Brian McLaren Christian Faith as a Way of Life


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Brian McLaren Christian Faith as a Way of Life

  1. 2. Christian faith as way of life
  2. 4. Do we envision Christian faith working from the individual to the global, or from the global to the individual? Or both?
  3. 5. Societal Machine Equity Security Prosperity The Ecosystem Heat Solar Energy Resources Waste
  4. 6. Societal Machine Equity Security Prosperity Framing Story
  5. 7. 4 Crises: Planetary crisis (Prosperity) Poverty crisis (Equity) Peace-making crisis (Security) Religious Crisis (Spirituality)
  6. 8. Jesus didn’t claim to start a new religion. He proclaimed a new kingdom....
  7. 9. Imagine what “the kingdom of God” would mean to its original hearers …
  8. 10. The Roman Empire was very tolerant of new religions … but not of new kingdoms. Proclaiming a new kingdom could get you killed.
  9. 11. <ul><li>Our contemporary understanding of Christian faith is … </li></ul><ul><li>MEMBERSHIP IN A TROUBLED, CONFLICTED, CHANGE-AVERSE, AND EXPENSIVE INSTITUTION </li></ul><ul><ul><li>with a large taboo against holding certain political and social convictions. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>with a bias toward being good citizens </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><li>with a concern for religious education </li></ul></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><li>with a seldom-spoken of dream of joining God in the healing of the world. </li></ul></ul></ul></ul></ul>
  10. 12. <ul><li>Or … </li></ul><ul><li>INFORMATION ON </li></ul><ul><li>HOW TO GO TO HEAVEN </li></ul><ul><li>AFTER YOU DIE </li></ul><ul><ul><li>with a large footnote about increasing your personal happiness and success through God. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>with a small footnote about character development </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><li>with a smaller footnote about spiritual experience </li></ul></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><li>with a smaller footnote about social/global transformation. </li></ul></ul></ul></ul></ul>
  11. 13. self church world Self-enhancement in this life and the next heaven
  12. 14. self church world heaven
  13. 15. world self church God’s love, joy, peace, justice
  14. 16. Two Denominations: Conventional churches of personal spirituality or institutional tradition. Intentional Churches dedicated to saving creation from human evil, beginning with us.
  15. 17. Two Denominations: We may have rightly lost confidence in the privatized/institutionalized gospel … We need to (re)gain confidence in Jesus’ gospel of the kingdom of God.
  16. 18. This approach has powerful implications for what it means to identify as followers of Jesus in today’s world.
  17. 19. 261 versus 3
  18. 20. 261 versus 0
  19. 21. Did Jesus come to create “Christians” or to form disciples who would join God in healing our world?
  20. 22. Clearly, for the early disciples, the church was an expanding circle of disciples. It was “the embodiment of Christ.” They saw themselves as learners in his way.
  21. 23. come, follow me Learn of me, take my yoke upon you I have given you an example Make disciples, teaching them to practice everything I have taught you
  22. 24. Be conformed to the image of Christ. Romans 8 Be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Romans 12 … that Christ may be formed in you. Galatians 4 Learn Christ… Be made new in the attitude of your minds Ephesians 4 Christ in you, the hope of glory … everyone fully formed in Christ Colossians 1 Let this attitude be in you which was also in Christ… Philippians 2
  23. 25. This kind of personal spiritual formation involves intentional spiritual practices (or disciplines):
  24. 26. <ul><li>Actions within our power which we do to train ourselves to do things currently beyond our power , and to become people we are currently incapable of being. </li></ul><ul><li>Running a marathon </li></ul><ul><li>Making or playing a violin </li></ul><ul><li>Learning a language </li></ul>
  25. 27. <ul><li>For example, fasting: </li></ul><ul><li>- Feeling and acknowledging our weakness in the face of impulses from our bodies. </li></ul><ul><li>Practicing impulse control. </li></ul><ul><li>Asserting to ourselves the importance of things other than impulse gratification. </li></ul><ul><li>Accepting weakness and “poverty” in faith that greater strength and satisfaction can come to us. </li></ul><ul><li>What benefits could come from this practice? </li></ul>
