Brilliant and thought provoking image from April’s Third Way Magazine
I have been following the discussion between Pete and Richard and in the process Pete suggests he would rather be “critiqued for not going far enough!”. For some time I have been thinking that actually he does not go far enough. (but having said that I am struggling to articulate why but hear goes)
I really enjoy Pete and Kesters stuff but the way they seem to construct their arguments reinforces and appears to be rooted in a dualist way of being. It has been great how Pete has brought new dialogical partners to the conversation, and particularly voices outside the church, but often could be seen as reconciling a sacred secular divide. (How not to speak of God is an important contribution and the reason it is needed is because it highlights how our language and approach reinforces dualism)
In response to Andys comment on the previous post i think another facet that is missing is about the difference between contextualisation and inculturation. This was a key issue for church on the edge. Robert Schreiter sees inculturation as “the dynamic relation between the Christian message and culture or cultures; an insertion of the Christian life into a culture; an ongoing process of reciprocal and critical insertion and assimilation between them”. The emphasis being the reciprocal nature that allows the process to question our current assumptions (answers) about what church and mission is.
So rather than seeing the community we interact with as another dialogical partner, we value the anti-thesis of the local community and adopt such a powerless position that we allow both messages (truths) to change. When we dialogue in a more abstract or theoretical way the process seems more about contextualisation to me that itself is rooted in a false dualist distinction. Dialogue outside of the missional community approach is Global and so will often be about reconciling the sacred/secular. However if we accept that the moment we engage with the other locally g-d is there then we have the potential for a non dualist glocal conversation that may help us really move on.
When I read that back I think it wont make sense to many people but when I asked James how progress he suggested we need to feel our way forward in the non dualist landscape so pulling together a nice logical argument has been hard sorry ????????? ??? ??????? ????? ??????? ?????? ???? ????????? ?????
I cant make it to LICC where there is conversation on discipleship coming up. But Jason asked for few of my thoughts on the subject particlaurly around the shortfall between missional youth work and church i.e. Missional youth work hits a dead end if there isn’t a trully mission shaped community to feed young people into.
My main thought was that actually this is to avoid the real issue that a genuinely missional work would always seek to grow that community from the community it is serving. Whilst to an extent we are in an in between time (as christendom dies) the language of discipleship (into a mission shaped community) or even the notion that this is part of the answer reinforces a dualist divide that should not be present. If we do embrace a kingdom missional theology then we are already that community the moment we meet those young people. The way most seem to the use the word Discipleship reinforces this kind of dualism, as it usually refers to some sort of post decision idea. However if we are not about bounded sets and Christ centred (see Dave Andrews) and decision is more a willingness to journey together then the community can be formed and shaped together and then discipleship is far more reciprocal and I would argue real. I guess a key question in this would be; what are we (myself and the yp) being discipled towards? The old paradigm would put of primary the importance of orthodoxy where the missional community would be orthopraxis. In our experiences with the yp we see evidence of the fruit of the spirit and orthopraxis but none would call themselves Christians.
I have just got back from a few days with the students where we explored the theme “community is a natural by product of people heading in the same direction” (Rohr) we incorporated silence throughout the week and build the length of time of silence up over the few days. It was real privilege to be with the students and particularly to give out the JNC certificates to the third years. There was a real sense of a growing missional community centred on serving young people, children and families. It was simply great just to be around these people – Thanks if any of you are reading this.
Further to the previous post I have been thinking about how we live within the story we find ourselves in (embody that story) rather than to keep stepping outside (objectify the story) which returns us to the old dualistic thinking and need of reconciliation. A few thougts that have emerged so far are about how it links with the idea of tacking and james point about feeling rather than thinking. There is also something around choice. i have been reading the shack Up Periscope divx
????? ???????? ?a?? and when Mack first encounters the trinity and trys to get his head around it there are a couple of interesting thoughts/illustrations. A bird is built to fly but if it chooses to limit itself to walking it still pocesses the ability to fly and is no less a bird. This is discussed in relation to Jesus being man and G-d. A few days ago I used the phrase swimming in the ether of god, as how we could operate in this more embodied way, it is about recognising and choosing to accept that we have moved beyond the sacred/secular divide and embraced the reality of kingdom being now and not yet, and to see this and be this as our startpoint. Perhaps it is about us choosing not to accept the limitations of our humanity but instead to live in a new way of being that is connected (even though at times it may seem at a distance) to God and her redemptive and redeeming creation and swim in that ether. ? ????????? ????? ???????? ????? ??????? ?????? ?????? ????????? ?????
Just back from the Shalom conference and Greenbelt. Two places where I hung out with like minded people and was able to wonder out loud about thoughts and ideas around mission and god without people stucking in a loud mouthful of air like a builder does when you ask how much it is going to cost?
Didn’t really hear that much new at GB but through chatting with friend got some good conversations going that began to stretch the old gray cells. In particular how many of the arguments made are based on the same old dualist assumptions and around reconciling this rather than starting from a more unified worldview and the impact this has on who and how we are.