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Tuesday, July 22, 2008
Book Discussion - The New Christians Week 2
In The New Christians, Tony Jones explores attributes of the emergent movement. One of the largest components of the movement is its focus on community. People and the cultures we abide in are part of our lives and affect our faith journey. These are not things to be shunned by emergents, but embraced as part of who we are. Two of the aspects of this focus on community include -

- Emergents see God's activity in all aspects of culture and reject the sacred-secular divide.
- Emergents believe that an envelope of friendship and reconciliation must surround all debates about doctrine and dogma.

How do these cultural approaches to faith differ or affirm what you have experienced in the past?

What are the benefits or dangers of placing relationships before dogma?

Do you see these descriptions as helping or hindering "evangelism"?

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posted by Julie at 5:55 PM ¤ Permalink ¤


  • At 7/30/2008 04:54:00 PM, Anonymous Kim

    I think relationship before dogma is the right order of things, but sometimes we get a skewed idea of how to best nurture our relationships. In my opinion, it's important that we let the framework of Christian teaching to inform our conceptualization of healthy relationships. An example would be, does love ALWAYS support the loved ones' actions? Must we ALWAYS maintain connections to family and/or friends, even when those connections drive a wedge in our relationship with God? There are a lot of questions about what constitutes healthy relationships, and it's important that we use ideas rooted in Christian teaching to keep centered.

  • At 8/05/2008 06:44:00 PM, Blogger wit4life

    What's happened to this book discussion??

    "evangelism" in post modernity doesn't look anything like 1st century evangelism, and neither does disciple-making. Jones' work couldn't show this more clearly. Whether this is the useful debate for Christians to take up in American, and I don't know for certain. Some would say the fields are actually not ripe any longer in the USA for this reason, and other would say, things have just changed. I'm still weighing these things.

    In reality, Christianity continues to flourish and propogate in places where postmodernity has not taken such root among the masses. Perhaps the pressures of a NON luxuriant life (place unlike the UK, Australia, USA, for starters) forces people away from considering much philosophy, and they consider repentance and coming to faith as rescue (maybe also less pluralistically?) There "evangelism" can continue more traditionally, it seems, for the times being.

    Ironically, Jones as emergent and post modern labels and describes, though he claims emergents don't enjoy this, and avoid it. It seems emergents really do it and need it, maybe crave it, but mostly when it suits them, no? : )


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