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#401 mrmando

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Posted 23 January 2012 - 12:09 AM

Well, does trading evangelical subculture for emergent subculture result in a net gain, in terms of being able to communicate outside the system? Or does it just lead to further isolation?

It's worth noting that Bethke has issued several mea culpas regarding the use of the "religion" in the video, and is getting high marks for the way he's handled criticism.

#402 mrmando

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Posted 23 January 2012 - 12:14 AM

Actually the Bible kind of warns against taking a vow.

Well, it warns against oaths. "Swear not at all...," etc., from the Sermon on the Mount.

I'm not sure how, say, monastic communities who have monastic vows, interpret those scriptures.

I'm sure Peter or SDG can furnish an answer. There must be a distinction to be made between a vow and an oath. After all, Paul takes a "Nazarite vow" in Acts.

#403 Attica

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Posted 23 January 2012 - 02:23 AM


Actually the Bible kind of warns against taking a vow.

Well, it warns against oaths. "Swear not at all...," etc., from the Sermon on the Mount.

I'm not sure how, say, monastic communities who have monastic vows, interpret those scriptures.

I'm sure Peter or SDG can furnish an answer. There must be a distinction to be made between a vow and an oath. After all, Paul takes a "Nazarite vow" in Acts.


Yeah I hadn't thought about the Nazarite vow. Once again it comes down to an understanding of a word, which is one of the problems with English (probably more than most languages), and some of our subcultures, in that our understanding of words is constantly in flux.

FWIW my understanding of an oath (or maybe vow) would include what is known as "inner vows", for example, someone who continually says in their heart something like, "I'm a loser, and worthless, and I'll never make it in life", then they possibly could cause themselves spiritual problems, and "train" their heart (in a certain sense) to believe this to the point that it becomes awfully hard for them to see/believe otherwise. I also know of people who have made "oaths" to such things as some of the offshoots of Free-Masonry, that have caused spiritual problems.

Of course I'm not trying to tie Monastic vows, into the same spiritual place as free masonry. Several years ago I entered a Christian order, and I asked if it was alright to make promises instead of "vows" and they were fine with that. Not that I'm necessarily against making vows in Christian orders (at least those that are really Christian), but I didn't know enough about the matter, and was inclined to stay inside my comfort zone.



As well, obviously, there is also the matter of marriage vows.

Edited by Attica, 23 January 2012 - 12:26 PM.


#404 Attica

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Posted 23 January 2012 - 02:38 AM

Well, does trading evangelical subculture for emergent subculture result in a net gain, in terms of being able to communicate outside the system? Or does it just lead to further isolation?



That's a very good question. Of course evangelical subculture came out of fundamentalism, and was at the time at least partially and attempt to, um, evangelize, people. I'd argue that evangelicalism, from the start, has had a big emphasis on drawing people in, what with the revival tent meetings, and various "crusades". The emergent church seems to have more of an interest in getting out there and connecting with the people culturally, through art, music and what not whearas the Evangelicals have leaned towards creating their own subculture through which they try to draw people in. So it seems to me that even if they do have/create a language barrier, the Emergent group has an advantage over some evangelicals in communicating outside the system. Of course this is all generally speaking, and not taking into account different churches,and individual personalities and such within them. It also probably comes down to our society....... I'd think that it's safe to say that the evangelical way worked a whole lot better 30 years ago, than it would now.

Edited by Attica, 23 January 2012 - 12:28 PM.


#405 Peter T Chattaway

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Posted 23 January 2012 - 03:25 AM

mrmando wrote:
: If, as Bethke says repeats what he heard Mark Driscoll say, religion is man's attempt to reach God, and Christianity is God's attempt to reach man . . .

Bah. That motto hardly started with Mark Driscoll. I think I first came across it in a Christian Archie comic back in the '70s or early '80s.

#406 mrmando

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Posted 23 January 2012 - 03:39 AM

Bah. That motto hardly started with Mark Driscoll. I think I first came across it in a Christian Archie comic back in the '70s or early '80s.

