A lot of what I get to do is spend time thinking and writing about the future of Christianity — my preferred future, at least. And getting together with people who are interested in the same trajectories of Christianity is a big part of my life, too. Honestly, it’s the whole reason that Doug and I started The JoPa Group and produce events like Emergence Christianity: A National Gathering with Phyllis Tickle and Friends.
What I do with my part-time job at sparkhouse is distinct, but related. This fall, sparkhouse released Animate.Faith, a video-based congregational resource that opens conversations about some of the most intriguing and essential ideas of Christianity:
God | Faith Is a Quest
Religion | Spirituality is not Enough
Jesus | The Revolution of Love
Salvation | Abundant Life Now
Cross | Where God Is
Bible | A Book Like No Other
Church | An Imperfect Family
I can’t yet say what each of their topics is going to be because we just met and read through their video scripts in front of the group, but I can say that as a collective, they are articulating a vision for the Bible that is both nuanced and faithful. This is not a group of Ehrmanesque historians deconstructing the sacred text, but neither are they fideists who unquestioningly embrace every jot and tittle. Instead, they hew a middle ground that is at once challenging yet edifying.
Are these friends, and the friends who are attending Emergence Christianity, the future of Christianity? Is that too grand a claim? Possibly. But I know that if there’s going to be a future of Christianity that I’m a part of, these will be some of the most prominent voices.