Wednesday, June 01, 2005

Proposal: Episode II

The articles in last month's Harper's that Jake posted about on 4/27 are now up on their website. I read them at Border's, but decided not to buy the magazine, which I regretted later when I tried to gather my thoughts. First, Jeff Sharlett writes about a powerful megachurch in Colorado Springs. Then Chris Hedges takes on the organization known as the National Religious Broadcasters. Even if we don't talk about them here, set aside a good sitcom block of time and read them both. Good stuff.


At 6/11/2005 2:12 PM, Blogger Dusty said...

I finally read both of these articles, and wow, I don't know where to begin. I appreciate Hedges perspective quite a bit, and I found myself scared for the future of the church...the modern crusades are upon us it seems. However, what is a proper response? Jake and Jonny, I apologize for taking so long to read these articles. I have forwarded them on to many people at HC, we shall see if I hear back from many of these people and their insights to the articles.

At 7/05/2005 2:37 PM, Blogger adam said...

Like Dusty, I am a late bloomer. I read the articles while in Chicago the last two weeks. I really didn't know too much about Ted Haggard before this article other than that he was the president of the NAE. Some of the info was not new, but particulary the appliction of 'free market economics' stood out to me as frightening. On a local level I run into this all the time, so I figure it is the nature of working in a suburban setting. Many of the parishioners I work with speak of the church in Jesus as CEO terms- marketing, product, diversification, etc. However, these are lay men and women not too schooled in their faith, and Pastor Ted is the president of the NAE. I can excuse the one, because it seems like an obvious connection- the other is a bit more irritating. For certain God's relationship with humanity, saving work through Christ, and continual prescence through Jesus are not products to be marketed, sold, diversified (per se) or made available in a variety of summer fashions. It is one thing to contextualize the gospel message so that a certain people group (and outdated but still accurate term) can understand God's revelation. It is another to sacrifice major and intrical portions of that message so that the world can incorporate it without skipping a beat in daily life (Bonhoeffer would turn in his grave).

I think an interesting conversation developes here in what are acceptable and un-acceptable means of inculturation? At least in my experience at CTU we are very easy going about accepting the cultural practices found elsewhere, but in cases such as Pastor Ted we rightfully cringe. But, I wonder what is the difference. Maybe we, North American Culture, have finally matured enough to self-critique? I don't know... just wondering out loud.

Finally, I liked the artwork in the second piece.

That's all.


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