Friday, April 16, 2010

re-framing the prodigal in regard to fresh expressions and established church

Ben Edson has re-written the parable of the Prodigal son/Waiting Father/Faithful son/absent prodigal daughter (choose your title with care, because each character opens up a different interpretive lens).

There was a mother who had two sons. The youngest one said to his mother, mother thanks for the years that you’ve looked after me, thanks for all that you’ve give me, but I think that you’ve got it wrong. I’m going to take all that I have inherited from you and go off to country foreign to you and experiment.

After being away for sometime the younger son started to recognise that he had been foolish and needed the love and support of the mother. He decided to go home back to the mother. He would say to her: I am sorry that I left you, your resources are so diverse, I miss you and I want to be part of your family.

The first part is here. The conclusion, offering 3 alternative endings

  • the institutional church’s slow grinding to death of innovation
  • the arrogance of fresh expressions
  • an embrace between margin and centre

is here. It’s a wonderful example of re-framing and re-creating, and a fascinating use of Scripture.

Initially I loved it, the creativity, the multiplicity of endings. But now I’m not at all sure. When I have the words to name my unease, I’ll try to complete this post by explaining why … (more…)

Posted by steve at 11:27 AM