Friday, 28 December 2007

Hope from The Margins

"... we should watch the margins and discover the activity of God in the inner city, on the housing estates, in the prisons, amongst refugee groups... the (-se) movements (anabaptists, waldensians, the celtic churches etc... my addition!) that were marginalized by the prevailing powers of their time that seem to offer alternative perspectives for a post-christendom society.

Similarly, we may need to look less to North America and more to the Two-Thirds world for partners, who have already moved out from under colonial patterns, and who can help us understand our own culture and discover more fitting patterns for our society.

The emphasis in the coming years must be on contextual missiology and ecclesiology, whisch involves careful listening to those beyond the church walls, and to those prophetic voices on the margins of church life.

Above all, regardless of the shape of new forms of church, we need to refocus on centring the life of the Christian community on Christ.

Jesus was born in poverty and obscurity, and spent much of his life challenging the social pressures to use existing power structures. His way challenges the focus of our attention... we live in a society that is heartily sick of Christianity and the institutional chrurch but that has yet to encounter the radical Jesus. New ways of being church need also to be new ways of telling the story of Jesus and helping people to encounter him...

... It may be that the teaching, relationships, values and character of the Jesus of the gospels will be the crucial point of contact with contemporary culture.

What way of being church will reveal this Jesus to our society?"

Stuart Murray and Anne Wilkinson-Hayes in the closing notes of "Hope from the margins". Find it here or here (in swedish).

Thursday, 13 December 2007

The shape of The Blog to come

Some notes on publishing ratio and comments on this blog.

One of the reasons I don´t publish stuff that often on this blog is obviouisly the fact that english is my second language. Since most people that read this blog are swedish, and therefore in the same seat as me, not many comments are made nor many discussions held. An obvious result!

An other reason is a slight bent from my side towards crafting articles or short essay:ish material rather than material suitable for an open forum discussion. This takes some time for me and might also, unfortunately, deter people from giving their views.

A third reason is the fact that I´ve had long periods since launching the blog where I simply have not had the time to just produce material or engage properly in making this blog into more of a forum... and I´d really like to!


I´m going to try and make some changes to this during winter.

- One aim is to simply publish more short stuff with a rougher edge to take some of the pressure off and enable response and comments. (Brief comments/reflections on my own musical work, brief stories from the journeying of our small community of Jesus followers, brief quotations from other blogs or writers etc...)

- Another aim is to publish some longer stuff (essay:ish material) as open inviations to an online discussion.
This will probably include some longer reflections on Jesus Sermon on the mount and the possibilities it opens up for mending vicious cycles in our lives and in our western culture.
(Probably focusing on conflict solving, non-violent activism and Gods generosity breaking "the myth of scarcity" that rules us more than we know or want to admit!)

- ... of course all of this needs to coincide with me having more time to publish things, and that remains to be seen! It is my sincere ambition though!

This leaves me with the hardest decision. The language!

Lately I´ve been a a bit keen on switching to swedish since this would enable me to work a lot faster and make it simpler for the readers that speak my native tongue to connect and leave comments.

This is where I need some help! What do You think? Switch to swedish or stick to english?

I´m taking a break from blogging january/february (a planned one this time!), so there´s plenty of time to respond! Please do!


Monday, 10 December 2007

The art of not ducking the responsibility and joy of obedience

A brief quote.

"We have listened to the Sermon on the Mount and perhaps have understood it.
But who has heard it aright?
Jesus gives the answer at the end (Matt. 7:24 – 29).
He does not allow his hearers to go away and make of his sayings what they will, picking and choosing from them whatever they find helpful and testing them to see if they work.
He does not give them free rein to misuse his word with their mercenary hands, but gives it to them on condition that it retains exclusive power over them.
Humanly speaking, we could understand and interpret the Sermon on the Mount in a thousand different ways.
Jesus knows only one possibility:

... simple surrender and obedience, not interpreting it or applying it, but doing and obeying it.
That is the only way to hear his word. He does not mean that it is to be discussed as an ideal; he really means us to get on with it."

Dietrich Bonhoeffer (from the opening of Eberhard Arnolds book "Salt and Light". Download the free e-book here!)