Friday, August 10, 2007

For Your Weekend Wanderings

Like many of you, I am constantly amazed and delighted at how well N. T. Wright describes and speaks to the questions of our day. Here's a quick sample:

"Part of the problem, particularly in the United States, is that cultures become so polarized that it is often assumed that if you tick one box you're going to tick a dozen other boxes down the same side of the page--without realizing that the page itself is highly arbitrary and culture-bound. We have to claim the freedom, in Christ and in our various cultures, to name and call issues one by one with wisdom and clarity, without assuming that a decision on one point commits us to a decision on others."

--part of Wright's introductory remarks in a presentation on "Women's Service in the Church: The Biblical Basis" delivered at a symposium at St. John's College, September 2004.

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I had seen it before, but over at Brian Mashburn's blog I recently came across it again: Joe Beam's description and classification of Churches of Christ in the U.S. Have you seen this? It's worth a read and consideration. I'd be interested to hear your reactions to it. You can see the article, "What is Happening to Churches of Christ?" here.

Now, here are a couple of my reactions:

1. I understand the desire to simply identify and describe what is happening. And I think that Beam's analysis is, I'm sad to say, mostly on-target.

2. For me, the upshot is this: the group Beam is describing, the Churches of Christ, is the one where I grew up, where I belong, where I worship and work, and where I (God, help me) have agreed to be a leader of sorts. Because that's true, I am compelled to not only ask "What is happening?" but also to ask "And what am I doing about it?" I believe that in this case a leader is someone who is willing to take up responsibility for dealing with the sin of disunity in what is already a splinter group.

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Hey, check out Jim Martin's latest post, "Creating Opportunities to Learn." I'll soon be listing Jim under my sidebar "Some Bloggers I Like." He certainly belongs in that group. His blog "A Place for the God-Hungry" never fails to whet my appetite.

1 comment:

Royce Ogle said...


Joe Beam hit the nail on the head.

Recently my small ministry has lead me to encounter the wide spectrum from the left of the scale to the Zealots on the right. His description of the different groups was as accurate as the groupings themselves.

Grace to you,
Royce Ogle