God's Politics

God's Politics


Rev. Gabriel Salguero: My Living Paradox

posted by gp_intern

After preaching at an evangelical conference for young Latino/a ministers in Florida some time ago, someone asked me, “Gabriel, how would you define yourself?” This question certainly has a myriad of answers but considering the context of my surroundings I guess I knew what he was asking. The query had to do with how I position myself theologically, socially, and politically. This was a difficult question to answer in light of my embracing what Brian McLaren calls A Generous Orthodoxy. The small biography attached to the programs gave some clues to my theological and social eclecticism. I grew up as a Pentecostal pastor’s kid, serve as a Nazarene pastor, have an M.Div. from a Reformed seminary, and am doing doctoral work at Union Theological Seminary in New York.

Often when speaking to a new group of people, many assumptions are made depending on how I am introduced. If they lead with “Pentecostal” or “Nazarene” I’m pegged as a conservative Republican who has made up his mind about most things. If they lead with “Latino” and “Union Ph.D. student,” the assumption is that I am a theological social liberal who has made up his mind about most things. Now I know I’m not the only one who, in searching to be a faithful disciple of Christ, eschews facile definitions too often used to divide and alienate. There are an increasing number of Latino/a, black, white, and Asian evangelicals (just to name a few groups) who in their search to be faithful to the gospel draw from a plethora of sources. Perhaps we are labeled as post-modern believers or anti-traditionalists. The truth is we are part of a long history of Christians struggling to be faithful witnesses to Jesus Christ.

So, who am I? I am just one of a growing group of Latino progressive evangelicals. In the words of John the Baptist, from the Latin Vulgate, “Ego vox clamantis en deserto.” I am Latino, because I was born in New Jersey of Puerto Rican parents and learned both español and Ingles. I am evangelical because I believe in the transforming power of Jesus Christ and the gospel for the individual and the larger social structures. I am progressive because I hold to the prophetic stream in Christian tradition that says we must do better to live more in line with Christian moral imperatives.

What does this mean to the larger Christian church in the United States, independent of nomenclature? Progressive Latino/a evangelicals are a growing group that says, “Hear us. We have something to say to the larger church.” We do not say “amen” to everything just because someone claims to speak from the evangelical perspective. Neither do we nod in affirmation for all who claim to speak from a Latino/a progressive perspective. We understand our paradox quite well. We are usually pro-family and pro-comprehensive immigration reform that gives dignity to the undocumented. The war in Iraq is of deep concern, particularly in light of the loss of life not just of Iraqi non-combatants but also of too many poor whites, Latinos/as, and blacks. We think that poverty, economic inequality, and the environment are just as important moral issues as abortion, stem cell research, and same-sex marriage.

Some years ago I began meeting with Latino/a evangelical colleagues who were working on articulating together who we were. The Latino Leadership Circle is just one manifestation of people living fully and authentically in ways that some call paradox.


Rev. Gabriel Salguero is the pastor of the Lamb’s Church of the Nazarene in New York City, a Ph.D. candidate at Union Theological Seminary, and the director of the Hispanic Leadership Program at Princeton Theological Seminary. He is also a board member for Sojourners/Call to Renewal.



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kevin s.

posted April 28, 2007 at 12:08 am


So you are a liberal, minority, PhD candidate, which is paradoxical how?A paradox would be a political conservative involved with Sojourners.



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l'etranger

posted April 28, 2007 at 12:23 am


So you are a liberal, minority, PhD candidate, which is paradoxical how?Yawn… because he’s also an evangelical, pentecostal, pro-family, anti-abortion, etc etc He’s only a paradox because of colonisation of theological conservatism by political conservatives.There is no necessary corollary between the two, but political conservatives such as Dobson et al have pushed this line hard (with recent posts both here and on Kuo’s blog showing the methodology employed). In a sense you’re right – he isn’t a paradox. But by telling a half-truth about his position you show precisely why his non-paradoxical position has come to be considered paradoxical. There’s a point in here somewhere about the dangers of labelling



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Payshun

posted April 28, 2007 at 4:11 am


That is a beautiful post. From one progressive black contemplative mystic to another progressive evangelical latin brother. Blessings, it’s good to be the maverick. p



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Mike Hayes

posted April 28, 2007 at 4:45 am


Gabriel, I wonder if my Dad’s grandparents would have been able to enter our country, today. They all arrived here in the 1860′s and 1870′s. My Dad’s paternal grandfather, Michael Hayes, immigrated from Ireland in about 1861. He enlisted in the Union Army and served on a cannon team at Gettysburg. The criteria then were essentially absence of communicable diseases. I’m glad he and my Dad’s other grandparents arrived, back then!



