Showing posts from October, 2014

Following Jesus

When I went to college I double majored in religious studies and history. 

I had a deep desire to learn about the religions of the world and to know what it is that they believed and how they understood the presence of the divine to work in their communities.  I wanted to see how the presence of the divine affected their understanding of their history and how they understood the world to work.  (Like if we deserve the bad that comes our way, how we find healing admist our brokenness, how we find purpose, etc.)

I studied Buddhism, Hinduism and Islam primarily.  I had the opportunity to not only to study these other religions but sat in class with people who practiced them.  We got to hear how their own beliefs and lives were enhanced by their own spiritual practices.

My motivation was never to find the "cracks" in the theology of the other world's religions.  And I am grateful for the time I spent learning because it helps to ground me, especially in light of …

Well I've Never!

I find it hard not to think about the decline of the mainline church.  I grew up in the decline, I am living in the decline, it is all I have ever known.  The language of the decline is normative to me and as much as I don't want to pass that narrative onto my children, I find that I am.  I'll say well we used to do camping trips for our youth back when we had enough kids to do them to my daughter who is in youth group.

And as much as the decline is part of the collective narrative, I find it hard to find a scripture that supports a story of God shrinking, or getting smaller.  The Kingdom of God isn't about a large mustard seed bush that over time dies off until all that is left is one lonely seed.  No it is a story of exponential growth.  The Kingdom of God takes over and is intrusive and turns our expectations up-side-down.

The thing is when we live into the story of the decline and make it the loudest story, the story that guides all of our actions then we place ourselves…