Thursday, February 08, 2007

New Monasticism, The Bible, and Pastors

Day #2 has come and gone at the NPC. first and foremost I have to say, that the Critical Concerns Course that Todd and I went to discussing a "Return to The Bible" has been really good. More than that, Brian McLaren is such an awesome guy. His humility and generosity never cease to amaze me...he told a story today that some of you may have heard, he shared it at the annual meeting for our association, and it may be on one of the emergent podcasts. it's the story about the pastor who is excitedly talking about how Jesus and the saints are going to come in with swords and kill those who are not Christians in ushering in the kingdom of God and heaven from Revelation, without taking into account the type of literature Revelation is.

one of the most moving parts of the course this morning was in our discussion of how we might learn to read Revelation missionally:

How to read Revelation missionally? We recall and stand up preaching the word of God, preaching the kingdom of God, believing that Christ is Lord and that though we may be killed today, we will join with God and participate with God in the redemption of creation, and in helping bring the coming New Jerusalem, the New City down to earth. Revelation ends with the New City coming down to earth, not in going to heaven.

secondly, i met Karen Ward today, the abbess of Church of The Apostles, who is a really cool woman who led a seminar called: The New Monks: “Whole-Life” Discipleship for Emerging Churches. as i mentioned before i'm at this conference partially for seminary, and one of the relationships that i have been thinking a lot about and am probably going to write my paper on is the relationship between eschatology and spiritual formation in the church. as both Karen mentioned in the conversation we had after the seminar and in the above example of how to read Revelation missionally, an eschatology that beckons us forward in hopeful redemption and co-creation in the world today, not just hope for a disembodied soul in some heavenly realm of existence, is essential in forming new practices and healthy practices in our churches. our eschatology informs so much of the way the church structures and organizes its spiritual and physical life together. i'm reading Doug Pagitt's Church Re-Imagined along with Andrew Perriman's The Coming of The Son of Man: New Testament Eschatology for The Emerging Church along with Peter Rollin's How (Not) to Speak of God in hopes to fuel this conversation of the influence of philosophy, culture, eschatology and spiritual formation upon one another. i find it to be a fascinating relationship that could influence a lot of the vision and life of churches. any thoughts on this relationship...?

2 comments:

Tom said...

Josh,

Can't wait to hear more. This sounds great. You guys having a good time?

Josh said...

yeah, i'm having a good time. the weather is great, seminars are good. the large group gatherings aren't my favorite...and i miss my wife a bit, but things are good in SD.