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Posts from May 2005

Deep Ecclesiology 2.0 Usage

Since 2002, the phrase "deep ecclesiology" has gained greater meaning and it is still emerging. I have listed below some usages over the past 3 years. Thanks to those who kept a record and helped this process.
I will NOT be updating the evolution from this point, but include these quotes as a historical record and as a guide to helping us come to something that resembles a definition. In fact, I am hoping that by the end of the series, some of you might come up with some kind of brief definition or at least some key points that would help us land on what we really mean when we use the word.

I start with Brian McLaren's usage, since he has done more than anyone to promote the term and flesh it out in his books and talks. In fact, once I was asked the meaning of "deep ecclesiology" and i replied . . "whatever Brian is saying it is." More people have heard the term from Brian than from me, and Brian's explanation of what I meant when I first said it is probably more influential to its definition than any of my original thoughts. I am not quoting from Brian's books here, [i am still waiting for the publisher to send me one - it must have got lost in the mail] but from an excellent piece that links the phrase into its missional heart:

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Classic Quote from Em. Convention

". . . the irony was that while most people would expect the Emergent Convention to have the hip, exciting worship, and the Pastors Convention to be more "traditional", in fact the reality was that while us young, supposedly "hip" emergent types were sitting in a sparsely decorated room listening to a 70-year-old woman tell us bible stories, she was almost being drowned out by the vibrations coming from the drums from the contemporary worship bands playing for all the baby boomer, dockers and plaid shirt Pastors up the hall at the NPC's General Session!"
Mike Clawson, participant at Emergent Convention:

Memorizing Scripture

Speaking of Justin, there is a Bible memorization program that Justin recommends from the people who brought you the ESV Bible version. They have the ESV blog to back it up and an RSS feed available called ESV: Truth Bible Memory Verses.

I have mentioned before that i think there will be a renewal in memorization. This will be a result from the overwhelming deluge of information that surrounds us. If information is everywhere, then we survive by saying “No” to most of it and giving special privilege to what stays lodged in our memory bank. And the Bible is first choice. Great idea to have memory verses coming at you this way. Although i am always suspicious when small passages are taken out of context for memorization without their home base. I am more likely to memorize whole psalms or chapters.

Sex and The Supremacy of Christ

1581346972I just read the .PDF version of Sex and the Supremacy of Christ, edited by Justin Taylor and John Piper. Its a good, solid book on sex from a reformed, protestant, American standpoint. But its appeal will go far beyond that group. The book starts off with some typical Promise-Keepery teachings but keeps getting wider and more interesting. It covers more ground than many other books on sex I have bought and brings in a number of voices, although it doesn't bring the tension of conflicting voices. It has heaps of Bible passages and gives them plenty of coverage. It was great to see Song of Solomon feature so prominently - its a book that I always refer to when teaching on the subject.
Of special interest are two historical chapters on the sexuality of Martin Luther and Puritans in America. I didn't know this, and it is worth repeating here, the example of Martin Luther who married Katie the ex-nun. According to the book, Luther was such an Xtreme Farter, that when he got married, he bought a new mattress to honor his wife.

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Weekend in Stromness

Weekend roundup:
- This morning we attended Stromness Church of Scotland. Great service. This is the minister, Rev. Fiona (left) who just got back from Malawi, and a really young girl who sang the first verse of a hymn and then led the whole congregation in the rest of it. Well done!


- Roast Chicken for Sunday lunch.
- Friday night Debbie stayed out until 2am with friends at the Orkney Folk Festival
- Last night was my turn and I stayed out until 1:30am sampling folk festival music and life in a number of pubs with some friends. The highlight was in between pubs, when James says - “Hey, I've got a boat in the harbour. Lets take it for a spin!”. And a few minutes later we were zooming around in a little boat.Totally spontaneous and crazy.
- Oh yeah . . . (spiritual reserved voice again) yesterday morning I spoke at the Men's Breakfast at Kirkwall Baptist church. Nice guys and a good breakfast. They wanted to know about discipleship among youth and emerging church kind of stuff.

The Tennesean on Emergent

“Emergent” folks are Christians who are impatient with rigid megachurch formulas and noisy doctrinal in-fighting. They want to nurture a “vintage Christianity” that promotes the love of Christ for the emerging (non-churchgoing) generation. They're hammering out a theology that's friendly to ancient faith practices (contemplative prayer, labyrinths, hospitality) in a postmodern world of quantum physics, 24/7 media and coffee-house culture.

'Emergent' Christians seek spirituality without nasty theological squabbling“: a newspaper article in the Tennessean the recent Emergent Convention. As far as newpaper reviews go, that one is pretty good!! (link fixed now - thanks)

Deep Ecclesiology 1.0: History

As requested, here is a brief history of the phrase "deep ecclesiology"

April 28, 2002, Hungary. I gave a presentation in Budapest at a large missions event called Hope 21, a gathering of "Christian leaders from 35 European countries . .  in Budapest to consider the role and responsibility of evangelicals concerning Europe's future at the beginning of a new century."

AlbumcoverMy presentation was called "Church in the Postmodern World: The Budapest Album". I was speaking as an Associate of DAWN Ministries, alongside Reinhold Scharnowski,  and we were dealing with the question of how we can see church planting movements ignited across Europe in the emerging culture. It is here that I first used the phrase "deep ecclesiology".

May 14, 2002 I published an article on TheOoze called Postmodern Church: Are We There Yet?. It was a summary of what I wrote and presented in Budapest. The article began, "A deep ecclesiology, from what I have seen, is still around the corner. . ."

May 18, 2002, USA.  I was teaching on a panel with Dr. Leonard Sweet at a conference in Missouri called Search Party 2002 (which was a follow-on event from Epicenter2001), We were answering questions from the floor. One question was regarding the emerging church and the idea of the church being more than just programs and events and what happens on a Sunday morning - Did we therefore hold a "low" view of the church. I answered that the opposite is true. With a focus on Kingdom thinking and seeing the invisible church as well as the visible, we have an understanding of the church that is higher and deeper - a "deep ecclesiology".

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Power Theoblogians

Some new voices on the blogs by heavy hitters that are worth bookmarking:
TheBolgBlog by Ryan Bolger -Fuller Seminary
Staring Into The Distance, by Paul Roberts- The man behind
YSMarko, by Mark O - Youth Specialites
BTW - All of us were together at a pub in Pasadena last month. Oh yeah - Pete Rollins is blogging also.

And you already knew that Scot McKnight is now blogging at Jesus Creed. How things have changed! A few months ago, the only theoblogian who worked in Academia that I had contact with was the illustrious Dr. Rev. Maggie Dawn. Great to see more of her calibre enter the risky world of blogdom.

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