Debating Creatio Ex Nihilo

In response to my quote bomb, Tripp has bombed me back with a very good post debating the merits of the traditional doctrine of creatio ex nihilo — that is, the belief that God created the cosmos out of no pre-existent material. That God created everything that is out of nothing but Godself.

I agree that there are some problems with creatio ex nihilo, and I’ll be exploring them with my DMin cohort next month (as we canoe in the BWCAW – jealous?). For now, I encourage you to read Tripp’s post, and let me know if you agree with him that creatio ex nihilo is problematic.

Creation Out of Nothing isn’t Biblical, as in it isn’t in the Bible. If you read through the Bible you will not find the affirmation that God created the world out of nothing. It’s just not in there. In fact, even Biblical scholars who in the end want to affirm the doctrine for theological reasons will not point to the idea being present in the Bible. Just re-read Genesis 1 and ask yourself ‘where did the darkness and waters come from?’ They weren’t created but were there when God began to create.

Read the rest of Tripp’s objections: Creation Out of Nothing is Overrated (For Tony Jones).

I Sure Hope the Bible Isn’t this Creepy

So, it seems that this image is making its way around the evangelicalfacebookosphere. Maybe it’s just me, but it really creeps me out. If you have that kind of relationship with the Bible, you may need counseling.

It also leads me to ask, What if the person getting the creepy hug were a man?

Jason Clark Reviews The Church Is Flat

Church and Pomo — now hosted at The Other Journal — today started a two-week conversation about my book, The Church Is Flat: The Relational Ecclesiology of the Emerging Church Movement. Today, Jason Clark reviews the book, and my response will post on Thursday. Likewise next week.

Here’s Jason:

As someone very involved within the E/C over the past 12 years, I recognized myself and  many of my friends within Tony’s accounts.  The practices as mapped out, do to a practitioner and church planter provide a thick and textured map that I can resonate with.  Indeed the high point of Tony’s work is his phenomenology, and ethnographic framed with the work of Bourdieu.  The result is that Tony’s work is no theoretical reflection on practice, avoiding some notion of the disinterested researcher who thinks practice flows from thinking.  Instead Tony is self consciously a practitioner embedded in the very practices and communities that he reflecting on.  If we are every to really understand what is going on in E/C communities we are going to need more studies like Tony’s.

Tony’s work does reveal the ‘logic of practice’ for much of the E/C, and with some needed nuance as to the predispositions, appetites and proclivities that provide the habitus of those communities.  As I read Tony the representation of the social bodies, enacted by the practices he delineates are almost palpable.  It allows us to touch, smell, see and hear the social realities of much of the E/C.  The habitus that Tony describes shows us where the E/C has through practices found it’s incorporation and social performatives around it’s embodied traditions.

Read the rest, and see where he disagrees with me: A sociality in search of an ecclesiology?: Jason Clark reviews Tony Jones’s ‘The Earth is Flat’. : the church and postmodern culture.

Prepare to Have Your Heart Broken in 3 Minutes

Driving home from the cabin yesterday, Courtney and I had the pleasure to hear the latest winner on NPR Weekend’s 3-Minute Fiction contest, “Rainy Wedding.” It’s a heart-rending story of grief deferred, read beautifully by Susan Stamberg.

Listen to it here.