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May 04, 2005



Andy - great post. I think that one of the major challenges that faces us in confronting issues like this is how do we transform our churches from places where people go to "get their needs met", to places where the spirit of worship is one of service and giving to each other. I'm not a fan of old St Augustine, but his words that "we love God by loving each other" spring to mind.

I think the other challenge that we face in relation to this is on the level of commitment vs. consumerism. We have become like tumble weeds blown from one place to the next - be that a job place, house or church. If we are to exemplify the community of God where difference is genuinely celebrated then we're going to have to commit to putting down roots - this may mean for some not taking that career move that would involve "leaving" the community, etc.


Andy & Brodie (And Mike, Rowan, Samuel, Frances, et al.):

Great stuff. The quote of Wells (quoting Young) was particularly powerful, as was the notion of reciprocity with others (even children or the disabled, etc.); good stuff to chew on.

Of course, it might be better put that the church "is to be" a celebration of different-ness; I don't think we actually succeed here as we ought to, which you allude to, Andy. (Also, "celebration" grates on me a bit -- maybe it is used too much on this side of the Atlantic in different contexts; I wonder if "we are to love difference (as God loves difference)" might be better? Or maybe it's just me...)

Finally, I have noticed a funny double-bind in our society, I wonder if it's the same in the UK? I agree with Higton/Williams when they critique the ways in which we force children to grow up too quickly, to see "childhood" as some kind of lack or liability. But I have also noticed widespread languishing in adolescence, and a refusal to "grow up" (in some ways) among adults. Perhaps the glorification of "youth culture" has something to do with this. So it seems that we simultaneously push children to grow up too quickly in some ways, and discourage older people from becoming adults in others. A strange bind, no?

andy goodliff

Jason - Rowan Williams 2nd point is exactly as you say - we have too many childish adults. See this recent lecture he gave called Formation: Who’s bringing up our children? and his book Lost Icons.

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