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Sarasotakid

posted April 28, 2007 at 5:45 am


Very nice post. As a caucasian who learned Spanish in NJ Spanish-speaking churches, I really can relate to what you’re saying. Good luck to you.



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Sarasotakid

posted April 28, 2007 at 2:32 pm


But by telling a half-truth about his position you show precisely why his non-paradoxical position has come to be considered paradoxical. There’s a point in here somewhere about the dangers of labelling l’etrangerWell put, l’etranger.



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kevin s.

posted April 28, 2007 at 5:53 pm


I almost wrote(cue autoresponse tsk-tsking me for labelling) after my comment. But I didn’t want to be seen as not giving people credit. Nonetheless, if I knew his background, his religion, and his viewpoints, I would bet the farm that he is politically liberal. I think Sojourner’s fancies itself the barbinger of vastly different school of political thought. They are Christian Democrats. That’s nothing new. Sharpton, Jackson et al… Beat them to that particular punch decades ago. Which is fine. Just don’t pretend that you invented the wheel.



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Wolverine

posted April 28, 2007 at 6:50 pm


Rev. Salguero strikes me as a decent enough fellow, a bit academic and insulated from the realities of life. He writes about himself as an theological/ideological construct, because that’s all he knows, but that’s to be expected for one who has been so sheltered by a Christian/academic background. Don’t be surprised if, ten to fifteen years down the road, Rev. Salguero gets mugged by reality and goes neocon. He strikes me as to intelligent to be satisfied with navel gazing. I’m half tempted to get him a gift subscription to National Review, just to help the process along. Wolverine



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squeaky

posted April 28, 2007 at 7:35 pm


“I would bet the farm that he is politically liberal” because you actually do know “his background, his religion, and his viewpoints.” Maybe you should reread his post. His point was that you can label him all you want in whatever corner you want, but he’s actually a much more complex person politically, ideologically, and theologically than those who are prone to labelling would understand. This is actually true of most of us, which is why it would be nice if everyone who posted here, both liberal and conservative, would knock it off with the blanket assumptions. With all the problems in the world, we really don’t have time for this childishness.



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Sarasotakid

posted April 28, 2007 at 10:53 pm


Squeaky, that is what is so nice about the emergent church movement. It tries to move beyond the conservative/liberal labels. I have found that approach refreshing as I have seen value in both camps. One thing that impressed me with what was stated in the post is: “The truth is we are part of a long history of Christians struggling to be faithful witnesses to Jesus Christ.” We should try to emulate that. Jesus said that the poor will be always be with us. A similar thing can be said about this blog- the snide and snotty mockers will always be here. We need to do our best to just ignore them.



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squeaky

posted April 29, 2007 at 12:35 am


You are right, Sarasotakid. I have to admit, in my political evolution I have gone from left to middle to right to middle and back to left. Mostly I had my stint on the right because I thought that’s where I had to be as a Christian. The last few years, I have been led farther and farther to the left due to my thoughts about the Bush administration, and I am currently struggling to get back into the middle. I’m sure I have been snide and snotty on past threads in my weaker moments, too. I have to say that as I slipped back into the left, I felt disenfranchised as a Christian. Until I learned about the Emergent Church movement. Now I feel there is a kindred spirit out there with regards to Christians and politics, and people like McLaren have helped, especially his book “Generous Orthodoxy” which was a gentle and much needed reminder to me that people from all locations along the spectrum have a voice and have valid perspectives on Christianity. The more I embrace this attitude, the more enriched I become as I find I am able to receive from branches of Christianity I had basically shut out before (I used to be Pentacostal, but am now growing in a non-Charismatic mainline denomination). Hopefully I will continue to grow in an attitude that is far more generous than it has been in the past two years as I learn to practice this centrist view I preach.



