Jesus Creed

Jesus Creed


Deep Church as Third Way 8

posted by Scot McKnight

ThirdWay.jpgAre there any new emerging proposals for preaching?  Jim Belcher, in Deep Church: A Third Way Beyond Emerging and Traditional examines the theory of Doug Pagitt. (I blogged about that book with Doug when it came out, and since then I’ve done more thinking about his proposal.)

The questions I have are these: Do you think there is a problem with preaching in the traditional model? (We need to hear from you.) What are the problems? Is it what Pagitt calls “speaching”? Is there a way forward? What needs to be done?

Do you think Doug Pagitt’s preaching proposals are typical or uncommon or rare among emerging types? Or is it unique to Doug and Solomon’s Porch? What proposals are you hearing about emerging preaching?
But this post is about Belcher’s proposal for preaching a Third Way. Belcher criticizes traditional preaching through a few stereotypes: he calls it “moralistic preaching” and it produces either Pharisees or or dispirited dropouts.

Pagitt’s model emerges from a hermeneutic of community: the community, with the Bible (as one voice), discerns God’s will for that community. It is a relational-set hermeneutic instead of a bounded-set or a centered-set. Belcher wonders aloud if Pagitt’s ideas have rejected the Great Tradition. So Pagitt’s model of preaching is “progressional dialogue” where the preacher and the community progress in their discernment of God’s will.
Belcher trots out DeYoung and Kluck’s critique of Pagitt, and in the footnotes to this chp Pagitt is subjected to more critique.
Belcher’s model of preaching focuses on privileging grace and the drama of the gospel plot for each sermon. He likes Eugene Lowry’s book: The Homiletical Plot: The Sermon As Narrative Art Form
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Pat

posted October 1, 2009 at 8:51 am


The problem for me is being in a church that has transitioned from traditional preaching to more of a “speaching” method. Many people are disconcerted, with some even questioning whether we’re getting the gospel message. The problem is that many in the church don’t even recognize that there are various teaching methods. All many of them know is that they sat under a traditional model for 20+ years with a strong personality that tended towards dogmatism. This approach often carries with it the air of speaking from Sinai. Many in the church have no understanding of hermeneutical and homilitical approaches. So, have we the Church done a greater disservice to our people by not educating them so they could make more informed judgments rather than emotional ones?



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Matt K

posted October 1, 2009 at 8:58 am


I haven’t read Pagitt’s book, but I do know some folks who attend Solomon’s Porch. It seems to me the community discernment can function as a good corrective to preachers who are disconnected from the real concerns of the congregation. I think though that a theologically trained clergy should be empowered to guide the community discernment with her/his knowledge of scripture and tradition.



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Mike Stavlund

posted October 1, 2009 at 9:08 am


Doug and SP critique the isolated, independent ‘preacher/speacher’ who creates a univocal, top-down, one-way content delivery system week after week after week. They do this by including many people in the creation of the sermon, and include even more people in interaction with that sermon.
What’s not to like about that? What ‘Great Tradition’ does this reject? What ‘rethinking’ have you done about Doug’s book, Dr. McKnight, and why?



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Rodney

posted October 1, 2009 at 9:22 am


D. Pagitt was on our campus this week. His approach to preaching was refreshing but also frustrating for many, e.g., he began his talk by offering a reading of Josh. 22, and explained where he identified with the story–he heard the story from the perspective of the 2 1/2 tribes on the east side of the Jordan (we must learn to be vulnerable and not judge one another). A student offered her “location” in that story, the importance of accountability–she identified with the 9 1/2 tribes on the west side (we must hold each other accountable). Pagitt, in turn, said the story was more about vulnerability than accountability. And, voila! Thus entered a “propositional” reading of the text!



