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September 20, 2006



Hey Steven,

I get so tired of hearing all this from the "ec" crowd. I have not read the book, and I'm sure I would like parts of it. However, I do not think the best way to "reform" the church is trying to change theology that has been around for a few thousands years.

I guess I'm somewhat like you, sure the church pisses me off, but I still have hope that the local church can help show the world God's grace and love.


To be fair, Spencer is quite clear that he isn't about "reformation" but rather about "transformation" which may or may not be the same thing depending on how you like to define your terms (which is the main problem I have with the book to this point - the sloppy definition of terms like "religion" and "Chritianity.") And, I am quite happy to reform our theological frameworks, as much of what we call Orthodox was at one point considered Heretical. But living a good Jesus-inspired life has never constituted salvation in the thoughts of any Church, and was the antithesis of the message that Jesus came to bring.


Hi Steven. Your review makes similar noise to the snippets that Scot Mcknight has reviewed. Sounds to me like this really is a case of the pendulum swinging too far.

As someone who is both critical and accepting of the EC (as you know), I must admit that constantly hearing things like this (Burke's ideas) coming from prominent voices in the EC doesn't help me (and think others like me) to warm up to the EC conversation - even though we'd really like to be more invovled because we have so many contact points of identification with EC. I completely sympathize with Chris. The review is helpful though - thanks.

spencer burke


Great thoughts and I agree that grace is for all including the institutional church. And I hope the dialogue is laced with grace on all sides...

I think the book points out (even if others see it as "extreme") the questions I think we (the church) are asking and effects we are experiencing. So, now, where do we go from here...

I see moving from A to B as a God thing (through Jesus) already accomplished. Now we need to follow Jesus as we discover what God has already done... It is this vision of grace and mystical responsibility that I am trying to work out in my own life and community. The book is an invitation for others to ask the difficult questions and see where that takes them...

I look forward to your summary, thanks for taking the time with these reviews.


Spencer - Thanks for dropping by again. Great to see you around and interacting with those who are wrestling with your thoughts and ideas. I think that my comments should probably be placed in more context... I have so much sympathy for what you've outlined in terms of problems with institutional religion and the Church and have moved through much of the same process that you have, but I find myself arriving at different conclusions. Sort of like moving through a dark tunnel together then at the end of trip, realizing that we've diverged in the darkness and taken different paths out of the tunnel... if that makes any sense.

Section Three is really intense, and I'm doing my best to get to the essence of what you're saying to write my review/thoughts. Should be up soon, so stick around.

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