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A Generous Orthodoxy March 22, 2012


A Generous Orthodoxy:
Why I am a missional, evangelical, post/protestant, liberal/conservative, mystical/poetic, biblical, charismatic/contemplative, fundamentalist/Calvinist, Anabaptist/Anglican, Methodist, catholic, green, incarnational, depressed- yet hopeful, emergent, unfinished Christian.


Wow.  That’s one l-o-n-g book title.  But that pretty much tells you the general material that’s covered in the pages of this book.
Rather than rejecting the various branches on the tree of “Christianity,” Brian McLaren looks for the good that each has contributed to our understanding of, and relationship with God.

This, my 5th McLaren book, was hard for me to get into, at first.  I had started to read it many months ago.  I ended up putting it back on the shelf and reading other books instead.  That difficulty was, I’m convinced, due mainly to all the reading before you ever get to “Chapter One.”  There are TWO forwards, an introduction, and what’s called “Chapter 0,” all before you start the first chapter of the book!  Anyway, once I committed to reading it, I found it fascinating, very interesting, and quite educational.

Indeed, Brian is generous in these pages.  Probably more so than I would have been.
That’s a good thing.
He acknowledges this generosity in discussing the “good”, but admits that much could be said regarding the  “bad and the ugly.”
But the focus here is what we can take with us as the journey and growth process continue.
Just as the ancient world emerged from the prehistoric world, and the medieval from the ancient, and the modern from the medieval, we are now emerging from the modern to the post-modern (which will likely be re-named by future generations).

With this emergence comes, as it always has, new understanding; new ways of thinking; new ways of being.  This includes a growth and expansion of how we perceive and relate to God.
When we grow up within a particular religious culture, we tend to believe that what we have is that which has been handed down “since the beginning.”
We have it “right,” and those other branches just missed it somewhere.

Well, this book helps us realize there has been a vast variety of “Christianities” throughout the ages.
The first chapter, titled “The 7 Jesuses I Have Known,” sets the stage for our journey of enlightenment through the potpourri of beliefs held by those who have sought to follow the leading of Christ.

There is rich, nuanced history here, of which I was predominantly unaware. I came away with a new understanding of many of the branches named in the expanded title of this book.
Without doubt, there’s enough bad “sap” in those branches (including those I was involved in) that I would not consider being a part of them, but I have a respect for the good in those traditions, as well as those who engage in them.

“A Generous Orthodoxy” is another great adventure in literature. It’s an exposition of where we’ve been, and a look at where, with God’s grace, we are heading.
– df

Buy the book.  Click HERE.

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McLaren has worked to knock down barriers between Christians of different theological backgrounds by preaching that none of us has a handle on the whole truth.  Christianity is much broader than American Evangelicalism. Sometimes this is hard to grasp in a country where Evangelical has become synonymous with Christian.
– Matt Benzing

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McLaren argues that all of the theological hair splitting misses the core message of Jesus.  I would challenge those like me in the evangelical circles to read this… not to confirm what we already believe… there are lots of books to do that… but to understand arguments outside our collective comfort zone. Whether you adopt McLaren’s conclusions or not, understanding the thought process can be a helpful exercise.
–  Paul Mullen
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McLaren has given the church a gift- a way to think about theology that actually brings Christians together again, rather than forever splitting into smaller and smaller and smaller groups. Read it and see if you don’t find yourself challenged, taught and humbled.
– Bob Hyatt

Buy the book.  Click HERE.
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From the back cover:

Whether you find yourself inside, outside, or somewhere on the fringe of Christianity, A Generous Orthodoxy draws you toward a way of living that looks beyond the “us/them” paradigm to the blessed and ancient paradox of “we.”

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SOME QUOTES:

* The word God itself was reimagined through the experience of encountering Jesus.

* We’re here on a mission to join God in bringing blessing to our needy world.

* [We must] study not only the history of the church, but also the history of writing the church’s history.

* Anabaptist Christians, not unlike liberal Protestants, find the heart of the gospel in the teaching of Jesus. [They] focus on living out Jesus’ teachings about how we are to conduct our daily lives, especially in relation to our neighbors.

* I had met too many certified tongues-speaking Christians who were consistently dishonest, weird, unhealthy, and mean-spirited. Any understanding of being “Spirit-filled” that didn’t include helping people to become healthy, Christlike, and kind didn’t seem to be worth much.

* Most Christians kind of bottom-line everything to heaven or hell, and that makes life feel kind of cheap.

Buy the book.  Click HERE.

* The Jesus Movement, especially in its early days, was a truly wonderful thing. But all too soon [it] was co-opted. It was to a different Jesus that I was gradually converted.