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Andy Rowell

posted October 1, 2009 at 9:46 am


Just a note:
Tim Conder and Dan Rhodes have a brand new book–just came out this month–addressing reading the Bible in community somewhat like Pagitt.
Free for All: Rediscovering the Bible in Community (emersion: Emergent Village resources for communities of faith) by Tim Conder and Daniel Rhodes (Baker – Aug 1, 2009)
Andy



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Terry Dorn

posted October 1, 2009 at 10:04 am


The emerging church is a must have if the main line churches are not reaching the lost and are closing their doors. I do street outreach and it is getting ugly out there. Gangs – Drugs – Guns and crime the rule of the streets. Please read the book, (The Cross and the Psychiatrist) it will tell you how to deal with our street society. Find it on amazon.com and also google it. Terry Dorn



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dopderbeck

posted October 1, 2009 at 10:10 am


In my home church, the balance is struck by emphasizing “small groups.” I know this is a tired cliche / formula in some churches, but it really works in ours. The Sunday sermon is a pretty traditional narrative / expository sermon (our head pastor is an excellent preacher, who is just finishing up doctoral work in homiletics under Haddon Robinson). But the church’s primary emphasis is on pushing discipleship out into the community through small groups. The small groups seems to function much like the communal discernment model. The pastors and church leadership are attuned to what’s happening in the small groups, and this then filters back up into the concerns that get addressed from the pulpit. I think it works pretty well, even though I wish our Sunday services were also more focused on more regular participation in the eucharist.



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Julie Clawson

posted October 1, 2009 at 10:14 am


Scot – I’m curious, in your classes do you lecture in the traditional way or do you engage students in dialogue? Why can this be rethought in academia and not in the church?
When I pastored the sermons were all dialogue, and I attend a church now where that is also the case. I have always been low-church and never felt a need to stick to liturgy (I grew up being told it was part of the satantic ritual of the high churches anyway). So I find it more amusing than anything to hear that certain forms of church that developed over the centuries are the way things should be in the church forever and ever amen. I want to learn from the great tradition but not be constrained by it simply because it is tradition – but then again I’m low-church and allowed to think that way.
I’ve also been in churches where the sermon is the most dreaded part of the morning. The people can’t stand listening to a three point lecture the pastor gives in his affected sermon voice peppered with cheezy illustrations and bad sports references. The general response was that they tuned out during the sermon or tried to sign up for children’s care to get out of having to listen. Not so in the dialogue based churches I’ve been a part of. People listen, they engage with their minds, and actually remember what was talked about past the lunch hour.
So I question the tendency to hold the form of the sermon as an unchanging idol. In my world, tradition should never be more important than connecting people to God. But I know that sentiment will sound like heresy to a lot of people here…



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Travis Greene

posted October 1, 2009 at 10:33 am


Andy @ 5,
You beat me to it. I also recommend Free For All by Tim Conder & Dan Rhodes. http://bit.ly/HD4Z9
I am not exactly unbiased, since Tim and Dan are my pastors and the book is largely about my community, Emmaus Way. We practice a “sermon dialogue” probably similar to Solomon’s Porch, though I’ve never been there. It is more like a guided dialogue, somewhat like a college class.
That doesn’t mean we’re totally without any sort of proclamation, or that scholarship and theological training have no weight. Tradition and theology, as represented by trained pastors, have a strong seat at the table. But even the sermon preparation itself is done in the context of a group rather than a lone individual.
We conceive of the sermon as a true dialogue, where multiple voices speak, bringing their experiences to the text.



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Jim Belcher

posted October 1, 2009 at 10:49 am


Hey Everyone,
I have been working on my sermon this morning and just now looking at the comments. I will try to jump into it in about 45 minutes.
Keep the comments coming. I have a few questions of my own.But in the meantime, here is the question. When it comes to preaching is the dialogue about technique/method or a new hermeneutic, that is, a different way we come to the truth?
Shalom,
Jim



