more about this sight

"you're packing a suitcase for a place that you've never been...a place that has to be believed to be seen"...'Walk On' by U2

WATERSHED: A voice in the wilderness. DARYL UNDERWOOD.

 

The concept of Centerpoint Christianity briefly stated is:

Christianity from the centerpoint outward.

Christianity from the climax forward.

This blog constitutes concepts for a new view of Christianity that begins with what is foundational and moves forward from that point. It is based on the assumption that we are being pulled towards something unseen and pushed from a place that once was.

What Centerpoint Christianity attempts to do is bypass some of the constraints imposed by metanarratives by using the life of Christ and particularly the climactic actions of Christ as beginning points.

It supports the conviction that God is essentially timeless. From this beginning point we endeavor to move outward from the definitive moment of the parousia (visitation) of Christ and forward to the future which functions as a type of magnet to "what can be--and is coming".

When we begin at the life of Christ and move outward as from the centerpoint of a web, rather than in a linear timeline of history, another wide picture emerges.


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Tuesday
Feb032009

kissin cousins; belief and faith

Belief and faith are interrelated in the New Testament. They are words used in all but two of the twenty seven books in the New Testament. From what I understand ‘faith’ or ‘belief’ has four meanings. This is the crux of this debate and one of the driving forces propelling the emergent movement.

The first meaning has to do ‘with the head’ the other three ‘with the heart’.

1) Faith can be derived from the Latin assensus which is related to our English word assent. When seen this way faith or belief (which I will use interchangeably throughout) is about giving mental assent to a preposition. The churches I have been a part of these many years use this as a touchstone for being Christian. You believe these “suppositions” and you are in. You can be a rather nasty person (you shouldn’t be—but you could be) and still be a Christian.

2) The second word is feducia. The closest English word we have has to do with fiduciary which has to do with trust. “A fiduciary is someone who has undertaken to act for and on behalf of another in a particular matter in circumstances which give rise to a relationship of trust and confidence.” To use this term in association with belief means we put ourselves in another’s hands…In my understanding the ‘another’ is Jesus. I have faith he will deliver me, I have faith that He is able.

3) The third word is fidelitas. English translation is ‘fidelity’ and has to do with loyalty and faithfulness ‘as in a marriage covenant’. It is the heart of a commitment or covenant. When understood for all it’s worth this ‘belief’ or ‘faith’ is at the heart of love.

4) Finally faith or belief can be viseo. It has to do with ‘seeing the whole’ with vision. I feel this meaning is related to our understanding of a ‘Christian or God like worldview’. When we commit to viseo we are saying that we want the ‘kingdom as Jesus envisioned it’. This leads to a radical trust generating a willingness to ‘spend and be spent’. We step into the ‘dream of God’. Christ was poured out for the sake of this vision. He saw something and gave himself to that. We in turn are called to ‘be spent’ for that vision. Paul modeled that beautifully when he writes things like:

Philippians 1:21 For to me to live is Christ, and to die is gain. If I am to live in the flesh, that means fruitful labor for me. Yet which I shall choose I cannot tell.I am hard pressed between the two. My desire is to depart and be with Christ, for that is far better’

or

Galatians 2:26 ‘I have been crucified with Christ. It is no longer I who live, but Christ who lives in me. And the life I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me.’

What I believe the ‘emerging church’ is saying (or at least this is what I am saying) is that we are weary of an emphasis on the first meaning predominately. The Christianity I grew up with said you must believe to be saved and the other stuff…fiducia, fidelitas, and viseo are well…kind of add-ons or options. You ‘should’ be about these things but if you are not then, well…you’re still saved because of ‘assensus’. The evangelical motif is actually built on this foundation. We have to get people ‘saved’ by persuading them to ‘say the prayer’.

This is perhaps one reason why ‘emergents’ seem slippery…they don’t want to settle for a ‘prescriptive’—believe this and be saved sort of position.

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