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toward a newchristian identity
the problem(s) ofchristian identityin amulti-faith world
what can progressives learnfrom conservatives?what can conservativeslearn from progressives?
Can we agree:we all have a lot to learn?
what can progressives learnfrom conservatives?
1. Conservativeshave had a robustand unflaggingsense of mission,characterized byUrgencyFervencyFlexibility
Saving souls from a sinking ship.(Titanic as the dominant image)Planting Churches everywhere.(More, better, faster, easier...
[Saving souls from a sinking ship.]Don’t progressives see apocalyptic scenarios?Climate change/ecological catastropheGrowi...
[Planting Churches everywhere.]The Mixed-Economy DenominationMultiple forms of churchAn ecosystem, not a franchiseTransfer...
[Developing bold, young, entrepreneurial leaders.]Not cautious, political bureaucrats!Motivated by results, not security.E...
[Mastering mass(ive) communication.]Multiple networks, media, audiences.Building hubs of influence, not silos of control.C...
1. Conservativeshave had a robustand unflaggingsense of mission,characterized byUrgencyFervencyFlexibility
2. Conservativesemphasize spiritualexperience.PersonalInitialOngoingDramatic
Progressives have ranged from intolerant touncomfortable in the realm of spiritualexperience.The revivalist tradition - or...
2. Conservativesemphasize spiritualexperience.PersonalInitialOngoingDramatic
3. Conservativespracticestorytelling.TestimonySmall Group
Stories of mission in action ...Stories of spiritual experience ...
3. Conservativespracticestorytelling.TestimonySmall Group
4. Conservatives lift up heroes.
You may not like them,but at least you knowthem.
“Conservativesconstantly criticizeliberals.”“So do liberals.”
“Conservatives fearliberal leaders.”“So do liberals.”
“Conservatives areobsessed withconservative leaders.”“So are liberals.”
4. Conservatives lift up heroes.
5. Conservativesfocus on youth.
Youth work is the“gateway drug” toministry.Yesterday’s youth workersare today’s conservativeleaders.
Youth ministry must bepersonalclearcompellingexperientialrelevantcontagiousfun
Youth MinistrypersonalclearcompellingexperientialrelevantcontagiousfunSenior Ministry:institutionalunoffensivefamiliarauto...
5. Conservativesfocus on youth.
missionspiritual experiencestorytellingheroesyouthHow about it,progressives?
what can conservativeslearn from progressives?
1. Progressivesknow the power ofbeauty.WordsBuildingsArtMusicAction
an Islamic scholar:“Fundamentalism has succeededin making Islam ugly.”
Mean isn’t beautiful.But neither is boring.Tacky innovation isn’t beautiful.But neither is tacky tradition.Hype isn’t beau...
Holiness is beautiful.Reverence is beautiful.Joy is beautiful.Honesty is beautiful.Life is beautiful.Mystery is beautiful....
1. Progressivesknow the power ofbeauty.WordsBuildingsArtMusicAction
2. Progressivesvalue tradition.
Tradition is the living faith of the dead;traditionalism is the dead faith of the living.Tradition lives in conversation w...
Dead tradition:Giving our history a veto.Living tradition:Giving our history a vote.
Two types of tradition:Repeating what founders said ...Imitating what founders did ...(including bold innovation!)
Wise tradition is the memory ofhow our ancestors adapted,innovated, preserved, reformed,erred, failed, recovered, learned,...
Wise tradition is the memory ofhow our ancestors adapted,innovated, preserved, reformed,erred, failed, recovered, learned,...
VALUING INNOVATIONVALUINGTRADITIONANTI-TRADITIONANTI-INNOVATIONPRO-INNOVATIONANTI-TRADITIONPRO-TRADITIONPRO-INNOVATIONPRO-...
2. Progressivesvalue tradition.
3. Progressivesaren’t afraid ofintellect.
1. Simplicity: dualistic thinking2. Complexity: pragmatic thinking3. Perplexity: critical & relativisticthinking
1. Simplicity: dualistic thinking2. Complexity: pragmatic thinking3. Perplexity: critical and relativisticthinking4. Harmo...
0. Egocentricity: narcissistic thinking1. Simplicity: dualistic thinking2. Complexity: pragmatic thinking3. Perplexity: cr...
3. Progressivesaren’t afraid ofintellect.
4. Progressivesseek justice.
Mercy gives slaves an extra crust of bread.Justice abolishesslavery.Mercy opens a soup kitchen.Justice works foropportunit...
Abolition of slaveryEnding racial segregationPromoting affirmative actionEqual rights for womenOpposing elective warsDefen...