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Sarasotakid

posted April 29, 2007 at 3:12 am


Squeaky, I too had been in a charismatic/pentecostal church and am now in a Mennonite church that has a strong peace message. I wish you well on your journey. It is not easy given the difficult circumstances that we are dealing with. But be of good courage… Peace



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Ben Sperry

posted April 29, 2007 at 6:03 am


Why are there not more Christian Libertarians. I believe God gave us the rights to life, liberty, and property, and that the government should uphold those rights and nothing else. In fact, I would go so far as to say that God would recognize that virtue can only be virtue if freely chosen; therefore the government should not have compulsory charity (welfare and taxes), forced morality (bans against same-sex marriage), or restrictions on peoples lifestyles (a lot of things). Christians should recognize that the job of the Church is to evangelize and disciple as many people as possible. “The Kingdom is not of this world, if it were my disciples would fight” – Jesus.



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Amazon Creek

posted April 29, 2007 at 7:56 am


Great post, Rev Salguero! Who says you have to be any of those labels? God? Certainly not – those are MAN-MADE labels. They are of this world. And therefore the world listens to people wearing those labels. Follow Jesus. Be His disciple. And let the world try to figure you out.



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Amazon Creek

posted April 29, 2007 at 7:57 am


P.S. To follow Jesus – is to be truly outside-the-box.



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Sarasotakid

posted April 29, 2007 at 2:09 pm


Why are there not more Christian Libertarians. Ben Sperry There is a certain consistency in Libertarianism that I would have to say that I really respect, Ben. Peace



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squeaky

posted April 29, 2007 at 5:10 pm


Sarasotakid–thanks for the kind thoughts. I also wish you the best on your journey! Ben–I think you make really great points. It gets to an even larger question about politics and Christianity. Thinking about it–Christianity was born within a specific political system that had far more negatives to it than our current system. And Jesus didn’t spend much time railing against politics. Seems to me that people tried to use Him politically, to make Him king, to get Him to agree with them and their view of the world, but He resisted all of those attempts. I don’t think any political party truly fits with Christianity, nor can it. As Christians, we are called to work within the political context we are born into, whatever that context may be, and fortunately here it is Democracy rather than a dictatorship. Seems we are not called to rail against government, but to pray for those in positions of power (and those words were written under a far more oppressive government than we currently live in). It is perhaps a bigger question–should Christians be involved politically, and if so, what should that look like/not look like? Are our political actions, either on the right or the left, even Scripturally sound? Thoughts?



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Will

posted April 29, 2007 at 6:04 pm


Awesome post! Thanks for sharing your perspective. The church (conservative, progressive, evangelical, traditional, mainline, catholic, protestant or whatever) has so much to learn from your voice and community. One of the most significant and enriching theology courses I took in seminary was on hispanic/latino theology.



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Sarasotakid

posted April 29, 2007 at 7:11 pm


One of the most significant and enriching theology courses I took in seminary was on hispanic/latino theology. Will Sounds interesting, Will. Could you elaborate what was taught regarding Latino/Hispanic theology?



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Sarasotakid

posted April 29, 2007 at 7:18 pm


It is perhaps a bigger question–should Christians be involved politically, and if so, what should that look like/not look like? Are our political actions, either on the right or the left, even Scripturally sound? Thoughts? squeakyMy thoughts on this (for what they are worth) is that whatever we do has some sort of political implication. For example inaction can amount to assenting to the status quo. I really like what Andre Trocme (a French pastor) did in WWII. He resisted the Nazis without resorting to violence. Maybe that is the Christ-like paradigm we should employ. You may want to check this web site out, Squeaky and let me know what you think: http://www.chambon.org/chambon_institute_en.htm I have directed people to this site before but it did not seem to spark interest. I find it fascinating. Peace.



