- Prodigal -

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Friday, May 30, 2003

I just took the MATRIX test - Thanks Malcolm (Hawker) - seems I'm MORPHEUS - "Dignified, Serene, Strong. A definite leader. You believe in yourself, and others. You are Morpheus, from "The Matrix." You have strong faith in yourself and those around you. A true leader, you are relentless in your persuit..."

Give it a go here.

Paul Fromont 5/30/2003 03:39:00 PM
One of my many ongoing and long term interests is getting a deeper understanding of the practical, communal, and discipling implications of the writing/thinking of Walter Wink, William Stringfellow, Thomas Merton, Bill Wylie-Kellerman, Ched Myers, Charles L. Campbell and others around a theology of resistance. In that light I was pleased to come across a "Think Piece" focusing on a fictional interview/dialogue between Walter Wink, Ched Myers, and Gabriel Fackre centering on the nature of institutions and the "powers." In case it pushes anyone elses button you'll find, "Theological Reflections on Institutions" By Dick Broholm and David Specht here. Copyrighted to "Seeing Things Whole"

"...[At a deeper level] Jesus...challenges the institutions of his time to become, once again, servants of another Kingdom...this Prophet among the powers of his own creation (Col 1:16) reaped the consequences of their rebellion. The claims of the Kingdom evoked the hostility of politcal, religious, military, and economic authorities. Their sovereignty could tolerate no rival...in the cross, however, the powers - created in Christ and turned away from their intended purpose in the Fall - are reclaimed by him. Their threat to the divine purpose by the abuse of their calling is rendered null by a death and a resurrection..." (from the 'interview')

Also the March 22nd, 2003 edition of Christian Century has a good article by Eugene Peterson in it - "Missing Ingredient: Why Spirituality Needs Jesus." No on-line link, but if you have access to a good theological library you should easily be able to get a copy of the article if it interests you.

Paul Fromont 5/30/2003 03:18:00 PM
Thursday, May 29, 2003
Stories to Live By - Reading the Bible in the New Millennium by Ched Myers

"...The Bible was originally the integrating sacred story of Hebrew tribes, then the charter for the Israelite nation. It was embraced (and expanded) by the early Christian movement, and eventually adopted - if sometimes at the point of the sword - by the expanding civilization of Christendom. But in the modern era these stories have been largely abandoned as "myth and superstition," and replaced with the brave new narratives of technological triumphalism, managerial rationalism, and capitalist Progress..."

Paul Fromont 5/29/2003 12:56:00 PM
Saturday, May 24, 2003
I had a rather ill-informed, disappointing, and hurtful experience yesterday. Won't go into it, suffice to say, I've drawn some wonderful pastoral support and wisdom from Rowan Williams, writing about the "shaping of holy lives" and the nature and importance of community. He interacts with St. Benedict and his monastic rule. Again, I'm blessed by holding in my hands the life-experiences, learning and pastoral experience of a wise other. The world is truly a small place. Again, the timing is perfect. I need to read it again in the light of yesterday...

The one really interesting point he makes has to do with the nature of "stability" in community...

"The community that freely promises to live together before God is one in which both truthfulness and respect are enshrined. I promise that I will not hide from you - and that I will also at times help you not to hide from me or yourself. I promise that your growth toward the good God wants from you will be a wholly natural and obvious priority for me; and I trust that you have made the same promise. We have a lifetime for this. Without the promise, the temptation is always for the ego's agenda to surface again, out of fear that I shall be abandoned if the truth is known, fear that I have no time or [space] or resource to change as it seems I must. No-one is going to run away; and the resources of the community are there on my behalf..." (Rowan Williams)

You can read his article / talk, "God's Workplace," from the "Shaping Holy Lives," a Conference on Benedictine Spirituality," New York, 29th April 2003, here (12 A4 pages).

Lot's for me to reflect on both pastorally, and in terms of how, in such a fluid, transitory world we form the kind of community that Rowan talks about? How do "fluidity" and "stability" mesh together? Is 'stability of community' the truly subversive / countercultural act toward which many of us might be heading? Again I reflect on what we lose when we don't covenant with one another, make promises (like those Rowan writes about above) to one another (like we do in marriage) within church communities, even if those are only made on a 'year by year' basis...Many of us have 'talked' about new monasticism / Protestant religious orders (viz-a-viz Viv Grigg), here Rowan provides a bit more content, and bit more 'flesh' on the bones...