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jeremy bouma

posted October 1, 2009 at 10:53 am


Now that I’ve skewered Rob Bell a bit on his theology in a previous post, I want to praise him for his practice :) One of the fascinating things at his POETS, PROPHETS, AND PREACHERS conference in G.Rap was his passion for the place of the SINGLE preacher in the Sunday Gathering. His whole purpose for the conference was to RECLAIM the art of the sermon. Among his contemporaries who, like Doug, insist on dialogue in the midst of a gathering, what a rare perspective that was!
To be sure, he would say the sermon/preacher should START conversations in the community rather than end them with his/her perspective, he did argue for the single voice teaching, provoking, exhorting, “prophesying” and encouraging by bringing a word from the Lord to the people that has welled up within his/her belly.
I love Doug and found his ideas thought provoking, and think there could be space for such a practice in a gathering. I don’t think there is biblical or historical support for normalizing such a practice…
-jeremy



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Travis Greene

posted October 1, 2009 at 11:12 am


Jim @ 10,
New hermeneutic. Or actually, we would argue, a very old hermeneutic.
Jeremy @ 11,
1 Corinthians 14:26: “What then shall we say, brothers? When you come together, everyone has a hymn, or a word of instruction, a revelation, a tongue or an interpretation. All of these must be done for the strengthening of the church.”
I would agree that some are particularly gifted and called to teach, and some are gifted and called to lead (though these are not the same thing and not always found in the same people), but the art of sacred conversation desperately needs to be reclaimed. I believe it is a strong component of the multiplicity of gifts.



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Patrick Oden

posted October 1, 2009 at 11:18 am


First off, I want to join Andy and Travis in recommending Tim Conder and Dan Rhodes Free For All. In fact, this is a must read for those interested in non-lecture oriented teaching in a church. A few weeks ago,I sat in on seminar Tim Conder led and think they’ve really found a solid approach that offers guidance pursuing the strengths and easing the weaknesses. They’ve been doing it long enough their able to talk about the various issues that do arise with such a method.
What strikes me is there’s a certain sense of “one size fits all” in discussions like this. I’ve come to see that some people really need a solid sermon, and get a lot out of those. Typically, in my estimation, new or immature Christians can get more out of it. Not all do, certainly, but many do. Unfortunately, sermons are limiting. As with academia, at a certain point of study a person should be lectured, but as they progress they need to be able to have increasing response–to ask questions, to make challenges. This isn’t just good for the person, it helps the leader, and the rest in the congregation. Indeed, it takes seriously the idea that in maturing a Christian is increasingly discerning of the work of the Holy Spirit.
And again, I think Tertullian’s model in chapter 39 of his Apology suggests this is part of church tradition early on.
In chapter 5 of Hebrews we read, “For though by this time you ought to be teachers, you need someone to teach you again the basic elements of the oracles of God. You need milk, not solid food; 13 for everyone who lives on milk, being still an infant, is unskilled in the word of righteousness. But solid food is for the mature, for those whose faculties have been trained by practice to distinguish good from evil.”
Involving people in conversation, letting them listen and teach in return respects the maturing process, opens up the maturing process. Sermons can have content, but the very nature of them is to speak to a wide audience in a wide way, and that almost always is milky. Whole milk might feel thick to those who are used to skim, but it’s still milk. And pastors need to learn how to wean their congregations. But in doing that they lose their own power, and people become free to mature beyond the pastor’s own state, which isn’t always something a pastor wants.
I think lecturer/audience model does take seriously the model of Christ preaching, and offers a consistent model that does convey truth. But there’s just so little room for the work of the Holy Spirit, and encourages a non-pneumatological gathering. Listening is not a spiritual gift. All the spiritual gifts are participatory, and it is in using the spiritual gifts that a person moves from milk to being able to eat meat.



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John Loppnow

posted October 1, 2009 at 11:19 am


Hi,
Here is the thought that keeps bouncing around in my head.
Who hears the voice of God?
Especially for the community.
Is it primarily the preacher (or leadership)?
What is God’s voice on this topic/question?
I’m enjoying this dialogue.



