In my last post, I basically said that I would like to see a little more real life stuff come out of the emergent conversation. I don’t want to make it seem like I was saying that I want to get rid of the theological discussion and philosophical thinking. Like I said, those things are so important to making what happens in the “real world” have substance. For me, its what makes the difference between being different because you have candles or being different because there are some foundational assumptions that are completely different (i.e. what is the “gospel” and what is role of the church in the culture).

Anyways, I was reading from Bosch (Transforming Mission) today and came across this quote:

We are challenged to let Jesus inspire us to prolong the logic of his own ministry in an imaginative and creative way amid changed historical conditions. Now, as then, it should make all the difference to society if there was a group of human beings who, focusing their minds on the reality of God’s reign and praying for its coming, advocate the cause of the poor, serve those on the periphery, raise up the oppressed and broken and, above all, “proclaim the year of the Lord’s favor.” Mission in the perspective of God’s reign includes putting “poor, neglected, and despised people on their feet again as having recovered before God and people their full humanity” (page 34)

What this is saying to me is, that as we, in our particular locations and cultures seek to interact with the mission God, it?s going to look a LOT different in each context. Our church in the suburban ghetto where we “commit ourselves to initiate, here and now, approximations and anticipations of God’s reign” (Bosch, 35) is going to take a very different form/function compared to the community of faith in inner city Philadelphia…

I don’t want to sit around and figure out “things we can do” that will be true for all of us in all our communities. That is impossible and reeks of modern evangelicalism. What I get excited about is helping each other think through how we can initiate approximation and anticipations of God’s reign in our specific contexts.

A movement like this probably won’t look like a usual one where everyone looks the same (think: willow creek, the purpose driven church, etc) but where there are similar principles and assumptions about the call of the gospel and the role of the church that are similar and unite us in our diversity. Of course, then we get into the question of, what things will unite us and we start drawing lines in the sand again, which we are all wary of it seems.

Again, just more random thoughts…

in all this, i have been stimulated by Steve Bush’s blog