  26. 28. <ul><li>The sermon on the mount </li></ul><ul><li>Explains how disciples of the kingdom are characterized by a “right/just way of living” which “surpasses that of the scribes and Pharisees.” </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Different attitudes: blessed are … </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Different role - salt and light </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Beyond “no murder” to no hatred, anger, insult, or grudges </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Beyond “no adultery” to no lust or divorce </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Beyond no lying to no exaggeration </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Beyond no excessive revenge to no retaliation </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Beyond loving friends to loving enemies </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Beyond harsh religious “perfection” to God’s compassionate perfection. </li></ul></ul>
  27. 29. How are disciples formed? Through practice(s). ___public worship ___solitude ___sabbath ___meditation ___eucharist ___silence ___study ___spiritual direction ___ practicing God’s presence ___prayer journaling ___fixed-hour prayer ___contemplative prayer ___service ___submission ___simplicity ___feasting/fasting ___pilgrimage ___self-denial ___identifying with Jesus ___reconciliation ___giving ___confessing sin ___reciting creeds
  28. 30. How are disciples formed? Through practice. ___public worship ___solitude ___sabbath ___eucharist ___silence ___study ___spiritual direction ___ practicing God’s presence ___prayer journaling ___fixed-hour prayer ___contemplative prayer ___service ___submission ___simplicity ___feasting/fasting ___pilgrimage ___self-denial ___identifying with Jesus ___reconciliation ___giving ___confessing sin ___reciting creeds But this is only half the story …
  29. 31. Spiritual Formation through personal practices.
  30. 32. Spiritual Formation through missional practices.
  31. 33. Jesus calls disciples - men and women who will learn to live a new way of life and experience transformation. Then he sends them out as apostles … people who would bring transformation to the world.
  32. 34. the well-formed disciple/apostle Love God Love neighbor, enemy Via Contemplativa Via Activa Good heart Good works Trust Obey Transforming (1) Transforming (2) Disciple Apostle “ interior castle” kingdom of God godliness otherliness
  33. 35. the well-formed disciple patient kind not envious doesn’t boast not proud not rude not self-seeking not easily angered no record of wrongs doesn’t delight in evil rejoices with truth always protects always trusts always hopes always perseveres never fails
  34. 36. The purpose of personal formation is social transformation
  35. 37. And social transformation requires personal transformation.
  36. 38. There must be ongoing transformation at every level: Economic, political, social, familial, community, artistic, ecological, legal, business, military, scientific, educational, etc.
  37. 39. How are disciples formed? Through personal practices. ___public worship ___solitude ___sabbath ___eucharist ___silence ___study ___spiritual direction ___ practicing God’s presence ___prayer journaling ___fixed-hour prayer ___contemplative prayer ___service ___submission ___simplicity ___feasting/fasting ___pilgrimage ___self-denial ___identifying with Jesus ___reconciliation ___giving ___confessing sin ___reciting creeds
  38. 40. How are apostles formed? Through missional practices. ___forgiving ___hospitality ___praying for healing ___not judging ___confronting evil ___serving ___listening ___associating with the lowly ___ holy kiss ___speaking truth in love ___neighborliness ___loving enemies ___preferring poor ___speaking for justice ___proclaiming good news in word and deed ___giving to poor ___throwing parties for poor ___walking to other side of street to serve ___giving ___encouragement ___empathy
  39. 41. How is the world transformed? Through communities of people participating in transformation.
  40. 42. Does Christ’s church have a mission? Or does Christ’s mission have a church?
  41. 43. As the Father sent me, so I send you. (John 20:21)
  42. 44. So … the church is the community that joins God for global transformation on every level … It is a community of transforming individuals who participate with God in the transformation of the world: the coming of the Kingdom of God.
  43. 45. transformation transformission
  44. 46. Spiritual formation is the development of people who are agents of God’s healing … Agents of peace, reconciliation, creativity, courage, patience, urgency, generosity, solidarity with the poor and oppressed, truth-telling …
  45. 47. Working out the dynamic tension … Social movements: Confront social institutions, call for change Social institutions: Conserve gains made by previous social movements Oppose current social movements
  46. 48. the well-formed disciple
  47. 49. the well-formed apostle.
  48. 50. the well-formed earth.
  49. 52. Come. Follow Me.
  50. 53. world self church
  51. 56. self church world
  52. 57. world self church