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Location: Telford, Pennsylvania, United States

My main blog: Ramblings generally focuses on telling a story via photography and words. These stories generally center around family, nature, and church although sometimes just about life in general. I also have a blog entitled Fingerprints. I post less frequently in Fingerprints. It serves as a catch all of anything that does not go in my Ramblings blog including memes, quizzes, and reports on books and movies.

The road awaits
Time doesn't
The road beckons
Time steps forward

Will we move
In step with time?
Will we step forward
Shaping our time?

Will we take time
To see the present?
Will we explore the past
And understand our heritage?

Will we laugh?
Will we wonder?
Will we touch?
Will we feel?

Time flies on
We have choices
Shall we go fast?
Shall we go slow?

We shall go forward
But we will choose the pace
We may dance with all our heart
Or bathe ourselves in a setting sun

Friday, December 30, 2005

The Practicing Congregation - Salvation and Growth

I'm reading a book entitled The Practicing Congregation: Imagining a New Old Church by Diana Butler Bass. In it, Diana Butler Bass briefly compares two contrasting views of Christian salvation. One argues that salvation comes through the church functioning as community living out the values of God's kingdom; the other argues that salvation is a personal choice to follow the Messiah that is demonstrated by personal purity. She notes however that these are two extremes and that most Christians fall somewhere inbetween on a continuum between these two poles. As such in today's context, she calls this two pole paradigm dead; that today's postmodern context is calling for a new salvation paradigm.

I haven't read far enough yet to know precisely where Bass is headed. But earlier, she wrote that churches do not exist to provide rational choices. They are an alternative logic offering hospitality to the traveler and molding people both in community and as individuals through ancient forms of being in God. In the author's words, the church's alternative logic provides "a way of exploring moral, religious, communal, and personal identity that moves with purpose and intention through the ever-shifting terrain of the postmodern city." She also noted that the most vibrant of today's mainline Protestant congregations are those who are intentionally and innovatively reclaiming their historical chain of memory that ties its past, present, and future together.


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