Tuesday, January 27, 2004

I am a snob according to andrew jones

Andrew Jones is a good friend. He saved me in Seattle when I was undergoing extreme US and emerging church culture shock. The tall skinny Kiwi gently tucked the cultureshocked short Kiwi under his arm and lead him away for coffee.

Andrew is like the wind- he has promised/tried to meet me twice in London and once in Paris, but has been blown in other directions.

Alas, our friendship appears poised on the abyss, as I am a snob. I commented here of a certain amount of irony in a megachurch seeking an emerging church pastor. Andrew in response called the commentsnobbish here, and defined his position about megachurches here.

I love you Andrew, but I’m not changing my position. There is too large a gap between the command and control structures of most mega-churches and the both the chaos of the internet and angst of European postmodernity for me to put the two together.


Can 1 short Kiwi and one tall skinny Kiwi still hongi (touch noses in peace, a ancient Maori way of greeting), even if one consider the other snobby?

Posted by steve at 11:30 AM


  1. To me, the more important point in all this is that the “us & them” conversation is one that is not worth perpetuating.

    Comment by Mike — January 27, 2004 @ 12:02 pm

  2. well I hope you guys can hongi… I fully understand your view steve – and share it myself, but I do find myself begrudgingly accepting a few of andrews points as well. I really dislike the power-mad structures of mega-churches (the ones I have been too) and dislike the way that they seem tied to consumeristic and modern dispositions (fairly uncritically too), but some people do seem to get a lot out of the services. I think Rowan when he speaks of a generous orthodoxy would be where I would want to be (not sure what he would say about mega-churches, maybe he should start a blog).

    So hey guys have an online coffee and make up 🙂

    Comment by gareth — January 27, 2004 @ 1:22 pm

  3. Steve

    I tend to agree with Andrew in this: Its going to take all kinds of church expressions to meet the needs of current western contexts. Its not my personal bag (as you know) but I for one cannot doubt that G has, and continues, to use megachurches as well as other forms. My problem with the model is that it exercises a somewhat hegemonic influence on our conception of church. The megachurch image of church effectively drowns out all other expressions. However, when the megachurch gets to support new experimentations, things will rock!


    Comment by Alan H — January 27, 2004 @ 9:37 pm

  4. steve, I’m under the impression that I was being called snobbish too – but the thing is, it isn’t snobbish to RECOGNISE difference. You can’t talk intelligently about what you think and do without defining your views, and sometimes that means differentiating your views from others’. I had a discussion once about people of other faiths; my PhD supervisor of the time commented that there was nothing more patronising than saying ‘we’re all the same, really’ – a comment like that says, ‘I refuse to acknowledge that you DON’T think the same as me’. Acknowledging difference doesn’t have to mean disrespect of the other. I can find all sorts of things to respect about the mega-church, even though I don’t feel at home there. But respecting it on its own terms doesn’t mean I should say ‘we’re all the same really.’ Because the truth is, we’re not.

    Comment by maggi — January 27, 2004 @ 10:21 pm

  5. at the end of the day we are all on the same team kicking the ball in the same direction – different style same goal – like Alan its not my bag, but it is one expression of the church that connects with some

    Comment by hamo — January 28, 2004 @ 2:18 am

  6. snob! snob! snob!

    hi steve.

    Comment by Andrew Jones — January 28, 2004 @ 3:12 am

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