Thursday, June 14, 2007

The Shaping of Things to Come

Look forward to a series of short posts on a book called The Shaping of Things to Come. Recommended by a friend who is about to do a church plant with her husband, the book deals with what is popularly called the "emergent church." I'm skeptical of this movement in that it abandons a strict view of the gospel and caters to the emotional/experiential, pushing for tolerance and variety in worship. I believe God tells us how He wants to be worship, and in a corporate Church setting, it does not involve incense, video, or painting.

This isn't the central issue, though. What I hope you'll see in this series is that while the authors, Alan Hirsch and Michael Frost, insightfully recognize a lot of true problems in the Church and realities about the Western cultures today, instead of going to the Bible for pure instruction, they take a pragmatic, experiential - even openly experimental - popular direction at fixing these problems.

So point 1, addressing page 9: A theme in The Shaping of Things to Come is the Christendom Era and establishment, representing Catholicism and the institutional church as we know it today. It began, they say, in Constantine's reign around A.D. 313. Buildings, they say, became "central to the notion, and experience, of church." Why do we need a building to ‘experience’ church? What does the fact of a building contribute to the ‘experience’? What was the experience before?

To God be all glory.

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