Post Reply
Page 3 of 3  •  Prev 1 2 3
7 years ago  ::  Dec 10, 2007 - 10:45AM #21
journeying
Posts: 2,317
If the Scriptures were "plainly delivered" we wouldn't have these problems.  They were probably plainly delivered to the people who heard them.  Unfortunately, we are not those people and cannot possibly listen with the same ears without help.

Spong, Borg, the Jesus Seminar and others are trying to find ways to help us listen with ears as close to those who heard the "originals" as possible.  It seems to me that is the only way to understand the message.  But they are condemned by people who want to control the message...
Quick Reply
Cancel
7 years ago  ::  Dec 10, 2007 - 10:45AM #22
rbchaddy2000
Posts: 1,277
Bob: I appreciate your thoughts. I have gone along ways. Faith is reformulating with the challenge of the Jesus seminar. Others make us aware of the Global changes who are from the evangelical orientation. Marvelous exchange. Richard
Quick Reply
Cancel
7 years ago  ::  Dec 10, 2007 - 10:58AM #23
Dutch777
Posts: 9,122
Agree with Bob; great posts; keen insights; no hostility.

If I might add my personal shade of understanding to what has already been so cogently expressed:

-  We are working through a Paradigm Shift (q.v. Thomas Kuhn); the "traditional vs. the emerging paradigms".  Kuhn has identified seven such shifts in Western history.

-  The 1st. world is increasingly non-religious because Christianity as traditionally explicated is gibberish, non-sensical, to the contemporary Western mind.  Newer forms of explication must be evolved in order for the faith to be intelligible.  In this process, the "traditional paradigmers" will view the "emerging paradigmers" as heretics and apostates; threats to the faith once delivered.  The "emerging paradigmers" will view the "traditional paradigmers" as benighted obscurantists.  There is little effective communication across the paradigmatic hiatus.

-  While the corruption issue was part of the theory of process of the 16th. century reformation, emerging nationalism, economic interests and authority shift played central roles.
  In the third world, we see the emergence of National interest (often manifested as anti-Western hostility) and the attempt to shift the locus of authority from Rome, Canterbury, and other traditional centers to 3rd. world centers.   3rd. world missionary efforts to the 1st. world will create de facto financial resources and support for Global South churches.

-  Several posters have indicated that evolution is a continuous and critical life-process; absent evolution and life enters stasis --- the first stage of extinction.   Let's bear in mind that a manifest phenomenon of evolution is speciation, new species and cultivars.  In ecclesial terms this translates as new churches distinct from the original parent species.

-  In ages past people petitioned God and religion for help in a wide spectrum of human concerns.  In Western society today, it is the scientist who has produced anesthesia, antisepsis, broad-spectrum anti-biotics, effective medications and replacement therapies --- not petitionary prayer.   The validated explanations for natural phenomena and kosmic structure and function have replaced --- rendered obsolete, even absurd --- theological based explanations.   In the Western world, institutional religion must change or die.
The Path
To Moon Lake
Doesn't Go
There.

So Walk
Your own Dharma*Path
And Be
Mindful

Dutch
Quick Reply
Cancel
7 years ago  ::  Dec 10, 2007 - 1:54PM #24
maplewood
Posts: 4,511
Dutch's post alludes to something I was pondering in the car earlier today - what I call "creeping rationalism".  I think the Global South, and traditionalists in general, will see alot of it as time goes on.  And, oddly, we too in the North.

From my scan of history, the more people read the Bible, the more they want to read, period. 

As they become increasingly literate, they adopt ideas that were foreign to them earlier in life, or foreign to their parents.  For example, over one or two generations, the idea that the earth's creation happened in 7 days has all but died out about among people who self-identify as evangelical here in the West.  Fifty years ago, they would have been in the minority.

Evangelicals still consider the Bible the infallible word of God, but the 7 Day Creation could no longer could stand up to the science, and, somehow, undetected, a different explanation crept into their exegesis.

And now, among some of the evangelical denominations, women are appearing in leadership roles, even in their ordain ministries.  The Bible is still the infallible word of God, but women kinda crept in there.

What will they look like 75 years from now?

What will Global South Christendom look like 75 years from now?  If they end up building Bible colleges, which morph into universities, and start to look more and more like modern universities, what will the Global South church look like?

And here in the Global North?

Pretty soon, say Marcus Borg become the guy to read in seminary, more and mroe priests and ministers approach the unchurched or the disbelieving with a more rational approach to Jesus and Christianity, and it now speaks to them in their own language and culture?

Will they stop beating a path to the exit?  Will they start beating a path to the entrance?

All very intriguing.
Quick Reply
Cancel
7 years ago  ::  Dec 10, 2007 - 3:03PM #25
ToujoursDan
Posts: 1,065

DietoWorms wrote:

While Christianity is mostly dead in Europe, and starting to lose ground in North America, Africa is seeing steady and massive growth in the number of believers.

Personally, I predict we will see massive growth in Christianity in China, so that in 50 years China will be the most Christian country in the world.

