Cross the road


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Cross the road

  1. 1. 2
  2. 2. Christian Identity in a Multi-Faith World
  3. 3. Can there be peace among passionately faithful people?
  4. 4. 6
  5. 5. humor anti-humor
  6. 6. Why did the chicken cross the road? Albert Einstein: Did the chicken really cross the road, or did the road move beneath the chicken? Sir Isaac Newton: Chickens at rest tend to stay at rest. Chickens in motion tend to cross the road. A nun: It was a habit. Hamlet: That is not the question. John Donne: It crosseth for thee. Colonel Sanders: Did I miss one?
  7. 7. Why did the dinosaur cross the road? (2 answers) What is the chicken’s deepest dream? Why did the Texas chicken cross the road? Why did the chicken go to the seance?
  8. 8. Can you imagine Jesus, Moses, the Buddha, and Mohammed walking together ... If they could cross the road together, might it be possible for us to follow them?
  9. 9. Starting Point:
  10. 10. We already know how to do 2 things quite well:
  11. 11. We already know how to do 2 things quite well: 1. how to have a strong Christian identity that is hostile toward people of other religions.
  12. 12. STRONG- HOSTILE We have the only way. You are going to hell. We are God’s chosen. You worship false gods. resistance is futile. you will be assimilated - or
  13. 13. We already know how to do 2 things quite well: 1. how to have a strong Christian identity that is hostile toward people of other religions. 2. how to have a weak Christian identity that is tolerant (benign) toward
  14. 14. weak-benign it doesn’t matter what you believe. all religions are the same. all roads lead to god. only sincerity matters. doctrines divide. keep religion private.
  15. 15. We haven’t yet learned ... to have a strong Christian identity that is benevolent toward other religions.
  16. 16. strong- benevolent Because I Follow Jesus, I love you. I move toward “the other.” I break down walls of hostility. i stand with you in solidarity. you are made in God’s image. i am your servant. I practice human-kindness.
  17. 17. A Popular Misconception: Our religious differences keep us apart.
  18. 18. Actuality: It is not our religious differences that keep us apart, but rather one thing we all hold in common:
  19. 19. Actuality: We build strong religious identities through hostility toward the other.
  20. 20. Give people a common enemy, and you will give them a common identity. Deprive them of an enemy and you will deprive them of the crutch by which they know who they are. - James Alison
  21. 21. Hostility has had survival value ... but it may now threaten our survival.
  22. 22. "Historically, the amity, or goodwill, within the group has often depended on enmity, or hatred, between groups. But when you get to the global level, that won't work... That cannot be the dynamic that holds the planet together... But what would be unprecedented is to have this kind of solidarity and moral cohesion at a global level that did not depend on the hatred of other groups of people." (Robert Wright, Nonzero: The Logic Of Human Destiny, quoted in Evolutionaries: Unlocking The Spiritual And Cultural Potential In Science's Greatest Idea, by Carter Phipps)
  23. 23. Can Christians today build a new kind of identity ... based on hospitality and solidarity, not hostility, to the other? strong- benevolent
  24. 24. Five Challenges 1. Historical 2. Doctrinal 3. Liturgical 4. Missional 5. Spiritual
  25. 25. Must doctrinal differences always divide us?
  26. 26. From Follow the Sacredness, by Jonathan Haidt Despite what you might have learned in Economics 101, people aren’t always selfish. In politics, they’re more often groupish. When people feel that a group they value — be it racial, religious, regional or ideological — is under attack, they rally to its defense, even at some cost to themselves. We evolved to be tribal, and politics is a competition among coalitions of tribes.
  27. 27. ... The key to understanding tribal behavior is not money, it’s sacredness. The great trick that humans developed at some point in the last few hundred thousand years is the ability to circle around a tree, rock, ancestor, flag, book or god, and then treat that thing as sacred. People who worship the same idol can trust one another, work as a team and prevail over less cohesive groups. So if you want to understand politics, and especially our divisive culture wars, you must follow the sacredness.
  28. 28. “Sacred groupishness” often makes a “centering idol” out of a list of doctrines. Doctrines provide a loyalty test ... helping us test others for membership in our safe group. Doctrine is not simply about “truth” - it’s about loyalty, safety, security, and groupishness.
  29. 29. But doctrine can have another meaning ... another purpose: Doctrine can mean “a healing teaching.”
  30. 30. What might happen if we took a second look at our core doctrines - not as centering idols, but as healing teachings?
  31. 31. healing teachings intended to bind together what has been torn and broken (re-ligion)?
  32. 32. The Healing Teaching of Creation
  33. 33. The Healing Teaching of Original Sin
  34. 34. The Healing Teaching of Election (or chosen-ness)
  35. 35. The Healing Teaching of Incarnation
  36. 36. The Healing Teaching of the Deity of Christ
  37. 37. The Healing Teaching of the Holy Spirit
  38. 38. The Healing Teaching of the Trinity
  39. 39. The Healing Teaching of Inspiration of Scripture
  40. 40. how will our liturgies of hostility be transformed ...
  41. 41. into liturgies of harmony? new identity? peace-making?