* Yes, you can follow Jesus without identifying yourself as a Christian.

* Some Protestants seem to let Jesus be Savior, but promote Paul to lord and teacher.

* The emerging church has the potential of being to North American Christianity what Reformation Protestantism was to European Christianity. – Phyllis Tickle

* Jesus needs to be saved from Christians…
Can we trust Jesus to save himself from the mess we’ve made of his name, and in so doing, save Christianity?

Buy the book.  Click HERE.

* Christians are not the end users of the gospel

* Scripture is always a factor, but it is never sola. [It] is always in dialogue with tradition, reason, and experience.

* When the scripture talks about itself, it doesn’t use words like authority, inerrancy, infallibility, revelation, objective, absolute, and literal. Hardly anyone notices the irony of resorting to the authority of extrabiblical words and concepts to justify one’s belief in the Bible’s ultimate authority.

* The Bible is a story, and just because it recounts what happened, that doesn’t mean it tells what should always happen or even what should have happened.

* We must accept the coexistence of different faiths in our world willingly, not begrudgingly.

* We constantly emerge from what we were and are into what we can become – not just as individuals, but as participants in the emerging realities of families, communities, cultures, and worlds.

* To be in this creatio continua, this ongoing and emerging creation, in front of all this beauty and glory, meants that there can be no last word.


Buy the book.  Click HERE.


 

Do One Green Thing March 14, 2012




Do One Green Thing:
Saving the Earth Through Simple, Everyday Choices
– Mindy Pennybacker

You want to make healthier eating choices.  You know buying organic clothing and fair-trade coffee, along with smarter choices for personal products is a good thing.  You know recycling is good for people and the planet we share.
BUT, it’s just all so overwhelming!  Too many claims.  Too many choices.  Too much research.  And it seems to cost more to “do the right thing.”
So, since you can’t “do it all,” you may feel you’re left with doing nothing.

NOT TRUE!

Too many people (including myself) sometimes get locked in an all-or-nothing mentality.  In “Do One Green Thing,” Mindy Pennybacker shows us how to make one simple choice in a variety of areas of everyday living.  One simple choice that can make a difference.
Plus, she sifts through the information, does the research, and give us the bottom line data we need to make the small changes that make a BIG impact.
She also names Brands and items!  Now, it is easy being green.

This would be a great reference book to keep in your car and take shopping with you.
“Do One Green Thing” is a great and very, very practical book that can help us all be better stewards of God’s gift of creation.

– df

Buy “Do One Green Thing”.  Click HERE.

“One green thing: It’s so simple.  This book takes the pressure off by giving you one easy but effective choice to make in each basic area of your life. And it’s written by a trusted voice in environmental health reporting: Mindy Pennybacker.
– Meryl Streep

“The eco-friendly world is a bitch to navigate.  Do One Green Thing makes it simple, but not simplistic.”
– Donna Bulesco, In Style magazine

“From foreword to index, the succinct book is fewer than 300 pages, but Pennybacker manages to cover a broad range of everyday questions.”
– The Daily Green

Buy “Do One Green Thing”.  Click HERE.

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Related Quotes:

“If you think ‘Going Green’ is something new, take a look at your Bible.  There is verse after verse about caring for the environment and all of God’s creation. So, being a good steward over God’s creation is not something new, but instead a responsibility we must all undertake.”
– Kelli Mahoney

“All of God’s creation—nature, animals, and humanity—are inextricably linked to one another. As creation cares for us, we too are called to care for creation and engage in the work of healing and sustaining it. ”
– from the preface of  The Green Bible

Recycling one aluminum can saves enough electricity to power a TV for three hours.

Buy “Do One Green Thing”.  Click HERE.

Recycling one ton of paper saves 17 trees, 2 barrels of oil,  4,100 kilowatts of energy, 3.2 cubic  yards of landfill space and 60 pounds of air pollution.

If the entire world lived like the average American, we’d need 5 planets to provide enough resources.

Buy “Do One Green Thing”.  Click HERE.

 

Sheep And Headphones March 4, 2012

I just HAD to post this cartoon from
nakedpastor” David Hayward.




What more can be said?
“Lots more could be heard. If we would have ears to hear.
The bible can obstruct Truth.”
– David Hayward

“The Bible is not the Word of God. What the Bible is, is a witness to the Word of God. Mistake that and you’ll spend your life reading the owner’s manual instead of driving the car.”
~ Bart Breen

[You can find LOTS of great cartoons and commentary from David Hayward at http://www.nakedpastor.com

You’ll agree. You’ll disagree.
You’ll laugh. You may occasionally be offended.
But, hopefully, you will think.]

 

 
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