July 25, 2006

The "World Game" of Ecumenical Dialogue

Eureka Street, a public affairs/arts/theology publication written "from an inclusively catholic perspective" (small "c" theirs) and sponsored by the Austrailian Jesuit community, has an article on the recent meeting of the Standing Commission of Faith and Order (the theological arm of the World Council of Churches) that addressed future directions for discussion. Perhaps because the meetings coincided with the FIFA World Cup, author Richard Treloar saw some fascinating parallels between ecumenical dialogue and game playing. Some quotes of note:
Friedrich Nietzsche once wrote: ‘I know of no other method of dealing with great tasks but play.’ The FIFA World Cup is an intrusion of the carnivalesque into ‘realpolitik’ – a moment every four years when the nations devote themselves quite deliberately to the serious business of being playful. The rules of the game become the grammar of discourse; whilst boundaries are not erased, they are experienced differently, tested, and sometimes redrawn; and there is a certain suspension of disbelief that things could ever actually be this way for more than ninety minutes at a time.

Ecumenical dialogue – an ecclesial carnival rather than a contest – might usefully see itself as making just such a contribution to the great task of proclaiming the theologically essential, if historically incomplete, oneness of the Church of Jesus Christ that the world may believe. Not so much, I would venture, that the world may believe in Jesus Christ, as would believe that the churches can model more creative ways of living with difference than they, or ‘it’ have managed to date.
Read the whole article here.

Blog Update

The NeoTheolog is busy putting the finishing touches on a summer internship/individual study project. As a result, I'll be out of the blog-loop for a couple of weeks while I wrap things up. I'm looking forward to the fall and the possibility of launching not one but two new blogs–one dealing with integrating emerging values into a traditional church (hopefully with regular video), the other with Christian ecumenics.

I'm thankful for all my readers, but especially for those who have offered comments and engaged me on the topics I've raised. You are a blessing to me!

July 13, 2006

Revelations Book II

I'm not sure what to think of this "postmodern gospel." But it's definitely making me think.

Revelations Book II

I'd recommend you read the whole thing before you judge it.

Warning: Embedded music. May get you into trouble at work.

Warning, Book II: This is very likely to offend you.

July 07, 2006

The Sign of Unity

The Church's unity is the sign to shattered, splintered humanity of wholeness and new life in Christ. Our unity is a given. We cannot make the Church one. It already is one. What we do is reveal this unity, or obscure it.
Bishop Paul Hewett of the Episcopal Missionary Church's Diocese of the Holy Cross, quoted in "An American Dilemma: The Episcopal Church - 1976-2006" at VirtueOnline.com.

Isn't it ironic, doncha think?

Technorati Search: Southern Baptist blogs

NeoTheo(b)log comes up #3.

July 06, 2006

You Meet the Most Interesting People at Funerals

While standing in line to mourn the loss of RocketBoom* today (75 comments and counting at Amanda's blog), I bumped into fellow mourner Ironic1, whose post Things I Learned From Amanda turned out to be the perfect tribute to our favorite vlogospheric pioneer. Poking around the rest of his blog was a treat (the post Medium Dark Roast, Occasionally a Muffin is only an invitation hymn and a benediction away from the best sermon I've heard in weeks, including my own). He has an engaging style and writes about things that matter. Do drop by.

*Please, please, please don't tell me you've never heard of RocketBoom? Okay, here's a quick summary, written by a fellow mourner: "a snarky sarcastic blonde doing something that resemebled cable access on crack." Yeah, it was all that, but with smart (and occasionally very, very smart) commentary, humor, and vision. That, and it probably changed media for ever. If you missed it, you missed something big.

Update: Those in deep mourning (and with deep pockets) can contribute to the official UnBoomed Launch Party at Fundable.org.

July 05, 2006

A New Page for the SBC? 1.1

Time.com has a very interesting little piece on the role Southern Baptist bloggers played in the election of new Convention president Frank Page. Read it at TIME.com: The Bloggers' Favorite Southern Baptist. I especially liked this part:
Even the most liberal of the young blogging Turks, of course, are probably a good deal more conservative than the thousands of moderate Baptists who were pushed out of the SBC over the last few decades. But it is a landmark of sorts. After all, nobody came out of last year's papal conclave saying that bloggers had helped the Holy Spirit choose a new Pope.
(Note to writer David Van Biema: I applaud you, sir! It's about time someone reporting on religion in the mainstream media started showing a little sense of humor, even if it's the kind only the religion geeks in the audience really get. Please, by all means, keep it up. As someone has said, religion without irreverence can quickly become insufferable.)

On the meta- level, I discovered this article because someone found my blog via a tool called Sphere. Time.com uses it to allow readers to explore what bloggers are saying about their stories.

Clicking on the Sphere It! button takes you to a page of links to relevant blogs, organized by relevance. I'm not sure exactly how well their ranking system works, though, given that the post that Sphere linked to on my blog had nothing to do with the influence of blogging on Page's election. I like the fact that Time.com is using Sphere; what I can't quite figure out is why they're using it. What do they get out of the deal?

Related: A New Page for the SBC? June 28, 2006

July 01, 2006

"Conjoined Twins" = "One Body?"

Frank Lockwood, staff writer for the Lexington, Kentucky Herald-Leader, has a great summary of the current state of affairs in the Episcopal Church online, with the ominous title A church divided cannot stand – can it? If you're just getting onboard, or if you need to catch up, I recommend it. The words Lockwood ascribes to Katharine Jefferts Schori, the church's newly elected chief bishop, caught me aback:
Katharine Jefferts Schori, the newly elected leader of the Episcopal Church, compared the conservative and liberal wings of her denomination to conjoined twins and expressed doubts that they can survive and flourish without each other.
NeoTheolog's opinion: Bishop Jefferts Schori's ecclesiology is fundamentally flawed. In what sense are conjoined twins "one body?" Aren't they more like two bodies mashed together by a cruel freak of nature? In what possible way is that a metaphor for the church of Jesus Christ?

June 30, 2006

Benedict XVI on the Role of the Pope

CWN: Angelus message: focus on ecumenism in Petrine ministry
At his Angelus audience on June 29, Pope Benedict XVI (bio - news) cited the words of St. Irenaeus in describing the role of the papacy as "a specific ministry in the service of the doctrinal and pastoral unity of the People of God throughout the world."
And later...
Pope Benedict also made a point of welcoming the delegation of Orthodox prelates who had come to Rome for the feast day, representing Patriarch Bartholomew I of Constantinople, in a sign of "the ties of brotherhood between our churches." Each year the Orthodox Patriarch sends a delegation to the Vatican for the feast of Sts. Peter and Paul, while the Vatican sends prelates to Constantinople for the patronal feast of St. Andrew in November. This year Pope Benedict himself will make the trip to join Patriarch Bartholomew in celebrating that feast.
The more I learn about how the Roman Catholic Church is living out its ecumenism, the more encouraged and hopeful I become. Is it not thrilling to live in an age when Jesus' unity prayer is being answered all around us?