Jesus Manifesto: Restoring the Supremacy and Sovereignty of Jesus Christ by Leonard Sweet and Frank Viola releases tomorrow June 1st. Major discounts for those buying it tomorrow via Amazon.
Pre-release information includes endorsements from Reformed, Baptist, Anglican, Pentecostal, Methodist,
Charismatic, Missional and NewMonastic traditions, though I have a sneaking suspicion that the bulk of the fans will come from the latter two.
The commonly held notion that we are in the midst of a great public debate between atheists like Pullman and so-called believers like me is a fine construction for radio talk shows but a rather sloppy way of cutting the ideological cake. At least in the industrialized world, the more profound polarity is between those who care deeply about religious issues and those who couldn't give a damn about them one way or the other.
I've often said I find it easier to talk to a Pagan than to a nominal Christian, because, whatever the other differences, at least Pagans see spirituality as an important issue. The same cannot be said for your average nominal Christian.
"One of the reasons the
institutional church has become irrelevant to the extent that it has in
our contemporary life is that many Christians have become so busy in
church work they have not had time to do the work of the church…."
Had some encouraging conversations this evening. A group seems to be slowly coalescing within our community, of people who are feeling prompted to pray for the community as a community. To make some more rigorous commitments - to God and one another - to deeper prayer discipline.
More encouraging still, a number of these people are also the more mission minded folk. We'll be gathering Sunday week to explore the shape of this. If you have the time and inclination I would appreciate some prayer for this gathering.
I have been thinking about meditation and prayer today, particularly in terms of how different understandings of Christianity can lead to different approaches to meditation.
You may recall my recent comments on the differences between Dispensational, Covenant and Christocentric theology? Well, how might that feed into a discussion on meditation and prayer? I would like to suggest, given Anabaptists tend to be radically Christocentric, that an Anabaptist approach to meditation should similarly be radically Christocentric. More so than Evangelical meditation, and even more so than Catholic and Orthodox meditation.
What could this mean in practice? Well, I find it leads me to stress New Testament teaching on mediation and prayer over Old Testament teaching. It's not that I ignore the book of Psalms, I don't and you'll find ample evidence that I don't in my mediation commentaries, but I value it as a secondary reference point to the prayers and teachings of the Messiah and the apostles who followed after him.
Moreover, I find it leads me to stress biblical teaching over the teaching of the desert fathers and medieval monastics (including the Celtic Christians by the way). I've long suggested as such, but here I'm giving a more concrete suggestion as to why.
Now, if you think this Christocentric approach rules out direct insight and God experience through mediation and prayer I would say no, not at all. But it does place emphasis on the need to evaluate general revelation in the light of special revelation, and emphasis on remembering who Jesus was and is and is to come as a mediative discipline.