Friday, May 12, 2006

Christianity Rediscovered Chapter 7

And now, chapter 7. We get to see what happens to the people after they have decided to follow Christ as a community.

It's a long chapter and well worth the read. Looking forward to hearing your thoughts on it!


Josh said...

Well, I haven't quite finished the chapter, but I have found this one to be one of the most delightful (if I may steal that word from my wife, sitting beside me in Panera Bread) chapters yet.

Brian, you are so committed to memorizing the community stuff from the past chapter, well, I'm going to commit large chunks of the inward focused church to memory.

I especially liked the quote where he said that we should FROM THE BEGINNING talk about Christianity as something that is outward focused, that is geared towards other people.

And I almost cried during his story about Ole Skikii (or whatever).

I loved how he grabbed people who easily learned and enabled them to carry the story...

The two questions I am left with:

1. How do I find teens to do what he got his catechumen peeps to do?

2. What are the religious symbols that americans have? Are there any?

Brian said...

Great stuff...

Josh, I"m agreeing with you that this stuff is good and worth focus.

I think the distinction between missionary and pastor is a big one and a conversation worth visiting. Josh's question leads me to wonder if we are to raise up and lead missionaries? If so will we get killed or fired or both for it?

Love this line to the point of conviction (God's holy boot up the rear so to speak), "For someone to embrace Chrstiainty for the pruspoe of self-fulfillment or self-salvation is, I think , to betray or to misunderstand Christianity at its deepest level."

Love the comments on freedom and choice.

I'm glad I'm not the lion, even though I know I pretend to be sometimes.

Leopard stories are cool. How do you compete with that???? I almost got hit by a Jaguar once.

As for religious symbols in America - I think they are centered on games and music.

Kevin said...


I too resonated with starting people off with the idea of being outward focused. I'm so sick of consumeristic Christianity. When did Jesus ever say, "What's in it for me?" And utilizing some of your student leaders in similar ways to his "catechumen peeps" is a vaulable way to invest in them. How much did his assistants grow as they were seeking to tell others about God!


You bring up a question a lot of leaders in the church are having to face: "If we are to raise up and lead missionaries? If so will we get killed or fired or both for it?" I don't mean that many people actually consider not doing it but that they have to recognize the cost in what they're doing. But the key for me is to think about the cost of not doing it. How could we make that choice? And your connecting point with the leopard story is "classic Brian." Love it!

So now for just a few thoughts of mine.

1. I really like his idea of "movement" being a critical part of "mission." "One cannot deny that the work in a parish or diocese in America could be mission, that its, a work involved in the missionary out-reach of the church. But if there are no signs there of mobility, of action, of movement to the world around it, one has to deny that it is mission."

2. I don't agree with his statements: "The church exists only insofar as it carries Christ to the world." OR "That is the whole meaning of a Christian community." I do agree that that is a key part, but not the only part and not even the main part. Bringing glory to God fits that bill. Now, obviously, one of the ways to bring glory to God is to carry Christ to the world.

3. I love his analysis that "an inward-turned church never seems to realize why its reforms do not touch the world."

4. And finally, I identify too often with his statement: "Sometimes, in those days, my heart ached in its inability to lvoe the church as it was, and longed to see and love it, as it was meant to be."