DoW



All this is true at this juncture. Christianity is a modernizing force in Asia and Africa, like cell phones, business suits and learning English, as well as having spiritual value. But in the west, Christianity is considered old fashioned and out of touch with peoples' lives and needs. Two nations that had the highest church attendance in Europe - Poland and Ireland - saw mass attendance drop like a rock once they joined the EU and became affluent. From all accounts I have read about China, people are turning to religion out of disillusionment with communism but here in the west (esp in Quebec) people are turning to secularism out of disillusionment with Christianity.

A strong case can be made that once a society reaches a certain level of affluence and relative comfort - organized Christianity takes a hit. When people aren't consumed with fear over whether they will have a next meal, whether their children will live to be 5 years old, whether militia in the ethnic group across the valley will kill them or whether they will be taken into the night by secret police, church attendance seems to drop.

At some point Africa and China may also reach this level of affluence; for their sake I hope so. I think they will reach similar levels of education and income as Europeans, Australians and North Americans and will assume similar patterns of life. The focus of Christian activity may move somewhere else, or maybe by then hopefully, the church will find a way to speak to people in modern society in a way that is both engaging and transforming.

Quick Reply
Cancel
7 years ago  ::  Dec 10, 2007 - 3:45PM #26
maplewood
Posts: 4,511
I think that we need to consider certain trends in the West/North which are attempting to re-sacralize life.

Some of the trends to re-sacralize life stems from the failure of secularization and affluence to answer some of life's deepest questions.  We see them either in a quest for spirituality, or a return to fundamentalism.

In either sense, it's a longing for the sacred in life, as much a part of life as food and air.

On the flip side of "creeping rationalism", progressives are looking for a way to say in their own language what traditionalists can already say in theirs, and not make it sound like an imitation or concoction of traditionalism.  They want to "mean it", and they know they've got to "mean it", if they want anything such as an authentic faith.

It may require, on their part, to change their minds about our worldview.
Quick Reply
Cancel
7 years ago  ::  Dec 10, 2007 - 3:56PM #27
ToujoursDan
Posts: 1,065

maplewood wrote:

I think that we need to consider certain trends in the West/North which are attempting to re-sacralize life.

Some of the trends to re-sacralize life stems from the failure of secularization and affluence to answer some of life's deepest questions.



Absolutely.

I think the big difference is that this re-sacralization (if that is a word) is that it isn't a movement to get bums in pews on Sunday. It seems to be mostly apart from the institutional church, very informal and often eclectic in belief. 

So I wouldn't expect empty churches to become what they were in the 1950s but saying that Christianity is dead in the west is premature as well IMHO.

Quick Reply
Cancel
7 years ago  ::  Dec 10, 2007 - 4:17PM #28
maplewood
Posts: 4,511
[QUOTE=ToujoursDan;129748]Absolutely.

I think the big difference is that this re-sacralization (if that is a word) is that it isn't a movement to get bums in pews on Sunday. It seems to be mostly apart from the institutional church, very informal and often eclectic in belief. 

So I wouldn't expect empty churches to become what they were in the 1950s but saying that Christianity is dead in the west is premature as well IMHO.[/QUOTE]

I agree that it is in it's nascent stage, which explains its absence from the pulpit and in the pews.

I also agree that the death of Christianity in the West is grossly overstated.  Here in North America, if a mere 25% of the population are church-going, self-identified Christians, that would roughly be a number of 87,000,000 people?

Excuse me?  Eighty-seven million people???
Quick Reply
Cancel
7 years ago  ::  Dec 10, 2007 - 8:24PM #29
phlipside
Posts: 269
Anyone ever read Loren Mead's "The Once and Future Church"?  Had the chance to meet and spend several days with him and really came away impressed.  You can get a nice summation of the book here  .  Here are a couple of key points he makes:

The congregation is at a critical point of change' 
  This is a confused time - we struggle for vision. clarity,  and direction 
  Our confusion relates to: 
  1. We are facing a fundamental change in how we understand  the mission of the church 
  2.      Congregations have moved from a supporting role in mission  to      a front-line active role 
  3.      Institutional structures and forms developed to support the'  vision of mission are collapsing, and we are being called to  reinvent new forms and structures for the new mission of the church 
  A time for a Paradigm shift 


And

  The Reinvention of the Church involves
-       more intentional formation of the laity
-       better catechumenates
-       teaching people to 'do theology'
-       an altered clergy role: partnership with laity,  training, encouraging
-       resources flowing from top down rather than bottom up
-       seeing crises as learning points
-       encouraging innovation

I also liked this quote from Mead in this article:

Similar to the Babylonian captivity of Israel, Mead describes the difficulty of the modern church. "We still wake up in the morning thinking we are in Jerusalem," writes Mead, "And yet . . . more of us have begun to realize that the world we inhabit is not Jerusalem."

Just some thoughts on the new Reformation.
Quick Reply
Cancel
Page 3 of 3  •  Prev 1 2 3
 
    Viewing this thread :: 0 registered and 1 guest
    No registered users viewing
    Advertisement

    Beliefnet On Facebook