Paul Fromont 5/24/2003 01:46:00 PM
Friday, May 23, 2003
From time to time questions have been asked about "community" and "blogging" - the ways in which blogging might serve as a 'portal' for new relationships, new connections, global and national, new friendships within the body of Christ. Well again the realities of friendship (initiated via blogging), of cyber-connections being given flesh('incarnated') because of the willingness to open our lives to the presence of the 'other.' With all the horror stories you hear I feel blessed to have been a part of the transition of friendship from the medium of the digital to the medium of the BBQ, the medium of worship shared, beer and wine drunken, conversation, the gathering of community around a meal and visiting couple from the UK, story-telling evenings full of both fun and serious reflection / engagement, encouraging e-mails, MSN chats etc...three families may never have met if not for blogging. I may not have experienced the riches of knowing these 'others.' Reinforced again today with the gift of vegetables shared, a bottle of wine hand-delivered...our heart felt thanks to the persons in question....

Paul Fromont 5/23/2003 08:06:00 PM
A couple of weeks ago I asked a couple of Pentecost/Spirit questions. Interesting pattern emerging - (a) it seems difficult to actually name the presence of Spirit, (b) Spirit is sensory, especially in connection with creation: motion of sea, blackbirds and fantails, flame red trees, a gentle breeze; (c) Made me reflect again, how really aware are we of Spirit in the ordinary, outside of a charasmatic/pentecostal supernatural experience? (d) Do we even make connections outside of church contexts and theolgical language. There seemed little earthed/everyday connection with Spirit in urban / suburban contexts....Spirit/Creation - yes. Spirit / Suburbia / Urban..........?

Not too late to add your thoughts..........

Paul Fromont 5/23/2003 12:02:00 PM
Thursday, May 22, 2003
I just read, last night, while drinking an Aussie "Red," Doing Theology with An Eye on Mary by Valdir Steuernagel, a Brazillian. (Thanks again to Jonny Baker for his positive 'introduction' to the essay). I loved it, and will re-read it more reflectively. I want to quote a small section below, because (a) it connects with me, and (b) it links to the theme of "space" again...

Talking about Mary and Elizabeth's 3 months together (while they were both pregnant - see Lk. 1:39-45) he writes:

"...This [their sharing of their live and 'pregnant' experiences/learnings/observations together] is how theology is done. In the communion of the chosen ones and in the agony of voational experience. In the sharing of stories and in the anguish of trying to understand and discern everything well. Theology is done in community, and experienced in community as well.

It's a shame that we have reduced theology to individualistic speech, expressed in words accumulated in books and dissertations . Theology needs existential space, so that it can give advice. Space to breathe. Theology hates feeling suffocated. It kicks against every attempt to make it fit into any of those hand-over volumes....doing theology happens in discipleship...the heart has to be much bigger than the mouth...good theology is, therefore, the theology of the great heart..."

I need more space - existential space and breathing space...space which provides gentleness of pace, and openness to Spirit...to being taught and formed by God...

Paul Fromont 5/22/2003 01:22:00 PM
Wednesday, May 21, 2003
Two words Rowan Williams would like to see as being characteristic of the church (I guess from his perspective, the Anglican Church / Communion) - "Confidence" and "Space."

A couple of weeks ago Jonny blogged about a video, "Restoring Hope in our Churches" (April 2003) - a video and small group resources to encourage existing Anglican congregations to begin to reflect on their identity, their health, and their mission. I encouraged our Anglican Diocese to get a copy - they got two and I borrowed one this week. The small group resource booklets are really very good - great ways to start, sustain, and nurture ongoing reflection, conversation, and action within the life of already established church communities. I'm going to look for some creative ways to introduce the material into our non-Anglican context.

Anyway here's what Rowan said when he was asked to put some 'flesh' on the two characteristics listed above.

"..."Confidence" in the sense of knowing in whom I have believed as the Bible says, knowing the gift, the treasure that has been given into my hands and knowing therefore that I really do have something to share, something that is not mine but is from God, which is a new way of being human, a new way of understanding the world, a new way of behaving in the world freed from the past, the guilt, freed from the downward drag of selfish instinct.

"Space" because I think to explore the fullness of this gift you need a great deal of time, you need silence, you need churches that are not necessarily physically but psychologically big and hospitable places. So I would like to see in the church of the future that gentleness of pace, that openness of spirit which allows people to be taught by God..."

