Wednesday, February 14, 2007

Creativity, mysticism and the intellect!

A little response to William. I love your passion for the Bible, it is my favourite book and the one I read the most. I am not particularly feeling condemned just challenged with regards to how I live in and engage with this world. Fair trade, environmental awareness, where I buy my clothes, my stance on peace, and my rejection of certain right wing elements of church can all be argued biblically, but then I don't really like arguing, (small lie, I like a good fight, but not slagging matches)

You make a suggestion that emergent or PO-MO thinking is worshipping the intellect, mysticism and creativity. Which in turn I feel are biblical, not the worship there of, but the use of!

Just as we use the Bible to help draw us closer to our maker, I firmly believe that the intellect was given to us to help us understand Him. I think that modernistic thought has relegated the Bible to a formulaic book, that you can break down easily and use in an almost scientific way, I get annoyed when it is quoted to back up pre established positions. I think the church in the west has occasionally been guilty of worshipping The Father, Son and Holy Bible. The Spirit brings the bible alive and I believe the Bible is robust enough to cope with rigorous investigation and new thinking that can be brought out from it.

Creativity; well "In the beginning, God created...." It's in Him it's in us. Art helps me draw closer to Him, creative worship and services without your typical hymns and sermons are more than just post modern, they are a creative way of engaging with God. But then lets not relegate creativity to sermons, i have seen to many people get rid of chairs put in a few candles, have a DJ play, use visuals and then say "this is our post modern congregation". Same old modernistic approach to the outworking of church. An approach that I feel is better than some of what we do, but slightly missing the point. The majority of the church services I have attended in the last year have been Anglican and I really enjoy them: men in skirts, candles, icons, gold art work, strange wooden seating, wonderful colourful natural visuals from stain glassed windows, incense burning, public participation, all very creative. Creativity is in us, it's who we are.

I can worship God with paint sometimes better than I can worship him with my words..

I believe creativity will increase with in the church community as we look to creative ways of modelling community and engaging with the lost, for me we are only scratching the surface.

Mysticism: Well it's a mystery to me, I think the Greek Orthodox church could teach us a lot, and would like to read more on the whole subject.

William you may say I have missed the point of what you were trying to say, but thanks for spurring me on to think about this whole area more.

I love blogging


Anonymous said...

Hi Brian!
Your defence certainly misses my point, to quote myself:

"Post-Emergent Christian - sick and tired of the "worship" of human intellect, creativity and mysticism, and the need to rebel in a slightly trendy way."

Long before I became Post-Emergent I was also sick of the "worship" of the bible - almost 20 years ago as a youngster I was at Mannafest in Belfast when the speaker dropped the bible on the floor and 1/2 the audience walked out - I giggled as it just revealed their idolatry! You guessed that I love the bible and I do, it is God's inspired word but it is not to be worshipped. I would rather have the wisdom of the Holy Spirit illuminating the scriptures for me than a whole library of theology books, po-mo or otherwise!

Whatever the state of our heart and whatever we do in our lives we all (including me) must take care that we are grounded in Him with no-one and nothing in His place. Jesus is Lord. Let's be obsessed with that.

Roll on the debate - oh, sorry, "conversation"!

jude said...

Ive been wondering.. its easy for us to 'see through' 'knock' 'critique' emergent stuff because we're pioneers. But I think church history will write of emergent as the thing which held middle class people in community until it all kicks off and we're finally seeing disciples among the poor in the developed West.

Mark (Island boy) said...

Saw Shane at Greenbelt this year and am reading slowly through the book. I am pushing 44 working in a job that often demands 12 hours of my day. Yes, i try to "do my best for God" in my job, and do love my work friends loads. But we do need people like Shane - to raise a prophetic voice to the core of our being. I enjoy the wine, music, internet, etc., but we must never get duped into seeing our capitalist culture as anything other than a "Babylon" system. The early church didn't just have a message they had a whole new way of life. In addition the catchphrase of most of us christians in the west is how "busy" we are, and it is that most destroys our purpose. My heart aches to follow Jesus more closely - being a friend of Jesus is the only label I want - and it is the journey that Shane and the 24/7 community are taking that inspire me to struggle on. God bless you all & keep it up. Thanks for the blogging...