Faith forward 2014

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Brian McLaren's plenary from Faith Forward in Nashville, May 2014

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Faith forward 2014

  1. 1. framing a converstion launching a revolution Text
  2. 2. This CartoonChurch.com cartoon by Dave Walker originally appeared in the Church Times
  3. 3. The Universal Unwritten Sunday School Curriculum: 1. We want you to be a good child and church-goer. 2. To be a Christian is to believe certain teachings. 3. We (the church) are here to teach the correct interpretation of the Bible. 4. Jesus told us how to be nice, be successful, and go to heaven. 5. Because God is watching, you should be very careful (and afraid). 6. We are sinners and need forgiveness. 7. You love God by being a good child and church- goer.
  4. 4. What’s missing today is a high-quality discourse on rethinking the design and evolution of the entire system from scratch. - Otto Scharmer
  5. 5. Death Resurrection Burial
  6. 6. Letting Go Letting Come Letting Be
  7. 7. A Revolutionary Children’s Ministry Curriculum: 1. We want to help you become a life-long follower of God in the way of Jesus. 2. To be a Christian is to join Jesus in seeking justice for all, peace for all, and joy for all. 3. God is greater than anyone can explain or imagine. 4. Jesus gave us good news of a better way to be human, individually and together. 5. Because God loves (likes) you perfectly, you don’t have to be afraid. 6. We all make mistakes, God forgives, and we can learn from our mistakes. 7. You love God by loving all creation with God.
  8. 8. 1. We want to help you become a life-long follower of God in the way of Jesus. Disciple - life-long learner. Anticipating stages. Listening to “testimonies” - stories of faith. Telling stories of what you’re learning now. Opt-out option, with an opt-back-in escape clause Jesus - the Word of God with a unique and needed message and example
  9. 9. 2. To be a Christian is to join Jesus in seeking justice for all, peace for all, and joy for all. Romans 14:17 - For the kingdom of God is not a matter of food and drink, but of justice, peace, and joy in the Holy Spirit. Training a new generation of contemplative activists/ reflective practitioners Joining Jesus - “follow me” Goal: Christ-like people Kids as agents of mission in their worlds....
  10. 10. 3. God is greater than anyone can explain or imagine.
  11. 11. 19
  12. 12. The Bible is the family scrapbook showing how our ideas of God have grown and changed through time ... and we are part of that unending conversation.
  13. 13. Isn’t it confusing that there are so many different understandings of God, when only one can be right?
  14. 14. Isn’t it confusing that there are so many different understandings of God, when only one can be right? Isn’t it wonderful that we live in a time when so many are developing fresh ways of imagining God?
  15. 15. Isn’t it confusing that there are so many different understandings of God, when only one can be right? Isn’t it amazing that Jesus opens up a beautiful window into God’s heart? Isn’t it wonderful that we live in a time when so many are developing fresh ways of imagining God?
  16. 16. 4. Jesus gave us good news of a better way to be human, individually and together.
  17. 17. How to be human in a world of ... -- Violence, war, conflict, hatred, weapons of mass destruction, religious hostility -- Global climate change, overconsumption, toxification, ecological destruction, greed, sea level rise, extinction of species, soil depletion, waste -- Poverty, mass migration, 1% vs. 99%, growing gap between elites and masses, bought elections, political corruption, unaccountable corporations, vulnerable minorities ... and majorities.
  18. 18. Good news of the kingdom of God ... The world as God dreams it to be ... Ecosystem of God Community of God God’s circle of friendship
  19. 19. 5. Because God loves (likes) you perfectly, you don’t have to be afraid.
  20. 20. 5. Because God loves (likes) you perfectly, you don’t have to be afraid.
  21. 21. 5. Because God loves (likes) you perfectly, you don’t have to be afraid.
  22. 22. 6. We all make mistakes, God forgives, and we can learn from our mistakes. -- The art of failing wisely and well -- The joy of being wrong -- The joy of receiving and giving grace -- Not a forgiveness market, but a whole grace economy
  23. 23. 7. You love God by loving all creation with God.
  24. 24. 7. You love God by loving all creation with God. What is God’s stance toward all creation? Damning hostility? Saving love?
  25. 25. Hell Salvation History/ The world Fall HeavenEden
  26. 26. Hell Salvation History/ The world Fall HeavenEden Minor Adjustment 1: Inclusivism
  27. 27. Salvation History/ The world Fall HeavenEden Minor Adjustment 2: Universalism
  28. 28. Salvation History/ The world Fall Heaven Eden Is it time for a paradigm shift? ?
  29. 29. Exodus: Liberation & Formation
  30. 30. Exodus: Liberation & Formation Genesis: Creation and Reconciliation
  31. 31. Exodus: Liberation & Formation Genesis: Creation and Reconciliation Isaiah: Peaceable Kingdom - Justice and Mercy - Beloved community
  32. 32. Exodus: Liberation & Formation G e n e s i s Isaiah: Peaceable Kingdom - Justice and Mercy
  33. 33. Stories in conversation ... David, Goliath, and the Temple Two Arks Pharaoh, Hagar, Solomon Joshua, Jesus, and the Canaanites Ezra versus Ruth Jacob, Esau and Prodigal Son
  34. 34. 7. You love God by loving all creation with God. Training children and youth to become protagonists (reflective practitioners/contemplative activists) in the story of God’s healing love for all creation.
  35. 35. 51
  36. 36. 52
  37. 37. 53
  38. 38. 55
  39. 39. 56
  40. 40. 59
  41. 41. Fr. Vincent Donovan:
  42. 42. Religion is our own creation. Its horizons are necessarily limited to our horizons. Since it is our creation it will serve us. In a time of social, political, and economic upheaval, we look to it as that one, solid, taken-for-granted basis to our lives. It leads us to cling to the forms and structures with which we are familiar and which we have found comforting. At the dying of an age and the birth of a new one, religion will be in the forefront of those institutions clinging desperately to that immovable rock of unanalyzed assumptions. But revelation shatters that rock, disturbs our horizons, presents a God who is not like us at all, a destabilizing and surprising God who cannot be used to justify all our projects; instead, One who asks us questions we do not want to hear. (The Church in the Midst of Creation, p. 118)
  43. 43. Never accept and be content with unanalyzed assumptions, assumptions about the work, about the people, about the church or Christianity. Never be afraid to ask questions about the work we have inherited or the work we are doing. There is no question that should not be asked or that is outlawed. The day we are completely satisfied with what we have been doing; the day we have found the perfect, unchangeable system of work, the perfect answer, never in need of being corrected again, on that day we will know that we are wrong, that we have made the greatest mistake of all. (Christianity Rediscovered, 146)
  44. 44. Critical Communities Dangerous Conversations Movements Revolutions Transformed Institutions
  45. 45. framing a converstion launching a revolution Text

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