Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Another Great Pub Theology

Tonight - May 27, 2009 a group of us met at The Old Spot, just like we do once a month for Pub Theology night.

Topic: Faith and Works how they fit together, and how they determine true spirituality.

Attending: Tom and Mary, Erin and Jim, The Prof. Carlos Z., Slade, Jeff C #3 (he's only the #3 Jeff because it rhymes with C), Mike C, and me (Phil).

Some random thoughts for the evening:

1) Mary and Tom capsized their canoe and lost their phones and wallets, and piles of other stuff, which is now on the bottom of the Atlantic. Somehow the canoe story became an illustration of faith and works. You know - storms of life, how we respond to them....

2) Mary's story about a relative who went to church all the time, but was as mean and cruel as anyone you ever met was a bit chilling.

3) Jim and Erin gave an illustration from personal life which was beautiful, on point, and you can ask them more. :-)

4) Slade called up James 2 first - "faith without works is dead."

5) Tom did not mention Obama until nearly the end of the evening! Wow, now that was restraint.

6) Jeff did not fall asleep. He wanted to I think, but he played the man, and actually was coherent.

7) Mike connected faith without much in works as a type of predeterminism, or fatalism; and works without much in faith as a type of legalism. This made the discussion take a robust turn for the good.

8) We ended by having everyone in a short phrase describe their idea of God's Government: The answers were Federalist Republic, Monarchy, Tyranny (actually something like a Kingdom Monarchy was meant I think), a Government to help the Weak, Anarchy (2 times), a Government run by the Military (Jeff called this a Hunta and laughed), and Socialism (of course this was the Prof Carlos Z., but you knew that didn't you?). So, if this was a democracy then Anarchy was the winner. Hmmmmm...

But, assuming that the government of God fulfills all the deep needs of humanity, and has all the best dynamics of any government we can imagine, then all the good things of all the kinds of government are a part of God's Kingdom, and all the bad elements of all the styles of government are lacking in God's leadership. Somehow that all tied into the topic of faith and works, and we all walked away feeling like the evening rocked.

Okay, I guess you had to be there to understand the Anarchy thing, but trust me it was cool. Peter Rollins gets it, I know that. Thumbs up Pete.


Kieran Conroy said...

Really wish I could've joined you guys for that one... had some parallels at our last Emergent gathering and it was great to have Carlos join us there too.

Love the anarchy part... I was saying, only half jokingly to some friends just this weekend that as societies go from my study of indigenous communities, tribal "anarchies" DO seem ideal, until your group gets to a certain size... the most important part being that its not a Western isolationist anarchy, but deep freedom in community... freedom for others, while deeply respecting the gifts and unique path of each person.

You know, I'm pretty down with that if God's kingdom works that way... and I'd like to think He's a bit better at holding it to gether on a grand scale than we are. :)

Pastor Phil said...

Hmmmmmm...another SCA member. The Society for Christian Anarchists. Oh wait, the letters SCA are taken aren't they?

Jeremiah said...

Actually, a federated republic in some geo-political spheres is considered as the best way to help the "weak" ["The interests of the 'smaller...' are protected the stronger the unity..."] http://mikeofearthsea.blogspot.com/2008/03/unity-without-tyranny.html?zx=87255b00aae7b497. Of course, in this political system as with any, the tyranny of the hierarchy is always a danger...

What do you guys think about the proposal that a "true" anarchy incorporates a historical time-space continuum as we have had on earth? This would be different from the extreme form of limited government/anarchy/trust one, trust all, trust God that might be along the lines proposed by Phil?...