Paul Fromont 5/21/2003 01:04:00 PM
Monday, May 19, 2003
"Our task", Brueggemann contends, "is not to construct a full alternative world, but rather to fund - to provide the pieces, materials, and resources out of which a new world can be imagined. The place of liturgy and proclamation is "a place where people come to receive new materials, or old materials freshly voiced, which will fund, feed, nurture, nourish, legitimate, and authorize a counterimagination of the world" (from, Texts Under Negotiation: Bible & Postmodern Imagination)

Bruggemann's contention perfectly expresses my leadership/preaching/teaching aims. I'm trying to "fund" or resource the journey's of individuals as they seek to work out their journey-of-being-led-by-the-Spirit; as we seek to corporately work out our local call to be a unique expression of Jesus-being-given-flesh. This has always struck me as a very flexible & fluid approach. An obvious approach! One that does justice to the work of Jesus-by-the Spirit, and the continuation of the biblical story/drama which we seek to faithfully & creatively inact. It therefore unsettled me recently when one person, who doesn't (yet) know me all that well, commented that he thought a church within which I was a sole leader (which, by the way, I never would be) would be a perfectly "sculptured" construct with everything (I assume) in it's place, everything, very orderly...etc. Perhaps the "skeleton" is being mistaken for the whole 'package'? Perhaps the notion of creating and framing space, of providing "the pieces, materials, and resources out of which a new world can be imagined" is not a notion of church that is as widespread as I might of thought...perhaps I'm not a very good communicator or I have a massive 'blind spot' that others see and I don't?...or perhaps it's just a native expression of the 'circles' to which I belong - the church communities like Graceway that have helped me "see" this concept being given flesh....hmmm.

more on "space" later in the week from Rowan Williams.

Paul Fromont 5/19/2003 01:46:00 PM
My dear friend David passed through death into life eternal this morning at 6.39am (NZ - time). "Well done, good and faithful servant, enter this day into all that your God and my God has prepared for those who are his children..."

Paul Fromont 5/19/2003 02:51:00 AM
Sunday, May 18, 2003
“…The essence of church is not its mission. [The “vision statement” is not what its about.] It’s not a matter of a group, battling homelessness, or working with at-risk children or people who don’t have jobs or people who are addicted or working with issues of justice or peace…the soul of the church is a gathered people whose only reason for gathering is Jesus. The church is a people who gather because they want to know Jesus in a deeper way. The focus must not be on the vision first but on the relationship with the one who gives the vision. The vision will not ultimately sustain us, but the one who gives the vision will…”

Gordon Cosby (from a sermon preached on July 7th, 1996)

Quoted in – “The Church of the Saviour: A Radical Experiment” by Peter Renner.

Paul Fromont 5/18/2003 04:53:00 PM
Friday, May 16, 2003
“…Israel in exile was losing their memory and their identity and the prophets were calling them back to remember. The prophets said they had to go back to Genesis to their ancestral parents…the prophets were calling the people back to remember the miracles and remember the impossibilities.

What does this mean for us now? I think the church has been faking it for a long time and is exhausted in the effort of pretence, of being something other than it should be. When Ezra read the [Torah], in the book of Nehemiah, the people wept out of relief that day as they were being recalled to their true identity…”

Gordon Cosby (from a sermon preached on July 7th, 1996)

(Quoted in one of the best books I’ve read on the history and development of the Church of the Saviour in Washington D.C. – “The Church of the Saviour: A Radical Experiment” by Peter Renner. Published by Moonchpa Publishing in Nowra, Australia. I can’t recommend the book enough as a wonderful, inspiring ‘behind the scenes’ look at this church)

Paul Fromont 5/16/2003 06:27:00 PM
Thursday, May 15, 2003
June the 8th is Pentecost Sunday. I’m starting to think about the teaching dimension of our worship.

A couple of questions, the aim of which are to help us better recognise the practical ways in which our lives are different as a result of the Spirit’s activity.

How does Pentecost make a practical, ‘everyday’ difference in your life?


What ‘everyday’ things symbolise or remind you of the Holy Spirit?

One symbol for me two reminders are the NZ native tree, the Pohutukawa in full flower at Christmas. The red flowered, Eucalyptus ficifolia.

I need some ideas to get our people thinking. How would you answer these questions? Note the emphasis on “practical” and “everyday” examples.