Oh, I don't doubt it at all. That Mark Driscoll gets his theology from comic books, I mean. I read a Christian Archie comic once, but the only thing I remember learning is that Jughead says grace before he tucks into a two-foot-high sandwich.

Seriously, by observing that Bethke got his ideas from Driscoll, I don't mean to suggest that Driscoll is the original source of the ideas.

Regarding the vows, I've got nothing whatsoever against men vowing to have strong marriages. But [a] some things that happen in a marriage are beyond a man's control (no man can guarantee that he will have Christian grandchildren, no matter how many vows he takes); [b] the role of the wife in these vows seems curiously passive; [c] it is at least in part by the grace of God, not by the man's effort alone, that strong marriages will come about. Here lies another irony: on one hand you've got Driscoll coming down hard for grace and against piety when he talks about "Jesus vs. religion," but when the rubber meets the road in a marriage, suddenly grace is out of the window and it's all up to the man's piety.

Edited by mrmando, 23 January 2012 - 06:44 AM.


#407 mrmando

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Posted 23 January 2012 - 10:46 PM

So that list of vows is just the beginning of the Driscoll Approach to Marriage: He's got a new book out.

Sojourners reviewed the book, and makes it sound pretty nasty ... but is it the common practice at Sojourners for book reviewers to psychoanalyze an author on the basis of his book, on the one hand, while claiming on the other hand that the author isn't qualified to practice therapy?

I don't see any psychiatry or counseling credentials listed for the reviewers, either ...

Edited by mrmando, 23 January 2012 - 11:05 PM.


#408 mrmando

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Posted 23 January 2012 - 11:10 PM

FWIW my understanding of an oath (or maybe vow) would include what is known as "inner vows", for example, someone who continually says in their heart something like, "I'm a loser, and worthless, and I'll never make it in life", then they possibly could cause themselves spiritual problems, and "train" their heart (in a certain sense) to believe this to the point that it becomes awfully hard for them to see/believe otherwise.

Negative self-talk as a "vow"? It's a very interesting idea. I don't know if it's a theologically accurate one, but I do think it's correct to infer that self-loathing is not part of what God intends for us.

#409 Attica

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Posted 24 January 2012 - 03:16 AM


FWIW my understanding of an oath (or maybe vow) would include what is known as "inner vows", for example, someone who continually says in their heart something like, "I'm a loser, and worthless, and I'll never make it in life", then they possibly could cause themselves spiritual problems, and "train" their heart (in a certain sense) to believe this to the point that it becomes awfully hard for them to see/believe otherwise.

Negative self-talk as a "vow"? It's a very interesting idea. I don't know if it's a theologically accurate one, but I do think it's correct to infer that self-loathing is not part of what God intends for us.



I'm not sure if it's negative self talk as much as a way of "vowing" to be worthless, ect.


It's the concept of people making "oaths" (vows?) in their lives, especially childhood, that have affected them later on in life. For example if if a child is shamed as a kind in playing a musical instrument and says a strong, forceful vow in their heart, to never play that instrument again, it will have an affect later in life. This could be a reason for some of the things we do that are so illogical. Also, in this idea, a child who was mentally or physically abused could have said many "innervows" that are part of the reasons for issues later on.


I did a google on inner vows and came up with this.

Just so you know, it's only a website I just found, and I have no idea if some of the stuff on it is nutty.

Edited by Attica, 24 January 2012 - 12:50 PM.


#410 mrmando

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Posted 24 January 2012 - 03:26 AM

It's on the Internet. Of course it's nutty.

Speaking of nutty, check this out while you can. I am expecting MH lawyers to be all over Matthew Paul Turner very soon for unauthorized use of the MH logo. I do not wish to suggest that church discipline is a bad idea, but is this the form it should take?

#411 jfutral

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Posted 24 January 2012 - 09:24 AM

mrmando wrote:
: If, as Bethke says repeats what he heard Mark Driscoll say, religion is man's attempt to reach God, and Christianity is God's attempt to reach man . . .

