A "THINKING-MAN’S" RELIGION?
Many emerging leaders remain indifferent to doing
the church. They prefer, instead, thinking the church. They focus,
for example, on dialogue and discussion. Their core convictions
manifest armchair "Christianity." So they ceaselessly talk and blog,
As a result, church mission reduces to abstract
"mission"—more a mind set than a model—more the nature than the
need—more process than practice. In other words, their "mission"
morphs more toward "knowing" than "doing" or "being." In fact,
"philosophical discussion"—according to a well-known leader—is at
the"very heart" of Christianity.
That would surprise Jesus.
Of course, the problems are obvious: inaction in
place of action—contemplation in place of improvisation—teaching in
place of modeling—labeling in place of experiencing. Such imbalances
lead to passive lethargy, pathological sleepiness, alarming
unresponsiveness. . . .
. . . and impotent, Milquetoast believers.
Pure logic, after all, never converted anyone!
Rational knowledge was never the main "power." The literal world was
never the main "reality." And, the lecture hall was never the main
"Word." Paul claimed, for example, "The kingdom of God consists of
and is based on not talk but power."1 And, today’s
"theology of the Spirit" doesn’t come even close to Paul’s
"demonstration of the Spirit."2
So we end up losing something far more precious—a
proactive faith, a can-do faith, an incarnate faith. In other words,
"Overemphasis on how to ‘do’ church . . . has taken the focus off
The future belongs to those who understand the
present return to an oral culture—a place where "words" demand
action, where prophetic visions co-create, and where an inspired
"doing" endows everything.
It’s not too late to finally understand that we
are "coauthors" in a world not so much a Creation as a "Creating."
In short, we "kick-start" every moment—in real-time and in
real-life—no matter how big or how small that moment may be.
We have to. Compassion urgently unloads itself—it
desperately releases itself—it begs sharing itself.4
Otherwise, the pain is unbearable.
"Life is neither the candle nor the wick, but the
© 2010 Thomas Hohstadt
1. I Corinthians 4:20 The Amplified Bible.
2. I Corinthians 2:4, The Amplified Bible.
3. Leonard Sweet, quoted in Peter Walker and
Tyler Clark, "Missing the Point?" Relevant Magazine, Issue
21, July-August, 2006, pp70-74.
4. II Corinthians 8:4, The Amplified Bible.
5. Mike Riddell, Mark Pierson, Cathy Kirkpatrick,
The Prodigal Project: Journey Into the Emerging Church
(London: Society for Promoting Christian Knowledge, 2000) p. 76.