4. Progressivesseek justice.
5. Progressivesseek the commongood.
State churches felt a responsibility foreveryone.Sectarian/immigrant churchescared for their own.State churches, as majori...
Beware an aggrieved majority.And beware a majority that thinks it is aminority.
Rediscovering the common good ...Loving neighbor as self.Including outcast, outsider, immigrant,refugee, and enemy among n...
5. Progressivesseek the commongood.
beautytraditionintellectjusticecommon goodHow about it,conservatives?
how can conservatives andprogressivesbetter understand eachother?
justicecompassiontraditionloyaltypurity
justicecompassiontraditionloyaltypurity
justicecompassiontraditionloyaltypurity
Liberals and progressives
Liberals and progressives
Liberals and progressives
Liberals and progressives
Liberals and progressives
Liberals and progressives
Liberals and progressives
Liberals and progressives
Liberals and progressives
Liberals and progressives
Liberals and progressives
Liberals and progressives
Liberals and progressives
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Liberals and progressives

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Liberals and progressives

  1. 1. toward a newchristian identity
  2. 2. the problem(s) ofchristian identityin amulti-faith world
  3. 3. what can progressives learnfrom conservatives?what can conservativeslearn from progressives?
  4. 4. Can we agree:we all have a lot to learn?
  5. 5. what can progressives learnfrom conservatives?
  6. 6. 1. Conservativeshave had a robustand unflaggingsense of mission,characterized byUrgencyFervencyFlexibility
  7. 7. Saving souls from a sinking ship.(Titanic as the dominant image)Planting Churches everywhere.(More, better, faster, easier)Developing bold, young, entrepreneurial leaders.(And setting them free)Mastering mass(ive) communication.(Building a mass movement)
  8. 8. [Saving souls from a sinking ship.]Don’t progressives see apocalyptic scenarios?Climate change/ecological catastropheGrowing gap between rich & poor/Triumph of 1 %Weapons of mass destruction/all against allviolenceRecruiting people to save the planet.
  9. 9. [Planting Churches everywhere.]The Mixed-Economy DenominationMultiple forms of churchAn ecosystem, not a franchiseTransferring assets to “Church Futures Fund”Enhancing a thriving church ecosystemcharacterized by fertility, diversity, andharmony.
  10. 10. [Developing bold, young, entrepreneurial leaders.]Not cautious, political bureaucrats!Motivated by results, not security.Eager to disseminate power, not accumulate it.Creating leadership paths, not an elite class.Developing bold, young, entrepreneurial leaders -and supporting them with lifelong learning.
  11. 11. [Mastering mass(ive) communication.]Multiple networks, media, audiences.Building hubs of influence, not silos of control.Creating networks for mutual benefit.Creating a broad group identity.Seizing fresh opportunities.Mastering mass(ive) communication - with astrong-benevolent ethos.
  12. 12. 1. Conservativeshave had a robustand unflaggingsense of mission,characterized byUrgencyFervencyFlexibility
  13. 13. 2. Conservativesemphasize spiritualexperience.PersonalInitialOngoingDramatic
  14. 14. Progressives have ranged from intolerant touncomfortable in the realm of spiritualexperience.The revivalist tradition - or - thecontemplative/mystical tradition?The only options are not hyped or ignored! There isalso cultivated, encouraged, expected.Beware of the “checklist mentality.”Liturgy is a set of group spiritual practices ...
  15. 15. 2. Conservativesemphasize spiritualexperience.PersonalInitialOngoingDramatic
  16. 16. 3. Conservativespracticestorytelling.TestimonySmall Group
  17. 17. Stories of mission in action ...Stories of spiritual experience ...
  18. 18. 3. Conservativespracticestorytelling.TestimonySmall Group
  19. 19. 4. Conservatives lift up heroes.
  20. 20. You may not like them,but at least you knowthem.
  21. 21. “Conservativesconstantly criticizeliberals.”“So do liberals.”
  22. 22. “Conservatives fearliberal leaders.”“So do liberals.”
  23. 23. “Conservatives areobsessed withconservative leaders.”“So are liberals.”
  24. 24. 4. Conservatives lift up heroes.
  25. 25. 5. Conservativesfocus on youth.
  26. 26. Youth work is the“gateway drug” toministry.Yesterday’s youth workersare today’s conservativeleaders.
  27. 27. Youth ministry must bepersonalclearcompellingexperientialrelevantcontagiousfun
  28. 28. Youth MinistrypersonalclearcompellingexperientialrelevantcontagiousfunSenior Ministry:institutionalunoffensivefamiliarautomatictraditionalacquired tastesedate
  29. 29. 5. Conservativesfocus on youth.
