Post-Cynical Christianity

The pope visits one of the poorest barrios in Rio.

“I want to tell you something. What is it that I expect as a consequence of World Youth Day? I want a mess. We knew that in Rio there would be great disorder, but I want trouble in the dioceses!” he said, speaking off the cuff in his native Spanish. “I want to see the church get closer to the people. I want to get rid of clericalism, the mundane, this closing ourselves off within ourselves, in our parishes, schools or structures. Because these need to get out!

Those were among the comments that Pope Francis made yesterday in Brazil, as a part of [Catholic] World Youth Day. The pope continues to talk about Christianity in a way that makes it seem like a different religion than his predecessor’s. He was even more poignant in his comments while visiting one of Rio’s barrios (aka, slums):

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Highlights from the Emerging Christianity Event in Fort Worth

On the same weekend that the “Outlaw Preachers” were gathering in Memphis, I was part of a very different conference in Fort Worth, Texas.  Held on the campus of Brite Divinity School (at Texas Christian University), we didn’t have nearly as many tweets at Emerging Christianity, but we did have a big room full of folks who are very interested in the Emergence of Christianity in the 21st century.  In fact, the president of the divinity school introduced the event by saying that there’s no question he’s asked more often than, “What’s the deal with the emerging church?”, a comment that jibes with Brian McLaren’s post that the talk of the ECM’s demise may be a bit premature.

The conference was organized by my friends at Life in the Trinity Ministry in Dallas.  Here are my highlights of the various talks:

Brian McLaren opened on Friday night with thoughts from his latest book, talking in particular about the various gospels that are presented to us at this point in history.  Given the six different gospels from which we have to choose, Brian said, how about we choose the one that will establish love and peace as fundamental to our faith?

I then gave some dispatches from the landscape of the emergent movement.

And Richard Rohr closed the evening with a talk in which he reflected on what he’d heard from Brian and me; particularly interesting was his take on the emergence of the Catholic church in past historical periods.

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Are You an Emogelical?

Here’s some Friday fun.  I think it’s time to coin a new term: Emogelical.  It’s a mash-up of Emo and Evangelical.

Among the Urban Dictionary definitions of Emo is,

A group of white, mostly middle-class well-off kids who find imperfections in there [sic] life and create a ridiculous, depressing melodrama around each one. They often take anti-depressants, even though the majority don’t need them. They need to wake up and deal with life like everyone else instead of wallowing in their imaginary quagmire of torment.
And among the Urban Dictionary definitions of Evangelical is this bitter rant,
A sect of christianity that is full of mindless, brainwashed followers who spend their entire life in misery when they aren’t spreading the gospel. The whole sect is full of middle class/rich white folks who want to go to church to be entertained by crying, hysterical preachers and find new prejudices to be in support of. They believe that their religion is the only way of life and refuse to accept any other ways. There is no ‘conversation’ with evangelicals…they only convert. BEWARE.
White evangelical Christian males, under the age of 40, who wear skinny jeans, attend Q Conferences, and think there’s a 72% chance that Jennifer Knapp is going to hell for being a lesbian.  They care a lot about poor people, from a distance. They get Seth Godin’s daily email and they think that Tim Keller is right about the atonement, even though they don’t quite understand him. Hair is very important. They are known to create drama in the College and Young Career groups at mega-churches for breaking up with their girlfriends because “the Lord just wants me to be single for a while, so that I can really give him all the glory,” and they say that they’ve “kissed dating goodbye.” When they start dating someone else in the College and Young Career group the next week, they say, “the Lord just really laid it on my heart that I need to start courting again.” Emogelicals often take online seminary classes and work as baristas.

Whaddya think, Zach?

If you think you’ve got a better definition of Emogelical, or an example, please post it in the comments.

Zach Lind is "Emo" and "Emergent"…or Is He?

For all of us who fret about such labels, Zach has a good word:

In a way, I can truly relate to those who are find the descriptor “emerging” to be troublesome. In Jimmy Eat World, we’ve always struggled with the word “emo.” While we’ve never once called ourselves “emo” and have always loathed the term, we have continually been linked to the term by journalists and well-meaning fans. As a band, we just chose to ignore it. Our hope is that the term is sort of like a young puppy that continually jumps up your leg. If you pretend the puppy doesn’t exist, it will realize it’s efforts to get your attention is a pointless exercise. If you freak out and yell “No!!” each time the puppy jumps up, it’s learned how to get your attention.

via To Those Who Want to Ignore “Emerging” Terminology | Finding Rhythm.