Paul Fromont 5/15/2003 12:04:00 AM
Tuesday, May 13, 2003
Reading an essay today by Sarah Thornton in which she, writing about club culture, says,

“…Club cultures are ‘taste cultures.’ The crowds generally congregate on the basis of their shared taste in music, their consumption of common media and, most importantly, their preference for people with similar tastes to themselves. Taking part in club cultures, in turn, builds further affinities, socialising participants into a knowledge of (and frequently belief in) the likes, dislikes, meanings and values of the culture. Clubs and raves, therefore, house ad hoc communities with fluid boundaries which may come together and dissolve in a single summer or endure for several years…”

Reading Sarah and thinking about my friend, and first vicar, David, who together with his wife, Anne, “socialised” me into the Christian faith and my first post-conversion church community; who both became dear friends. Friends whose lives we’ve shared in diverse geographical locations, the death of parents, the weddings of children, our wedding etc. David, my first vicar, a dear dear friend, a priest of great energy and pastoral wisdom. An activist for God. A gifted leader and visionary. A friend who will, like his Saviour and Lord, pass through death into eternal life by the weeks end, having suffered a severe stroke while in hospital this weekend just gone. Thankyou David, I am where I am today because of God’s grace, and you being an instrument of that grace. Our friendship was more than a “single summer.”

Paul Fromont 5/13/2003 12:17:00 AM
Saturday, May 10, 2003
The sun has appeared. Today is Mothers Day! I thought I'd share something that Kathryn read to me yesterday from Naomi Wolf's book, Misconceptions...(p.190)

A Mothers Day reflection

"I don't believe most of the risk factors [for postpartum sadness/depression] individually would tip so many women over the edge. But add them up: the low status we assign to mothering; the high value Western cultures place on a girlish figure; the isolation of today's nuclear family; the workplace pressure that sends husbands away from home when their partners need them most; the absence of ritual that allow the new mother to mourn her lost self; the trauma of Caesarean section or high intervention birth; the lack of adequeste follow-up care, and the overall censrious whitewash of the whole experience - the suprise should not be how many new mothers are depressed postpartum in our society, but, rather, how many, in spite of all this, do so well..."

Very true of motherhood...it connects with many dimensions of church too: can you see some links...a Mothers Day challenge for you...

Paul Fromont 5/10/2003 02:00:00 PM
Friday, May 09, 2003
I was very impacted by theologian Terry Veling last year. Posted quite a bit of comment by him, and included him in an article I wrote for THE OOZE - "BELONGING AND NOT BELONGING: The creative margins." At the time his book, Living in the Margins: Intentional Communities and the Art of Interpretation
was out of print, but not anymore - it's been republished and is available from here. I can't wait to get a copy in my hot little hands...

Paul Fromont 5/09/2003 03:24:00 PM
Really interesting and thought provoking [post / May 9] from my Aussie neighbour Darren Rowse - Ritual, Rhythm and other lessons from other Faiths. I think there's a lot in what you're saying, especially when you think about practices of prayer, the spiritual disciplines, the liturgical / seasonal year etc. I think that we have a lot in our traditions but we don't teach about it, practice it. Perhaps we don't get out of our narrow contexts and experiences enough? Perhaps we're just plain lazy...?

Paul Fromont 5/09/2003 12:10:00 AM
Thursday, May 08, 2003
The Church and the Mission of God in Our World

Thinking aloud about four statements by Alan Roxburgh

1. How we think about church determines the mission and ministry we develop [Certainly this would be an interesting exercise for our church community to do together – “What are we as church, and why do we exist?”]

2. Where we focus our energy tells us what we believe the church to be. [We still have a strong but not exclusive tendency to think of church in terms of Sunday morning – that’s where the biggest focus of our discussion, debate, creativity, and resource is directed].

3. Jesus, by the Spirit, forms a new community that is to be the sign, foretaste, witness and instrument of God’s reign in Jesus through its whole life. [When we talk in terms of the Spirit we seldom connect the Spirit to “mission,” “incarnation,” “social justice,” “discipleship,” “the environment/creation,” “the arts,” prayer (esp. contemplation), and “24/7 living – the Spirit in the world, workplace, family.” We still have a strong tendency to talk in terms of past Charismatic experiences – more about “gifts,” Spirit ‘manifestations’ etc. We still tend to talk about the Spirit in a very ‘in-house’ way].

