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Grand Rapids, MI

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Embarking Blog

...on the journey towards restoration of all things

Filtering by Tag: Culture

The Pace of Change

Tom Elenbaas

"On almost every important business index, the world is racing ahead. The stakes - the financial, social, environmental, and political consequences - are rising in a similar exponential way." [John Kotter] I have some serious questions rattling around in my own head and heart as I both experience, study, and lead in this rapidly changing world.

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Conversation on the Church 2

admin

Many of my friends, though, fall into one of four camps: 1. Theologically and culturally conservative 2. Theologically conservative but culturally liberal 3. Theologically liberal but culturally conservative 4. Theologically and culturally liberal

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The Place of Christians in the World 3

admin

Speaking of the eyes with which we look at the world, I want to quote another thing from McLaren in The Other Journal Interview.  He says the following:

...the headlines of the newspaper tell us what the crises are, and that God is very concerned about the crises of our world, and when you are touched by those crises and you open the pages of the Bible, you begin to notice things that you wouldn't notice otherwise.

In other words, as you read culture and find out what humans are struggling with, what we are longing for, where our brokenness is showing up, it gives you new eyes into the Scriptures.  You go to the Scriptures with eyes seeking a God who interacts with these realities that we deal with today: poverty, injustice, violence, power, war, identity, etc.  The Scriptures come alive as we reach back into the living Word and God speaks to what we deal with today.  But the reverse is true as well:

If you read the Bible, you begin to notice certain themes, and that enables you to see certain things that others migh miss when you read the headlines...

In others words, the Bible gives us eyes to see our world in new ways.  As William Placher would say, "how the world looks from a Christian perspective."  A Christian world-view gives us a different slant on the world, the headlines, and the crises.  We bring an understanding of history and a future hope to the present crises in a context that includes a powerful, loving God who is unfolding his developing story.  Being able to speak that history, hope, and our place in the story gives us a voice and content to speak into the world.  So, as we hear and apply the Word, the Spirit forms us (spiritual formation happens to us).  We then "speak" and "act" upon the world as agents of God and his Kingdom.  We herald his voice - we announce the good news - we participate in the unfolding of a new reality.  God, then, does his constructive work on and in the world by creatively speaking his Word into our hearts through the power of the Spirit as he constitutes the present incarnation of the body of Christ in the world, the church.


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Art Conference

admin

Ok, so you missed it.  So did I.  Transformingculture.org.  Somehow, I didn't know about this, but it looks very good.  It's supported by some people I know and respect like Andy Crouch of the Christian Vision Project (an organization I keep up on), Gordon Fee of Regent (read a lot of his stuff), Jeremy Begbie from Cambridge (read some of his stuff), Eugene Peterson (read almost all of his stuff), Ben Patterson from Westmont (used to pray with him ocassionally when he was at Hope College), Barbara Nicolosi from Act One (introduced by a friend of mine in the film industry), Luci Shaw (favorite poet of mine for over a decade), Alison Siewart (met her at Urbana years ago), and many more.  I'm encouraged to see more interaction in the realm of the arts.  Since I left UofM, I've been a little more disconnected from artists than I'd like, and hope to have some reconnection soon. Here's a short video with David Taylor as a preview to the conference:


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