Creativity

Orthodoxy and Christianity

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“We all have glimpses of the truth, but, to echo Paul, this side of the grave we all ‘see through a glass darkly.’
Craig Detweiler

If you grew up in conservative American Christianity you would expect Paul to say “we see through a glass nearly perfectly,” we being our particular denomination. But the reality is that no matter how much we think we understand, and we do understand some, even illuminated by the Son and Spirit, our eyes are dim.

And yet there is a continual chorus of Christians saying, “Is that Biblical? Is that Orthodox?” These are not bad questions to ask, but somehow they’ve become so prevalent that other questions and topics are subjugated to the litmus test of the strongest personality in the room’s interpretation of “biblical” or “orthodox.” And the church suffers because of it. Just turn on Christian radio for a sample. And if you’re still not convinced, rent ANY deliberately Christian movie.

“The desire to appear orthodox has led to a dearth of creativity in virtually every realm of the contemporary Christian experience, particularly the realms of theology and music. This streak of perfectionism, which runs deep in the American religious mindset, creates atmospheres of fear and trepidation, especially in regard to new ideas. Experimentation is a key ingredient of a contemporary theological construct.”

Maybe some questions we should start asking alongside the orthodox one are

  • Is it fresh?
  • Is it good?
  • Does it lead to more life?
  • Does it ring true to the human experience?

 

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Attractive Christianity

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A long time ago in a land far away there were people who believed in God and people who didn’t. The people who didn’t believe in God heard stories about a god in Zion, and they became interested in the activities of this god inside one community’s life, and so they traveled to Israel by choice. Missionaries did not come to them. The people of God were emitting a certain kind of light, an attractive kind of life, and it drew people from darkness.

Missionary activity existed, but it was the life of the community as it embodied the powerful working of a curious Spirit that validated the missionaries’ words.

What does this attractive life look like today? It has to be winsome, curious, seeking, and creative, among other things.