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Landon Whitsitt
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Dude. Dude. As a self-proclaimed pop culture aficionado there is no excuse for leaving out her contribution to the greatest TV series ever... Turn in your card, dude. Dude.
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This week, in Louisville, a group of folks from the 6 agencies of the PCUSA have gathered to consider a report that was produced by a group known as the Joint Committee on Leadership Needs. I was fortunate to be on the writing group of this paper, along with other... Continue reading
I think you're approaching what I'd like to rest my case on, namely, that the context of and the need for Sola Scriptura (especially as it's currently understood) has past. In order to accomplish something closer to what the Reformers intended a shift in focus is required. Short answer: no, I'm not referring to the portions of scripture that are attributed to the Lord. Rather, I'm trying to point toward the idea of Logos/Word of the Lord, a la John 1. Long answer: I actually have a piece that I'm going to post here soon in hopes of furthering the conversation. If you wouldn't mind reading that and commenting, I'd appreciate it.
I must admit, your honesty about what you believe my position to be is both refreshing and shocking. Either way, it is helpful. Thank you for allowing us to cut to the chase, and in honor of your forthrightness I will address what I understand your main question to be first: No, sir, I argue specifically for the full inclusion of our LGBT sisters and brothers *because* of what I find in the scriptures, not despite it. If you do believe me (and I hope that you do), what you are left with is the real reality that someone claiming to be a faithful follower of Christ understands that relationship very differently than you do. I do not have an ulterior motive that must be exposed. To your secondary question: I do not disagree that (as the Confession says) some things are clearly knowable. Where the Confession and I differ however is whether or not our relationship with God in Christ is dependent on us knowing, believing, or observing anything in scripture. I do not believe it is. To establish humanity knowing, believing or observing something as a requirement for entering a relationship with Christ is an affront to the sovereignty of God, in my opinion. However, even that sort of discussion is secondary to the real point I've been trying (perhaps poorly) to make all along. You have asked me to either agree or disagree with a paragraph from a confession in the same way that I assume you would like me to agree or disagree with various portions of the Bible. And, while I understand that impulse, would you also ask me to agree to a few passages from the Scots and Secodn Helvetic Confessions which, in no uncertain terms, state that women are forbidden from ecclesiastical duties such as preaching and the administration of sacraments? I'm sure you would not. And so, we are left with a conundrum: What do we do when we are sure that we have misunderstood in the past? I acknowledge that you do not think we have misunderstood on some specific points, but I hope that this gives you some insight into my argument with the Sola. In my opinion what we should be emphasizing is Solo Verbo Dei (The Word of the Lord alone), while using scripture as the first point on a journey (Prima Scriptura) through tradition and communal discernment to ascertain it. grace and peace to you.
Unless there is a seismic shift in the New Heaven and New Earth, this will be the last time I comment on the "kerfuffle" aspect of the Sola Scriptura conversation. There is a theological conversation I had with Joe Small this past week that I'm very excited to share with... Continue reading
Unless there is a seismic shift in the New Heaven and New Earth, this will be the last time I comment on the "kerfuffle" aspect of the Sola Scriptura conversation. There is a theological conversation I had with Joe Small this past week that I'm very excited to share with... Continue reading
As I write this, I have just left the office of the Synod Executive of the Synod of Mid-America, Rev. Nancy Kahaian. I was invited to meet with her so that she could give me a preview of the ways in which the Synod is moving forward with its plan... Continue reading
I thought I'd start off with a bang! Shortly after I returned from General Assembly, a local Kansas City Presbyterian, Bill Tammeus (who is also a noted religion newswriter), asked if I would respond to some questions for a blog post. I said I would, of course, and the result... Continue reading
Quite the little conversation going on here... I'm not intending to jump into the meat of the conversation. My interview takes care of my thoughts, I think. I just wanted to say that I think it's unfortunate that my comment was read as smug, snide, and condescending. I'll leave the psychoanalyzing to others, but I know that I love our church and its history and tradition even though I think it needs to move itself forward. That tension for me is very real and so I am very quick to defend our little piece of the Body of Christ. There was a implicit understanding in Tammeus' questions (which I don't think he intended at all), namely the idea of one entity being able to "teach" the other. Laying aside all the good theory that we all learn from one another, etc., I was intent to make clear that the mainline church (in general) is not deficient and in need of anything. The God I confess has promised to gather all that we need to make a go of this thing called church, and I believe that to the core of my being. My words about Breuggemann were not an assumption that someone can't have a new thought about him, but simply an observation that (at least theologically) I'm not finding much coming out of the ECM that my seminary profs haven't been teaching for years (social justice, praxis, contemplative prayer, historical/critical reading of scripture, liberation, etc.). That was honestly a shock to me as I was told that seminary was a dead institution and would hijack and ruin my faith. I suppose we can play word games and point out that not everyone involved in the emergent church movement thinks the same way about X, and that's fine. However, I think if we're honest, the "bad press" given to the mainline church by several prominent writers and speakers connected to the ECM filters down. There you go - my 2 cents. Thanks for taking the time to engage my thoughts for a while. landon
Toggle Commented Jul 28, 2010 on Emerging Church and Mainliners at Kruse Kronicle
Byron, you are an inspiration for the church. Thanks be to God for you.
I'll be there! @landonw
Toggle Commented Sep 9, 2009 on Watch "The Nines" Here at Bruce Reyes-Chow
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I love pulling those kinds of switcheroos.
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Ouch. "We expect our pastors to have lives after leaving us, and we want them to prosper (at least we want those we'd friend on FB to prosper). Hiding the new life does nothing but cause an abrupt end to real life friendships." Well said. Honesty, transparency and intentionality will benefit those kinds of situations every time.
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My predecessor at the church I serve actually came and talked to me about being "friends" with parishioners. He said he was aware that, even though it had been a few years since he had left, it might be awkward for me. I told him it was fortunate he had a 30-something for a successor and that I recognized that they very fact that he was cautious told me he would be cool with the members. I think the Facebook demographic has a fundamentally different understanding of pastoral identity/relationship than those that would be fearful of social networking. I think about the mutual friends between my predecessor and I, and there is no way they would assume something out of the ordinary. A web of relationship is what they expect. Along with that - they get that I'm their pastor and he is not. They no more want to burden him with that responsibility than I want them to. I think a couple more years, a fair amount of education and some solid positive experiences will help this "problem" (if it even really is one) take care of itself.
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