Some Links on Some Theological Issues I View as Crucial For Emerging Missional Church
1. The New Perspective – Scot McKnight’s posts on the New Perspective on Paul here. Thanks Scot for summarizing the issues and debate surrounding the New Perspective. Though you may not agree with the entirety of the argument, I believe it is essential for all emerging pastors to understand the New Perspective if we are to go beyond a soteriology (understanding of salvation ) that is locked singularly into the dominant Western Lutheran reading of the apostle Paul.
2. Tithing – Tithing may be Biblical but Not Christian. Graham Old does us a service here in summarizing how the tithe might miss what giving is about for the Christian community. He’s pulling from Yoder and the year of Jubilee idea in the Old and New Testaments. I view this as fundamental to fostering a new culture of justice in communities of Christ.
3. Abraham Kuyper’s view of the Relation between Creation, Falleness, God’s Work in Culture and Redemption. Richard Mouw gives us a helpful summary here.(thanks to Darryl Dash for the link). Since much of missional theology has its impulse from this strand of Reformed theology, it is important to understand. Richard Mouw’s recent book He Shines On All That’s Fair is the best little book out there on this. My question, given the fragmented nature of postmodern discourse (the loss of metanarratives), and the post modern sense that the dominant Symbolic discourse (of politics and power) always engulfs resistance incorporating it into its cause, can the classic notion of Common Grace still maintain traction in the new thoughtworlds of postmodernity?
4. Why There Can Be No Division Between Confessing Jesus and Doing Justice. Dan Bell offers this concise piece of theological explanation for the kind of preaching/teaching that should drive this issue in the emerging church.
5. More Reflections on the Need for Missional Orders. Alan Roxburgh writes more on the need for missional orders in our time, spiritual formation into mission. At Life on the Vine we’re in the process of developing our own missional order for missional life in the suburbs. Look for more in the weeks ahead on this blog.
6. Women in the Emerging Church. Here Julie Clawson talks about the lack of visible women leadership in the emerging church. I’d include diversity in there too. In at least two other other collaborative groups I have attended this past year where the awareness of postmodernity was important to the group’s identity, the same issues existed. It’s a problem for groups like emergent, not that they are not addressing it. But its beyond that. And so I have hopes that emerging and missional churches will lead the way in forging new forms of justice and reconciliation racially and in gender. I have some theories. But Julie speaks well about it and offers some good suggestions at the end.
7. And allow me to add 2007 Emergent Theological Philosophical Conversations Podcasts with Jack Caputo and Richard Kearney moderated by Tony Jones. They are well worth the listen. A great intro to Deconstructive Thought and Theological Exporation, an important position that must be reckoned with. An excellent job of putting this together by the Emergent Village organization.
Some Blog Posts on Disturbing Statistics that make you think the emerging/missional church critique is really important.
1. For those of us who remain evangelical, these are Brutal Statistics Concerning Our Witness because of the Kinds of People we Have become in the eyes of Others. I have hopes the emerging missional churches can counter these trends.
2. Pastors Burning Out from Michael Kruse. The forms of church leadership that we have been propagating are simply impossible to fulfil. They doom the pastor and the church to disaster. I believe emerging and missional churches are leading the way in thinking differently about church leadership,
3. I don’t like to criticize and point fingers at pastors, but this list of pastors concerning how much money they make and how they spend it is stunning. I am sure there are special circumstances in some cases. But some of the names on the list surprised me. Thanks to Richard Cleaver for the link. Can emerging church leadership be different?