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dlw

posted April 29, 2007 at 11:36 pm


I think we need orgs like Sojo to provide leadership and model faith-based dialogue on a variety of political issues, but I also think we could emulate the local house church approach in how we balance political activism with local community ministry with more direct emph on the latter. http://sodsbrood.com/antimani/2007/02/08/1021/ I also am in favor of making third parties better venues for Xtn witness. I think third parties in a two-party-dominated system are “better” for Xtns, as their goal is to change the political center, not to gain and maintain large amounts of political power.I spelled out my manifesto here… http://sodsbrood.com/antimani/2006/11/10/most-important-issue-for-2008/ I also spell out the tool of quasi-strategic voting here. The idea here is to give third parties more leverage and mitigate the problem of spoiling elections. http://sodsbrood.com/antimani/2006/11/12/unsolicited-advice-for-third-party-candidates-in-major-elections/ I wd love to be able to work on forging an alliance of third parties that would have a grass-roots movement for pressing for changing the state legislatures to make them more third-party friendly. I think a third party coalition of third parties that focused on this single issue and voted quasi-strategically could succeed so long as they didn’t try to take too much of the political pie currently divided up between the main parties.dlw



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Rick Nowlin

posted April 30, 2007 at 3:14 am


Why are there not more Christian Libertarians. I believe God gave us the rights to life, liberty, and property, and that the government should uphold those rights and nothing else. Because, in my experience, libertarians ignore sin, grace, stewardship, justice and community, all of which are part of the Christian message. God calls us to far more than the government can or should and even sometimes to write them into law.



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l'etranger

posted April 30, 2007 at 4:23 am


“Because, in my experience, libertarians ignore sin, grace, stewardship, justice and community, all of which are part of the Christian message. God calls us to far more than the government can or should and even sometimes to write them into law” I think this is broadly correct – particularly the community and mutual responsibility bit. The danger is that libertarianism becomes “you may do what you like but you are responsible for the consequences” which easily becomes “you may do what you like so long as you can afford to pay for it” which basically translates as “the rich can do whatever they can get away with, the poor can go to hell in a handcart”. That said there is something attractive about the honesty of libertarians, and the intellectual consistency is admirable, and I’m sure libertarians would argue against my take on what libertarianism tends to come down to. I certainly approve of their emphasis of the importance of the individual and of individual responsibility.



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DABX

posted April 30, 2007 at 6:37 pm


I marvel at the isogesis of some of these comments. Talk about reading into a text! What we have here are extreme “criticisms” of what was “not said” more than “critical” feedback on what “was stated.” Such comments confirm the paradoxical and/or dialectical nature and tension of everyone’s reality in an individualistic and pluralistic society. “Chrsit and culture in paradox” is not new (see Apostle Paul, H.R. Niebuhr, and now Rev. Dr. Salguero).



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squeaky

posted April 30, 2007 at 6:39 pm


Thanks for the link, Sarasotakid. It is amazing how hope can overcome despair and despots.I think it brings up another issue, though–was Tocme’s actions political actions, or did he act in spite of politics? He didn’t look for a political solution to the problem, and he just acted to save people. Although I do believe government funding and programs have their place and can be successful, it is also important that we realize we can’t always wait for the government to fix problems. Sometimes we just need to act.



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squeaky

posted April 30, 2007 at 6:45 pm


“Because, in my experience, libertarians ignore sin, grace, stewardship, justice and community, all of which are part of the Christian message. God calls us to far more than the government can or should and even sometimes to write them into law.” I can’t really say any political party does all of that perfectly. Each party seems to major on one or two of the important aspects of Christianity, with individual responsibility being the Libertarian take on it. The question for all political stripes is how much should we rely on the government to bring into reality these aspects of Christianity? Or am I leading us way off the topic of the original post?



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DABX

posted April 30, 2007 at 6:51 pm


Too quick on send before proofread. Typo correction “eisegesis” in place of “isogesis”.



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RAVJR007

posted April 30, 2007 at 8:22 pm


Nice Post. Clear way of underscoring how we are mult-faceted, paradoxical beings who struggle to make sense of ourselves and the world around us. I think your story provides good glimpes of the metanarrative nature of the gospel (individual transformation, social responsibility, cultural relevance, etc.)



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Sarasotakid

posted May 1, 2007 at 4:32 am


I think it brings up another issue, though–was Tocme’s actions political actions, or did he act in spite of politics? He didn’t look for a political solution to the problem, and he just acted to save people.squeakyIn my view, his acts and the acts of his church members were ultimately political. What was fascinating is that they comprised non-violent resistance to an utterly evil system. Many would say that violence had to be used to defeat the nazis. Did it? Or did Trocme serve as an example that Pacifism can work when it is accompanied by nonviolent resistance? What would have happened if 10% of the Christian churches had engaged in similar activities?



