If you’re like me you have a love-hate relationship with the American “holiday season,” perhaps skewed slightly more to hate than love.Continue Reading...
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In his brief anthology of blog posts entitled, There are Two Marriages: A Manifesto on Marriage (2011), Tony Jones argues that the church ought to seek the strict separation of what he calls “legal marriage” and “sacramental marriage.” A result of this change would be the removal of much of the church’s resistance to same sex marriage.Continue Reading...
In the Presbyterian Church (USA), we share a common theological language. That language, however, is filled with varying and often competing interpretations. We all say “chips,” but some of us are thinking french fries and others Baked Lays. Same words. Different meanings.Continue Reading...
John Milbank offers a biting critique of Fresh Expressions, a missional church movement in the Church of England. As ever, Milbank’s words are insightful and a helpful challenge to some problematic elements of missional praxis. I’ve embedded the article below and recommend that you take a read.
By way of a brief response to Milbank let me offer the following observations:
- Missional does mean participating in the mission of God in the world.
- Part of that mission is the establishment of particularized churches.
- These churches ought to be the base camp from which missional Christians go forth.
- These churches ought to preach the Word rightly, administer the sacraments, and equip the saints.
- The homogenous unit principle, though understandable, is not rooted in Scripture but in capitalism.
- Sacramental worship and missional ministry are complimentary rather than contradictory.
I’d love to hear your thoughts.
The denial and dissimulation of grace, though always a human temptation, became especially pronounced and systemic in the modern world. While it is common to refer to this development as the ‘desanctification’ or ‘disenchantment’ of the world, the key element in this process is the emptying out of the world’s divine referent. What begins to emerge is the idea of pure ‘nature,’ a conception that reduces material reality to a mathematical and mechanical core that operates according to ‘natural laws’ and can be appropriated by us as a resource for our own ends. As natural, the world does not find its origin or end in God. It does not bear witness to a divine intention. If it has any purpose at all, it is of a wholly immanent sort that can be understood–and exploited–through scientific and technological effort.
Norman Wirzba, “Agrarianism after Modernity” in J. K. A. Smith, ed., After Modernity (2008), p. 249.