Seems like a lot of the Emerging Church conversation has done a little bit of an auto-correct in recent weeks. At least, the people that I read and respect, have alluded to commentary, articles, conversation that taps into my deep thoughts on the subject. Recently, Steve’s teaser on Attractional vs. Incarnational is along similar lines I think, but again, even in the comments response, the ideas are being reduced to stylistic interpretation.
The initial spark for me, was coffee with Stu and Nige a little while back.. it was giving me permission to say aloud, the deep dwelling concern about the trifle-like substance that was being transformed. The eagerness to throw the old away, the rushing to embrace the new, seemingly rejuvenated.
It was challenged again with the concept of barrenness in our own communities. The kind of barrenness that promotes fresh, organic new life.
And fresh, organic new life brings me to the weekend’s conversations about the presence and manifestations of the Spirit within a community.
In it all I am thinking and reasoning that there is no one answer. There is no one new thing that can replace the old, nor should the old be replaced. There just needs to be sifting. We launch bombs at the old structures and neglect to consider the treasures we are burying in our dust. I’m consistently amazed how many people who are training for ministry are essentially dispassionate, dissatisfied with the Church. How can you possibly train to commit your life to something that you hate more than you love? I know a lot of people who are passionate about the Kingdom of God, but cannot relate their love-words about the Kingdom to the Bride.
How much this attractional vs. incarnational argument winds me up.. not because I believe it should be one or the other.. but because it ought to be and can be both, and it seems too easy for this to become yet another reasoning for division and stone-throwing. The question is a good and worthy one.. how do we possibly go about the task laid at our feet.. but there are so many people falling into the arguments for their own sake it seems.