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Kristi

posted May 1, 2007 at 4:33 am


I share Rev. Salguero’s confusion about just how much of who I am I can tell certain people. My church family is very conservative, and they would not understand, and would possibly be hurt by some of my more liberal ideals. On the other hand, many of my friends who share my beliefs about our responsibility to the poor and the environment, and are inclusive and compassionate towards others, would not understand how I could stand to call myself a Christian, because of the judgemental and self-absorbed nature of the Christian Right(ie the ones who get heard the most because they are most definitely the noisiest). Most liberals outside the Christian tradition have absolutely no idea we even exist! I live in a conservative small town, next to a slightly bigger college town, so conservative Christians, or liberal academia, with a pinch of free-thinking artists is about all there is here!



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Ted Voth Jr

posted May 1, 2007 at 5:45 am


As a linguist by nature and inclination, I used to wonder how speakers of languages with obligatory gender-marking of nouns and adjectives, eg Romance languages, eg Spanish, would handle feminism and gender non-specificity or -neutrality. Now I see. Clumsy, ain’t it? We should all learn Hungarian



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David Ramos

posted May 1, 2007 at 6:09 am


Gabriel, I appreciate your article and underscoring the often graphic tensions involved in navigating multiple roles and communities along with their respective theological and poltical views. Labels are often used to describe and prescribe, to dissect and defer, to alienate and to objectify persons with views different than our own. It takes a great deal of intentionality and love to attempt to broker conversations among such a diverse crowd. What I love about the Emergent dialogue is its creative and prophetic imagination, to dare to wrestle with these complex foundational issues. Gabriel, blessings on your journey and thank you for sharing. Grace and Peace, David



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Will

posted May 1, 2007 at 7:42 am


Sarasotakid — Of the many aspects of the course on latino/hispanic theology that were valuable to me — here are two that stand out. 1) The importance of context 2) Solidarity with the outcast and marginalYou might find value in reading the work of Virgilio Elizondo and Roberto S. Goizueta.paz



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Sarasotakid

posted May 1, 2007 at 12:13 pm


Thank you, Will.



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Saadaya

posted May 1, 2007 at 5:58 pm


In this country there’s a label for everyone, and most of the time the label is placed by lazy people who don’t want to bother with your (or anyone else’s) arguments and so they label you and in that way they can dismiss whatever you say. For example, I’ve been told (in these forums) that because I’m a Hare Krishna I can’t opine on the person of Jesus, but I grew up Christian. Why not express my well-fleshed out opinions about him? There’s no rational answer for that one. It’s just a convenient and easy way of dismissing people and their ideas, particularly if they’re not popular ideas, and it’s lazy. The same happens with the labels ‘conservative’ and ‘liberal’, almost consistenly. I’ve been accused of being pro-choice because I’m gay, which is absurd. I’m not pro choice, for Krishna’s sake I don’t even eat meat out of compassion for God’s animal kingdom. Jesus himself also used a rhetoric of non violence and I think he probably would have shared my values. It’s refreshing to see that there are Christians who think outside the box, who question things and dare to be original.



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Carl Copas

posted May 1, 2007 at 6:34 pm


A number of folks have mentioned “emergent church.” I have heard the term and read up a bit on it. Can anyone recommend some good sources of info? Thanks in advance. This has been a terrific thread so far. A model in terms of thoughtfulness, humility, and tone. Just my 2 cents worth. I had thought about giving up on Sojo blog because so many threads were degenerating into name-calling and other kinds of nastiness.



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squeaky

posted May 1, 2007 at 6:59 pm


Sarasotakid–I would have to agree with your assessment of a non-violent solution. Pacifism has been discussed frequently on this forum, and I have often seen it denigraded as weak. I can’t say i have a strong opinion of it either way, but I do think if we take Jesus at his word, we can often find more creative solutions than just brute force violence. I’m not saying it is always true, but it at the very least forces us to consider the actual complexities of a given situation before acting with violence.



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squeaky

posted May 1, 2007 at 7:05 pm


Saadaya,I appreciate your perspective on Christianity and hope you continue to post here. I’m sorry for those who made you feel unwelcome.Your point about labels is well taken. I was in the beginning stages of an internet romance with a friend, and it became clear that he might not believe in God. I thought the theological discussion should begin, so I told him I was a “born again Christian”. It was a poor choice of words, and elicited such a negative response from him that I know I will never use that term to describe myself again (we’re still friends and had a great conversation, actually). It really exposed the stereotypes people hold about that label. Maybe I should start calling myself an “emerging Christian” from now on. I really don’t want to label myself, and I don’t think anything really fits, anyway–but…it would at least generate some good conversation!



