Saturday, March 03, 2007

QROH: Session 2: Church

Session two starts at 2pm in the afternoon after lunch. Again Brian gives the plenary talk followed by the conversation partners and conversation participants. People are beginning understand that the whole conference is a great big conversation.

Brian talks about the emerging church. He starts by using Eddie Gibbs and Ryan Bolger's 9 points descriptors of emergent churches:
(1) Identifying with Jesus
(2) Transforming secular space
(3) Living as community
(4) Welcoming the stranger
(5) Serving with generosity
(6) Particpating as producers
(7) Creating as created beings
(8) Leading as a body
(9) Merging ancient and contemporary spiritualities.

He said that the main descriptor is number one and all the rest is built on it. He then goes onto to illustrate the emerging churches by three diagrams. The first is a box with four quardants and a red circle in the centre. The centre represent the emerging church and the four quardant represent evangelical, charismatic, social concern and liturgical. Brian said that people who are unhappy with thier tradition tend to try traditions in the other quadrant and end in the red circle in the middle.

The second illustration is of a tree trunk with concentric rings. The traditional churches are further in the trunk while the emerging churches represent the outermost ring.

The third illustration is of two circles. One represent the older paradigm while the other circle represents the church of tomorrow. He then put a link between the two and call it a transitional link. He also label it the emerging church. I am very mch taken by this third illustration that the emerging church is the transition to the church of tomorrow.

Then he went on to talk about deep ecclesiology.

The conversation partners for this session are Elder Chris Leong, Bishop Philip Lok and Rev. Wong Fong Yang. The partners did not engage directly on Brian's talk about the emerging church. Instead they shared on their own theology, perception and the way they do church. Bishop Lok shared about the Lutheran tradition. Pastor Wong shared about his past church experience and what type of church he wanted when he started his present church. Chris Leong shared on the novel way they are doing church. They also shared about evangelism in Malaysia.

There are a couple of questions from the conversation participants. One asked about syncretism. Brian shared a story about a Christian practicing Tai Chi but using the movements to represent Christian values.

After the second session, there was time for small group discussion.

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