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The Particularities of Our Concerns

(This is another blog post adapted from a discussion for one of my seminary classes. The references to Boring are to An Introduction to the New Testament: History, Literature, Theology by M. Eugene Boring. Thoughts and comments are always welcome.)

As a blogger, I am struck by Boring’s discussion of ‘real letters’. Boring describes them saying, “a real letter is composed for a particular person or limited group sharing a common history, known to the author and addressing the particularities of their concerns.” (Boring, Kindle loc 6667). Later, Boring says, “Letters mediate the presence of the writer to the distant reader” and “a real letter thus is part of a conversation”.

It seems like the epistolary form mirrors my thoughts about our relationship with God. God is not just addressing all of human kind, God is address each one of us in the particularities of our concerns. God is seeking to be present to each one of us.

This fits nicely with the twenty first century literary form of blogs. Good blogs also address the particularities of the concerns of their readers. I have to wonder what form the scriptures would be written in if they were written in the twenty first century as well as what sort of communication we are called to today.

What can we learn about the Three Self Movement today?

(This was written for a discussion in Christian History II and I thought I'd adapt it to be a blog post as well.)

The discussion of the Three Self Movement reminds me of Roland Allen whom some of my friends are very interested in. It led me to try and find out more information about Henry Venn, "honorary secretary of the Church Missionary Society from 1841 to 1873."

I am struck by the different approaches of Indigenisation that Venn supported, of having missionaries start the churches which would then be handed over to the indigenous people and Indigeneity which Groves and Allen supported of having the indigenous people start the churches themselves.

This raises for me the question of how we reach out to the “nones” of today. Are we trying to get them to return to the churches of the previous century? Are we trying to set up churches we will hand over to them? Or are we trying to help “nones” develop communities that meet their spiritual needs?

Vigil

Furtively we crept to the wake.
The room was dark and full of pictures.
We had hoped he would be the one
We had hoped that this would be the week
when we arrived at the capitol
with great fanfare,
but the crowds turned against us.
They gave him the death penalty,
executing him like a common criminal.

Now, we huddle in silence, sadness, shame, and fear.
Will they come for us next?

Suddenly, there’s a commotion.
One of the women has returned.
She says the body is missing.
Is this the final insult,
a desecration of his grave?
Another returns.
She has seen a vision.
She says he’s alive.

I am shaking;
terrified and overjoyed
with no way of understanding
what all this means.

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