Dayton – Day 2

February 28: John Wesley charters the Methodis...
Image via Wikipedia

Had a real bad morning.

First, let me say that United Theological Seminary is really a great place so far. I am enjoying the personality of the place and the people.

The class, Church Renewal, is taught by Dr. ]] who is a charismatic personality, very friendly, personable and caring for the future of the Church. However….his pneumatology is developed, well-developed. He believes that people like ]], the Organic Church movement, and ]], the Emergent Church movement, have prophetic voices which are necessary in this age of anxiety.

Okay, so I agree with him that this is an age of anxiety. Old orders are being turned over. Majorities are becoming minorities. Economic systems are changing. The Church in the West looks like it might actually die. I mean, look at what the American Church as done to Christianity – to the West….

But, is giving the course of the Church over to the ‘prophets’ the way to go?

Plus, admittedly, I am a skeptic. Not the big ‘S’ skeptic, but you know, the ‘oh yeah, well show me.’ My one supernatural intervention – I admit it – is Scripture. Not theology and dogma which developed, but Scripture. Scripture is supernaturally put together, as illogically as that sounds, and stands as our measuring rod of what has been and what should be and what ‘ain’t.’ So no, I don’t have a developed pneumatology. I see God. God works. That’s fine. If you cannot prove it by Scripture, then no. No. See, that’s pretty easy. No.

I admit – I am not used to talking about ‘God’ or ‘Spirit’ or these other things.

So, for several hours, and an hour afterward as I spoke with him, I listened to him speaking about the renewal of the Church from within and from various sources which are simply not scriptural. For the life of me, I can see nothing godly in snake handlers. I mean, he would actually want me to consider what I came from as something supporting the renewal of the Church.

So, I had a bad day.

And then, in Church History I class, I had to discuss Augustine. All I can is, is that Augustine had issues. I don’t like having 2.5 hours of Augustine. If only that small voice hadn’t said ‘Take it up and read.’ But, at least he read,

Instead, clothe yourself with the presence of the Lord Jesus Christ. And don’t let yourself think about ways to indulge your evil desires. (Rom 13:14 NLT)

Okay… so in discussing Augustine…while he had issues which lasted after conversion, I don’t doubt his conversion and better appreciate his style.

Thou hadst penetrated our hearts with Thy charity, and we carried Thy words fixed, as it were, in our bowels; and the examples of Thy servant, whom of black Thou hadst made bright, and of dead, alive, crowded in the bosom of our thoughts, burned and consumed our heavy torpor, that we might not topple into the abyss; and they enkindled us exceedingly, that every breath of the deceitful tongue of the gainsayer might inflame us the more, not extinguish us. Nevertheless, because for Thy name’s sake which Thou hast sanctified throughout the earth, this, our vow and purpose, might also find commenders, it looked like a vaunting of oneself not to wait for the vacation, now so near, but to leave beforehand a public profession, and one, too, under general observation; so that all who looked on this act of mine, and saw how near was the vintage-time I desired to anticipate, would talk of me a great deal as if I were trying to appear to be a great person. And what purpose would it serve that people should consider and dispute about my intention, and that our good should be evil spoken of?

I still prefer Cassian though….

You Might Also Like

10 Replies to “Dayton – Day 2”

  1. nothing wrong with Prophets..

    Alot wrong with misunderstanding who a prophet is, and what a prophet is called to do.

    You know what I’m sayin?

  2. McLaren and Viola – BLAH! They are not prophets, they are unhappy with the church! Sounds harsh but I have had enough of these kinds of guys telling us thye church will die unless we listen to them…just saying! 😉

    1. fortunately I have no idea who they are..

      Also, I am _fairly_ sure we can expect Church memberships to rise, decline, rise, decline, from now until the end.
      We need to concentrate on raising up mature, intelligent and wise followers of the way, there is nothing more important. If we dont, we’ll a: be the laughing stock (if we arent already) and b: become increasingly irrelevant (as if we arent already), and c: have to face up to God at the end and explain what the hell we were doing.

      1. I look and see what is happening in the Global South with the rise of Christianity and in the East which has withstood centuries of struggle. Christianity is even rising in Islamic countries. We STILL have the Message.

        Maybe I am a skeptic – and a cynic, but I believe that the Gospel of Jesus Christ doesn’t need help in being spread, not signs, or miracles, or tongue talking. I do think, however, that we should allow the Spirit to be experience in its maturity. Ugh. No idea where I am at hear, but I don’t think tossing theology out and listening to everyone with an idea is worth it.

        Of course, tomorrow, we are going to discuss ‘Theological Vision.’ Don’t get me wrong – the teach is personable. His class is interesting. But, I don’t think that I am personally ready for it. I guess this is, however, what seminary is all about.

  3. “I listened to him speaking about the renewal of the Church from within and from various sources which are simply not scriptural.”

    I’m intrigued by this, ‘cos I’m curious to know what he thinks are bringing renewal. I’ve seen plenty folk trying to be ‘scriptural’ who are actually being archaic, preserving out-of-date language and practices which simply don’t connect with who they are, let alone the folk outside the church. Sometimes being scriptural means doing what in our world was done by what they did in their world – I mean, I never found Paul’s blog, or Isaiah’s tweets; does that mean all this is not ‘scriptural’?

    1. Trust me, by the end of this week, I will better understand him.

      He is okay with letting things just ‘go’ whether or not they are based in Scripture or not. So, we’ll see I reckon.

Leave a Reply, Please!

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.