#1 – Has What Emerged Retreated?
I ran across an interesting series that Kester Brewin wrote about participants of the Emergent Movement in the UK returning to the institutional church and organizations. He addresses this topic to some degree in his book Other: Loving Self, God and Neighbour in a World of Fractures (which I have now ordered and am looking forward to reading). The series (and the comments) covered a lot of interesting topics including how spiritual maturation takes place (part 2), how institutions can become damaging and what can be done to counteract that (part 3), some info about Vaux (a community of artists and city-lovers who sought to explore the Christian faith through the media that came naturally to their hands) and Temporary Autonomous Zones (part 4). Jonny Baker and Andrew Jones both post responses to the series. Of course the authors are all from Europe which is some years ahead of the US regarding emerging/emergent Christianity, but there are still many similarities. What do you think? Is a retreat taking place? Is it maturation? Has the institutional church changed?
#2 – Happy Christian Women…Really??? and Drinking The Company Kool-Aid
Pam Hogeweide and Kathy Escobar have written posts in response to a recent Barna survey of Christian women requested by Jim Henderson of Off The Map for his latest writing project about how the modern American church treats women. I believe that this is a very important issue and am disappointed that no woman is authoring the book with Jim on this project (Pam addresses this in her post) but do appreciate that Jim is at least asking women (here) to let him know if their experience matches the survey results from Barna (mine don’t and I let him know). Check it out and let your voice be heard.
#3 – Good News and Bad News
The good news is that the PCUSA General Assembly voted in favor of lifting the ban of non-celibate gay and lesbian clergy. The bad news is that they voted to not even hear or discuss the issue of same sex marriage and so it is tabled for two more years.
Soul Force held a demonstration at the proceedings and some were arrested because they refused to leave. There seemed to be some differing opinions (check out Shuck and Jive post and comments) about Soul Force being there but I appreciated them being there to represent the voice of the oppressed and excluded.