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RJS

posted October 1, 2009 at 11:30 am


Let me get passionate here.
I am sick and tired of sermons – most of the time I find it a wasted 20-30 minutes.
There are several reasons for this… here are just a few:
(1) The amount I actually learn from a sermon is minuscule because most of the time it is aimed at being inclusive of the entire audience. So quite often we are fed pablum week after week after week.
(2) I have yet to meet a preacher with any interest in dialogue over the ideas in the sermon. To be fair – they are busy men and must be focused on the next sermon and on other issues. Spending time in dialogue over the content of a sermon is an unaffordable luxury.
(3) Preaching as performance is entertaining – but it only leads to spiritual growth if there is then room for informed dialogue. Take NT Wright as an example: I listen to his stuff as much as I can – but I only really learn from his sermons if I listen to the same one several times and if I interact with the material – say by putting together a post like the one Tuesday.
So what about a dialogue approach? … this could work although I’ve never experienced it. There does need to be a teacher who is educated and prepared, who can defend his ideas in the discussion – all ideas are not created equal.



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RJS

posted October 1, 2009 at 11:38 am


Patrick (#13) hits the nail on the head.
There is no room in the traditional model for the layperson to actually mature beyond an artificially low ceiling. The system is not designed to make peers out of people.



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dopderbeck

posted October 1, 2009 at 11:43 am


RJS (#16) — I’m very blessed in my present church in that both of the preaching pastors are more than willing to engage me in dialogue about their sermons — not during the sermon, obviously, but over emails or coffee later in the week. Now, I try my best not to abuse this access, and not to just complain about trivial things. And I also try my best to be an encourager. But sometimes I’ll do something like suggest a resource that offers a different perspective, or explain why some terminology made me uncomfortable — and that’s usually received well. But I admit, this is not typical.
I wonder, for those of us who are educators, how much “dialogue” is there with respect to our classroom lectures? In law school, it varies. In some classes we use a Socratic method, but that’s mostly designed to develop critical thinking skills. When I need to convey basic information — these are the rules that apply to this kind of case — I often just use Powerpoint.



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Travis Greene

posted October 1, 2009 at 11:49 am


RJS,
Yes, in a dialogue there is a teacher who is prepared. But the model is more of a conversation than discussion, if that’s a distinction that matters. There’s more storytelling than “defending”.
For those worried about chaos…there is a little sometimes, in a good way, but a more common frustration I’ve heard from those who teach this way is that people will beat you to the points you wanted to make! So it’s not that the text means literally anything, but that we discern its meaning best locally and communally, keeping in mind both canon and catholicity (or, the rest of Scripture and tradition).



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Bob Hyatt

posted October 1, 2009 at 11:50 am


It’s possible to have the best of both worlds.
At Evergreen, we intentionally limit worship gathering sizes to allow for interaction during the sermon. Our elders come prepared with a manuscript sermon which includes varying amounts of time/space for dialogue over open-ended questions. We preach the Gospel, we give people room to talk and wrestle, ask questions and even push back.
And at the end there’s always a time for response- “What did you think- what did this passage, these songs, coming to the table do it/to you? What questions remain unanswered?”
I think the whole debate over the sermon is a little silly and exists mainly as a power struggle. We prefer the third way end-around of verse-by verse preaching WITH significant dialogue/interaction.



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RJS

posted October 1, 2009 at 12:01 pm


dopderbeck (#16)
Here is where you have a real advantage on me. Because there is another undercurrent.
It would generally be viewed as inappropriate and asking for trouble for a male pastor to be willing to sit down and engage with me over coffee or even through extended e-mail exchange on anything approaching a regular basis. Once a year – twice a year maybe, more often than that … forget it.



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RJS

posted October 1, 2009 at 12:07 pm


dopderbeck (#16) (again)
On the classroom example – you are right, the format varies from lecture to discussion to dialog. But the analogy fails at a key level.
I expect my students to move from eager ignorant freshman (where the form is mostly lecture) to interactive juniors and seniors (with some discussion) to creative graduate students and then on to eye-to-eye peers where we argue, discuss and learn from each other.
In the church we want to stick to the eager ignorant freshman stage, perhaps moving to the interactive junior. There is no place or mechanism to move to the stage of “eye-to-eye” peers.



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Travis Greene

posted October 1, 2009 at 12:11 pm


RJS,
“In the church we want to stick to the eager ignorant freshman stage, perhaps moving to the interactive junior.”
I’m assuming you mean this is what we in fact do, not what we should do? I hope?



