Oldfangled Ideas that Become “Progressive”

Some new ideas are actually very much old ideas. Over time new ideas spring up that squelch out what people had thought for centuries or even millennia.  Given enough time and enough influential people to perpetuate those ideas and they become orthodox. When an attempt is made to revive  the ancient ideas some will be tempted to call that progressive.

Let’s take house churches. I have seen church leadership think they were wrong because we were supposed to be meeting in a building together rather than in homes. Small groups are more biblical than church buildings, not less. Or take all of the new emphasis (thanks to N.T. Wright in particular) on God’s redeeming all things in creation, even creation itself. If you don’t know your history one might be tempted to call this a heretical new teaching but it is actually more ancient and biblical than believing in a more limited redemption of just humanity itself. Or take the bodily resurrection. That was THE belief on what resurrection was all about for millennia until gnosticism and platonism reared its ugly head and medieval theology latched on to Greek philosophy and early Christian heresy than it did the Bible and traditional biblical doctrine. Or how about churches that take the Supper as part of a larger meal. That was the early church’s practice but such a practice today might draw the ire of some not because it lacks biblical and historical precedence but because it kicks against the goads of our traditions and thus must be progressive and summarily destroyed.

Just because something seems new doesn’t mean it is and just because something doesn’t conform with tradition doesn’t mean it is a progressive evil to be shunned and excommunicated over. Many newfangled ideas are actually oldfangled ideas but you don’t know that if you are more entrenched in your own traditions than you are in history and scripture.

Intentionality Over Reactivity

Jesus tells us there are two paths through life: the narrow way and the broad way. The broad way has many people on it and it ultimately leads to destruction. The narrow way is one few find and it leads to life. In context Jesus is saying that the way we live our life reallyContinue Reading

Holiness and Low Church

In the Old Testament there were all sorts of reminders of God’s holiness and his holy requirements for his people. There were holy places and spaces…holy things and holy people. The temple was holy and so were parts of the temple like the altar. The priestly garments were holy as were the priests themselves. ThenContinue Reading

Connecting Worship to Real Life

When the story of the exodus is taught we often hit the highlights: slavery in Egypt, the burning bush, the plagues, crossing the Red Sea, Sinai and the 10 commandments, wilderness wanderings, spies in the land, etc. In all of that there is a very important chapter that gets left out that has something importantContinue Reading

Regaining Our Certainty in Churches of Christ

We used to be a certain bunch. We were certain about pretty much everything. We were certain about our doctrine. We were certain about our identity. We had things locked down tight to a fault. Part of this had to do with a backwards hermeneutic that was self-perpetuating of our pre-determined conclusions that always guaranteedContinue Reading

“Open Your Eyes” – Seeing Things for the First Time

We see what we choose to see and are blind to what we choose to be blind to. Jesus constantly told people who had eyes that were physically capable of seeing that they weren’t seeing everything they needed to see…that there was more to life and God’s perspective on things than they were understanding. ThisContinue Reading

Being Sent and Being Present

We live a life of sending…always another place to go and another thing to do. It is important that we are purposeful about the space between our departure and arrival…that we take time to understand that our purpose is not just when we get there but how we get there and what happens along theContinue Reading

God Doesn’t Give Us More Than We Can Handle?

I hear this from time to time and I see that for some people it is a faith builder while for others it is a faith destroyer. For the faith builder this statement is a reminder that it is all going to be alright because God must certainly think they can handle whatever comes theirContinue Reading

Settling into Auburn

Over the last week we have made the move from Bakersfield to Auburn. It has been challenging and exciting and I can see God’s fingerprints all over the process. The people at both churches have been a tremendous blessing to us as have been both of our families. We are excited to see what GodContinue Reading

Response to “The Ugly in Christianity” at the Huffington Post

There is an article floating around on the Huffington post that has caused a bit of a stir among Church of Christ members because it is about the ugly side of Christianity and by that the author means the ugly side of the Church of Christ which is, in her experience, the vast majority ofContinue Reading


Follow this blog

Get every new post delivered right to your inbox.

Email address