Wednesday, July 23, 2008

On Earth as it is in Heaven

Brian McLaren, a non-denominational evangelist from Maryland, was the featured speaker at Lambeth on Wednesday -- and his words are worth noting. He talked of how Anglicanism is uniquely placed to bring Christ's light and hope to people everywhere, and he pointed out that the Lord's Prayer is focused on making earth like heaven. Check out Brian McLaren's website on your own and the report by Episcopal News Service on his talk to the bishops. The Integrity website also has a very readable account of McLaren's talk. And Bishop Nedi Rivera from Olympia (Seattle) has a fascinating mediation on McLaren's talk.  Maybe we can get Brian to come to Charlottesville?


William said...


Over at Episcopal Cage, Jim Naughton gave this provocative summary of McLaren's message and how it was received by some:

"I had dinner last night with Brian McLaren who gave the Conference’s first plenary address on Monday night. Brian had given the keynote speech at our diocesan evangelism conference in early June, and I was intrigued by how he tailored this address to a global audience, by painting a bold picture of the different cultural and historical contexts in which the Churches of the Anglican Communion went about the work of making disciples for Christ. Brian made several points that gave hardline conservatives in the press corps fits. One, that Western churches will be significantly handicapped in their efforts if the Communion forces them to abandon the inclusive theology that makes them attractive to the unchurched—particularly the young; second that the success of evangelism in Africa is influenced not simply by deep faith and effective preaching, but by particular historical circumstances. Throughout history, Christianity has flourished in regions passing from pre-modern cultures into modern culture, as is currently happening in much of the developing world. What Western churches are learning is that the transition from modernity into post-modernity is a much more difficult circumstance in which to woo disciples. I hope to write more about Brian’s presentation later, but perhaps not until after the Conference."

One of our SC members observed last night that this coming Sunday would be the last of our long transition to a newer church. It is hard to imagine that the day approaches.


The Rev. James Richardson said...

Thanks, Bill. I am very intrigued by Brian McLaren. I'm getting some of his books. He does workshops around the country and perhaps we can take parish leaders to one when he is somewhere near us. The guy lives in Maryland, so we ought to be able to figure that out.

Last day of the transition? Well, perhaps the first day of the next transition (see my post "Canterbury's stones"). We are much looking forward to getting there, AT LAST!!!

Vickie said...

Hi, Jim. I'm one of your parishioners who was at Shrinemont for Sunday morning worship only. I didn't get a chance to meet you, although I did meet Lori. Anyway, I can highly recommend Brian's book, A Generous Orthodoxy: Why I Am a Missional Evangelical Post/Protestant Liberal/Conservative Mystical/Poetic
Biblical Charismatic ..... You get the idea. He points out the strengths and contributions of each strand of modern Christianity. One strength of Anglicans, he says, is
"The practice of beauty."
The book reminded me to practice a spirit of charity, looking for the best rather than the worst. . .

The Rev. James Richardson said...

Thanks! I ordered the book, having it shipped to me directly in C'ville. Should be waiting for me when I get there Friday. See you soon!