Thursday, October 19, 2006

journalling the emerging church journey

kitchencommunity.jpg The kitchen is “an experiment in community.” Their experimental journey is being recorded here. I’ve shared a number of coffees and listened as this experiment has taken shape over the last year.

Earlier this year, round New Year, I posted a series of emerging church postcards05; a visual record, along with some words about birth, values, music and mission, of emerging churches around the world. I wanted to make the visual point that the emerging church is wider than Emergent church US. I also wanted to name the life of the emerging church not as books and speakers but as God’s Spirit at work in the real life stories and everyday struggles of mission and worship stories of emerging church communities. (The complete series is here). I am planning to repeat this series at the end of this year.

And it is exciting to think that throughout this year, groups like the kitchen have become to take shape – to wonder concretely what it might mean to embody the life of Christ in our world – an experiment – a risk – just like the birth of that Christ baby so many years ago.

Posted by steve at 10:38 AM


  1. Kia ora Hipene ( Steve in Maori ),

    Yeah I remember those postcards out of your book that I found very helpful. I found the last sentence in this post:-

    ‘ to wonder concretely what it might mean to embody the life of Christ in our world – an EXPERIMENT – a RISK – just like the birth of that Christ baby so many years ago.’

    … Provoking some questions. Do you think that it’s appropriate to describe the incarnation as an ‘experiment’ or a ‘risk’? I can think of a number of friends of mine who lean more towards a Calvinistic theology that would have a hard time with those words. I’m wondering if words like ‘vulnerability’, or ‘ became weak ‘ maybe more appropriate. I mean the words experiment and risk imply, atleast from my understanding, that God didn’t really know if this plan of his was going to work. On the other hand, God choosing to be vulnerable or weak to accomplish his good work (alluding to his character and nature ) adds depth of meaning to the incarnation. And does not question the accomplishment of his purpose.

    I also think that as these cohorts, that you are talking about; as they continue in their formation, would do well to meditate on words like ‘vulnerability’ and ‘weakness’. Particularly as they step out into their contexts like ‘sheep among wolves’ perhaps.

    Was the incarnation some kind of crap shoot ?… Or cosmic experiment ? Or was this a demonstration of God’s nature, which we the church could do well to heed; particularly in these post-modern times.

    Just some thoughts. Naku na ! ( from me to you )


    Comment by Tangira — October 20, 2006 @ 4:41 pm

  2. Kia ora Paul,
    your Calvinist mates are more than welcome to drop by to express their concern.

    for me, dropping a baby into a country controlled by a lunatic like Herod was a very risky business. could have got baby Jesus killed … mary might have dropped him … an experiment – a fully human Jesus did have option of saying no, of not taking the cup in the Garden of Gethesemane … it is these types of reflections that lie behind my use of risk and experiment.

    i smiled at your use of ‘sheep and wolves.’ i am teaching a class on gospel in a post-christian context and every week we start with the same Scripture, every week we open Luke 10 and reflect on sheep among wolves in relation to mission today.

    kia kaha,

    Comment by steve — October 20, 2006 @ 9:30 pm

  3. ..Yeah I see what you are saying, particulaly when we try to comprehend it purely from humman point of view. I guess that’s partly why the Jews ‘stumbled’ at the idea of the incarnation and the Greeks thought that was it was ‘foolishness’. Some people today even imply that the incarnation is some sort of mystical ‘child abuse ‘. Especially those of a more ‘non violent atonement’ persuasion.

    I believe my buddy is about to articulate what I’ve tried to say alot better than I could. He will post shortly. I think you’ll like him, he’s a bit of a ‘Wally’; nah, he’s a good mate.


    Comment by Tangira — October 21, 2006 @ 7:35 am

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