The current installment of the COEC began meeting in 2007.

We are currently on a "break," for no particular reason, and many little reasons - mostly pertaining to life circumstances. If anyone is interested in calling a meeting, feel free to post on the blog, join the google group (see link below) and send an email, or contact either Nancy (nancykj10@yahoo.com) or Jesse (schroeder.jesse@gmail.com) for more information.

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McLaren Interview

This was passed along through the EmergentVillage email list. It's a long interview with Brian McLaren. Perhaps we could read it and post here on the blog different things that stand out to us, etc. A little online discussion, perhaps......



Jesse said...

There is A LOT in this interview (the journalist did some great research!) and there is a lot to comment on, but here are just a few points that stood out to me:

"Q. Poverty -- particularly this gap between the rich and poor -- is certainly something Jesus talked about in his time. And it's still with us, as he predicted it would be. And yet, a lot of Christians today seem to want to focus more on other things: homosexuality, abortion, evolution. Why?

This is really an important question in an election year. I think there's a kind of a collusion -- whether it's intentional or accidental, I don't know. But it's a collusion between political parties and religious communities. So that religious communities end up emphasizing issues that political parties can exploit to divide an electorate and win elections.

As a result, we make a big deal about issues that Jesus said absolutely nothing about. And we say very little about issues that Jesus said so much about."

I this McLaren's diagnosis here is right on. The religious community emphasizes issues that the political parties exploit. That word describes how I feel politically much of the time: exploited. I am certain that I stand on the side of many of the political right in terms of abortion, prayer, etc. But when these become "voting issues" but are never addressed in office, I feel like I was taken advantage of. Then I turn to candidates who seem to follow up their campaign speeches with action, but I become ostracized by my religious community because I'm voting to kill babies. It seems to me that, like McLaren says, there is an inappropriate collusion between my religious community and my political party. I have more personal stories about this from my workplace if anyone is interested.....

"But here's where we have to face some deeper issues. The creeds teach us to affirm the deity of Christ. But then we have to say: What does it mean to live out the belief that Jesus was really the word of God incarnate? If we really believe that, then we'll take very seriously what he said about how we treat our enemies. Instead, we often affirm the doctrine in our words -- we can say "Lord, Lord" -- but then we don't actually do what he said.

The change I'm interested in is helping us flesh out what it means to affirm the ancient creeds and historic faith."

For me, this is one of the most exciting parts of the "emergent conversation." What does it REALLY mean to call myself a follower of Christ? More than just my church membership, more than just my "tithe," more than just a bumper sticker or political affiliation. Shane Claiborne, after the fire that destroyed much of the neighborhood that his ministry is rooted in, said that we believe in the resurrection, and so they were going to practice resurrection in their neighborhood. I thought that was such a beautiful application of what we believe as Christians and how we live it out.

Greg said...

I enjoyed this interview as well.

In particular, I appreciated McLaren's reminder that there has always been right, moderate, and left wings within the evangelical community. This point is a critical observation that the media and Hollywood-I think we all would agree-generally fail to consider.

It was also exciting to read that his next book will be a discussion of the inner life!

In case I never posted this link (because I honestly can't remember), here is another great interview with McLaren: