reason 2,342,656 i love living in massachusetts: incredible, non-commercial radio. almost every day i listen to wbur, boston's npr news station that produces such fan favorites as car talk and tom ashbrook's on point, wers an eclectic, indie-music giant out of emerson college, wumb an influential folk music station, that regularly features john hiatt, out of umass boston and wgbh, a classical music/npr news format station that is a perfect refuge from wbur during fundraisers. now, if we can only get a non-commercial sports talk station that is hosted by michael lewis, thomas boswell, chris collinsworth, bill simmons, chuck klosterman, ken rosenthal, rob neyer, bill james and joe morgan we'll be all set!
i read phyllis tickle's the great emergence a little over a month ago and i enjoyed it. i wish i would have reviewed it immediately after reading so that her assertions were fresh on my mind. tickle's central premise is that every 500 years or so - think pope gregory the great, the great schism, the great reformation and brian mclaren - the church undergoes a major seismic shift. she goes to great lengths to show that the last shift was inspired not only by luther's theological complaints but by the printing press, the rise of the nation state and the renaissance/enlightenment/late middle ages. tickle believes that we are currently undergoing a major shift she calls the great emergence on account of the rise of globalization, the internet revolution and the forthcoming decriminalization of marijuana.
anyway, in regards to western christianity tickle asserts that the playing field has long looked like a quadrant that included the roman catholics, the social justice christians, the fundamentalists/evangelicals and the pentecostal/charismatics. as christians have been more and more exposed to the valuable elements of other quadrants and have even incorporated practices that were characteristic of other quadrants into their worship and mission, tickle suggests that there has been a "gathering center" of believers who are leaving their old denominational designations and exclusivistic theological systems behind in order to plumb the diverse depths of the traditions and join with others on the redemptive, kingdom mission of Christ.
where am i going with? right. tickle notes that in each quadrant there are 10-15% of believers who will refuse to move towards the center and will become quadrant fundamentalists of sorts. she also notes that there currently are and will continue to be "hyphenated" groups such as preby-mergent that hold on firm to their quadrant with one hand and reach as far towards the gathering center as they can with the other hand.
as for me, i would love to be numbered among the hyphenateds by maintaining my roots in the stone-campbell movement while continuing to be an active participant in the great emergence. since i am already a part of the latter, i've been thinking about the elements of my tradition that will help me keep a firm hold on the former. thus, my great question is: what elements of the stone-campbell tradition are worth holding onto?
so far, i've decided that the weekly practice of the eucharist, believers baptism, a dedication to world mission, an openness to utilizing contemporary mediums in order to communicate the message and shared leadership are stone-campbellish elements that i would like to hold onto. if you are a part of "the movement" or have simply had a movement and would like to comment on either tickle's book or the idea of living a hyphenated christian life, feel free.
one more thing: kellie mentioned yesterday that she does not think it is the government's responsibility to provide vouchers, and thus PAY, for americans with rabbit eared sets to make the jump to digital broadcasting. i can't agree with her more. since when did the ability to watch stupid schlock like american idol become an inalienable right!? now they want to delay the conversion because people haven't listened to two years of endless commercials about the shift or don't care enough about the transition to pony up the $200. come on!!!
I Was Fired for Not Being a Christian
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