Brian McLaren in Baltimore

Among the ideas I hope to do through this blog is to act as an introduction to the emergent conversation especially among my conservative friends. So here’s a start.

Went to see Brian McLaren last weekend in Baltimore. He was the keynote speaker to the members of the Baltimore Presbytery. Upon walking into the room, I was a little surprised that the crowd was umm, … very middle-aged. But after the first session, i was really encouraged about that because I think that generation can really gain from this discussion.

Here are some of the notes that I took. Email/comment for explanations. Would enjoy discussing. (I apologize for spelling/grammatical mistakes)

Brian McLaren

Spiritual Formation and Gathered Worship
Practice makes Possible.

Is the church a progressive force?

“Theologically, I think it will take 60 years to seek resolve.”

Dualist model of our anthropology (ghost in the machine model)
That vision of humanity is not Biblical or tenable (genetics)
We have to pay attention of complexities of human life.

I wish we would become so enamored with the vision of the church that we would be distracted by our prejudices and issues that polarize us.

We know how to argue, we know how to divide but we don’t know how to sustain conversation.

This is a conversion of community in order to have conversation
We must affirm conversation. We are going to be a church of conversation.
Policies can still be created, with differences of opinion and still have respect for one another.

Spiritual Formation
The development of people through practice of people who be think act are becoming disciples of Jesus

The development of disciples:
These words used throughout the N.T.
Christian – 3 times
Disciples – 261 times

Make (spiritually form) disciples to each them to do all I have commanded you. (Matt. 28)
Love on another (John 13)
To be conformed to the image of God’s Son – Romans ch. 8
I will show the most excellent way (I Cor)

Until Christ is formed in you. Gal. 4:19

Spiritual formation involve intentions spiritual practices (or disciplines)
Take the parts of our liturgy, analyze them

Actions within our power which we do to train ourselves to do things beyond our power and to become people who are currently incapable of being
Running a marathon
Paying the guitar
Learning Chinese

And if you’re part of a local congregation you are already doing many of them

Practice doesn’t make perfect,

Spiritual formation is gathered.

Planned succession of group practices or rituals

Rituals Practices to bring the other meaning they represent

Ritualism – action but don’t understand the meaning
1. inconvenience- going to a place I didn’t at a time I didn’t choose for a purpose I do choose Hebrew2 10:224-25
– We ask that you choose to inconvenience yourself.
2. Association
– Associating with some people I like and others I don’t; like for a purpose I believe in Romans 15:7
– The person that annoys you the most. (but you are that person to someone else)
– Peace be with you, greeting each other with a holy kiss.
– Take action without keeping the meaning.
– (greeting example)
3. Speed – altering my pace to see what I’ve missed and to fell a different rhythm. Speeding up … slowing down (Hebrews 3:15)
4. Hospitality – Using my presence and our space to help :the other feel welcome in my presence and in the presence of our community. (I Cor. 11:33)
5. Public Prayer, Creed and Song
Allowing our hopes, dreams, concerns beliefs and desire to b e formed an aligned with God’s will … together.
Desire of justice, mercy, peace
Desire of honesty humility gratitude truth
Desire of God’s kingdom honor power glory
Desire of food desire formation
Romans 15:5-6
(Confession of sin – Anglican prayer book)
(Almighty God, our sins are to heavy to bear, and too terrible to name)
(leads to the desire to be authentic and honest)
6. Attentiveness – Waiting for what I may receive only by waiting receptively (I Peter 2:2). (Sometimes great preachers hinder attentiveness
7. Generosity – Taking greater pleasure in being productive (fruitful) than consumptive (2 Cor 8:7)
(ex. We are so poor but we have the dignity to help others – (hilarioun – greek hilarious giving)
8. Modeling – Exposing apprentices to masters
– In prayer, teaching, artistry, faithfulness, service hospitality, etc.
– Contemplative and charismatic models (I Thes. 16)
9. Catholicity global concern for the other”
quoting others, affirming others praying for others, inviting others.
10. Mystery
The body of Christ, broken for you …
The blood of Christ given for you.

Non Traditions (traditions without meaning therefore, no reason, no meaning)
Dead Traditions (those that are stuck, …
Living Traditions (contains links with our past, beautiful expression)

Ever 500 years (Peter) Western Civilizations has a rummage sale.

(discipline – remembering what you want)

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