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RJS

posted October 1, 2009 at 12:15 pm


Travis,
Yes – this is what happens, and what the structure leads to. It is not what I think that we should do.



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Rodney

posted October 1, 2009 at 12:27 pm


I think this has to do as much with what the listeners wants/needs as to the question of effectiveness.
Some people need/want to talk out their faith; others do not. Some want to hear a prophetic word; others are offended by the singular voice of authority.
So, in a mixed congregation, what’s a preacher to do? Have we created yet another “worship war” over style of preaching?
Seems to me like those who talk most about community end up finding a church tailored made for them.



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Patrick Oden

posted October 1, 2009 at 12:40 pm


“In the church we want to stick to the eager ignorant freshman stage, perhaps moving to the interactive junior.”
I think this is it. Maybe not consciously, as pastors often sincerely bemoan the passivity and inactivity of members, but it’s there in the structure.
Essentially, what this leads to is a commitment to a lay/clergy divide. To grow in theological/Scripture thinking a person has to go on to some kind of educational setting–Bible college or seminary. In effect, we professionalize a Christian maturity, insisting that a whole lot of money is paid to get to the gnosis.
Then, when pastors want people to step up they have not been trained to do so, making more work for pastors who are expected to do a whole, whole lot. Meaning, in essence, that pastors do “pay” for the privilege of speaking. They pay for it by being often overworked and undersupported.



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dopderbeck

posted October 1, 2009 at 2:11 pm


RJS (#20 and 21) — interesting point about the gender question. My church has a woman on staff (though in the role of Children’s Ministry director — the church is officially “complementarian”) and I don’t think the male pastors would have any problem conversing about theology and such with a woman, except for the pragmatic, and legitimate (IMHO) need to make sure such meetings avoid the appearance of the kinds of improprieties that unfortunately afflict many lecherous male pastors.
On the “development” point — honestly, I don’t feel that way in my church. Again, in many ways, it is a very well-led church. So in January, for example, I’ll be teaching an adult ed. course on faith-and-culture. They’re happy to have people be able and willing to step up and do that sort of thing.
Yet I can also see where gender could come into play here. Becoming engaged in the teaching ministry might raise different gender issues in my church and becoming an Elder certainly would.



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Jim Belcher

posted October 1, 2009 at 3:27 pm


OK, Just getting back to this. Really great examples and questions being posed.
Bob #19, I would love to see how you allow space for dialogue. Is your service recorded? I would love to learn how you do it.
At Redeemer, I have often wanted this dialogue in our service but we have transferred it to the sermon dialogue portion of our community groups, which focus on understanding and applying the Word. It has worked really well at that time because it gives more time for a lengthy conversation.
But as a former college professor I miss the interaction in the sermon part of our worship service. Though I ask a ton of rhetorical questions and some are answered by the congregation there is no lengthy dialogue time. We have thought about bringing it back in on occasion.
When I was doing 20/Something ministry in the 90′s I used a more modified Socratic method. I would introduce the topic or Scripture, present the passage, and then open it up for dialogue, guiding it along the way. It was amazingly exciting at the time and people still tell me it was the most significant learning experience they have had in the church. We would have 150 people intensely engaged in the dialogue for about 45 minutes and then break up into small goups and keep talking and praying for one another.
I also agree with others on this boar that there are ways of varying our teaching in the church. If the pulpit time is mainly a sermon by one person there are other chances for interaction/dialogue–small groups, education classes and book studies. I led a book study this summer on Keller’s Prodigal God and used the Socratic method the entire time. It was exciting for me and the people in the study.
I think the key to all of this is preaching/teaching/dialoging with what the Apostle Paul calls “sound Words,” which is another way of saying that our teaching/preaching should bring health and wholeness to our people. That means that whatever method or technique we employ the goal is shalom–peace with God, with others, with ourselves and with creation. If this is happening then Sound Words are being communicated and biblical teaching/discipleship is happening.
Travis, I am going to jump onto amazon.com and order Tim’s book. Sounds really helpful. I really enjoyed his first book and quoted it in Deep Church.
Let’s keep dialoging. I think this is a really helpful conversation for our churches. I am still learning myself.
Shalom,
Jim



