Sunday, May 07, 2006

Da Vinci Code

Well for more 'serious' engagement do get my new Grove Book on this (you know you want to ;o) this BTW is not about arguing the facts but IMHO the more important issue of understanding why this book has been so successful and the issues behind the facts that matter much more, oh it's also about responding to the book without looking like Dan Brown must be right that the church is doing a cover up...Something others are spectacularly failing to do ...Roll up the Roman Catholic Church single handedly doubling film attendance and belief in Brown's thesis by trying to forbid people from seeing it...Ably assisted by a clutch of conservative evangelicals and biblical scholars. But far more fun than my book is this wonderful post by the awesome betty bowers the bus theory is clearly right (see may 1st)

how to do evangelism?

follow this link to a really useful vidoe guaranteed to help in your evangleism....or more likely to laugh uncontrolably. thanks to Paul Roberts for this one!

Monday, May 01, 2006

Orthodox or Authentic?

not blogged for a while but they may now come like UK buses...the saying is you wait for one for ages then three come at once! We shall see

a number of things have lately made me think a lot about what we consider 'orthodox' and why. A writer on Israel heard on radio talking about how ideology was the big problem, those who held no ideology were open to peace and reconciliation, as opposed to those who did. Perhaps I wondered they held a different ideology, but I got the point. A day or two later someone quoted the adage 'doctrine is what you kill for but faith is what you die for'.
my suspicion is that these sayings speak into a place we all increasingly inhabit. A place where we are called to opt for certainty or challenge and have to discern where is God in all this.
it has been said that Mission is always connected to the 'heretical imperative' not I think meaning some abandonment of all that has been 'Christian' but rather a realization that mission always calls us to the new, not in opposition to the old, but out of it, out of it's trajectory if you like, but forward into the 'heretical' because it has not been orthodox before.
I suspect mission id never in this way 'orthodox' but always 'hereteical' - the two BTW are opposites, orthodox and heterodox.
But can the heterodox be authentic? I suspect it can indeed often is the authentic tradition of Christ and God's mission. Do I mean that simply by being heretical it must be authentic? Not at all. To be 'authentic' it needs to be connected to what has gone before. The point is though that the truly authentic witness follows the Christ pattern in which that which conventional doctrine condemns is in fact the way forward. To embrace the potentially heretical becomes the most authentic way to be Christian when the desire to affirm the orthodox can become the pharisee tradition that Jesus, the Jewish heretic, so often opposed.

what we so often perhaps fail to grasp is that Jesus might well come today in such a way, condemning our orthodoxy as Pharisaic and condemende by the church as a heretic.

the challenge then may be to live authentically, and this is not to make Christ as we would wish but follow him, in all the challenge that involves, as he was and is and will be. and that may not look 'orthodox'