Round One

Sweet Quotes from random people at the Transforming Theology conference.:

‘It has been a long time since someone thought Liberal or Progressive and thought Lutheran….Disagreement doesn’t mean lack of charity. ‘

‘So many Methodist, so little time.’

‘There is no God who ceases to be creator, and who can therefore be played off against what has been created; there is no such thing as God-pleasing religion that absolves us from our everyday duties; and there is no Holy Scripture that allows men to sin and relieves us of our every duties absolute responsibility to our neighbor.’, quoted from ‘jesus means freedom’

‘What are all the American progressive mainline denominations going to do when we take the global majority seriously.  The church has the opportunity to take them more seriously than the rest of the country.  Wouldn’t it be nice for the church in the first world to lead in a non-colonial activity?’

‘The Bible is a library and we have lived in that library…’

‘Calvin invented the sewer system in Geneva…Presbyterians really believe Christ should transform society. There maybe 5 ways of Christ relating to culture, but we think there is a correct answer…So many like to think we are ‘christ transforming culutre,’ it is often a myth we tell ourselves to justify internalizing culture.’

‘We often think the church’s social witness comes through well-written paper.’

‘One of the problem with social justice for Protestants is that they came into being without a peasant class.’

‘The National Council of Churches lacks some place of authority to ground its common work.  So we end up with resolutions that we then tack a theological reasoning behind.  This makes the NCC a social justice organization and not a faith community, we can’t do theology together.’

We need to name the gospel principles as the heart of our witness.  Both political parties see security as a unilateral action of the government.  Christians don’t see it that way, security is about interdependence.

Round Two

Chris Copeland ‘Denominations want to be a church’s supermarket, we need to be a farmer’s market.’

‘Some of the denominational fights about the Eucharist have felt like ‘Where’s Waldo.’

We need to learn a theology of resistance from Bonhoeffer.

Denomination heads are scared of YouTube because of Jeremiah Wright….Fox News wins!!!!

White ministers should read ‘Letter from a Birmingham Jail’ once a year devotionally, it helps one avoid becoming a member of the council of caution.

What is the proper exercise of authoritative teaching about justice issues?  The moment you get particular about something it takes authority for it to be more than someone’s opinion.

‘In preserving the notion of ‘social justice’ are we not keeping the partitioned notion of the gospel that is the problem?’, Barry Taylor (who nailed it)

‘This Faith’, the key to understanding the UCC faith statement.  What is this faith?

The sole head, Jesus Christ, Son of God and Savior. It acknowledges as kindred in Christ all who share in this confession. It looks to the Word of God in the Scriptures, and to the presence and power of the Holy Spirit, to prosper its creative and redemptive work in the world. It claims as its own the faith of the historic Church expressed in the ancient creeds and reclaimed in the basic insights of the Protestant Reformers.

Unitarian Universalist….Unitarian means we are an institutional form of the Arian heresy….Universalist means we are radical leftist Weslyians.

How do we organize our compassion?  We need to avoid justice out of our own need for absolution.  If we don’t our ‘acts of justice’ are driven by our own anxiety.

There is a tension between the respect for history and the freedom to write history.

‘Under the Lordship of Christ the freedom of Christ allows and empowers all forms of contextual justice seeking.’

‘It is not the conclusions we come to about particular social justice issues that makes them Christian, it is how we conduct the conversation in love, preserve the unity of Christ, and freedom of the Other through the process.  I have real convictions about justice, but to use them unjustly on another Christian is an affront to the table of Christ where all are welcome.’

Sharon Watkins is awesome….really really awesome.

The 5th side of the Weslyian quadrilateral…cultural respectability.

‘I decided to be an activist because there I could preach and attempt to act the kingdom.’

‘There is the lurking suspiscion that if Jesus was here today he wouldn’t be preaching to us, but at us. It is hard to preach the kingdom when it is ‘we’ who are keeping it from happening.’

‘We shouldn’t personalize the shame of the kingdom and collectivize the responsibility.  We should do the reverse.  The kingdom Jesus preached colletivized the shame and personalized the responsibility.’

Emergence wants to know ‘What in Christianity is worth dying for?  If you can’t answer that question we don’t want anything of it.’

Round Three

‘The environmental crisis and nuclear threat necessitate the the church to speak with boldness and a clarity that could make the pews (and US) uncomfortable.’

Mainline denominations have had a decline of city churches.  In the past city churches were the progressive congregations of the denominations.  Now?

We need to stop talking about the ‘golden age’ of some church, then we can try to be useful.  A long blink leads you to miss a golden age.

How do you know the difference when you are building bridges between different varities of Christians and using the conversation as a means to tell the other group they need to grow up, wise up, and be like you?

‘The only thing we can’t talk to are the ones we share the Westminster Confession with!’, pcusa about pca

What about divorce in our denomination? Is there an ecclesiology of divorce? (church divorce and not couples)

A fellow Demon Deacon is representing.  We are awesome.

We like to call ourselves the reconciling community, that means we have to listen carfully to what is going on around us.  Listening and forgiving are necessary for all forms of Christian action.

Thoughtful Christian is a cool resource.

‘Anti-racist, anti-oppressive, multi-cultural church’  say that ten times fast.

‘In a covenantal community the conversation is authoritative, the history of the conversation is authoritative.’

‘We like to tell our favorite part of our history and pretend it is the truth about who we are.’

‘Jesus didn’t leave the city…we have.’

‘The God of extravagant Welcome!’

‘The emergent church doesn’t have to happen at the expense of anything else.  This is a both\and world.’

Emergent is not a demographic but a psycographic, how we process information.

Are we saving the record industry or the music? We keep acting as if we are in a postal age, but what about the email age?  People receive their media through iPods or big screen TVs.  The church is selling 20 inch tube TVs.

As many people find their life mate online as in the church.