Reasons and Resonance .. Part 1

ImageOver this coming week, I plan to make a number of entries on the Wind Farm as a way of providing my reasons and "resonances" for our Book Reading. You can read the relevant chapters of the antique book I gained permission to reprint here.

As you’re probably aware, for well over a year, I have been reading and researching the wisdom, principles and values of Christian monastics. Interestingly, I have discovered that many who ask to hear what I’ve been up to lately, are extremely interested in the subject and the material … until  I make the "fateful" mistake of mentioning the word monastic in the course of sharing. The moment that happens, it seems as though their eyes glaze over and suddenly I have lost them.

I’ve been asking myself, is it because I’m on a wrong search?  Could it be that the whole idea of monasticism sounds just too Roman Catholic for the Protestants I relate to and am a part of?  Or is it that in our post-modern Western culture, we have forgotten that the key to finding the way forward is more often than not, to look back?

I think we’ve grown so enamoured with the concepts of "bigger and better", "brighter and shinier", "smaller and faster" that we’ve subliminally chosen to discount almost anything historical in favour of "all things new". Now, while God is most certainly the God who is able to make all things new, He is also the Ancient of Days. He is the alpha and omega. He indeed is our end, but we must remember that He has also been there since before the beginning! Let’s face it, He Himself is the the greatest writer of history the world has ever known!  I mean, have you read your Bible lately??

I believe, in our desire to "have everything", we’ve chewed it all up, spat it all out and been left with nothing of any real value .. and, in recent years, the mass exodus from church as we’ve known it is a dead giveaway that people are realising they’re dying from a diet of "processed" Christianity.

My wife, Jo, and I sometimes watch a lifestyle show on TV about property development called The Property Ladder. While it may seem a strange subject, there are remarkable parellels with why I’m sharing this. In the program, a highly experienced and successful property developer helps first-timers with their new developments. Invariably we see the same thing again and again. Sarah, the experienced developer, is brought in by these first-timers so they can glean and learn from her advice .. and when she makes suggestions, they almost always counter her advice with an "I know better" attitude. It annoys me so much, I even end up talking to the TV!! 

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Insights from The OOZE

I received the latest newsletter from The OOZE the other day and, prefacing all of their new info, was a really thoughful and insightful article by Spencer Burke, founder of The OOZE, regarding the dialogue on what many are calling the "emerging church".

For the sake of reprinting it on the Wind Farm, I have edited out some small, irrelevant elements that relate specifically to OOZE events. The omitted pieces have no bearing on the overall import of his thoughts.

Enjoy them .. they ought to give us all pause as we consider how we’re communicating with people, and how we might be interpreting what we hear, during a time of great flux in the church.

For the record, whilever we waste our time arguing over the "emerging" v’s "institutional" church, I think we’re missing the point. It is, what I call, the "great leveller" we ought to be discussing .. because it is the emerging Kingdom of God, and not the church, that is ultimately all-important.

To allow the Kingdom of God to fully emerge, all of us in the church, regardless of our theology, ecclesiology, christology or eschatology, must fall in line with the reign of the King. Our King is so secure in who He is as King, that He is more than happy to allow a multitude of expressions of His body in the earth, regardless of what we think or believe.

Remember, so long as Christ is "first and last", whatever we do "in between" is not that important!!  Enjoy Spencer’s insights …..

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What Do I Long For?

If you’ve been waiting patiently, I owe you an apology. I had hoped to write up my insights from our Book Reading before now. However, after a week of being involved in teaching at the first Australian Prophetic School, new contract negotiations with a commercial radio station I work with, helping some friends through a crisis, and newly taking on the role as the afternoon Drivetime host on ultra106five in Hobart, Tasmania (isn’t Internet technology amazing??), I just haven’t been able to get to it. It is never far from my mind or heart, so I promise you I will take the time over the next week to write it up.

In the meantime, Pauline, who regularly attends Breathing Space (our quiet days) each month, has asked that I consider sharing something I was motivated to write during our last time together. On this Good Friday for 2008, may these thoughts stir your heart to consider deeply the freedoms won for us by Christ …

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