Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Generous with Generous Orthodoxy

Ok...a confession is in order...are you ready? Do you need to sit down? Can I get you a glass of water, so you don't choke? Ok, well, ummmm, , uhhhhhhh, ...ah, um, geewilikers....ok....I read Generous Orthodoxy by Brian Mclaren. There I said it, well, um, not excatly all of it...uhhhhhh, ummmmm, ok, Yes, I liked it. Are you happy? Fine...let the shaming begin. Yes, I know its a shock, its a coming out of the closet so to speak,,,I admit it, will you still love me in the morning? No don't run, don't leave, wait...let me explain....Well, I liked probably 96% of the book...does not liking, or at least kind wondering about, atleast 4% still allow me to call myself a non-heretic? (even if one half of one percent of the dislike, was just that I didn't like his face on the cover of the book?).

Ok, I know most of you have no clue about the author or the book...and like me if you do have any idea about anything related; it's more a buzz knowledge from those who didn't like it or him; instead of a personal evaluation of the book or ideas of emerging church blah, blah, blah. I realized after reading the book, or really during it, that most of my perceptions where made through his negative press; not from engaging the ideas and concepts proposed or talked about in the book. Which doesn't make for a very fair hearing.

This book, helped me see that my "Mutt Breed" Christianity that has kept me to "this"...for that group; and too "that"... for this group...is a more a hint of Generous Orthodoxy than madness or uneducated naivety or heretical tendencies. Now granted my theological leanings are also shaded by my upbringing, my knee jerk and thought out reasonings from my Charismatic and Pentecostal jaunts and hangovers; as well as my firstborn puritanical underpinnings that make me want to be more moral, pharisaical than my other recovering fundamentalist brethren.

My middle of the road journey that makes me more comfortable in the pound than the breeders den...has served me well in being able work with the Lord; in growing a church community of biblical commitment and balance, diversity, grace, patience and love. Hopefully maturing thinkers that are developing the ability to think "christianly" instead of just equipping people with parrot like prepackaged answers from their prefabbed weightwatcherish theological calorie counters.

As we pastor and lead in the emerging generations, these discussions are part of the work. Understanding them, embracing some of them, listening, dialoguing, debating and choosing to search and see if these things be so in the scriptures, history and in the realm of reason; is critical to truly understanding and reaching our culture in a Jesus way.

Read the book...it might do your brain and heart some good...or at least engage your spirit and then your mouth into talking about some important issues...pro or con.
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