2004-10-27

First Impressions

Posting here seems to have ground to a halt recently, so let me jump in quickly with a short one.

My book FINALLY arrived last week (more than a month late), and it was hard to put it down - I finished it in record time! I was left with the "warm fuzzies" after reading it through, with a feeling that maybe, just maybe, we can all see past our differences as Christians, bridge a few gaps and grow together toward God.

I had my knuckles rapped in a few places - a couple of in-grown beliefs were named, exposed, and seen to be perhaps not so correct after all, leaving me cringing and smiling ruefully. I learnt a lot about other perspectives too. There are aspects of the different facets of Christianity that I knew nothing about - until now.

I've recently been through a very dark place spiritually, with seemingly no hope at the end of the tunnel. Reading this book has brought a spark of hope, the feeling that things CAN get better, and an urge to strive toward that. There's a tingling of spring now in my soul, and it has nothing to do with Chapter 16 (Why I Am Green). :)

I've been recommending this book left, right and centre to as many people as will stand still long enough to listen (and a few who won't - I recently used part of it for a devotional time where I had a captive audience...). I suspect my copy is going to end up well-worn. It will take a few more passes for everything to really sink in.

Looking forward to hearing what others have to say. To the next chapter and beyond!

3 comments:

BGower said...

I have read A Generous Orthodoxy and I have a lot of feelings about it. I look at being “generous” as how I have always practiced my Christianity. But I have also seen a difference between how I practice and how Christianity is practiced in the church. I believe this is because when we are faced with ecclesiastical questions, we become clouded with systems and internal structuring. These questions are products of a tradition of church development that goes beyond Christ’s command to love. The Tradition is not good or bad, it’s more of a historical reality. An example of a question we might ask when focused on the church is: “who is appropriate to serve in positions of teacher, elder, and pastor? Women, Youth, Homosexuals?” Values of love, service, compassion, and tolerance take a second step to tradition, and church order. I have no problem being generous in the “world” but I find it difficult when forced to deal with Church politics, and ecclesiastical order. Is Church Structure a barrier to being Generous?

asiatrek said...

i really appreciate what BGower has said above...
very well written and it expresses my current thoughts precisely ... over here i can more easily share my theological inklings concerning the trinity with a close friend who has a tibetan buddhist master than i can with some of those in the small chinese church that i had attended for a number of years....
-grin-
i can easily maintain my 'distinctiveness' from Dr. Lee whereas within a church it becomes a 'thorn' to prune, cut, or burn....
-grin-

Paul said...

"A Generous Orthodoxy, neither generous, nor orthodox: discuss among yourselves!"

Is it a service to Christians to wander away from the clearly understood orthodoxy of two millenia of Christians? The first thing you will say is that it has always been fought about and misunderstood. Ah, but it has always been clearly stated and understood by those with faith.

Is it generous to be inclusive when by doing so one does not, as one intends, include lots of others in God's favor, but rather steps out into the world which is in fact under his wrath? Emergent church missionals are going out into the world to bring disparate people into the fold. But to do so they must abandon the primary essentials of Christianity and paradoxically find themselves on the outside with everybody else.

I have to reject McLaren's "new" theology as dangerous, muddy, disingenuous. Bishop Spong is waiting for you as soon as you follow your beliefs out to their logical conclusions. There you will find yourselves, politically correct, ecumenical, and no longer having much to do with Christ at all.