Sunday, October 9, 2011

Running From a Shameful Gospel: Part 3

Been super busy for the past week with work and travel. Headed to Thailand in a few days to do my job with The Charis Project. I have been a bit delinquent here and may be again for a bit but I have both time and energy so here we go with another installment of well meaning theological insurgency.

That is what I wrote a few days ago and was too tired to continue and just too slammed to get back at it. Now I am in the Bangkok airport waiting for my flight up to the north and surprisingly feel up to producing. So here goes.

Once again, if what I say here seems way too harsh please read my Prolegomina before your blood pressure gets too high.

In Part 1 I stated in "blunt" language how the standard formulation of the gospel comes across to those who don't already know what it is supposed to mean. In Part 2 I asked "who cares?" about this standard gospel and I think the cultural trends indicate that fewer and fewer people do care. These are "watching world" criticisms and could be argued to therefore be irrelevant to the truth of the formulation of the gospel that I am discussing: "If the blind are unable to see, does that make the picture wrong?" I would agree with such arguments. I do not intend for the little I have said so far to show the gospel wrong, only more-or-less irrelevant or mildly irritating to the surrounding culture. It doesn't even present a challenge, since in order to challenge someone they need to already be at least provisionally invested in what you are saying

pet peeve: speakers, and it is far and away Christian speakers who do this, saying "I want to challenge you" and usually following this is something they want me to do. I always think when someone says this that they don't believe what they are saying deeply enough for it to have truly affected them sufficiently for them to speak convincingly about it and so they use the "I want to challenge you" sales script. My response is, "Then get on with it and actually challenge me."

These have been missiological criticisms, if you will. Criticisms that a Shameless Gospel will address and I believe dismiss. The next two criticisms are more theological and thus internal to the structure of the Christianity that formulates the gospel as I have been discussing it. We can look forward to these as having to do with sin management and gnosticism.

I will really try to get something out sooner rather than later but I will be in the jungle for the next two weeks and may not be able to round up the technology or the health/energy/mental fortitude to get this up while doing all the teaching and other work that I must do here.

I am looking forward to moving through these basic criticisms and getting into the positive work of progressively finding a Shameless Gospel.

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