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malcolm chamberlain

musings about the emerging church, mission and contemporary culture...

God is at large, intimately involved in his world in ways that the church is maybe just waking up to!


Tuesday, October 30, 2007

A friend emailed me this morning and told me of the following recent experience...

...in Starbucks yesterday [I was] reading Gordon Lynch's new book when 'Imagine' comes on over the system. I'm thinking, 'Actually that's no different to Revelation: no sun and stuff. Lennon's doing the same thing as John.' The old woman in front starts talking to the young guy passing her with his coffee:
"What's that song? I've just been writing about it all and there it is in words... No heaven... a perfect future... "

The guy doesn't know, so I pipe up, " The song's Imagine"

The woman and the guy fall into conversation about the song, and I return to my book. And the woman says, "When things like this happen, they're a sign... lots of signs". And the guy says, "In the end, it comes down to the individual. Do you know Jesus?" And the woman says, "Of course, Jesus is among us..." And I think, 'Here's the book, alive in front of me: the traditional individualistic religion meeting the progressive searching community model...'

I wonder which model you most easily relate to?! It seems that the more 'churched' we are (especially in the evangelical tradition), the more we will struggle to relate to the progressive searching community model, in favour of the safer confines of individualistic religion with its neat theologies. And yet, it's the more 'messy' model we find in abundance all around us (expressed most explicitly in places like 'this'), which doesn't seem a million miles away from the approach taken by Jesus, along with his 'searching community' of 12 (plus extras!)

Thanks Steve for the story and for your permission to post it here.

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posted by Malcolm Chamberlain, 4:01 PM


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