understand and “scare our young people off.” Or, at least intimidate them. As if they are not intimidated by our publicly unwavering stridency. Read More

The Crystal Cathedral As the First Domino – Guest Post by The Ex-Reverend

Oil Prices Will Force Changes. If you took the time to click over and read the link, you likely returned wondering the connection between a projected $200/barrel of oil and the Crystal Cathedral. Maybe you wonder just what “first domino” is represented by the potential sale of the once prominent church.

I recently enjoyed a conversation with our City Manager. He remarked how many people leave our area to attend church in various parts of Oklahoma City, Mustang, Yukon and other communities. Now Tim has lived in Tuttle for three years. Astute observation for a relative short-timer.

We have good churches in the Tri-City area. We have churches of nearly every stripe. Maybe folks move “out” to Tuttle but feel a great sense of loyalty to a church of which they have long been a part and so drive away from their new community to attend church. Others may drive because our area is absent a large mega-church. We did more musing at what that means than conclude any specifics as to causes.

But, it was this conversation that brought Jordon’s post to mind. Two-hundered dollar-a-barrel oil will have consequences well beyond Saskatoon. Consider the commensurate price per gallon and many will think twice before making long drives. Which brings me to my second offering from my friend, The Ex-Reverend.

The Ex-Reverend does not write about oil and Schuller’s former church. He does connect the dots by noting that eventually the consumption of what fails to satisfy the hunger of young thinking Christians will force changes in the religious landscape potentially making the Crystal Cathedral the first domino to fall.

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