Hey folks, I have been following this site for a while and asked James if I could contribute. I am a Nazarene church planter in College Park, MD and I have been involved in the Emergent conversation since seminary. I wanted to share a post from my own blog (Ethan's Feet) that I wrote in response to some things that i have been reading from author Peter Rollins. I am curious to hear yawls thoughts on it:Lately I have been falling more and more for Irish theologian Pete Rollins. To get a flavor for Pete (though you should really check out his books) read this interview in Christian Century. I find his thoughts to be totally compelling, particularly his thoughts on "community" as laid out in that interview. Community is a buzz word in the emerging church as important as post-modern or anything else. Lately, though, I have been feeling like the idea of community can become as much an idol we worship and/or a millstone around our neck as any old church building or stubborn board of directors.
In fact, if I could sum up all that my brain has imagined from reading Pete I would sum it up in the following phrase: for the church(A) to be the church(B) there needs to be no church(C).
What I mean is that for the people of God (church, definition A) to start behaving like the distinct community of the Kingdom of God (church definition B) then maybe there needs to be nowhere that they can go where someone else or some institution (church, definition C) will do it/be it for them.
Now I am not saying that we don't have a church/institution "C" (that would be career suicide!) but rather that the primary job of the church/institution is to refuse to be for the church/people "A" the church/KOG "B".
You come to church seeking community? Reach out and love somebody. You come to church seeking praise? Stand up and praise God in front of everybody. You come to church seeking truth? Ask somebody a question. You come to church to serve the poor? Go out and make friends with someone whose poor and brig 'em to church!
I'm not saying... I'm just saying.
(re-posted from "Ethans Feet")