Who Thinks that God Is Still Speaking?

This post is part of the Patheos Book Club. Check out the Book Club for more posts on this book and for responses from other bloggers and columnists. And be sure to join the live chat with the author, 2-3pm EDT TODAY.

Some of us giggled a bit when, a few years back, the notoriously liberal United Church of Christ denomination inaugurated a marketing campaign with the tagline, “God Is Still Speaking.” What they were getting at is that God’s interest in contemporary issues didn’t end when the final book of the canon was penned.

But what’s ironic about the slogan is that liberal Christians are quite reluctant to affirm that God speaks to them individually. That’s the territory of conservative evangelicals, especially those of charismatic and Pentecostal stripes. Like, for instance, believers who attend Vineyard churches.

That’s exactly the group that Tanya Luhrmann studied and writes about in her excellent book, When God Talks Back: Understanding the American Evangelical Relationship with God. Seriously, I cannot recommend this book highly enough. If you like this blog, you should read this book.

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Mark Driscoll’s Church Vandalized by Angry Queers

No, seriously, that’s the name of the group: Angry Queers. They threw baseball-sized rocks through windows (in case you don’t know how big a baseball is, the reporter holds one up to show you). Among the windows broken were century-old stained glass.

PORTLAND, OR (KPTV) -

Vandals smashed nine windows with rocks at Mars Hill Church in southeast Portland overnight and a group claimed responsibility in an email sent to FOX 12.

Neighbors of the church called 911 at 3:20 a.m. Tuesday to report six people dressed in all black who had broken windows at the church.

Baseball-sized rocks were found around the church when police arrived. A Portland police spokesman said there was damage to nine standard windows and a hole in a section of the large, stained-glass window above the church’s main entrance.

via Vandals smash windows at Mars Hill Church in southeast Portland – KPTV – FOX 12.

Driscoll may be a bigot, but Angry Queers are stupid, stupid people.

Roger Olson Compares the Emergent Church with the Jesus Movement

I’ve heard it for years: “The emerging church is nothing more than the Jesus Movement warmed over.” Well, I don’t really think so, but who am I to say? Roger Olson is, as he states, one of the few persons who is qualified to really speak to the parallels, making this a must-read:

It’s dangerous to generalize about either the JPM or the ECM. Neither had/has a headquarters or unifying organization. Both were/are grassroots movements that seemed to spring up spontaneously and then snowball first into apparently relatively cohesive movements and then fall apart over deep differences of philosophy, theology and practice. Both had/have strong, public personalities that provide a certain degree of identity to their movements, but neither had/has any single personality looked up to by everyone associated with them. Both were/are very diverse but unified by a common, minimal ethos that set/sets them apart from the “mainstream” of American Christianity—evangelical or mainline.

Read the rest at Emerging Churches and the Jesus People Movement Compared (you’ll have to overlook Roger’s poor formatting)

Stanley Fish on Defending a Sacred Text

Earlier this week, I wrote about Chuck Colson. Colson, in his 2006 attack on the emergent church movement, wrote negatively about literary critic and commentator Stanley Fish, saying,

The arguments of some emerging church leaders, I fear, draw us perilously close to the trap set by postmodern deconstructionist Stanley Fish. Defending himself after his sympathetic statements about the 9/11 terrorists boomeranged, Fish claimed that postmodernists don’t really deny the existence of truth. He said there is simply no “independent standard of objectivity.” So truth can’t be proved to others; therefore, it can’t be known—a verbal sleight of hand.

Fish is a favorite of mine. He is so, in large part, because he often does not say and write what you expect him to say and write. He is unpredictable (not an attribute of Colson’s). Last week, his post at NY Times, for instance, takes liberals to the woodshed for poo-pooing those of us who put stock in a sacred text. Money quote:

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