Friday, May 11, 2007

Theological Dictionary word of the day: the emerging church
1 + 1 = 1Emergent Christians are predominantly found in Western Europe, North America, and the South Pacific. Some attend local independent churches that specifically identify themselves as being "emergent", while many others contribute to the conversation from within existing mainline denominations.

During recent centuries Western Christianity, like all of Western civilization, has been influenced significantly by modernism. In the 19th century modernist Protestant theologians sought to examine the individual narratives of the Bible and from them extract a set of underlying truths or "meta-narratives". By using methods borrowed from scientific reductionism it was hoped that a grand truth and worldview would be attained. In practice, however, the modernist approach led to additional schism within the Church (cf. Christian liberalism, Christian fundamentalism).

Postmodern church expression, on the other hand, encourages followers to deconstruct each element of their faith experience and reassemble the pieces according to his or her own unique journey of deconstruction.


Thursday, May 10, 2007

Theological Dictionary word of the day: social action
In sociology, social actions refer to any action that takes into account actions and reactions of other individuals and is modified based on those events.

Social Action"Doing a '180' is putting others before yourself and also a willingness to be counter cultural."

In England in the 1830s, many poor children had no time for school or play. They worked in coal mines under inhuman conditions. But these children had a friend in high places: Anthony Ashley Cooper, seventh Earl of Shaftesbury and a member of parliament. He was also a devoted Christian who believed God had called him to help the downtrodden. Shaftesbury fought for years to end the abusive child labor practices, although at times he felt “every hand is against me.” But he stood firm, and Parliament abolished child slavery in the mines. ©


Theological Dictionary word of the day: authenticity
In the arts, history, archaeology, the study of antiques, and similar fields involving unique or scarce artifacts from the past, and, with regard to documents in law, authenticity (Greek: αυθεντικός, from 'authentes'='author') is the truthfulness of origins, attributions, commitments, sincerity, and intentions; not a copy or forgery.

People in the postmodern culture seek real and authentic experiences in preference over scripted or superficial experiences. Emerging churches strive to be "relevant" to today's culture and daily life, whether it be through worship or service opportunities. The core Christian message is unchanged but emerging churches attempt, as the church has throughout the centuries, to find ways to reach God's people where they are to hear God's message of unconditional love.

Authenticity is also a technical term in existentialist philosophy. In this philosophy, the conscious self is seen as coming to terms with being in a material world and with encountering external forces, pressures and influences which are very different from, and other than, itself. Authenticity is the degree to which one is true to one's own personality, spirit, or character, despite these pressures. Existentialists see this process in different ways.


Wednesday, May 09, 2007

Theological Dictionary word of the day: Christlike
Christ in Gethsemane, Carl Heinrich BlochTo be like Christ; showing the spirit of Christ.

Very early in the morning, while it was still dark, Jesus got up, left the house and went off to a solitary place, where he prayed. Simon and his companions went to look for him, and when they found him, they exclaimed: “Everyone is looking for you!” —Mark 1:35-37, NIV

  • we know about Jesus healing the sick and raising the dead;

  • we know about Jesus throwing the money-changers out of the House of God;

  • we know about Jesus' mercy on the woman caught in the act of adultery;

  • we know about Jesus feeding the five thousand from a few pieces of bread and a few fish;

  • we know about Jesus' many miracles

However, in the above passage we see Jesus in the fullness of His character.

We see Him as one who not only carried out the will of God, but one who sought God's Will during times of solitude in prayer. Jesus sacrificed Himself to carry out the will of God. He could have stopped it at any time, but He allowed it to happen because it was God'w Will and because He loves us that much.


Monday, May 07, 2007

Theological Dictionary word of the day: narrative theology
Wisembach, Commune des Vosges, Copyright © Christian AmetNarrative theology was a late 20th century theological development which supported the idea that the Church's use of the Bible should focus on a narrative presentation of the faith, rather than on the development of a systematic theology. The Christian faith is thus also to be interpreted by the Christian community, and not by outside scholars or explorers.

Narrative theology has also been referred to as post-liberalism. It shares much in common with Biblical theology; meaning that theology which attempts to understand the progressive revelation of God towards Man as history developed throughout the Old and New testaments, rather than jumping from one section of scripture to another in a topical manner.

Theological Dictionary word of the day: missional living
Children of the Eastern Cape of South AfricaThe Oxford English Dictionary defines "missional" as "Relating to or connected with a religious mission; missionary." In contemporary usage "missional" is an adjectival alternative to "missionary." Although both words are related to "missio" (Latin: sending), some scholars, including Darrell Guder et. al. in The Missional Church believe "missional" focuses on the the Church's indigenous, rather than cross-cultural context, with the church contextualizing its methods, morality, and message to fit this indigenous culture.

In this usage "missional" has rapidly entered the lexicon of the growing emerging church movement whose participants have popularized the term, enabling participants in this movement to recognize each other across denominational lines.