Tuesday, September 26, 2006

Next Meeting and Jesus Camp

After the cohort meeting this Thursday, a group of us is going to see Jesus Camp. It's showing at Quail at 9:50 p.m. Everyone is welcome to go.

Saturday, September 23, 2006

Next Meeting

We're meeting this coming Thursday, Sep. 28, at Tapwerks. We'll have the upstairs again. We'll be eating and drinking and talking and lying at 6:00 p.m. We'll start the meeting at 7:00. Some of you are thinking, "I haven't had time to read the book. I can't go." Come anyway. We'll not cover everything in one meeting, and we're not making this a book study. It's a jumping off point for a conversation. So come meet some folks you haven't met and enjoy the conversation.

Thursday, September 14, 2006

evangelicals in the movies


this looks interesting. if it ends up showing in okc somewhere, i'm most likely gonna go see it. anyone else think it could be worth seeing?

p.s. for the record, jesuscamp is currently playing at Quail according to okcmovietimes.com. there was some confusion that perhaps it was only showing one night last week but apparently it is in town for at least a little while.

Saturday, September 09, 2006

Interesting Conversation in the Land of Oz ...

Yes, I am watching the Sooners take care of Washington. It was close for a moment and then OU seemed to get untracked and the defense did show up. Really two big plays is all Washington really had (so far). I read Andrew Hamilton in my bloglines subscription. Recently a group hosted Don Carson. You might find his four posts on the occasion also insightful regarding the variations of what it is to be involved in the "emerging church."

Start here and follow through to the four part series.

Lingering Question ...

I met Alan in Minneapolis a few years ago at Soularize. He has been involved with The Ooze from early on. He must have known Tim asked an important question at our first meeting - "What is the emerging/Emergent church?" Here is a recent post with some thoughts. What do you think? Here's something of a teaser,
Included in our conversations about the emerging church must be a confession of devotion to Jesus. While we must be careful not to question the devotion of individual Christians in established churches, we can fairly and honestly say that the status quo does not regularly cultivate devoted followers of Jesus.

Wednesday, September 06, 2006

Read Peter Rollins Blog

You may be on your way to reading the first section of Rollin's book, How (Not) to Speak for God. I thought you might like to see read where some of his thoughts get worked out in real time. Read his blog at - Pete Rollins.

Monday, September 04, 2006

James K.A. Smith on D.A. Carson ... Truth and Objectivity ...

Nearly all agree there is something of an interpretation going on with the telling of the story of Jesus in Matthew, Mark, Luke and John. The gospel in some ways is being interpreted to audiences, interpreted by writers, interpreted via the mediating work of the Spirit. Surely there is much to discuss but I found this quote helpful in trying to put together Carson's critique of the "emerging church" in his, Becoming Conversant with Emergent.

And if the gospel is only interpretation there could be other interpretations, we can't know if the gospel is true. A version of this criticism can be found in D.A. Carson's criticisms of the emerging church. Carson is clearly worried that because folks like Stanley Grenz, Brian McLaren, and other "hard postmodernists" (as he calls them) reject modern notions of absolute truth or "objective" truth, they are giving up on truth altogether. But in his criticisms, it becomes clear that Carson simply conflates truth with objectivity: for Carson, one can only be said to know "truly" if one knows "objectively." While Carson rightly notes that human knowledge can never pretend to omniscience, this doesn't mean we can't claim to know in a finite but real manner. But his affirmation of finite knowledge always elides into an affirmation of objective knowledge. Although he does not define objectivity (quite an oversight, given his project), Carson clearly means this to carry some connotation of self-evident givenness: if a truth is objective, then it is not a matter of interpretation. Thus, if Derrida is not a linguistic idealist but nevertheless asserts that everything is interpretation, then according to folks like Carson, such a claim is antithetical to the (supposedly biblical!) requirement that what is true be objective. If the gospel is an interpretation, and therefore not"objective" then it would seem that it cannot be true." (Smith, Whose Afraid of Postmodernism? Taking Derrida, Lyotard, and Foccault to Church,p.43)

Sunday, September 03, 2006

Cultural Happenings

Some at the Planning meeting wanted to be made aware of "cool things" happening in town. This rates for me, so I'll throw it out and see who's interested... If nothing else, it'll start a place for others to throw out "cool-er things." The OKC Museum of Art will be hosting a collection of Ancient Egyptian art from The British Museum between Sep7-Nov26 (inclusive). I'm planning on going sometime and usually have to go alone so anyone interested in going as well please email.

Friday, September 01, 2006

a Place to be Kind

What exactly is the emerging church? I posed the question last night and even though we didn't stay expressly on topic, the answer to the question was floating all over the room. Lots of folks have made attempts at defining it, some of the best ones by critics of the movement. And though Greg and Todd might want to smack me in the back of the head for saying so, I think D.A. Carson in fact gives a decent overview of Emergent. And if your detractors understand where you're coming from, then maybe you're doing something right. This particular paragraph from Carson's website:

The major issue is epistemology—i.e., how we know things, or think we know things. Modernism is often pictured as pursuing truth, absolutism, linear thinking, rationalism, certainty, the cerebral as opposed to the affective which, in turn, breeds arrogance, inflexibility, a lust to be right, the desire to control. Postmodernism, by contrast, recognizes how much of what we “know” is shaped by the culture in which we live, is controlled by emotions and aesthetics and heritage, and can only be intelligently held as part of a common tradition, without overbearing claims to being true or right. Modernism tries to find unquestioned foundations on which to build the edifice of knowledge and then proceeds with methodological rigor; postmodernism denies that such foundations exist (it is “antifoundational”) and insists that we come to “know” things in many ways, not a few of them lacking in rigor. Modernism is hard-edged and, in the domain of religion, focuses on truth versus error, right belief, confessionalism; postmodernism is gentle and, in the domain of religion, focuses upon relationships, love, shared tradition, integrity in discussion.

How we know things, or do not know them, is the major issue for me. I'm not even suggesting that we are unable to know things with compelling amounts of certainty, I am suggesting that even in those instances a little amount of humility goes a long way. Recently Newsweek ran an article on Billy Graham which cause a great stir among some evnagelicals because of the seeming humility Graham demonstrated in reponse to some of religions most difficult questions. Billy is far from being an emergent church advocate, but his approach to relationships seems to fit EC--friendship, conversation.

As I said to Brittany afterward, I think the emerging church is more about atmopshere and ways of relating than it is about dogma. Actually, I didn't say that to her, but it was what I was thinking when I said, "Emergent is being Christian and at the same time being kind and respectful."