The Radical Reformission

reaching out without selling out
by Mark Driscoll

I had to resist quoting the entire book here. Mark points out a middle way between sectarianism and syncretism. This involves engaging the culture more than extreme fundamentalists are comfortable with, while also sticking to fundamental doctrines more openly than liberals want to.

Streams of Living Water

by Richard J Foster

Streams of Living Water identifies the “six great traditions of the Christian faith,” Gives an historical, biblical, and contemporary example of a person who best exemplified each tradition, then points out the strengths and potential pitfalls of each tradition.

The traditions are: Contemplative, Holiness, Charismatic, Social Justice, Evangelical, and Incarnational.

This book contains very important concepts for just about every Christian in the world to consider. Foster shows how each tradition focuses on a specific aspect of Jesus’ life and how each tradition is just one of the streams of water that should feed into the full Christian life.

I recommend this book without reservation to anyone and everyone.

The Varieties of Christian Experience

I really need to get and read Streams of Living Water by Richard Foster. My uncle told me about it about four years ago, and I’ve been thinking about it a lot since then. Most recently when I was reading The Twilight of Atheism.

Each instance of the local church has its own take on how we experience the presence of God. Each different experience has its strengths and weaknesses.

The Lutheran church I grew up in tends to experience God’s presence through the Word of God (living and active &c.) be that through the readings, the sermon, the liturgy, the hymns. The church I’m attending now is more charismatic and eschews liturgy and readings, and the music is much less Wordy, but they speak in tongues and prophesy (though not often on Sunday morning, for whatever that’s worth.)

The strength of being Word based is the knowledge of God is constantly being reenforced. There is less danger of other spirits wreaking havoc if you are a dispensationalist (I don’t know if that is the official Lutheran (LCMS) position, but in practice that’s pretty accurate) but there is still danger, and you would be missing out on a large part of life in the kingdom of God. (1 Corinthians 14:1 Pursue love, yet desire earnestly spiritual gifts, but especially that you may prophesy.)

I have more thoughts on this, but I’m going to wait until I can read Streams of Living Water

Episcopal Church

The Episcopal “Church” is suing to regain it’s property from the 11 churches in Virginia that broke away from the larger body in order to remain with orthodox Anglican beliefs.

When one of you has a grievance against another, does he dare go to law before the unrighteous instead of the saints? Or do you not know that the saints will judge the world? And if the world is to be judged by you, are you incompetent to try trivial cases? Do you not know that we are to judge angels? How much more, then, matters pertaining to this life! So if you have such cases, why do you lay them before those who have no standing in the church? I say this to your shame. Can it be that there is no one among you wise enough to settle a dispute between the brothers, but brother goes to law against brother, and that before unbelievers? To have lawsuits at all with one another is already a defeat for you. Why not rather suffer wrong? Why not rather be defrauded? But you yourselves wrong and defraud–even your own brothers!

1 Corinthians 6:1-8

This is an admonition for the Episcopal church, not necessarily for the breakaway churches.