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squeaky

posted May 1, 2007 at 7:17 pm


Carl–I have been reading a lot of Emerging church authors, and they include Brian McLaren and Rob Bell (Velvet Elvis) and Rick Warren. Other authors I have enjoyed but am not sure if they fall into the category by “definition” are Eugene Peterson, Philip Yancy, and Brennan Manning. A book that actually describes the Emerging Church and its relation to cultural shifts is Dan Kimball’s “The Emerging Church.” I can’t say I currently attend an “Emerging Church” but my perspective on Christianity has gone through a major shift in the last few years, which started before I even knew there was such a thing as an Emerging Church… I too have appreciated the more even tone of this thread. However, I recently visited the atheist thread I stop in at from time to time (hadn’t been there for awhile), and you think it can be rough here, you should check it out over there! This is off topic, but I think there is a huge problem arising from blogs–we are seeing a distinct loss of civility. Perhaps it is to be expected by those “in the world” but it is difficult when it crops up here (and I am not innocent of that charge). What happens is, we don’t see other people as people, and respond to the opinion, but not the person. It’s like yelling at the other car that cut you off–you aren’t yelling at a person, you are yelling at a car.



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Donny

posted May 1, 2007 at 8:30 pm


Reform theology? How does onr “reform” the Gospel? How does one edit out what the writers of the New Testament claim are the things that make one a Christian or not? If you think that “Progressive” theology, isn’t all about abortion on demand, Marxism as rule (taxayion on high), gay marriage and the abject rejection of Gospel truth, then you must be reading a New Testament edited by a Sojouners “scholar.” There is nothing that Progressive religious doctrines have in common with the Christian culture and community defined by Christ Jesus, Peter, James, John, Jude and Paul. Not one of these people were silent on sin. And none promote and encourage blasphemy and abominations be protected as civil rights.Except maybe Jesus, Who said, let these people that reject the Gospel, live in the ways they have chosen, apart and away from the Gospel. “Reform” does not mean editing out of the New Testament what bothers sinners.



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Payshun

posted May 1, 2007 at 9:36 pm


donny you are a fool. that’s an insult to fools like me. Some of us progressives understand that the bible cannot cover all life here on earth because (surprise, surprise) not everyone believes in it. So you know what we progressives want to make sure that everyone has the right to decide how to live their lives the way they want and that means supporting gay marriage for some of us. We find the hatred, self righteous delusion, paranoid ramblings of people like you to be anathema to the grace God gives to all people. Maybe just maybe you should learn about that. May he grace w/ love and grace Donny. p



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Kristi

posted May 1, 2007 at 9:39 pm


Yeah the thread was great until you know who showed up—thanks for the post Payshun



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Don

posted May 1, 2007 at 9:49 pm


Payshun and Kristi: Donny plays a one-stringed fiddle. His messages are all the same: progressivism is “another gospel.” Easy enough to refute in principle, of course, but for someone who has created such an inscrutable wall around hinmself, impossible to fathom. Pray for Donny. Peace,



