Great quotes from the Emergence conference

/ 27 March 2009

Quotes like these make me wish I could have been there, and hope for more blogging about it:

Phyllis Tickle:

* The central question that arises each time the church goes through one of these 500 year rummage sales is “Where now is our authority?” * Another important question: What does it mean to be a human being? Descartes’ “I think therefore I am” no longer cuts it * Sola Scriptura: Luther took a flesh & blood Pope and replaced it with a paper one. Protestantism’s great gift to the world was universal literacy. It’s other gift was divisiveness * Jerusalem is good, but the energy is in Antioch. We are here to serve the Kingdom of God, not the old or the new.

Brian McLaren:

* What you focus on determines what you miss * Our traditional understanding of Jesus may not have been wrong, but partial * We must learn to see Jesus through the sight lines of his ancestors rather than his descendants only * Jesus went to Galilee. It meant something. If he came today would he go to Wall Street, Hollywood, the Ninth Ward… where?

Richard Rohr:

* With dualistic thinking, someone always has to be blamed. The system caves in on itself * The sun rises on the just and unjust. You can’t form a system of exclusion on that! * Jesus did not come to change God’s mind about humanity. He came to change humanity’s mind about God * We have fly-paper minds… everything that gets close sticks. Don’t call that ‘thinking’. It is narcissistic, egocentric, needy, and fragile * “I have no doubt that the Spirit was in the works of the Reformation.” But you can’t have the need to prove the other wrong (adversarial thinking) and be the contemplative mind * We don’t want to be contemplative because we have to give up control * Belonging/belief systems have come to replace transformation. We must turn from a belief system to an inner experience. Know them, don’t believe them * Recognize that I am living inside a mind bigger than my own. Someone is loving through me, and all I am is the conduit. * Francis didn’t run off and join the Franciscans – He just did it.

Alexie Torres-Fleming:

* God doesn’t call the qualified but surely qualifies the called. * Am I a fan or a follower of Jesus? * When we pray for God to ‘fix’ a problem, maybe Jesus kneels and prays for us to go out and be the solution * Maybe we’re given a little piece of God’s heart. We couldn’t deal with the entirety of God’s sadness for His children. (Note: Maybe this is what it means to be “made in the image of God”) * If we are free, and God’s poor are not free, then we are not free. * We cannot talk about church and theology without talking about justice. * We like our poor to look a certain way. The poor come to us in many different packages, and some may not be palatable. Some are angry. We must learn to see them as Christ sees them. (Note: Otherwise it’s just about us) * We must model incarnation: You cannot redeem what you will not assume.

Shane Claiborne:

* Stop explaining/complaining about the church we have experienced and work at becoming the church we dream of. * We need to be relevant to the big questions of the day while retaining our cultural peculiarity * Fascinate the world with grace! * The church needs discontent. Don’t leave the church but submit to the authority of the larger Body of Christ * You can have all the right answers and still be mean. And if you’re mean, no one will listen to you.