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*Yawn…. (scratch, scratch)*

Posted by on August 4, 2006

I suppose one could say that has been asleep for most of the summer. I promise, I have not been completely lethargic, though my blog would certainly not prove that. I have been superdad for hours a day, I have taken three classes at Auburn University Montgomery as I have started my graduate studies, and I have earned a 4.0 my first semester. (Not to even mention the countless hours of mind-numbing television I have watched!)

I am giving and its offspring,, a facelift as a symbol of my renewed commitment to blogging this school year. For those of you who still bother to check in… thanks for your consistency!

P.S. – Chris, I haven’t forgotten your sovereignty question. A response is brewing!

12 Responses to *Yawn…. (scratch, scratch)*

  1. Gunter

    digging the new look mr. a

  2. Chris

    Looks very good! Nicely done!
    I’ve been doing some very surface level looking into thie “emerging” church thing. We’ll have to talk about it!

  3. Blair

    Chris, as you read, please be aware that a lot of different folks wear the label “emerging” and that it means different things to many of them. I view the label in a way not unlike the way I view the word Christian. A lot of people claim to be, and some of them really are. :) I certainly don’t agree with everyone who professes to be a Christian, and, frankly, some of them make me reluctant to apply the label to myself. (You know, the whole “Well, if that is what a Christian looks like… I am not so sure I want to be one!” Of course, I sometimes feel that those who evoke such a response have as much right to profess to be a believer as I have to profess to be a tomato!) At any rate, the same approach applies to the label “emerging.” Lots of folks may wear it, I may agree with some of them, but some of them make me scratch my head and say, “Hmmm…. if THAT is emerging.. then I most certainly am not!”

  4. Chris

    I’m sure your point is quite valid.
    My gut-level reaction to this movement called “emerging” church is this: many folks now saying, “no, wait, this is really what Jesus meant/was saying…you are off the mark”

  5. Pooch

    Nice changes. I especially like the bullet holes in the concrete from the firing squads that exterminate the most annoying of the whimpering student swine.

    After re-reading this, I feel a warning is in order. The following dissertation was written after 12 hours in the car. If you can understand the mind-numbing effect this can have — feel free to ignore the rest of the entry. Otherwise, get a drink and pull the pin….

    Webster’s NewWorld Dictionary:
    Emerge – 1) to come forth into view; become visible. 2) to become apparent or known. 3) to develop or evolve as something new, improved, etc (a strong breed emerged)

    It seems to me that if it is all Christianity and based on or within Christ, how can it be something ‘new’ and
    ‘improved’. Rather, wouldn’t it be a search for the pure, perfect, quintessential church. But, the $10M question is how do you know the ‘perfect’ church when you find it? What’s perfect to Flig? Perfect to Chris? Perfect to Pooch? Perfect to Miranda? So did God, being the perfect teacher, say, “Not everyone learns the same way, I should build a million different churches so that everyone can feel comfortable and learn about me the way they find easiest?” Possibly. However, with that logic, wouldn’t the devil also build a million churches meant to deceive and decoy the people away from the million, true messages? Wouldn’t the devil then also send a million saboteurs to disrupt the true churches just when the were getting on the right track?

    So, to tie this all back together, the two most reasonable options are:
    1) there are an infinite amount of good, grey, and evil churches in existence that we must weed through and hope to find one that leads us to salvation; or the opposite (for the sake of this website and argument, discounting atheism),
    2) God created one ‘true’ church for simplicity and purity and all the rest are dissolved and diverted from the true message to keep us further away from reaching salvation.

    Just the mere odds of #1 would make any self-respecting Lotto player cash it all in and count on eternal damnation.
    Even #2 still leaves the traveller with a difficult path, since there is undoubtedly some amount of evil in every church, because everyone in the church is human.

    So without the neon flashing sign at the door that says “100% PURE CHURCH – GOD IS HERE!”, what else is available to help us make a decision?

    With some evil in every church, wouldn’t ‘emergence’ simply be the second coming? After 2000+ years, Jesus will simply tell us what we got right and where we were wrong. Oh yea, ‘wrong’ involves reconciliation.

    Hmmm, this is hard. I don’t like hard, I’m going to bed and wait for someone to tell me which road to follow in the morning.

  6. Blair

    Wow. Pooch gets all philosophic after 12 hours in the car! Probably because of thinking for most of those hours, “You know, if I was in a hog, I would already be there by now!”

    I don’t have time to give your comment the reply it richly deserves, but let me give it the twenty-five cent attempt. (After all, I only have to present a Powerpoint presentation to the entire faculty tomorrow, and I haven’t finished preparing.)

    First of all, let’s choose a different definition for emerge. Instead of the third, let’s go with the first – “to come forth into view; become visible.”

    With that in mind, the “emerging church” is a very broad description often used to describe new works / churches / ministries that are finding their beginnings today, often lead by people under the age of 40… yep, the Gen X people.

    I totally buy your explanation of one true church; however, I believe that one true church has many manifestations. Is it the Cathloic church or the Protestant church? Is the Baptist church or the Methodist church? I believe it is, at least can be, all of the above. The one true church is not an institution, it is that body of believers, those who have been followers of the Way, those pursuers of Christ, those Christians who have lived throughout the ages. We worship in different buildings in different styles… but are part of the church universal, the catholic (with a little c) church.

