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
Mar012011

Love Wins...

'They say that what you mock
Will surely overtake you
And you become a monster
So the monster will not break you'
~Bono in the song 'Peace on Earth'

'The medium is the message. This is merely to say that the personal and social consequences of any medium (that is, of any extension of ourselves) result from the new scale that is introduced into our affairs by each extension of ourselves, or by any new technology.' ~Marshall McLuhan

We have never been here before, The internet has changed the way we live. The vast array of pseudo social connections are so enormous we could possibly drown in our own muck. This current generation knows this and is seeking some of the old ways; farming their own soil, raising their own chickens, gathering at brewery's with friends, trying to recover real connections of social touch, and seeking genuine lived out experiences. It's instinctive. It's about survival.

According to Sarah Pulliam Bailey of Christianity Today;  

"Rob Bell" was in the top 10 trending topics on Twitter Saturday. As of Saturday evening, about 12,000 people had recommended (Justin)Taylor's blog post on Facebook, which posts the article on readers' personal pages. The article had about 650 comments.

Tweet this. Blog forward. Water cooler theology has gone viral. Even the office is too small these days. The aquarium is bursting open and all the fish are coming out. The cat is out of the bag, running wild. The gate keepers are under siege. Nothing can be contained and monitored like it used to be. People are beginning to think for themselves and compare notes. Its getting dangerous for leaders. Christianity is under siege. And there is no place to hide.

Something is driving all this commotion. People are bored with shallow sermons they have heard a thousand times before. They are sick of clichés that reduce a thoughtful discussion to a senseless platitude. And at the same time they are 'tired and restless, and bored' with themselves and their faith circles conversations Ad infinitum. And as a result they are getting out. Soon the 'church' will be reduced to a mixture of bigots and country club theological aristocrats. They will be the hard core fringe.

Real folks will scatter. And a center will gather with ideas swirling round it. The swirl will be in constant motion, impossible to grasp, invisible to the eye, a mish mash, a stew of ideas. You can't stop the flood, or stem the tide, or herd these cats. And by the way, wasn't that a great commercial. And if you can recall that commercial with just that little lead it only goes to show how fragmented we have become. Truth is, I can type 'cat herding video' in a browser and view the commercial 'now'. I know that because I just did it. And you can to...right from where you sit. We are in the midst of exponential change. I can find 'it' as soon as I think 'it'. And the 'it' is all around us all the time. Information is everywhere always. Like I said you can't herd cats and stop this flood. Truth is you'd better have a life jacket in your hand now because when you get caught in the swirl you are probably going down.

Doomsday prophets cry out that the exiting assembly will be like sheep led to the slaughter. They say people are harassed and helpless by the bombardment of new ideas and 'unbiblical' concepts led by madmen. And they are quite right in some ways. The vacuum will be filled with something. Some claim these men are executioners heading up this genocide unleashed on the elect saints of glory. Perhaps the villain is Brian McLaren aided and abetted by Anglican theologian NT Wright.

But then, and it shifts in a nano second, faster than even Marshal McLuhan ever imagined, a new dragon is on the rise. Who is the 'new' madman that is conspiring against Christianity as our forefathers have defined it? Tweet, well here it is, spread the word, it is Rob Bell from Grand Rapids, Michigan. The man from Mars. Today's soup de jour. The devil himself in sheep's clothing. Or perhaps the great white hope of a new Christianity. Perspective is everything and we all have one...or two...or three, or my word it is overwhelming.

Man your computers and let the mud sling. People, mostly conservatives, will try to head off the chaos. It is really an exercise in futility. Today's news doesn't have enough longevity or substance to even make tomorrow's fish wrap. The printed word is extinct. People don't read books anymore. They read blogs, the glance at facebook, text messages, and tweets.

The 'doorkeepers' are right about one thing at the least. We are ripe for the kill.

Flee the British. Save the women and children first, return to orthodoxy and close your mind, zip your tent, and trust...'me' they say. Historic orthodox Christianity is their bulwark never failing. And that construct from modernity is a fortress that is crumbling. And it will inevitably fall as the popular position. Trying to stem the tide is like trying to empty the ocean with a spoon. That train has left the station already and its never coming back. Historic Christianity has been weighed and found wanting by this restless mob that is gaining momentum.

Seriously.

People are really crazy these days.

What really disturbs so many conservatives, (I hate the label but have no other tool to describe this), is that folks like Rob Bell make you think, others think...and he might be smarter than you. And he asks all these questions we ask in our closet but not out loud. He doesn't have sound 'theological boundaries'. He is tough to pin down, he is shifty. But is he sinister? Evil? I don't think so.

My take. Rob is an artist. Time magazine called him a rock star. And rock stars are sometimes an entity unto themselves, almost untouchable, god-like. And that makes folks jealous. Sometimes I think a lot of people just want to ride this horse named Rob Bell to somewhere. He's the three year old colt favored to run for the roses at the derby and there are a lot of folks that want a piece of the action. In the world of 'will someone please notice me' he is the lightning rod that may bring them some notoriety.

Please pastor. At least be honest. You clothe your words in rhetoric of concern. But sometimes you must preach the party line...until you and everyone around you believes in the party. Your party. It's important to keep the faith even amidst doubt and by all means never let them see you sweat. And the easiest way to do this is to be a watchdog, issuing warnings, sounding alarms, and creating fear. You've got to keep the customer satisfied, the bills paid, the machine functioning. Or, worse yet, perhaps you are a trained hound steeped so deep in dogmatism that you are convinced you have the right way. The only way. God's way.

Welcome to the new world. A world where we tweet. We blog. We chat. We rain down opinion. Always and forever. We think these 'new doctrines' will be the end of us, the demise of Christianity. We are wrong.

The infighting will kill us instead.

It occurs to me that there is a story beneath all of these controversies. It is about us. What we have become. Where we are going. What technology is doing to us. Perhaps the real threat and the monster that is really out of control is...'us' in the new age. Rob Bell is not the problem. The impending result of the collective 'us' is. We are becoming our own worst enemy. 'So you become the monster, so the monster will not break you' is the state of affairs in the realm of post-postmodern (or whatever we are now) ecclesiastical society. Bono was right, what we really need is 'Peace on Earth'.

We need to lay the rifle down.

God help us.

Love wins...but first it beats the snot out of you. And usually this is accomplished by your own brothers. Just ask Jesus. He has been there, done that.

And somehow lives to tell about it.

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