Bah. That motto hardly started with Mark Driscoll. I think I first came across it in a Christian Archie comic back in the '70s or early '80s.

Why does an idea being in/from a comic book invalidate or diminish the idea? I often wonder if religion is to being a Christian what aesthetics is to being an artist.

Joe

#412 Attica

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Posted 24 January 2012 - 01:01 PM

It's on the Internet. Of course it's nutty.

Speaking of nutty, check this out while you can. I am expecting MH lawyers to be all over Matthew Paul Turner very soon for unauthorized use of the MH logo. I do not wish to suggest that church discipline is a bad idea, but is this the form it should take?



Well. It's surely off. It seems very impersonal to me. Like they are dealing with an "issue" instead of a human being. If somebody needs healing and restoration, then they need graceful help in sorting out the issues in their life, not a big public fuss with contracts ect. Of course maybe there was some graceful help that wasn't mentioned.


Some of the comments below the article are interesting.


My issue was just what it said….why would he have to sign a list of sins that he had already repented and been forgiven for? What about the forgiveness and casting away of sins…as far as the East is from the West? There is nowhere in the Bible that Jesus made someone attend meetings, counseling sessions, and then sign a contract with all sins listed for many others to see and approve or sign. And where do they keep the signed contracts? Is there a special file cabinet with all the congregational sins in it? How do they know that the janitor doesn’t go in there and thumb through them on his break, for fun?





I’m wondering if the girl underwent Church Discipline as well…





I also found this part to be kind of interesting. It shows how thinking that's a little off can lead to more bad thinking. Some of these slightly warped views of male and female relationships can have consequences.


According to Andrew, at Mars Hill, the cliche “it takes two to tango” isn’t true. Why? Because Pastor Mark teaches that women are “weaker vessels,” and therefore, when a girl and boy engage in consensual sexual activity, it is always assumed that it’s the man’s fault because he failed to lead the woman (or “weaker vessel”) toward righteousness. (And everybody knows that women can’t find righteousness unless a man leads her there. Ugh.)




Also the whole contract idea, kind of fits in with the marriage vow contract, concept. There seems to be a lot of contracts there

Edited by Attica, 25 January 2012 - 02:13 AM.


#413 mrmando

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Posted 24 January 2012 - 01:02 PM

Why does an idea being in/from a comic book invalidate or diminish the idea?

Well, not all comic books are created equal. This is Archie we're talking about.

I often wonder if religion is to being a Christian what aesthetics is to being an artist.

I don't know. Are there a significant number of artists who say things like "I don't give a rip about aesthetics, I just like to paint"?

You could say religion : being a Christian :: music theory : being a musician. There are wonderful musicians in almost every genre who can't read a lick of music; don't understand theory, scales, or arpeggios; and can grasp only the rudiments of harmony ... yet all those elements are still present in the music they play.

#414 jfutral

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Posted 24 January 2012 - 01:41 PM

I don't know. Are there a significant number of artists who say things like "I don't give a rip about aesthetics, I just like to paint"?

You could say religion : being a Christian :: music theory : being a musician. There are wonderful musicians in almost every genre who can't read a lick of music; don't understand theory, scales, or arpeggios; and can grasp only the rudiments of harmony ... yet all those elements are still present in the music they play.

Aesthetics, as in the philosophy dealing with the nature of beauty, art, and taste. As I heard one person put it, aesthetics is to artists what ornithology is to birds. So, your point about music theory:musician is comparable, I think. Chet Baker had to ask what note to start on when he played with other musicians. Was he a musician? HTTY.

So I lean with the folks who tend to believe that, while religion (and by extrapolation theology, doctrine, and denomination) is important and even helpful, it isn't necessary to being a Christian.

Does that make me a hipster?

Joe

edit to add: While there probably are artists who say they don't give a rip about aesthetics, I do think many don't give it a thought.

Edited by jfutral, 24 January 2012 - 01:49 PM.


