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2006-10-06 11:19 PM
highlights from today
First, a brief update
You might remember my frustration with the Crankypants Monthly e-newsletter. I had offered some feedback to the editor that the contributors were pretty darn old and pretty darn male, with few exceptions. They're all lovely people, but still.
After having a conversation about writing book reviews occasionally, then being told a few months later that “the schedule was set,” I opened my latest edition interested to see who these book reviewers are, only to find…
Yet another old white guy!!!!!!!!
Who actually works for the presbytery!!!!!!!!
It’s just getting humorous to me now.
Especially since I just sat through a day of workshops and plenaries about the mainline church and how we’re declining and dying and in the next 30 years about half of the mainline churches will close their doors. And still we cling to the same old structures, the same old ways, the same old OLD.
Keynote this morning talking about “the promise of mainline Christianity.” The thesis is that in the midst of our polarization, where people are sick of the battles and black and white, either/or thinking, mainline churches are poised for an awakening and a resurgence if we take advantage of it, because our churches are places where seemingly disparate ideas can be held in tension. (justice and evangelism/good news, heart and mind, science and faith, tradition and change)
This congregation is huge. Case in point: (this will lose something in the translation, but this was very effective and playfully presented):
During the keynote the presenter removed a huge tarp on the stage to reveal a rusted out 1965 Mustang convertible. 1965 was the year the mainline was at its peak. He said we can continue going as we are and we’ll be the rusted out car. Or…
[as someone drove a gorgeously restored 1965 Mustang onto the stage]
We can restore our churches to their former glory. No changes, no upgrades, just pristine, restored, but a museum piece. Not the most comfortable ride for the long term—no power anything. That’s better than doing nothing, but there’s a third alternative:
[as someone drove a 2007 Mustang convertible onto the stage—this is a mammoth stage]
We can create something new, that meets the needs of a new time, but that still clearly has elements and features of the old—there’s still a “Mustang-ness” about the new model. We can take the best of our tradition and make it better.
I read A Generous Orthodoxy and had three very different reactions in turn:
-Get to the point already. Stand for something!
-Big deal, people in the church have been saying this for years. Read Darrell Guder’s Missional Church. Read Lesslie Newbigin.
Well, I went to McLaren’s Q&A session tonight and found him fascinating, scary, challenging, energizing—so much so I switched tomorrow’s workshop to go to his. Part of that is just trying to figure out what he is about.
A few tidbits:
That’s all for today.
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