+ A Time To Reconstruct
+ Real Austin: Theology on a Downtown Bus
+ Unstudying God: Finding God in the Barren Land
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Here at the Village, we are excitedly preparing for the fall conference season, particularly the Emergent Village Theological Conversation http://www.emergentvillage.com/events/2010-theo-convto be held in Atlanta, GA November 1-3, right on the heels of the American Academy of Religion's annual conference in Atlanta. In case you missed the announcement email, registration for this event is now open. We're also continuing to post our podcasts of last year's Theological Conversation featuring Jurgen Moltmann. http://www.emergentvillage.com/podcast/2009-emergent-theological-conversation-episode-2
In the spirit of theological conversation, you'll notice that the next few issues of Emergent/C will intentionally feature a variety of theological ideas that are meant to spark discussion. In this issue, Jonathan Brink proposes a new way of seeing atonement, Annie Bullock urges consensus between right and left-leaning Christians as they serve the most vulnerable, and George Elerick proposes leaving theology entirely in order to find God.
As always, we appreciate your ideas and feedback and urge you to get involved.http://www.emergentvillage.com/weblog/a-special-letter-about-the-future-of-emergent-villagee
Peace to you all, and we wish you the best in all of your theological conversations!
- your friends at EV
a time to reconstruct
by Jonathan Brink
Over the last decade, many of us who have participated in what some call "the conversation" have been engaging a deconstruction process of our faith. In many ways this leaving was liberation from an old story. The traditional way of seeing the story in the Gospel just didn't work anymore. The conversation became a place to share our fears, our stories, and our liberation.
One of the real, valid criticisms of this process is that much of the conversation was a deconstruction process. In other words, we were tearing down an old story but nothing new was offered to take its place. I get that concern. It's easy to criticize what's wrong with something and never offer something different. But I would also offer that the removing the old story was necessary for us to see something new.
The primary concern for me within this space was our historical understanding of the Gospel. I could no longer ignore the inherent conflicts with our traditional stories, specifically in terms of the atonement. The atonement captured my attention in the conversation because it is the linchpin in the story. It informs us of both the problem and the solution.
Read the entirety of the article here. http://www.emergentvillage.com/weblog/brink-reconstruct
Read more of Jonathan's writing at his blog.
Theology On A Downtown Bus
by Annie Bullock
Since moving to Austin just two years ago, I've had my share of encounters with Leslie Cochran, almost all of them on the 1L/1M bus through downtown. Leslie is a homeless transvestite and a beloved Austin institution. I saw him for the first time on my very first visit to Austin. He was standing on the curb looking bewildered in a purple mini-skirt and pumps. He crossed the street halfway, paused, and then abruptly returned to the curb he'd just left, slinging his skirt over his hips as he went, revealing a leopard print thong. Between his flamboyant fashion sense and his proclivity for public semi-nudity, he's hard to miss if you spend any time downtown.
Leslie is a one of a kind weird guy and yet in many ways, he's emblematic of the Austin homeless community: harmless, eccentric, and not looking for a way back into ordinary society...
Read the entirety of the article here. http://www.emergentvillage.com/weblog/bullock-real-austin
Finding God In The Barren Land
by George Elerick
Theology is the study of God... more specifically of any deity. It is a place where we come and try to understand God, where we attempt to bring our scalpels and scientifically assess if God makes sense to us. We bring our history, environments, fears and dreams all to this one place to find the God that exists beyond God. We are affected by all of our past, present and future when we step into the realm of studying God.
Studying God presupposes that God desires us to deconstruct Him. That somehow God wants to be found. In our studying, deep down where the subconscious lies, we want to save God from those around us. Theology has evolved into a practice where we get to be the demi-gods of development. Theology has deformed itself into something that deforms its followers irreparably into people who desire to only make sense of a being beyond our senses. What we have come to understand about God has been formed by thousands of years of interpretations. We tend to align ourselves alongside these interpretations and deem them as theology.
Theology is the practice and study of God as share above, but our discoveries are the fruit of that study. Fruit can rot, get old and die. We need new fruit, at the risk of leaving some of the old fruit behind...
Read the entirety of the article here. http://www.emergentvillage.com/weblog/elerick-barren
Read more of George's writing at his blog.
About Emergent Village
Emergent Village is a growing, generative friendship among missional Christians seeking to love our world in the Spirit of Jesus Christ.