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JMorrow

posted October 1, 2009 at 3:41 pm


RJS,
You made some great points here. I wholeheartedly agree that the overwhelming use of the lecture style in a multimedia age is discouraging intellectual growth and discipleship among the laity, and despite many pastor’s insistance on the style, it also undermines their efforts toward mobilizing the congregation. While lecture is a part of the rhythm of teaching, its not the only tool in the box. That being said, my question for the group is about the theology of worship. Is preaching as we understand it exactly the same as teaching? Preaching we associate with worship, but teaching can presumably happen anywhere. What then is so special about “proclaiming the Word” in a worship setting as opposed to “teaching the Word” in many different settings?



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RJS

posted October 1, 2009 at 4:01 pm


dopderbeck (#26)
As a relatively intelligent, well read, University professor who would like to take an approach to faith as seriously as the approach to professional discipline – this has been a long-standing frustration of mine.
One of the things I value most about Scot’s blog is the fact that I can engage in these kinds of conversations and it doesn’t matter that I am a woman and the vast majority of the others (80% or more) are men.
In a “bricks and mortar” church it would matter.



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Travis Greene

posted October 1, 2009 at 4:13 pm


RJS,
Not in my bricks and mortar church. Actually, scratch that…it would matter, because as a woman you have a perspective I’m never going to have. Which is why we need to read Scripture in community in the first place.



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pds

posted October 1, 2009 at 5:52 pm


RJS (#21 and following),
Do you not get the opportunity to dialogue and grow in maturity in a small group setting?



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Patrick Oden

posted October 1, 2009 at 8:12 pm


I agree with there being great thoughts and points here. Makes me want to add that I am not suggesting every church that is sermon oriented is enforcing a “maturity ceiling” (a very useful phrase!).
Indeed, there are some churches, some pastors, who really can do it all and who show why this model made is so useful, even still, to many. That there are churches where there is balance, and growth, and investment is certainly the case. I think those sorts of churches exist in a lot of places and those who are part of them are extremely blessed. Sometimes, though, being blessed means not understanding what it means to be poor.
This model, as the default model, runs into trouble because there are simply a lot of pastors who are insecure and/or are bad preachers. Doesn’t mean they are inherently bad pastors, but forcing them to play the role that is not suitable, simply because this is the expected part, doesn’t help anyone. Having the expectation of a Sunday morning service focused on a single preaching, defaults, I believe, into a situation where only a small number are participating and maturing.
Yes, there are small groups, and I think these can be effective. I’ve participated in some amazing ones. Again, though, often these fall into problems. One, is that the leader thinks everyone needs to follow his plan–so the small group becomes a model of the standard church, where only a few participate in approved ways. Second, people who are not given forums to be really open about theology, Scripture, etc. bring their insecurity to small groups–making a whole lot of small groups places of shallow interaction where everyone says what they think they are supposed to say and the questions/answers become almost a rote exercise repeating commonly approved mantras. Everyone is so afraid of saying something wrong, or not approved, there’s conversation without maturing. And, as well, even as small groups are extremely useful, if there’s no one who has been trained/educated/etc. to understand Scripture and theology everyone maintains a set level of maturity. And I’ve only very rarely seen small group leader training that helps leaders go beyond organizational methodology.
All this to say, we have to teach people how to participate in discussions because far too many have been raised/trained into passivity and insecurity–so that even an immature bombast can cause otherwise insightful men and women to retreat from engaging the material.



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RJS

posted October 1, 2009 at 8:52 pm


pds,
I have been part of some excellent small groups at times. But I have also learned to be careful about what I say and how I say it, for the kinds of reasons that Patrick brings up in #32 and some others. This isn’t a bad thing … but it does put a constraint on growth. So small groups are great for fellowship and friendship and a level of accountability – but not really for wrestling with theology or serious questions, in my experience anyway.