4. MISSION is not what the church DOES; MISSION is what the church IS [Contextual “Mission” is not a core component of our every day vocabulary; “missional church” is not our present reality; transitioning to a more intentional missional identity and missional praxis is a very significant challenge for us, made all the more a challenge by the minimal level of interaction with the work of missional thinkers and practitioners. To deeply believe that a particular church is God’s mission deeply challenges many fondly held memories of what church once was. We tend to be more influenced by Jack Hayford, Bill Hybels, Rick Warren etc rather than David Bosch, Alan Roxburgh, Mike Regele, Mike Riddell, Steve and Lynne Taylor, Ben and Ruth Edson, Jonny Baker, Pete Ward, Andrew Jones, Mark Pierson, Kevin Ward, Mike Frost and the ‘young-at-heart’ group of explorers and practitioners who’re doing church very differently that was normative in the 1970’s, 80’s, and early 90’s mainstream…who’re being church in a kinds of creative new ways.].

I think by & large that we’re fairly typical of a wide range of established church congregations in what is, and will continue to be a significant time of cultural change.

In what practical ways are others tackling similar challenges? Challenging and changing notions of church identity, re-directing focus and energy, enabling church to be a meaningful ‘sign’ in the world, and to put flesh on the bones of Roxburgh’s statement: “Church is Mission”?

Paul Fromont 5/08/2003 11:52:00 PM
My favourite New Zealand movie - Whale Rider - was released in 200 Australian cinema's today, ahead of it's worldwide release later in the year. Anglicanmedia in Sydney have a very useful review here...I blogged about it a couple of months ago. Go see it Aussies! It's been good to see a few movies lately (on video) - we had 'Indian' - Monsoon Wedding, and I finally got to see Bend it like Beckham....

Paul Fromont 5/08/2003 01:32:00 AM
Wednesday, May 07, 2003
"...In the face of threat, or when galvanised by a compelling opportunity, living things move toward the edge of chaos. This condition evokes higher levels of mutation and experimentation, and fresh new solutions are likely to be found...the fringes ('the edge of chaos') are the source of most truly innovative ideas in cultures...and organisations...the edge of chaos is a condition, not a location. It is a permeable, intermediate state through which order and disorder flow...moving to the edge of chaos creates upheaval not dissolution. That's why the edge of chaos is so important. The edge is not the abyss. It's the sweet spot for productive change..."

Excerpted from a business book I'm reading, Surfing the Edge of Chaos by Richard T. Pascale, Mark Millemann & Linda Gioja.

Churches, like most organisations, naturally tend toward "equilibrium" - toward maintaining the status quo . To quote a friend with whom I was conversing last night - "...churches by and large don't like mess!" Generally speaking my church is in a state of equilibrium but one or two are finding ways of getting 'under' the walls (books being read, subversive questions being asked and reflected upon...). Church communities naturally resist change, but in resisting change they inadvertantly build solid, protective, uncompromising, inflexible walls around ourselves. We imprison ourselves and freedom disappears. The words of Brooks in that wonderful movie, The Shawshank Redemption become increasing true, "...These walls are funny. First you hate them. Then you get used to them. Then you need them..." Creativity disappears. To hope for change becomes increasingly futile. Life, enthusiasm, creativity, energy is sucked out of the community. Apathy and dispondency sets in. The challenge increasingly becomes to create a crisis...something that will disturb the equilibrium, something that will destabilise, and create chaos...chaos over which the creative, creating, life giving wind of the Spirit moves...Blow Spirit. Blow!

Paul Fromont 5/07/2003 01:43:00 AM
Monday, May 05, 2003
Australian Charles Ringma captures my ongoing struggle...as at today

"This book on the church has come first and foremost out of long and painful struggle rather than mere academic concerns. What made the struggle particularly difficult were two seemingly unresolvable tensions. The first was the tension between my experience of both the institutional church and my involvement in alternative Christian community. Instead of settling for one in preference to the other, I believed that both forms of being church needed to be interacting creatively.

The second was the tension between church - whether institutional or commmunity-based - and world. Since the church does not exist simply for itself, it has to be relevant to the world. In believing this I was constantly torn between being faithful to the church and relevant to the marketplace...

For some years I naively thought that this was not a major problem. 'Give people time to understand Jesus' words and they will come to terms with being part of the church,' I thought...not only did people fail to make the crossover from Jesus to church, but people in the church were making their way out the back door...

What was common to both those in the church and those outside it was that the complexity of the church was too far removed from the simplicity of the Gospels and that the organisational machinery of the church undermined the radical freedom in Christ articulated in the Epistles...

All this was further complicated by the fact that so much of the sharing, serving, praying and caring that occured informally in the marketplace and in our homes seemed to exhibit what church should be about. In other words, the less we formally tried to be church, the more we were able to link up with people and enter their issues and struggles...

