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.

To receive cohort emails, join our Google group.


Certainty vs. Assurance

I've really enjoyed all of the recent posts: there is so much interesting thinking and writing surrounding things emerging, expanding and other. Thanks for keeping us all well read. Usually, I love the conversation, yet I was caught off guard in reading this article in the Columbus Dispatch regarding the firing of two professors at Cedarville University:

Bible profs' firings leave college unsettled

Before knowing more of the details, I was simply struck by how this really is impacting the Christian Church and all of its manifestations in America. Maybe that causes me to be more wary of what I say, think (post) and increases my motivation for returning to the Bible, praying and seeking wisdom.

I'd be interested in your reaction to the article as viewed by a secular media outlet. If you are more intrigued by the debate, a Cedarville alum has posted a thoroughly in depth rebuttal of the firings here:

The Cedarville Situation

I read through the Article #1 and it is highly worth reading and perhaps discussing in the future if nothing else as a real-world example of what is happening around us. I'm now moving on to the following articles.

Maybe the most striking part of the first article to me was not in the semantic breakdown of the words assurance and certainty, though this is obviously worth while and important and the bulk of the argument. For whatever reason, I remember most the section where he qualifies his son as an authoritative voice on this matter because he has been hugely successful in the world (read multimillionaire). I tracked the rest of it clearly, but this reference signaled a wierd suburban siren in my head as well as distorted my view of his opinion. Not to detract from the core of the issue, it just was faintly odd. Take that for whatever its worth.

My second favorite part was the reference to my new favorite old guy Athanasius that we learned about on Sunday (clarifying wrap-up coming soon!).

In short, my cousin is an alum and now professor at Cedarville and we all have friends that went there or similar small Christian colleges so this strikes close. As a case study, I want to be aware of the implications of what we read and discuss and pray for discernment as it reverberates into the larger world.


Anonymous said...

Thank you for being a reasonable person. I may disagree with some of your 'emergent' views but unlike the destructive behaviors of men like Virgil Vaduva (whose behaviors are highly counter-productive to your cause) you seem fair and very able to be discussed with. I will continue to read your blog, thanks.

NancyJ said...

I could not agree more. The Christian Church is most certainly being impacted by the Emergent movement. Sadly, fresh perspectives, insights and new revelation become threatening creating division and an extremely defensive and volatile stance. (Of course a parallel to what happened during Jesus’ radical ministry.)

As this cohort group defines its mission in upcoming discussions, it is my hope that our uniting priority is the same as one taken from Brian McLaren’s Deep Shift website, “…to let go and surrender our egotistical self to our true selves as children of God.”

Complete surrender to God is the one priority that I believe everything else springs from. Surrender is an idea that lost its popularity for a time. Indeed, it accompanies sacrifice, loss and suffering actually living out the experience of the cross. Yet it is this very willingness to allow death of the self that transforms us to Jesus’ resurrection life and again to quote McLaren, “to participate in what Jesus called the Kingdom of God on earth today.”

I truly believe this is why the Emergent movement is creating such impact. Surrendered lives full of God’s light and love are receiving new revelation from God uniquely as individuals and then they are finding each other in community.
As I subordinate my ego and fill my life with God, the natural progression becomes my ability to listen to others’ ideas (including their different religions). Asking forgiveness is born out of relationship with Jesus, not manufactured by duty or guilt. I learn the value of being humbled and leaning on others, admitting my limitations; I ask for help.

I have to be honest with you. This is not easy—it is a warrior’s journey (and I was a reluctant one.) I have been wounded many times, felt isolated, hopeless and experienced God’s silence for a time. I desperately wanted answers to the loss and suffering I was living. And yet through this process, God patiently taught me to fight my fears, pride and at times unbelief. He taught endurance, compassion creating a way to know Him in greater capacity and deeply feel His love. Now I know God is co-creating my life with me and I look forward with great anticipation to what will come.

This is a lot to share and it comes with great vulnerability and risk as I am telling you exactly what I think and who I am.
I want you to know that I can literally feel in this group the tangible desire to know and love God and it is my personal belief that surrender is the way. And although I allow that perhaps this was God’s unique dealing with me, it has prepared me to follow Andrew’s example to find sacred space, desert time and pray for discernment.

Jesse said...

Thanks so much for your strong words Nancy. They are meaningful for me tonight as I try to understand a vast array of recent events in my life. A phrase that I read a lot in emergent circles is the "powerless ministry" of Jesus. This challenges me so deeply! I want power, control, decision-making authority. But like you said, God calls me to fully surrender. My mind and my pride say, "Fuck that! I know what is right!" But I think the real question is whether or not I actually believe God can work to achieve his glory without my help....