Chris Erdman opines, “Christendom afforded the church and its pastors many advantages, but those advantages … blinded the church to the many ways the Word of God became compromised to causes subversive and many times antithetical to the reign of God.” Of course this isn’t a new thought to you if you are familiar with Walter Brueggemann or someone like Stan Hauerwas.

Maybe we think we are immune to some of these forces, particularly when we look to our neighbour to the south. And then I would recommend an excellent piece of work titled “Reframing Our Conversation with Paul,” by the Australian writer Mark Strom. Erdman later writes that,

“Christendom is no more, and the church, like it or not, must go into exile and there find its true missional identity. But pastors—themselves frightened by the chaos, unclear about what it means for the future—may opt to try to hold the center and deny the reality of collapse.”

And that’s us, right? We are the responsible ones, so if the church is broken its up to us to fix it. As Alan Roxburgh is fond of saying, it’s the same old fix, reform, return narrative. It’s a tired and threadbare response that is simply no longer convincing, but within the imaginative framework of Modernity we simply have nowhere else to go.

Or wait – we have the Bible. Except that we read it through the lenses of Modernity and it no longer speaks to us outside that same narrative. C Kavin Rowe’s The World Upside Down: Reading Acts in the Graeco-Roman Age (2009). Rowe proposes that Luke, the author of Acts, does not view the early Christians as intending to ‘tweak’ (read ‘fix’, ‘return’, ‘reform’ or ‘make work again’) religious life but to effect ‘the destruction of an entire mode of being religious’

3 Comments on Notes to a DMin class

  1. Jeremy Woods says:

    Great quotes by Chris Erdman! What book or article are they from?

  2. len hjalmarson says:

    An ancient article from around 2003 on the GOCN. Title was “Refilling Stone Jars”

  3. Jeremy Woods says:

    Ok, thanks Len

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