From, CATCH THE WIND (pub. 1994) by Charles Ringma.

Paul Fromont 5/05/2003 01:48:00 PM
Sunday, May 04, 2003
Well the ‘sermon’ slot on Sunday went okay. I’m increasingly experimenting with ways of making this time more participatory, conversational & multi-sensory (touch, taste, visual, audible, and aromatic) – it’s not easy when the historical approach has centred on the traditional 45-60 min. sermon (monologue) – it’s very natural for such a gathered community to become comfortable with a ‘lecture theater’ approach where they are a listening audience. I went to Graceway last Sunday evening & Steve very ably modeled the kind of approach I’ve been aiming for – 20 minutes of talking with the ‘tactile’ sense being utilised in relation to rocks that we were all given as Steve talked around the ‘theme’ of ‘rocks’ in our Jesus-following journey…

This Sunday I focused on “Resurrection” (Lk. 24:36-53 & 1 Cor. 15:1-22). We started by having people respond to these questions: Hints of resurrection in culture (a) fairy tales, (b) movies, and (c) the media. As we did that I passed out jigsaw pieces and had the community try and put together a jigsaw (100 piece) with the only clue being that the blue pieces were sky. I also had them work in two large groups to answer the following questions (1 per group) and then to ‘feed’ their responses back to the whole group

How might we experience the ‘resurrected Jesus’ today?
Some responses included:

 “Knowing through the Holy Spirit in us.”
“Intimacy with Jesus.”
“In forgiveness.”
Caterpillars becoming butterflies.
The welcoming of a new day each morning.

In what practical ways might we demonstrate the truth and present reality of Jesus’ resurrection?
Some responses included:

The practical outworking of Jesus in our lives – soup kitchens etc.
Compassion for the lost who will spend eternity separate from God in HELL
The gifts of the Spirit.
Being a peacemaker no a pacifist.

Interestingly, my observation was that people by & large struggled to make the ‘hermeneutical leap’ and to earth their responses in practical everyday cultural experiences. There were some thoughtful responses but generally speaking people really struggled to think practically, and to communicate responses that engaged with and drew illustrations from culture and everyday living etc. We’d struggle if we truly took our missional identity seriously! Think of the responses above and imagine that question (1) had been asked by a new Christian, and question (2) re-phrased, was asked by a non-Christian: “You talk a lot about Jesus being resurrected, but I don’t see that that makes any real or practical difference to the ways in which you Christian’s live…?”

The theological content of the ‘teaching time’ included:

 The resurrection vindicates Jesus’ life – his words; his actions; his mission as God’s anointed representative (‘Messiah’) – “…Without Easter, Calvary was just another political execution of a failed Messiah…without Easter, the world is trapped…There is no reason to suppose that good will triumph over evil, that love will win over hatred, that life will win over death…We find ourselves a Sunday people, called to live in a world of Friday’s

 Resurrection is the central feature of the ‘jigsaw’ of history.

 New beginning – new possibilities. It instills “hope” – the creative, sacrificial energy of service etc. “…The God of Israel is a God who raises the dead; who can be trusted with death itself. He is the God who affirms the goodness of human life, who takes precisely the situation where there seems no hope in human terms, and brings new life exactly there…"
 Resurrection affirms that love and justice will eventually defeat their opposites! Resurrection invites us into the pain, lovelessness, and injustice of the world – Prayer of St. Francis if Assisi (b. 1181 – d. 3rd October 1226).

 A continuing affirmation of the ‘physical’ (‘bodily resurrection’). “…For many Christians the central [and often, only] meaning of Resurrection lies in the assurance of life after death…[What do you think of when you think of “life after death”?] Other Christians have a concern that pre-occupation with the after-life may lead to a privatized and otherworldly understanding of Resurrection that ignores it’s significant societal dimensions…"

 The resurrection anticipates God’s final victory. New Heaven. New Earth. All creation will be renewed. God’s original intent full realised.

 The importance of the experiential & the multi-sensory: the place and importance of ‘experience’ – of sight, touch (“touch me…”), sound (“he said to them…”)…a distinction drawn between the post-reformation 'sola' emphasis on preaching and the centrality of learning by knowing (i.e. the mind & the intellect).

Our closing benediction was the praying of St. Francis’ prayer – if we could live that then we would give an incarnational response to the 2nd question above….

Paul Fromont 5/04/2003 03:04:00 PM

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