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pds

posted October 2, 2009 at 7:00 am


RJS and Patrick,
I share all your sentiments. It is why I think of church (ekklesia) as a collection of gatherings for mutual edification. More discussion on that here:
http://peelingdragonskin.wordpress.com/2009/07/06/the-biblical-teaching-about-ekklesia/
I tend to think we need more than one small group. One kind is for anyone and everyone in the church. Another kind can be smaller and more focused based on level of maturity, common interests, etc. This discussion online that we are having now is a small group of sorts. If typing is a drag, there is no reason people cannot set up a conference call to discuss various topics.



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Dino

posted October 2, 2009 at 9:48 am


Is the relational-hermeuneutic a problem for Jim mainly because the scriptures don’t recieve primacy in that model?
It seems that other principles of the relational hermeneutic are articulated in other ways from other writers and thinkers where the community is primsl and yet a high view of scrripture is also espoused.
For example, I am thinking perhaps of Newbigin’s claim that the church (community of God’s people) is the hermeneutic of the Gospel.
Or Stanley Grenz, among others who speak about the Trinity as the communal Godhead, thus giving primacy to the place of community because God in the scriptures estasblishes such a community of people both in Isreal and the Church.
Also Scot I wonder how or if the relational hermeneutic is complementary to your ideas about reading with tradition (and sometimes against it), God speaking his word in our days and in our ways, and in such a community if there is openesss or room for disagreement among the top tier “doctrines” (views of atonement, views of hell, nuances of the Trinity, ect)
It seems to me that a relational hermeneutic seen with these things in mind could perhaps be a useful way of being the church.
Does Jim to easily dismiss a relational-hermeneutic? Or do the examples I mention describe something else completely or are unrelated to the relational-hermeneutic Jim speaks of (or Doug for that matter)in this chapter and book?



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NAT

posted October 3, 2009 at 11:47 am


I’ve been reading the Jesus Creed blog since a mentor of mine from college mentioned it to me.
As a soon to be 32 year old lay person, I’d have to agree with the intellectual snobbery (for lack of a better term) of the need for seminary.
To be truthful I should probably grab a dictionary and attempt to reread many of the comments (not that I want anyone to simplify the discussion for me).
Being in the military, I’ve been in quite a few churches. Until recently the ones we’ve attended were the traditional preaching. In fact, it is the good teaching of the Bible that I look for from the Sunday sermon.
The difficulty for me lies in that while I yearn to be mentored like I was in college it seems there are few opportunities for a slightly more educated lay person to receive teaching or deeper discussions.
In small groups I would have to agree with RJS, PDS, and Patrick. I have led a participated in small groups (Sunday School Classes but that was the idea). In general they provide milk at best, and most of the time that milk is watered down. When I have led small groups and attempted to create dialogue, the classes inevitably got smaller as members saught out a second sermon versus learning for themselves.
Hopefully this post is better than the rant it feels to be.



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ParPlen

posted October 4, 2009 at 10:02 am


Before I can talk with someone about there homiletic, I need to know their view of scripture (infallible, inerrant, etc.) and from that would flow there hermeneutic, and only then could we begin to have a good dialog about homiletic.
This is because I think our view of scripture will place boundaries on an acceptable hermeneutic and then this derived hermeneutic will place boundaries on our homiletic style.
I love the way many emerging church leaders communicate and I don’t like the way many expositors preach. So I’m not voting against innovation and exploration in the area of homiletics, I just don’t want to put what I think is the “cart before the horse”.



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Tony Stiff

posted October 6, 2009 at 8:13 am


Really appreciated what you said in summary here Jim;
“I think the key to all of this is preaching/teaching/dialoging with what the Apostle Paul calls “sound Words,” which is another way of saying that our teaching/preaching should bring health and wholeness to our people. That means that whatever method or technique we employ the goal is shalom–peace with God, with others, with ourselves and with creation. If this is happening then Sound Words are being communicated and biblical teaching/discipleship is happening.”
Preaching is not an island unto itself in the life and worship of the community. Its good to be reminded of that.



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