Sunday, January 26, 2003
Thursday, January 23, 2003
Kiwi, Mike Grimshaw (Canterbury University, New Zealand), in an essay that I’m reading at the moment, Tourist, Traveller, or Exile: Redefining the Theological Endeavour, describes the representative of popular religious piety/praxis in terms of their being “tourists” (an expression, not necessarily used or inferred in the same way by the likes of Pete Ward, and Gerard Kelly in his interesting little book called Humanifesto written in the style of a travel guide). No doubt, quite a provocative way of talking about many Christians and their experience of church.
The authentic Christian experience is typically a constructed and mediated one – most commonly the Sunday morning experience! The “tourist” seeks an authentic ‘travel’ experience by a ceremonial and spiritual holiday away from the mundane concerns and claims of their everyday, real world by participating in a service of worship [implication – an experience disconnected from their ‘everyday’, ‘real’ world]…
”As such, the clergy are primarily tour guides who weekly shepherd the tourists through a spiritual quick-stop tour, a greatest hits/snapshot/souvenir/tick-the-boxes experience that contains enough difference and content to hopefully excite, yet enough support and comfort so as not to upset.” In this the aim is not an ‘everything-included-in- the-price’, package, for that would undermine the tour operators aim of continued patronage. Rather it is deliberately incomplete with just enough to perk sufficient interest in repeat visits.
The “tourist,” as distinct from the “traveller” (orthodox theologian) and “explorer (modernist [and most likely ‘Postmodern’] theologian),” is the unthinking, religious amateur, with insufficient willingness or motivation to be anything other than one who is “guided” and has everything laid-on for them. One quite content with the superficial and the mediated; one who will not stray off the tourist bus, or beyond the most prominent sites in the tourist guide. The “tourist” is more than comfortable with “the security of pure cliché.” The tourist relies absolutely and unquestionably on the tourist guide. Theirs is the journey that “is expected to include the manageably different, the accomplishable challenge and experience that are to be found and located within a controlled and demarcated tourist zone.”
I’ve stretched his analogy a bit, but it’s been an interesting lens through which to reflect on and think about my church (in general) experiences…on what ‘church’ is, and on what ‘going to church’ is about.
Tuesday, January 21, 2003
Random thought 1 - I grew up in a setting where prophecies are all talk. And often talk in King James English. I have enough trouble understanding Shakespeare let a KJV prophesy.
Then I stumbled across the Old Testament prophets. People who use their bodies to speak of the Tomorrow.
Random thought 2 – I was moaning to Al Roxburgh (an "immigrant" who I respect immensly) about how hard church planting was, and how often other ministers don’t understand me and judge me by modernist indicators. He shrugged and said, “what do you expect. What you’re doing is prophetic.”
And it suddenly clicked. If Graceway just is, it is prophetic. To do nothing more than live .. to just drink beer and loves Jesus and tells stories and runs art exhibitions … is to get heat. Why? Because it’s embodied prophesy. It’s a challenge to the way others are.
Alan Hirsch commented on his blog;
“Ours is not merely an apostolic role in establishing new ground for the Gospel and church, but must be by nature a prophetic one as well. I find this the most painful aspect of my ministry--an almost total rejection/marginalization from the established church which I am so committed to."
Again, embodied prophesy. Tonight I pray for all my fellow embodied prophets. We who have thrown off the KJV English. We who by the very act of living, feel marginalized. Long may the Spirit pulse in our veins.
New book review on Stephen Timmis's 'MULTIPLYING CHURCHES' posted also.
-Erwin McManus, Seizing Your Divine Moment
Monday, January 20, 2003
Hey Marc, welcome back! I see you are making up for lost time.
Niels Boogaard published a Dutch bloggers map. It gives some indication of the popularity of blogging in Holland.
Check out GeoURL, a location-to-URL reverse directory. This will allow you to find URLs by their proximity to a given location. Find your neighbor's blog, perhaps, or the web page of the restaurants near you.
"It’s like the world’s been drinking too much coffee," Pete Greig writes in the 24-7prayer E-bullit. "Everything seems jittery. Watching the news feels like a soap opera with too many story lines crammed into a single show. Bush and Blair are intent on disarming Iraq of weapons they can’t find while Saddam Hussein and Robert Mugabe do panto on the world stage. Osama is off somewhere hanging out Dr Evil and Elvis, terrorising the world in whispers. Meanwhile Russia can do whatever it likes to Chechnya, and North Korea is busy sending postcards of their various nuclear arms factories to world leaders who are far too busy looking for weapons of mass destruction near oil fields to read the post."
"Meanwhile a UFO cult led by a dodgy old French pop star is busy trying to clone their (fantastically balanced) followers whilst in the middle-east everyone continues to blow everyone else up – normally on buses. At such times it’s easy to resort to extremes – either becoming too intense or too blasé. As Christians we cannot avoid the issues just because they’re complicated, burying ourselves in the trivial pursuits of local church activity or obsessing about the latest Reality TV series as if that really was reality. Paul urges 'that requests, prayers, intercession and thanksgiving be made for… all those in authority, that we may live peaceful and quiet lives.' (1 Tim. 2) Our prayers matter at times like these, and – believe it or not – world leaders desperately need such spiritual back up."
"In the midst of so many crises I’ve been wondering why so many wives of world leaders – from Nancy Reagan and Lady Di to Cherie Blair – seem to resort to astrology and New Age wacko stuff. My hunch is that they know the truth about their husbands and are terrorised by the notion that world peace lies in the hands of a man who can’t remember the name of the cat and farts in his sleep. They need to believe that a higher intelligence is pulling the strings of power than the one struggling with flat-pack furniture in the garage. Well, the good news for the president’s wives is that there actually is a higher power at work, promoting and demoting their husbands. The church of Jesus Christ has been appointed to exercise authority (rather than power) in prayer and in practice. We really have been raised up ‘for such a time as this’. Even when we are surrounded by trouble, Jesus says, “Take heart! I have overcome the world." (John 16). We don’t need to rush around like Corporal Jones yelling ‘don’t panic!’ We need to pray."
"God yes, church no." This is what most non-Christians tend to say. Or: "I want to experience God, but I don't want to be part of them" (read: the Christians). An added problem is that many Christians can't explain in normal (non-religious) language what they believe.
Realizing this, the Evangelical Broadcasting Company in Holland decided to do something they had never done before: ask a well-known non-Christian TV host (in this case Catherine Keyl, the Dutch Oprah) to make a series of six programs on 'seeking God in the Christians'. A search for authenticity which would force Christians to come out of their cosy subculture and open up their lives and explain in normal language who Jesus is and why living as a Christian is as real and relevant as could be. The series was broadcasted around Christmas and drew a lot of response. I think it's fair to say it was one of the best programs on Christianity aired on national television.
Thursday, January 16, 2003
Wednesday, January 15, 2003
To quote him:
"This is a movie about love, faith, hope and forgiveness, He died for all mankind. He (Jesus) suffered for all of us. It's time to get back to that basic message. The world has gone nuts. We could all use a little more love, faith, hope and forgiveness."
Sunday, January 12, 2003
Speaking of technology, I was thinking of roadtesting Apple's new Keynote presentation software at a conference in Switzerland next month, although I will probably use Arkaos VJ 2.2 which is my next step up from G-Force, which i have used for 3 years.
Anyone else using VJ software for presentation. digital storytelling or preaching?
Thursday, January 09, 2003
Tuesday, January 07, 2003
The list is now published and includes 32 cool blogs from 8 'Southern' Countries - Check them out
Monday, January 06, 2003
Saturday, January 04, 2003
i would love to hear your thoughts about this, am i full of it?