“What if you’re trapped in the wrong space and don’t know it? Blindness is always hard to deal with. After all, how can you discover what you don’t even realize you don’t know? As an imaginative leader, your basic stance should be that there is always something you are blind to that is both a threat and an opportunity.”
I wanted to share a post that my friend Pete posted on his blog. It had to do with a link I sent to him regarding a new book that came out and this is what he had to say.
Christianity After Religion
Christianity after Religion – The End of Church and the Birth of a New Spiritual Awakening – by Diana Butler-Bass – reviewed by Bill Dahl
I received this review yesterday, and subsequently read Bill’s interview with Diana. It was the final paragraph of that interview that struck me as being so significant. I’ve picked out a few highlights of the review and put my own thoughts on them.
Diana has been observing, questioning, probing the history and mystery of the practice of the human pursuit of the divine by those who diversely believe, belong and behave rather passionately. A story that at times makes us angry, confused, perplexed, disgusted and embarrassed. The story of where institutional religion came from and a look ahead to the current challenge.
So many are asleep and may be unaware that they are trapped in the wrong space. How do people discover what they don’t even realise that they don’t know? People are uncomfortable when what they thought they knew is challenged! The institutional approach to facilitating true faith is seriously misguided!
More and more people are willing to express their anger towards religion in general and Christianity (or churchianity?) in particular – understandably! A suggestion that maybe Christianity was never meant to be a structured belief system. How many are captive to creeds, dogma and traditions? Some are still trying to build walls while others are trying to build bridges.
Who am I and who do I belong to? Are we willing to move beyond our own comfort zone- a pilgrimage and/or exile? Are we ready to take a counter intuitive approach and allow new doors to be opened to us – that give us the chance of making a difference (which might simply be to encourage others to question their own thinking)?
Where is the great awakening – a creative and innovative openness, a sense of hope-filling realism, an interconnectedness that comes from experiencing the divine in the here and now?
That was an interesting review – and reinforced my own thoughts – until we get to the idea of the great awakening.
Where is that great awakening going to come from? Is it ever going to come from ‘the churches’? Is it the job of ‘the churches’ to do God’s work for him?
I found the interview extremely interesting, especially after reading ‘First Pages‘ of the book on Amazon. This painted a picture for me of the influence of the Charismatic movement that I have never experienced. It reminded me of the influence of Billy Graham in the 1960′s – an enormous ground swell that lasted for a season – with just a few people even today putting their calling down to one of those rallies. I’ve also had significant contact with people who were involved with the Jesus Army in those days.
For me the last few sentences of the interview say it all. ‘Seminaries can’t change until denominational policies do; denominational policies won’t change until seminaries nurture new vision; and nothing can change until grassroots churches demand change. And for churches to demand change, they must change themselves’.
That I suggest is never going to happen – the ‘old school’ understandably will not respond to change – and ‘the churches’ as we have known them will fade and die – just like empires.