Thoughtful and provocative (as usual) post from Jamie Smith, about the Common Good and Paternalism. Jamie writes:
“In what Charles Taylor calls our “age of authenticity,” the greatest virtue is sincerity. And the greatest vice? Paternalism.
I used to worry about this. After all, who wants to be identified as a paternalist? It’s the new bigotry.
But I’m getting over it. Quite simply, I don’t think you can sign up for pursuing “the common good” and hope to avoid at least some implicit commitment to paternalism—some sense that one knows what is good for others.”
Great post from Jamie Smith on the emergence of a new apologetics;
“In our age of post-Christian anxiety, where so many worry about young people leaving the faith and the implausibility of Christianity in a secular age, we get a new apologetics. The goal of the new apologetics is not to prove or defend the puzzling and scandalous aspects of orthodox Christianity. Instead, the goal is to show that “authentic” Christianity, or the “true” Gospel, is not offensive—that the “God of love” worshiped by Christians is pretty much the God you would want.”
Read the rest here.
Blurb for the seminar was;
‘We are part of a church planting movement, yet we live in a time where more than ever before people are disengaging from church and Christianity altogether.’ This seminar addresses the most popular objections and concerns people have about church. The aim is to give you a background and confidence in why we need church; drawing on the bible, theology, church history and current contexts.’
You can listen to the audio here.
How Awe expands our perception of time. Correlates a great deal with what we know about worship experience.
Last week, I made a main stage talk at my denominations annual conference, that was for me one of the most important presentations I have ever given.
It summed up my experience as a church planter, and my theological reflections/research within that. It was part autobiography, part theological reflection and part pragmatic advice/coaching.
I set out a vision for how we much understand the church in our current context in ways that would respond to the biggest challenges we face for being church and church planting. I also made it in the hope that it would give hope and confidence to church planters and church leaders.
My nervousness was mostly that it was made to my Vineyard Church family, kind of like presenting to all your family. Mum and Dad, aunts and uncles, and siblings.
The reception to it was beyond my highest hopes and expectations. I hope you find it helpful too.
So 82 people in my church community have signed up to undertake the New City Catechism together. We have started week 1 this week.
I am so excited at what this might bring to our church family. A deepening in understanding our faith, the furnishing of our imaginations for living life, and resources for listening to and hearing from God.
The Archbishop designate Just Welby, and his wife Caroline, spent last Sunday evening with my church family, at the Trent Vineyard in Nottingham.
Other videos including my talk, will be online soon and I’ll post links when I have them.
My evening main stage teaching is tonight/Tuesday around 8:30pm, and my subject/topic is ‘A vision for the Church: what story are we living?’
Next week I am speaking at the National Leaders Conference, for my denomination.
We are a church planting movement, at a time when there has been great consternation and angst by Christians about the Church. Where we once thought an apologetic for reaching non-christians was our greatest challenge, have found instead and all to often a need to justify Church to Christians.
Then there is our post-Christian secular context in which we are planting, trying to reach those who aren’t Christians. Here we find overlapping deep suspicions of Church, and anything practiced with others, for the sake of others.
So for my teaching/talk, I’ll be exploring how we might have an understanding of Church; a vision that might help inspire us as church planters and gives us confidence for church itself and the planting of churches. A vision of the Church that at the same time considers and responds to some of the key challenges within these contexts.
Or to put it more personally, I’ll be sharing my deepest passions about Church, my theological understandings of what Church is, alongside my key lessons from Church planting for 16 years.
My talk takes place on Tuesday evening, 29th January, it will be live streamed as well as recorded. You should be able to listen in and watch at the livestream feed here or it might be here instead. When I arrive next week I’ll post an update for the streaming link here on my blog.