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Mar 22, 2006

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Caelius Spinator

I'm glad that you say you're in a business of forming Christians. Too often I fear that Episcopal parishes are forming people who want to use the church to shape society (as they see the evangelicals and the Roman Catholic Church doing) but do not take seriously the otherworldly elements of the faith.

Tim

I suggest that the perception that "conservative evangelicals are taking over the military and the government . . . [and] the Catholic church . . . [is] abusive and corrupt; and the evangelicals . . . [are] corrupt and militant" are nuaunces accurately perceived in the tapestry of our current relgious environment. Is your comment about forming Christians similar to the idea that Maya Angelou expresses about people who self identify as Christian:, "Already. I thought it was a lifelong process?"

nathan

"They think of the Catholic church as abusive and corrupt; and the evangelicals as corrupt and militant."

I think you make some good points here Jake.

I know I come from a non-episcopalian perspective on this, but I can tell you that, far from being ignored, this is a matter of great concern and debate for many Christians hailing from orthodox, evangelical and pentecostal positions. I know many individuals (some who have accepted Christ and others who haven't) who struggle with the negative image evangelical churches have (this stereotype is particularly linked to the US, but it is still present, to a lesser extent, in Australia and NZ). Many times I have got together with a good friend of mine, a member of the Greens party with whom I once marched proudly down the street carrying a banner that said, "Jesus loves refugees", and we have talked eachother's heads off about how to reach people with a more "left-wing" social/political perspective, who assume that being passionate about Jesus must go hand-in-hand with being "right-wing" and obsessed over wedge issues.

He believes, and I agree to a large extent, that those who are pursuing alternative spiritualities are, in many ways, closer to coming to a faith in Christ than those who have gone to sleep, firmly embedded in the work/sleep/eat/shop hyperreal consumer world.

I have attended large conferences organised by Baptists and Pentecostals, Christians frustrated at their denominations for allowing themselves to become so culturally isolated and irrelevant to so many in our society, calling evangelicals to be more incarnational and relational, to walk the walk, to not distain social justice, to move beyond the 4 walls. I believe the emerging church, for all its worrying aspects, will have a big part to play in the future of Christianity in the West. It is often more naturally relational than a typical Sunday church can be.

John Wilkins

"Jake?"

Elliot

Right on!

Well, I know why I became an Anglican: I was coming from a fundamentalist background and I read a lot of graceful, open-minded books by Anglican authors who were devout but generous in their orthodoxy.

Jake

Consider it a compliment, John. Heh.

nathan

Pardon me, John! My excuse is that they are both 4-letter words starting with J. :D

John wilkins

I do consider it a compliment. You do get a LOT more comments.

J. C. Fisher

He believes, and I agree to a large extent, that those who are pursuing alternative spiritualities are, in many ways, closer to coming to a faith in Christ than those who have gone to sleep, firmly embedded in the work/sleep/eat/shop hyperreal consumer world.

But, regrettably, they're closer to coming to faith in Christ than many Christians do, too!

That's the problem I always have w/ dividing the world into "Christian" and "Non-Christian" (w/ only the latter seen as "ripe for the harvest").

In the U.S. in particular, Christians (e.g. Conservative Evangelical, and Conservative Papist) are LESS LIKELY to know Christ (as opposed to that impostor I call "GeezUs") than those hearing The Story afresh (which I think is why Marcus Borg entitled his wonderful book Meeting Jesus Again For the First Time)

I appreciate this entry very much, John. In the West, the Christian Church has a hard time to convince thoughtful and conscientious persons, that it is a faith wherein they can find a home. In TEC, they find a place to know---feed on!---the Saving Christ: not condemn other paths, and other seekers...

Phil Snyder

J.C.
I take offense at this statement: "In the U.S. in particular, Christians (e.g. Conservative Evangelical, and Conservative Papist) are LESS LIKELY to know Christ (as opposed to that impostor I call "GeezUs") than those hearing The Story afresh"

I could easily say that in the US, Christians (e.g. liberal protestant, and progressive Roman Catholics) are LESS LIKELY to know Jesus as opposed to that imposter some call "Christ."

The problem is how do you know with whom you are dealing? I know Jesus through prayer, through the study of Scripture and through the Church. If the Jesus you worship is radically different from the entire picture of Jesus given through the icon of Holy Scripture and through the witness of the whole Church, then I submit that you are worshipping an imposter.
This is true of conservatives and liberals. Please don't single out conservatives for idol worship. Liberals are known to bend the knee to their own Baals as well.

YBIC,
Phil Snyder

Friendly Editor

There is no "e" in Mahoony,

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