I’ve been doing some intense thinking lately, which is why I haven’t posted in a little while. This intense thinking has led me to some intense answers, and rather than let my brain explode trying to hold it all in, I figured I’d unpack my inclinations a bit here on Finite Calls Infinite and start giving my cognitive processes a bit of fresh air. I almost began to post an actual announcement of a new initiative, but caution dictates that I spend more time seeking God for wisdom and counsel as I decide exactly what I might be setting out to do.
Anyway, for the two people out there who know about my super-secret Web project, you may be wondering what the latest news is. Well, the latest news is sad: the project died due to a lack of time, resources, and motivating vision. Here’s what the project was all about in a nutshell: an innovative Christian social news + networking site that would provide really cool ways to aggregate content from exciting news sites, blogs, podcasts, ministries, and so forth with an emphasis on media and the arts — all the while fostering meaningful relationships that would encourage discipleship and Biblical training. Lots of neat ideas…WAY too ambitious. I honestly would need to assemble a comprehensive team and expend a lot of effort in order to get this off the ground.
The strange thing is that the genesis of this project actually looked a little different and somehow it got lost in the shuffle: a site that would be forward-looking and would encourage and challenge the Church in the West to envision a future age where the Church isn’t a dying institution divorced from the language, culture, and concerns of the day but is wholesomely engaged in restoration and healing and progress within the culture around it.
Here’s what I think: there are many innovative streams within the Body of Christ today: missional, emergent, charismatic, apostolic-prophetic, reformed, and so forth. There are probably more streams that I’m not even aware of. The problem is that, by and large, these streams are not talking to each other — or if they are, it’s largely on a footing of either distrust or sheer ignorance. And so we come to an inescapable conclusion: if we’re expecting to reach non-Christians or former Christians with the Gospel and convince them that the Church is the place to be, then we need to be doing a much better job of understanding and articulating what the Church actually is (and is not) and what its primary purpose is in relation to people’s everyday milieu.
I am a strong advocate of unity within the Church (see my three-part essay on Thoughts of Resurrection for more on this topic), and one of the ways I would like to see unity in action is within the process of taking a hard look at how we “do church” and which ways we can embrace change, uncertainty, innovation, and Spirit-led renewal in order to effect a positive and greater impact on the world around us.
In other words, I wonder what it would look like if Brian McLaren, Bill Johnson, Rick Warren, Frank Viola, and N.T. Wright all got in a room together and talked about the state of the Church. Just a thought. (And if you don’t know who some or all of those people are, that proves my point exactly. We need more cross-pollination!)
So there’s a brief peak into my brain today. What is the solution to this conundrum? That’s something I’m still working on. If it ends up becoming a new project, that’s awesome, but if not, I’m confident someone else will pick up the baton. At any rate, I will continue to post my thoughts here on this blog over the next few months as I wrestle with these intriguing questions.
What do you think?