I'm still trying to figure it all out but if you're clever then you might be interested to know that virtual theology have just started podcasting. There first feeds or posts or whatever you call them are The Bluffers Guide to Theology 12 and 3 taught by Paul Roberts and Simon Taylor.
I listened to sessions one and two on a long, rainy car journey today. They were real good and a fine primer in theology!
One of the great things about typepad is it allows you to check out the entry site of people who have visitted headwayyouth.blogs.com. Over recent days i've been getting a lot of visitors via search engines, last night someone typed in 'tallskinnykiwi' and found me, last week i got loads of hits because of 'emerging church' and most bizarrely of all yesterday someone typed 'inerracy' in a search engine and was directed here... how bizarre?
My Pocket PC is truly battered and looks nothing like the one to the left anymore (new one arrives tonight hopefully!!) which means i'm unlikely to get hold of my notes from last night... on e thing i do remember is the analogies that andrew made about emerging culture. I have to admit i was a bit dubious about some of them, in particular he talked about reimburcement vs. reputation and that emerging culture is more interested in reputation, whereas previously there has been a focus on reimburcement.
One example of this that Andrew gave was cyberspace where there is a quest to get a better rating with Google and you do so by getting more hits and spreading your web by linking to others.
This imagery was then applied to the emerging church and Andrew talked about its giving nature but i have difficulties with that because that andrew had previosuly made suggested that we give with a belief that there will be some benefit to our reputation: I link to Barky's wonderful blog because i know he'll give me a plug in return, I mention that I saw Joe Bloggs last night because then people might think more of me, I am part of this community because it's cool and i want to be cool...
Zoe read a book ealier this year, which i'm sure she will comment on called the Selfish Gene. As far as i could understand, which isn't very far at all, the central theme of the book was the selfish motivation which leads to selfish activity in all organisms. I have really difficulty relating that psychology and Andrew's illustration to my theology of worship; having been very much blessed by the charismatic movement I have now come to the understanding that aim of my conduct and especially my worship should not improve my Google rating or my reputation but to honour the big guy. Any secondary benefit must be disregarded otherwise what was a holy act becomes kinda earthly. I recognise that that is difficult, because if zoe's book is correct it's our nature to look after ourselves and want to build our reputation, but that is what we're called to, especially in the emerging church. The ego must be cast aside authentic selfless worship must be the goal... the only goal
anyone who was there, please correct me where i've grabbed completely the wrong end of the stick, anyone who wasn't feel free to chip in also!
I went to the Blah last night and it was great to see faces old and new and chat about all things emergent. I’m fairly convinced that I was the youngest person there, which was funny. Strange that a movement (???) which demonstrates so many of the values of youth culture has so few young leaders, strange and kind of sad. If it was a led by Matt Redman and not tallskinnykiwi the place would have packed with youthful faces and I would have felt strangely old so why are they missing from the emerging church? Perhaps it’s because it’s a new thing and emergent leaders haven’t emerged enough to mentor the next generation…
Tallskinnykiwi had lots to say, particularly about the new media, I took shed loads of notes on my fancy Pocket PC, but that has died so I’m afraid you’re going to have to wait a little while for more details. It was particularly good to see Ben, Helen and Pete, I’m sure they’ll have lots to say in the next twenty-four hours.
I also got to chat to Phil Meadows, one of the newer tutors at Cliff. He really opened my eyes to some of the flaws of the whole emergent thing…expect some questions that I need answers for fairly soon- more interactive blogging, I tell you it’s the future!
One of the downers about the methodist local preachers system is that occasionally you get some absolute stinkers. On sunday a nice, very old chap was leading. He had five readings and five hymns (non of which i knew), three of which were to alternative tunes (which i also didn't know). I would love to tell you more about the service but needless to say i didn't stay for long!
Being a teacher must be brilliant; admittedly you must have to put up with some hurdenous brats day in day out, but come summer/christmas/easter the feet go up and the TV guide comes out. Saying that I can't complain too much, my regular tuesday night appointment finished last week so i've just realised I can go to the blah in manchester tomorrow night with tallskinnykiwi... and trainline are only charging me £13 return from Darlington you beauty!
(Just to say i do completely recognise the hard work the teachers put in and appreciate that they are very much a pillar in our society today!)
Just seen this article on the BBC about Ship of fools ongoing quest for the most offensive Christian joke and the churches general ability to laugh at itself. Something I'm quite convinced we're much better at than any other religion and if you needed any more convincing then check out wibsite's latest offering, a cartoon guide to the windsor report
Having spend sometime looking into the practice of ancient shepherds, i'm preaching on Psalm 23 tomorrow... Using this video at the end of the service, if anyone wants a proper quality copy let me know. Hope it goes down alright, U2 might be a bit "loud" for the old dears! (Photos care of sxc and the old bill)
Last week I plugged a video featuring Brian McLaren, which I thought was great, but it did get me thinking about the direction of the emerging church. In America it seems to be going in the direction of Saddleback and Willow Creek, in that although it is much smaller it has those key marks of a company; the rockstar, the numbers, the labels, the strucutre... in the UK it all seems so much more fluid and i hope it stays that way; i like the fact that i can belong to a movement where people don't always agree but they do accept, i'm glad i don't feel pressured to commit more or to buy anything and i love the relax feel of the whole thing. but maybe sometime, there will need to be some formality.
I read this article along similar lines by john o'keefe, where he discourages becoming a movement because of the mechanical, focused, structured, profit orientated operations that often go with such things, but i'm a bit dubious... although i like the informality that o'keefe's encourages i'm concerned by the dangers that are (somewhat accidentally) highlighted in the article. In particular i am wary about slipping from pluralism to relativism, from a position where truth is sought to where it is deemed unobtainable. O'Keefe writes,
"in a movement, everyone needs to be on the same page, have the same focus, hold the same beliefs, follow the founder. all must follow the same direction and dictions of "the powers" that be. if, one questions the direction of the movement, they are "outside" the main stream and are seen as "anti-the movement." but in an emerging conversation there can be no "decent" because all views are seen as equal. views are encouraged and discussed and no "answer" is found, because the question has more value then the answer. we are currently the spoken exchange of thoughts, opinions, and feelings; we are "talk." besides, if we "come to a conclusion" in the emerging, it could change the next time we talk. if we become a movement, we must maintain the reality that some will not follow, and some will speak against - and do so loudly."
I'm all for staying fluid in our operations and i agree that everything should be up for discussion but if the emerging church conversation is to continue there needs to be some position for truth and some belief that there are answer and they are worth us pursuing in communion with one another. There must be some possibility of decent...