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Showing posts from May, 2012

Ascension, Mission, and Birth...

I'm preaching on Sunday morning following a period of reflection and feedback in our church: we are need of setting a vision for the next few years, a task we've probably not really done before, and are at the beginning of the process. For most people that will be a daunting experience: it's new, and new things often are daunting to well established congregations. My congregation will probably find it daunting. It requires us to wait on God, and to be open to things new as well as old.

Yesterday's Ascension reading, Acts 1:1-11, captured some of what is required as I see it. Jesus told the disciples to wait on God for the Holy Spirit to come, to enable them to be witnesses in all the world. If ever there was a manifesto for what it means to be Church, I think that short passage is one of them. Many people think of Pentecost as the birthday of the Church, but I disagree: for me, the birth of the Church (and all the messiness that births often involve) was at Ascension -…

Emerging Evangelicalism: learning from ethnography?

"This book is about American Evangelicals. More precisely, it explores how some Evangelicals are consuming and enacting knowledge produced as part of the Emergining Church movement. Even more precisely, it is an ethnographic analysis of identities fashioned, practices performed, discourses articulated, histories claimed, institutions created, and ideas interrogated in this cultural field. Emerging Evangelicalism, we will come to see, is a movement organized by cultural critique, a desire for change, and grounded in the conditions of both modernity and late modernity." (p. 5)

It only seemed fair to let James Bielo outline his own argument rather than me do it for him, so there you go. I'm reading this book to review it for Anvil Journal (UK) and started off thinking that a) this would be another typical ethnographic study that does not attend to any theology, and 2) that it would concern itself primarily with USA and have little or nothing to say to me in a British contex…