  42. 42. Five Challenges 1. Historical 2. Doctrinal 3. Liturgical 4. Missional 5. Spiritual
  43. 43. 52+ short chapters Can be read aloud in 10-12 minutes Cover the whole Bible from Genesis to Revelation A comprehensive biblical lectionary Follows the general contour of traditional church year - Pre-Advent - Hebrew Scriptures - Advent - transition to Jesus - Epiphany - life of Jesus -Lent - Sermon on Mount - Passion Week - passion - Easter - church as community of resurrection - Pentecost - Epistles/Revelation Present a coherent reading of the biblical narrative(s) - An evolving view of God - And evolving view of humanity - Focused on creation and new creation - Outside of traditional atonement categories
  44. 44. Plus ... 6 discussion questions for each chapter 5 Guidelines for Learning Circles - Participation - Honor - Silence - Understanding - Brevity Introductory Liturgy Eucharistic Liturgy
  45. 45. My hopes: 1. Churches can use it for a season or whole year - Breaks routine, provides liturgical innovation - Provides framework for Revised Common Lectionary - Provides space for invitation, outreach - Frees pastoral time for other activities for a year 2. Families, small groups, classes, campus groups, senior living groups, summer camps, prison groups, spiritual directors, etc., can use the book as a curriculum or catechism. 3. Spontaneous learning circles can form - and become affiliated as “satellites” or partners with existing congregations. 4. Individuals can use it for their own orientation and
  46. 46. A Are
  47. 47. you
  48. 48. ready
  49. 49. to
  50. 50. cross
  51. 51. the
  52. 52. road?
  53. 53.
  54. 54. there are liturgies that foment hostility and reinforce hostility...
  55. 55. can we imagine liturgies that inspire kindness?
  56. 56. The very act of gathering for worship can be “groupish” ritual of affirming “us-ness” versus “them-ness.”
  57. 57. The Songs We Sing
  58. 58. All things bright and beautiful, All creatures great and small, All things wise and wonderful: The Lord God made them all. - Ms. Cecil Alexander (1848)
  59. 59. Each little flower that opens,/ Each little bird that sings,/ He made their glowing colors./ He made their tiny wings. The purple headed mountains,/ The river running by,/ The sunset and the morning/ That brightens up the sky. The cold wind in the winter,/ The pleasant summer sun,/ The ripe fruits in the garden,/ He made them every one. The tall trees in the greenwood,/The meadows where we play,/ The rushes by the water,/ To gather every day. He gave us eyes to see them,/ And lips that we might tell/ How great is God Almighty,/ Who has made all things well. All things bright and beautiful,/ All creatures great and small,/ All things wise and wonderful:/ The Lord God made them all.
  60. 60. The rich man in his castle, The poor man at his gate, He made them, high or lowly, And ordered their estate. All things bright and beautiful, All creatures great and small, All things wise and wonderful: The Lord God made them all.
  61. 61. Onward, Christian soldiers, marching as to war, With the cross of Jesus going on before. Christ, the royal master, leads against the foe; Forward into battle see his banners go! -Sabine Baring-Gould
  62. 62. • France, 1847 • Placide Clappeau, a French wine merchant, mayor of the French town Roquemaure, writes a poem. • Adolphe Adam sets it to music. • Later the song is translated into English by John S. Dwight – • It is said to have been the first music ever broadcast over radio.
  63. 63. • O holy night, the stars are brightly shining; • It is the night of the dear Savior’s birth! • Long lay the world in sin and error pining, • Till He appeared and the soul felt its worth. • A thrill of hope, the weary soul rejoices, • For yonder breaks a new and glorious morn. • Fall on your knees, O hear the angel voices! • O night divine, O night when Christ was born!
  64. 64. • Truly He taught us to love one another; • His law is love and His Gospel is peace. • Chains shall He break for the slave is our brother • And in His Name all oppression shall cease. • • Sweet hymns of joy in grateful chorus raise we, • Let all within us praise His holy Name! • Christ is the Lord! O praise His name forever! • His pow’r and glory evermore proclaim! • His pow’r and glory evermore proclaim!
  65. 65. The Sermons We Preach
  66. 66. The Sermons We Preach - Who is scapegoated/condemned? - What virtues are aspired to? - What vices are condemned? - What Scriptures are emphasized? - What subjects are avoided? And vice versa?
  67. 67. The Rituals We Practice
  68. 68. Baptism: A ritual of cleansing
  69. 69. Clean - unclean Acceptance - revulsion Us - them Clean, still water Certified Gatekeepers
  70. 70. Meanwhile in the wilderness: The Essenes - Hyper-clearn -Hyper-puritan - Isolated communes - Multiple daily baptisms
  71. 71. What would it mean for John ... - to leave his father’s priestly work - to leave the Temple - to leave Jerusalem - to avoid the Essenes - and to baptize ...
  72. 72. in the Jordan River? - in public - in running water - in an “undeveloped” setting - with a message, not of cleanliness, but ...
  73. 73. rethinking, reformulation, repentance?
  74. 74. What does it mean for Jesus to accept John’s baptism?
  75. 75. What would it mean for the Spirit in the form of a dove to descend upon Jesus?
  76. 76. And what would it mean for Jesus’ disciples to expand John’s “guerrilla theatre” around the world?
  77. 77. Baptism - not into a new “hyper-clean” religion - but into Christ, a new humanity, a new kingdom, a new way of life?
  78. 78. Peter, Acts 10: “God has shown me I should never call anyone impure or unclean.” “I now realize ... God does not show favoritism.”
  79. 79. Baptism into this new way of being human ... Born again ... Given a new identity ... In the flowing river ... In solidarity with everyone everywhere.
  80. 80. In Christ ... (164:6) neither Jew nor Greek ... male nor female ... slave nor free ...
  81. 81. In Christ ... neither Jew nor Greek ... male nor female ... slave nor free ... Christian nor nonChristian? Us or them?
  82. 82. The Eucharist
  83. 83. Altar of Sacrifice ... to appease a hostile God? or Table of Fellowship ... to celebrate a reconciling God?
  84. 84. • A table of elitism and exclusion ... • or a feast of grace and reconciliation?
  85. 85. We don’t need to offer a sacred gift to appease a hostile God ... Rather, a gracious God offers a sacred gift of love to us ... so that we will be reconciled to God and to one another.
  86. 86. Meal of unity ... Meal of solidarity ... Meal of one-anotherness