Friday, October 08, 2004
Tripping around the blogosphere
Good stuff from brutha Alan:
It's [the point of this whole church thing] about being citizens - once far off, no longer aliens. Our simply being that kind of being, as fully as we can be, renews the world around us.

I give it a hearty "Aaa-men!" And I'm not giving away the punchline, so perhaps you should check the rest out.

Me, I can get pretty cynical when I walk in the Christian bookstore and peruse the 258 different flavors of the Bible for sale. You don't believe me, do you. I mean, who greenlighted a devotional Bible for left-handed Canadians born the Year of the Monkey? Anyway, Andrew has some creative ideas: a Bible for pilgrims (the physically wandering kind) and a Bible for geeks. Of course, my first reaction is what's the deal with more flavors? Can't the Bible just speak for itself? Excuse me while I punch myself off my high horse. Of course it can. And making it more creatively accessible to a world that has made it the international best-seller but is so ignorant of it ain't going to hurt.

And from another Alan, over at the Ooze:
The truth is, we are in a consumeristic culture. And for that reason, consumeristic churches will often thrive. But in my opinion, the cost is too high. A weakened spirituality that depends on a belief that there way is the best "buy" for tithe and time. It weakens relationships because the base of connection is in the "goods" sold. While non-consumeristic models may be less successful numerically, they are necessary if we expect at all that we can be transformed as a people and shift our values away from the best "purchase" whether that be for our church life, our jobs, our homes, and even our relationships. I'll even blame divorce rate being high on consumerism... We believe we can trade up. It's not right to settle for something we perceive as less value, time is too short. Discard the old, and make a shiny new purchase, because newer and prettier is always better."

Looks like Tim's reading Foster's Celebration of Discipline, too. It's good stuff.

Today's lesson in church history was all about authority. There's the Protestant view of an infallible book on the one hand, the Catholic view of an infallible church and papacy on the other. They're really not that different when you think about it. We insist certainty in our faith, for better or worse.

So my question then was, what is the Jewish perspective of authority? Where does this Christian sense of authority come from? How do I know what God wants me to do?

To the Christian what is of premier importance is believing the right thing, or what we call orthodoxy. To the Jew, the first priority is practicing the right thing, that is, observing the holidays, eating the right foods, etc.

So how did one evolve to another? They both seem incomplete to me. My prof mentioned some quote now I can't remember from Wesley about doctrine being the least part of Christianity, if any part at all. I'll have to track that down.

What good is practicing a good life devoid of orthodox doctrine? What good is defending a faith that does not transform the physical world, or worse yet, transforms me but not the world around me?

I could have sworn my piano lesson was at 9:30 this morning. Woke up at 9:20 and hurried down to the offices. It was at 9.

posted by Peter at 2:09 AM
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