    And throughout the history of this body of believers, the institutions that have been created or facilitated have taken on different forms. Since I am a Prostestant, I am most familiar with that sub-culture, so let me speak of it.

    The churches of the mid 1900′s…. those that may have started earlier but blossomed in the mid 1900′s… followed an educational model. They modeled themselves after the most prestigious institution of their day… education. The concept of spiritual formation was “If we can just teach people the right facts, they will live changed lives.” During the 1970′s and 1980′s, things started to change. New churches began to model themselves after a different institution… the corporation. Many of today’s mega-churches that were started during this time are patterned after corporations and embrace a corporate style of leadership.

    Emerging churches are those that are starting “to come forth into view” or starting to “become visible.” Some are rejecting the concept of modeling themselves after a corporation. Instead, they say that the most Biblical model would be one that was inspired by the instition of the family.

    The message is the same, the Gospel is still the Gospel. The way of presenting that Gospel is what has changed.

    At any rate, I simply must go and work on tomorrow’s presentation. Plus, I know that Chris is going to read this and respond (at least mentally) with something about the church of Peter… :)

  7. Pooch

    Before I type, how did your presentation go? Did the pan-galactic, hyper-intelligent, new laptop provide multi-media glitter-bitz to impress the masses?

    Back to the question at hand:
    Education to corporation to family model?

    Confession to no confession to …?

    No divorce to divorce to…?

    Hetero-sexual marriage to hetero and homo-sexual marriage to…?

    Why would Jesus tell the disciples, “Whose sins you forgive are forgiven them?” Why would the disciples be given the ability to forgive if there is no need for confession?

    Isn’t this the same thing? Did the Anglican church ‘emerge’ in 1534 when Henry VIII wanted a divorce in order to marry Anne Boleyn?
    What defined the new church that ‘came forth into view?’

    I agree with you that the infrastructure and church model are not as important. Said another way, the foundation is critical and the presentation is open for discussion.

    Must get back to wisely budgeting your hard-earned tax dollars.

  8. Chris

    Fr Sreboth, the pastor in residence at Our Lady Queen of Mercy, put it this way, and it jives with what Pooch is saying:
    [regarding doctrinal issues] Christ would not give Peter one answer and Andrew another, and Matthew yet another.
    The “Church as the Body of Christ” argument (that is, as a nebulous, unbounded entity) is spurious. Following the “body” analogy, if one of my lungs were to suddenly adopt the belief that CO2 was the fuel of choice while the rest of my body stayed with O2, this is no small division.
    The most telling point ot support this view is the way FLiG said it: “Instead, they say that the most Biblical model would be one that was inspired by the instition of the family”
    So FLiG, your daughter wakes a few years from now and says, “I know what you and mom have taught, but I am going to not do homework and I’ll wear miniskirts and halter tops from now on”
    The family, by definition, is based on hierarchy and authority and cohesion.

  9. Blair

    Pooch: In regards to presentation, I have yet to order my Mac. Since I wsa stuck using the school-provided decrepit tablet PC, I had to amaze them with my own brilliance rather than rely on technology. It went spledidly.

    Perhaps it is my interpretation, but it seems that the tone of the comments has become a Catholic vs. Protestant discussion rather than a discussion of the current trends being identified as emerging. Because of my respect for you both and my complete and total lack of desire to find myself entrenched in that discussion, I will respond and ask that any further conversation take place over a couple of pints. (If you think I am being unfair, email me and say so.)

    You both raise valid points, but I will remind you that the entire Protestant Reformation was not born out of the frustrated attempts of a king to have a son. Luther’s intentions were Godly, and he desired reformation within the church. When the church refused, he had to take a stand for righteousness.

    And for those churches (or movements such as the formation of the Anglican church)that were born out of sinful desires, I trust that God is sovereign enough that what man might have intended for evil, He has used to His own glory. (What did Joseph tell his brothers? What you have intended for evil God has used for good.)

    Though you might find the church as the Body of Christ to be spurious, it is not original to me. Since Paul bought the idea, I find it valid. :)

    As to the comparison between family and church, you are right that the family is based on hierarchy and authority and cohesion. I also believe that the New Testament has some pretty specific things to say about what church government should look like. I must admit to you that I don’t believe that the Catholic model lines up with what the New Testament says.

    Accept my words with the humility that I offer them with… we simply disagree. Chris, you don’t know me as well, but know that our differences of opinions don’t cause me to view you any differently. Pooch, you know my heart…

    blessings to you both…

  10. Blair

    I meant to include this at the bottom of the previous post. To better understand my general views, check out this article
    about Mark Driscoll, a pastor up in Seattle, WA. He and I seem to line up pretty closely.

  11. Chris

    Driscoll’s article reinforces my first impression of the “emerging” movement: yet another series of fractures within the Body of Christ.
    Hey, there’s that term again! Ya know, when Paul used it – and when he uses it, I am in agreement with him – the Body was not fractured. Heck, that was the point of his epistles – “You guys are mucking this up; here, this is how it’s to be done/what we believe, so we’re all on the same page.” Paul would most certainly not apply that term to Christianity today!
    I apologize for the Catholic/Protestant bent to the dialogue – it’s difficult to avoid in theological discussions:)

  12. Blair

    No apologies needed at all… you are kind to offer, but they are totally unnecessary. We’ll chalk it up to agreeing to disagree. :)

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