Why you won’t find a church in the New Testament

“One Tribe, One Mob” by Australian aboriginal artist Max Conlon Did you know the word “Church” is derived from the Greek word kyriakon, not ekklesia as is commonly supposed, and that they have very different meanings? Kyriakon doma means “House of the Lord” and refers to a place of worship. Ekklesia means “the called out”Continue reading “Why you won’t find a church in the New Testament”

Does a geographic focus hinder churches in reaching demographic based cultures?

I recently attended a Forge workshop where Allan Hirsch spoke on cultural distance as a barrier to the sharing the good news of Jesus with the world and the inconvenient truth that 80% of the energy of most churches went into reaching the 20% of their culture that was culturally closest. And then we wonderContinue reading “Does a geographic focus hinder churches in reaching demographic based cultures?”

How the church messed up with Aboriginal Australians

This image by Jacqui Stewart is entitled “Hope Beyond the Window”. As an Australian Christian I find it very confronting. Here is an interpretation of the image that Jacqui passed on through her blog: ‘The above piece of work depicts the scene of half-caste Aboriginal children sitting in front of the church they were taken too afterContinue reading “How the church messed up with Aboriginal Australians”

What if church was more intuitive friendly?

Sociologists have frequently observed that, for post-moderns, self identity is actively constructed and cultural association is actively chosen. That is, for post-moderns, identity and association are more matters of taste than tradition. Few, however, have taken the next step and asked: where do these differences in taste come from? So I would like to offerContinue reading “What if church was more intuitive friendly?”

How can Christian views of the State be so different?

The following comments emerged out of a conversation with a friend over the ethics of war and the extent to which churches are biblically (and thus morally) obligated to support the militaristic function of the state. In essence, my friend believes Romans 13 legitimises the violent defence of the state by Christians, whereas I believeContinue reading “How can Christian views of the State be so different?”

Out is In, In is Out

What does it mean to belong? What does it mean to be invited in? What does it mean to be cast out? Jesus had a funny way of redefining community. He chose to associate with the “unclean” to the consternation of the “clean”, he welcomed the unwelcome, he befriended the friendless, he identified with the alienated.  InContinue reading “Out is In, In is Out”

Godless Gatherings: Churches for Atheists

Fascinating video on Godless Gatherings. I hear folks like this are being dubbed as “New, New Atheists”. I find myself asking, “How can this expand our understanding of the religious impulse?”, “What exactly is emerging here?”, and “How might this co-option of church style prompt further evolution in Christianity and our understanding of Christian communityContinue reading “Godless Gatherings: Churches for Atheists”

Two Streams of Civil Religion

I’ve been rethinking my understanding of civil religion. Until now, I know I’ve tended to speak of civil religion, particularly American civil religion, like it’s some monolythic entity. But in thinking through some unrelated issues I had one of those “Doh!” moments when I realized how one dimensional that was. It’s clear to me nowContinue reading “Two Streams of Civil Religion”

Intuitives in the church

I was just reading Christianity Today’s book review of Introverts in the church: Finding Our Place in an Extroverted Culture, which you’ll find under the heading of Introverts for Jesus, Unite! Now, as an introvert I’m only too happy to see personality differences being recognised. But as someone who’s been researching personality types in new religiousContinue reading “Intuitives in the church”