Abortion, gay marriage, Sunday trading (sorry, strike that one off, as we like that now)… All evidence that we are losing it. The ‘look, once we could see Cathedrals and church spires on the landscape, now Mosques are where churches once stood’ type of statement are all laments about what is disappearing.
Definitions of course have their limitations, but I was provoked and challenged when sitting listening to a Zimbabwean speak. His question to us was to consider what are we were investing into. To help us he used the two phrases of ‘artificial’ and ‘creational’ wealth. One he said was how the (industrialised) West defines wealth, but is illusionary. This he, therefore, termed ‘artificial’.
I watched a film recently ‘Ides of March’. A film looking at people on the campaign trail. The governor has sex with the intern (definitely a big ‘no’ in the film)… However, the areas that were far more challenging though were to do with the ethics of winning votes. One example were meetings with fellow politicians to gain their endorsement. Making a deal so that votes could be guaranteed – in return a position in the forthcoming government.
‘How is it that the best of church experience in both traditional and radical expressions tends to relapse to hierarchical domination and control?’ This is Roger Haydon Mitchell’s chilling question in his introduction to his newly published PhD thesis, Church, Gospel & Empire.
It is a simple question. Should religion be treated as a gateway in the model of the city that we explore on this blog? Martin and I have both, perhaps instinctively, said no. Then Martin invited an article on the topic: then I got to thinking: then, well, you’ll see.
With this fourth magazine, I will have successfully moved all the articles from the original forum. That forum (and now this magazine) was designed to help us explore how to interact with the gates of society. Hopefully it presents perspectives and when there are different viewpoints expressed that the differences will only help enrich rather [...]
What do we mean by unity of the body? And in particular into a church landscape that is changing dramatically.
What one person means by using a word is not necessarily the same as the next person. Perhaps it is possible to use the word ‘religion’ (or ‘church’ gate) in a way that would be helpful, however…
In the short article on gates or mountains I try to address the inherent dangers that I see if we use / overuse the ‘mountain’ terminology. In Scripture, we read that Jesus calls for the mountains to be lowered and the valleys brought up. There is to be a levelling. This ‘flat’ approach has to [...]
If we have a world-impacting faith we have to think through how we enter these gates and what should we be expecting to be the results. Eschatological visions of how things will be transformed at the parousia will have a bearing. A pessimistic pre-millennial view will suggest we should not be looking for much to change, and perhaps even to expect the world to become increasingly a dark place.
The faith we have is a world-impacting faith. The claims of Jesus are not the claims that are simply outworked in private. They are in the public arena. This surely is why Paul’s proclamation is made in the most public of spaces.
Language is important even if it is not possible to totally determine what is understood by a particular usage of specific terminology. Let’s try here to bring some things together in one place regarding terminology.