#415 Peter T Chattaway

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Posted 24 January 2012 - 05:02 PM

mrmando wrote:
: You could say religion : being a Christian :: music theory : being a musician. There are wonderful musicians in almost every genre who can't read a lick of music; don't understand theory, scales, or arpeggios; and can grasp only the rudiments of harmony ... yet all those elements are still present in the music they play.

Change "religion" to "theology", and I like this analogy. But if religion is seen as actual religious PRACTICE, then it is closer to the actual PLAYING of music.

#416 mrmando

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Posted 24 January 2012 - 05:30 PM

Aesthetics, as in the philosophy dealing with the nature of beauty, art, and taste. As I heard one person put it, aesthetics is to artists what ornithology is to birds.


Well, in that case, I think it doesn't follow that aesthetics : artists :: religion : Christians. I think perhaps "religion" and "religious studies" are getting confused here.

A good ear-trained musician follows many of the rules and principles of music theory without being aware of them. A good reading-trained musician observes those rules and principles because she is aware of them. A not-so-good reading-trained musician just follows the little black dots, and leaves the rules and principles up to the composer.

The best, most capable, most versatile musicians have a well-developed ear in addition to the ability to read music and understand rules and principles.

Add in the premise that music theory : musicians :: religion : Christians, and the resulting metaphors map out pretty well, methinks. But you don't have to be a musicologist (academic study ABOUT music) to be a musician or improve your musicianship, just as you needn't be an aesthetician to paint or fluent in Ancient Near East languages to be a Christian.

----

A useful working definition of "religion" could be "the things we do to respond to God's love and maintain a relationship with him." I think the dichotomy between "relationship" and "religion" is largely artificial. If we insist on preserving that dichotomy, then we're forced to make oxymoronic statements such as "I pray, but I'm not religious. I partake in rituals imbued with supernatural meaning and purpose, but I'm not religious. I use hermeneutics to interpret sacred texts, even if I won't admit to doing so, but I'm not religious."

Change "religion" to "theology", and I like this analogy. But if religion is seen as actual religious PRACTICE, then it is closer to the actual PLAYING of music.

That is a useful distinction, and it corresponds, I think, to the definition of "religion" that I just posted.

#417 jfutral

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Posted 24 January 2012 - 08:09 PM

The reason I prefer to think about religion in terms of aesthetics, is that just like aesthetes often find themselves arguing about what is real beauty or what should be defined as art, so to do I find the religious mired in the same discussions, particularly about about Christianity. So while it is good to think about religion as a set of practices we do to respond to God's love and maintain a relationship with him, I am more inclined to think of religion as ascribing a _particular_ set of practices, much like the Roger Scrutons of the world.

Then there is the art that exists regardless of the proclamations of the aesthetes or the theory of aesthetics.

But I am cool with how you guys turned music into a parallel for religion, too. I like the definitions and distinctions. It certainly allows for the artist to be without the need to understand the aesthetics that may or may not describe what they are doing or creating. Similarly it seems to allow for someone to be a Christian without being part of a particular Christian religion.

Although I am still unclear how either definition or distinction differs from the Archie comic/Driscoll/Bethke quote.

Joe

#418 mrmando

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Posted 24 January 2012 - 08:53 PM

The reason I prefer to think about religion in terms of aesthetics, is that just like aesthetes often find themselves arguing about what is real beauty or what should be defined as art, so to do I find the religious mired in the same discussions, particularly about about Christianity.

Ah, but an argument about X should not be mistaken for X itself.

So while it is good to think about religion as a set of practices we do to respond to God's love and maintain a relationship with him, I am more inclined to think of religion as ascribing a _particular_ set of practices, much like the Roger Scrutons of the world.

Sure, and different religions will prescribe different sets of practices. A Christian might maintain that his church's practices are the most efficacious ones; a universalist might maintain that all practices are equally efficacious.

It certainly allows for the artist to be without the need to understand the aesthetics that may or may not describe what they are doing or creating.

Right. but of course one who neither does nor creates is not an artist, no matter how much he insists that he is; and one who does or creates is, in that sense, an artist, whether or not she wishes to be called one.