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squeaky

posted May 1, 2007 at 10:03 pm


Sigh–Donny…who even mentioned anything about “reforming” the Gospel? Do you understand it perfectly? I wish I did.If Jesus came to Earth today, I’d bet one of the first people He would have lunch with would be a very outspokent homosexual. You doubt that? Re-read your Gospel–who did He hang out with? Prostitutes, tax collectors, lepers, the dregs of society–in short, sinners. Why do you think the religious right of the day were so put off and judgemental by His behavior? I wonder if perhaps you have never truly experienced God’s Grace, Donny. I’m not being snarky here–As one Christian to another, I think it is something you should ask God to open your eyes to. You seem so utterly lack of compassion for anyone, that I wonder if you haven’t truly accepted the fact that you yourself are a sinner and but for God’s grace, you would be in the same boat as all the other sinners you rail against. Do you know you are a sinner? Do you know how much Jesus loves you? If you understand, then do as He did. He gave His life for you, now you give your life for others. You can’t do that unless you love them. Maybe at the heart of all your vitriol is the fact you don’t understand how much Jesus loves you, and maybe you don’t even love you. I really don’t want you to go through life with such bitterness and hatred in your heart, and I know for a fact that Jesus doesn’t either. He died so you would know His love for you and so that you could be Him to those around you. Let go of your bitterness, Donny. Accept that He loves you, and submit to His grace so you can learn to truly love others instead of judge them. Christ never judged. Nor should you. If you truly had an understanding of God’s Grace, you would strive to see others through Christ’s eyes. His eyes are not judgemental, even though He alone has the right to be judgemental. His eyes are full of compassion and healing, and He wants you to see people as He sees them. In His eyes, there are no Marxists, no Communists, no Progressives, no Conservatives, no Democrats, no Republicans, no Socialists, or any other label. In His eyes there is only love and grace for those that don’t deserve it, including thee and me. May God grant you a new viewpoint and perspective. May He give you His eyes.



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Carl Copas

posted May 1, 2007 at 10:37 pm


Squeaky, thanks very much for the list of titles. I will use your suggestions to start putting together my summer reading list. Also Squeaky, it’s interesting to ponder the type of people that Jesus would dine with in 2007. Gays and lesbians, no doubt, as well as gang bangers, prostitutes, used car salesmen (*snicker*), folks in homeless shelters and the homeless on the streets, AIDS vicims…the list could go on at some length. Would he break bread with televangelists? Don, I believe you have the right answer for Donny: we should all pray for him. Clearly, Donny can’t abide a calm discussion among fellow Xtians who have enough love and respect for one another to disagree agreeably.



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squeaky

posted May 1, 2007 at 10:42 pm


Enjoy your summer reading, Carl! I think your list of who Jesus would spend time with is right on. He gravitated towards those who needed Him most. Those who didn’t think they did missed it. May none of us ever forget how much we need Him…



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Carl Copas

posted May 2, 2007 at 1:53 am


Amen



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Sarasotakid

posted May 2, 2007 at 2:03 am


Maybe I should start calling myself an “emerging Christian” from now on. Squeaky Squeaky, I am part of a group that is studying “A Generous Orthodoxy” by Brian McLaren. I too have recently (within the past year) become aware of the emergent church. I alternate between a somewhat conservative “Community Church” and a liberal, free-thinking Mennonite Peace Church and I feel very comfortable doing that. I feel that my faith is reviving after a long period in the desert. Have you ever heard of Dallas Willard? I think that he too might be part of the emergent movement. He teaches at Dallas Theological Seminary, I believe, and brings a fresh perspective to the Bible. Peace.



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curiouser and curiouser...

posted May 2, 2007 at 4:47 pm


Kristi, “My church family is very conservative, and they would not understand, and would possibly be hurt by some of my more liberal ideals.” Don’t bet on it. Some conservatives, both families and churches, have grown and been enhanced in their faith and spirituality BECAUSE they were exposed to “more liberal ideals”. The closet helps no one grow. My family grew closer when I came out as a gay man. My original Church (Pentecostal) changed its policy on divorce and re-marriage after many parishioners, including 2 of my sisters, spoke up – or left the Church – because they could not get re-married within their faith after their divorces. “Ignorance is the curse of God; knowledge the wings wherewith we fly to Heaven.” – W. Shakespeare



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kevin s.

posted May 2, 2007 at 5:37 pm


As far as the emergent church goes, McLaren is by far the most prominent author. Rob Bell and Don Miller are also fairly prominent, though neither are quite as involved with the theological side of things. Willard, Yancey and Warren are not affiliated with the movement, not that any of them have any particular qualms with it (though it certainly seems that Warren would). Two good books to start would be McLaren’s “New Kind of Christian” (he better articulates his postion than in “Orthdoxy”, I find) and D.A. Carson’s “Becoming Conversant with the Emergent Church”. That would certainly give you both sides of the spectrum.



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Carl Copas

posted May 2, 2007 at 6:18 pm


kevin s, thank you for reading suggestions on emergent church.



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Jose

posted January 12, 2008 at 4:21 pm


Tremendo,I agree with your perspective,not because I know you personally.But because your a watchman for Hashem, a voice in the wilderness preparing the way for the Messiah.Be encouraged!



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