  30. 30. missionspiritual experiencestorytellingheroesyouthHow about it,progressives?
  31. 31. what can conservativeslearn from progressives?
  32. 32. 1. Progressivesknow the power ofbeauty.WordsBuildingsArtMusicAction
  33. 33. an Islamic scholar:“Fundamentalism has succeededin making Islam ugly.”
  34. 34. Mean isn’t beautiful.But neither is boring.Tacky innovation isn’t beautiful.But neither is tacky tradition.Hype isn’t beautiful.But neither is lethargy.Faddish isn’t beautiful.But neither is outdated.
  35. 35. Holiness is beautiful.Reverence is beautiful.Joy is beautiful.Honesty is beautiful.Life is beautiful.Mystery is beautiful.Humility is beautiful.God is beautiful.
  36. 36. 1. Progressivesknow the power ofbeauty.WordsBuildingsArtMusicAction
  37. 37. 2. Progressivesvalue tradition.
  38. 38. Tradition is the living faith of the dead;traditionalism is the dead faith of the living.Tradition lives in conversation with the past, whileremembering where we are and when we are andthat it is we who have to decide. Traditionalismsupposes that nothing should ever be done for thefirst time, so all that is needed to solve any problemis to arrive at the supposedly unanimous testimonyof this homogenized tradition.–Jaroslav Pelikan, interview with U.S. News & WorldReport, July 26, 1989 (the interview focused on his bookThe Vindication of Tradition)
  39. 39. Dead tradition:Giving our history a veto.Living tradition:Giving our history a vote.
  40. 40. Two types of tradition:Repeating what founders said ...Imitating what founders did ...(including bold innovation!)
  41. 41. Wise tradition is the memory ofhow our ancestors adapted,innovated, preserved, reformed,erred, failed, recovered, learned,and endured.Our history is a story of change.
  42. 42. Wise tradition is the memory ofhow our ancestors adapted,innovated, preserved, reformed,erred, failed, recovered, learned,and endured.The best tradition is a failed (i.e.humbled) tradition.
  43. 43. VALUING INNOVATIONVALUINGTRADITIONANTI-TRADITIONANTI-INNOVATIONPRO-INNOVATIONANTI-TRADITIONPRO-TRADITIONPRO-INNOVATIONPRO-TRADITIONANTI-INNOVATION
  44. 44. 2. Progressivesvalue tradition.
  45. 45. 3. Progressivesaren’t afraid ofintellect.
  46. 46. 1. Simplicity: dualistic thinking2. Complexity: pragmatic thinking3. Perplexity: critical & relativisticthinking
  47. 47. 1. Simplicity: dualistic thinking2. Complexity: pragmatic thinking3. Perplexity: critical and relativisticthinking4. Harmony: integral thinking
  48. 48. 0. Egocentricity: narcissistic thinking1. Simplicity: dualistic thinking2. Complexity: pragmatic thinking3. Perplexity: critical and relativisticthinking4. Harmony: integral thinking
  49. 49. 3. Progressivesaren’t afraid ofintellect.
  50. 50. 4. Progressivesseek justice.
  51. 51. Mercy gives slaves an extra crust of bread.Justice abolishesslavery.Mercy opens a soup kitchen.Justice works foropportunity & fair wages.Mercy speaks for the voiceless.Justice helps all geta fair hearing for themselves.
  52. 52. Abolition of slaveryEnding racial segregationPromoting affirmative actionEqual rights for womenOpposing elective warsDefending scientific inquiryPromoting environmental responsibilityDefending safety net for poorPromoting interfaith understandingSeeking equality for LGBTQ people
  53. 53. 4. Progressivesseek justice.
  54. 54. 5. Progressivesseek the commongood.
  55. 55. State churches felt a responsibility foreveryone.Sectarian/immigrant churchescared for their own.State churches, as majority, protectedminorities.Sectarian/immigrant churcheswere minorities.
  56. 56. Beware an aggrieved majority.And beware a majority that thinks it is aminority.
  57. 57. Rediscovering the common good ...Loving neighbor as self.Including outcast, outsider, immigrant,refugee, and enemy among neighbors.Seeking reconciliation, not mere victory.Refusing to demonize or scapegoatanyone.
  58. 58. 5. Progressivesseek the commongood.
  59. 59. beautytraditionintellectjusticecommon goodHow about it,conservatives?
  60. 60. how can conservatives andprogressivesbetter understand eachother?
  61. 61. justicecompassiontraditionloyaltypurity
  62. 62. justicecompassiontraditionloyaltypurity
  63. 63. justicecompassiontraditionloyaltypurity

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