Similarly it seems to allow for someone to be a Christian without being part of a particular Christian religion.

Big "yeah but" on the way from Peter here.

Although I am still unclear how either definition or distinction differs from the Archie comic/Driscoll/Bethke quote.

Archie says, "Veronica, I want a relationship with you, but I don't want to make any commitments or live up to any expectations you might have, or respond to any demands you might make, because I don't want people to think I would let a girl push me around." When that doesn't work, he tries the same line on God.

Seriously, the Archie dichotomy is simply a matter of defining "religion" in a particular way, so that by "religion" we mean only hypocrisy, legalism, empty piety, and so forth. Then we can say that since Christianity, properly understood, is opposed to all of those things, Christianity is not a "religion," it's a "relationship," as if there were no way it could be both.

The rest of Christianity and the rest of the world does not accept this definition of "religion" as the correct one; we argue for a more generous definition that says yes, Christianity is a relationship, but religion is the conversation that allows the relationship to exist.

The only non-Christians who would accept Archie's definition of "religion" are people who've had a bad experience with religion and have decided that all religions are pretty much worthless. In theory, I suppose you could get folks like that to reconsider Christianity by saying, "I agree with you about religion, but here's why I think Christianity is not a religion!" In practice, I don't know how well it really works. An acquaintance of Peter's aptly called this a "semantic shell game."

You know, people who think Jesus came to abolish religion should read Mt. 23:1-3a:

1 Then Jesus said to the crowds and to his disciples: 2 “The teachers of the law and the Pharisees sit in Moses’ seat. 3 So you must be careful to do everything they tell you."

Wait a minute ... hey ... hold on ... did Jesus really say that?

Yes. He did.

Of course he went on to say:

"But do not do what they do, for they do not practice what they preach."

So Jesus did not equate religion with hypocrisy. Rather, he did quite the opposite. He pointed out the difference between them.

To give credit where it's due, one of the hosts on the Catholic Answers radio program mentioned that passage today. Not my usual drive-time entertainment, but I'm glad I was listening.

Edited by mrmando, 24 January 2012 - 10:05 PM.


#419 Attica

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Posted 25 January 2012 - 12:34 AM

----

A useful working definition of "religion" could be "the things we do to respond to God's love and maintain a relationship with him.'



That largely works for me. Maybe at the risk of being too nitpicky, I'd say. "the things we do to respond to God's love and walk into the fullness of union/relationship with him.' I wonder if even people who are not Christians have a certain relationship with God, even if they don't know it. By this I mean that God is active to a certain degree in their lives, "It rains on the just and the unjust", and Holy Spirit is working bring all people to Christ. Even if people don't have a relationship with God, I think it could be argued that God has a certain relationship with them.

#420 Attica

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Posted 25 January 2012 - 01:18 AM

It's on the Internet. Of course it's nutty.

Speaking of nutty, check this out while you can. I am expecting MH lawyers to be all over Matthew Paul Turner very soon for unauthorized use of the MH logo. I do not wish to suggest that church discipline is a bad idea, but is this the form it should take?



Wow.... the follow up.



Once again some interesting thoughts in the comments section.



So in Matthew 18, Jesus tells us to treat those under church discipline like tax collectors. And he shows us how to treat tax collectors by inviting them to be his disciples, by eating with them, by loving them just the same.





I kind of felt Matthew 18 didn’t really apply here anyway. I mean, it says, “If your brother or sister sins, go and point out their fault, just between the two of you…”

This wasn’t something he needed pointed out. He admitted to it, was remorseful and asked for help.




I sit here in stunned silence, thinking this sort of thing only happened in the circles I used to run in… Not only is this controlling and unscriptural, but worthy of a slander/defamation of character lawsuit… I’ve seen it done before, and successfully, too!




Didn’t Andrew show that he was taking responsibility–being accountable, working through repentance–by his month of meetings? This is not repentance and accountability, but abuse.

Edited by Attica, 25 January 2012 - 02:12 AM.