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April 18, 2006

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I think better relationships with persons of the Jewish faith is a good thing. There is a need for reconciliation with the Jews because of our history with them and to understand our Jewish roots.I would not fear syncretism.

Wow! Fantastic! What a hope for reconciliation. It seems like the first baby steps have been taken to come together on a common ground. Now I believe it's our turn!
This article made me think...dangerous I know...how far are we from Protestant Reconciliation? Would you agree that the emergent church has the capability to see the "big picture?" I think this is in part why the Jewish Community is peeking its head under the canopy. It would seem that the upcoming generations talk about a uniformity to the faith. Eventhough it would most likely not be all denominations, but even a few would be nice. Perhaps the Protestant Reconciliation is our next big step in church history?

Rich and B.Cooper -- it's interesting that you both picked up on a reconciliation theme. I'd agree with you both here that what's going will have implications towards reconciliation -- even if that's not the primary purpose for meeting and working together.

"Would you agree that the emergent church has the capability to see the "big picture?"

B.Cooper -- that's a critically important question, isn't it? Personally, I would be inclined to say "yes". Yet I would also want to affirm that there are pastors, theologians, and thought-leaders within the institutional Church who very much also see the "big picture". Whether they are inside or outside of the institutional church, or inside or outside of the emerging church isn't of primary importance. But... being able to discern and respond to "big picture" issues -- that's the important thing.

I am not so sure you'd understand our Jewish roots any better by interaction with "Emergent Judaism." I'm going to guess these are Reformed Jews, and the reason they're willing to look to Christian "reform" movements for inspiration is that they share with these secular ideals rather than religious common ground. Namely, molding faith based on popular appeal and "the signs of the times."

Is a new day dawning, where followers of Jesus are finally not afraid to learn from people of other faiths? Is a new ecumenism emerging?
I'm confused, Chris. Mutual respect and understanding between people is always a laudable goal. But what is it you're suggesting we learn from people of other faiths? When you speak of "ecumenicism," a unity with those of other faiths, where are you going with this? You said you worry about McLaren's rumblings towards inclusivism, so maybe I'm misunderstanding, but I hear some inclusivism in your words here as well.

Gina, in posing the question about whether or not a new ecumenism is emerging, I wasn't personally suggesting this was desirable or necessary, etc. -- just wanting to sufficiently stir up the pot in hopes that some stimulating discussion would result. Sorry for any confusion there. Personally, I have long been concerned about syncretism and fascinated at the same time with a return to orthodoxy. Some of this I even see at work within the emerging church and am very curious about what might be happening within these "emerging" synagogues.

Within protestantism, the end of modernity has brought with it the end of theological liberalism. One of the things I'm wondering about is whether or not "emerging" reformed Jews are experiencing the desire to reconnect with some of their more ancient orthodox beliefs/practices. The "ancient-future" phenomenon seems to be present in our culture in ways beyond those popularized within the emerging church movement.

Hope this clarifies a little on where I am personally at in regards to some of this. Please know that I regularly pose questions in my blog posts which come at things from viewpoints other than my own. More often than not, this has helped to stimulate meaningful dialog -- dialog which I for one enjoy benefitting from.

I look forward to hearing more from you on this topic, Gina.

Blessings,
Chris

Understood, Chris!
Within protestantism, the end of modernity has brought with it the end of theological liberalism.
Is that so? I don't see it. In fact, I've been thinking that Emergent seems to be giving liberal theology new life.

Just to clarify this post, Kol Zimrah is a lay-led community, with no clergy (though some of our participants happen to also be rabbis). Though Shir-Yaakov Feinstein-Feit has received rabbinic ordination and has been involved with Kol Zimrah, he is not and has never been the rabbi of Kol Zimrah, nor has anyone else.

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