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教会のメタファー

修士研究の時、フェッツという神学者の記事を読みました。フェッツが主張するのは、全ての教会ではあるメタファーがあって、教会の行事と在り方はそのメタファーに従っています。

例えば、オーストラリアでヒルソングという教会があります。(日本では、ジーザス•ライフハウスという教会は関係あるみたい)そのヒルソングの礼拝はこの様子です。

ヒルソングはパーフォマンスのメタファーがあるから、ステージがあって、ステージでバンドが中心であって、コンサートみたいな賛美礼拝をしています。カトリック教会は政府のメタファーがあるから、教皇、大主教、主教、祭司の組織階級があって、公会議や回勅を強調しています。救世軍はやっぱり軍隊のメタファーがあります。 Read more about 教会のメタファー



Bosch on spirituality

We leave this house tomorrow and I have to put this wonderful book back on the bookshelf, so time for one last quote:

Spirituality or devotional life seems to mean withdrawal from the world, charging my batteries and then going out into the world… so many minutes of spiritual exercise will give me so much mileage for the day that follows.


The Long Game

When I was growing up, the prevailing narrative was that Evangelical churches would “win” and liberal churches would die out, simply because the Evangelicals evangelised.

Yet even in my lifetime, Evangelical theology has shifted decisively on issues like social action, structural injustice, and female clergy, and there’s clearly interesting movement happening now in terms of LGBT issues. In each case, Evangelicals moved towards the position that the liberals held all along.

So, if Evangelicals say something that annoys you, don’t get upset about it. Just wait twenty years. Read more about The Long Game


Bosch on missionary training

This relates to some conversations I’ve been having this week…

We often call ourselves channels or instruments which God uses to communicate His messages to people… In the channel or instrument metaphor, the missionary becomes a mere tool; the idea almost seems to be that it is regrettable that such a tool should be used, but inasmuch as no other mans of communication exists, we have to put up with such tools… the whole idea is for the the instrument not togged involved with the contents.


David Bosch on Prayer

A Spirituality of the Road is an amazing book, chock full of David Bosch’s considerable insight into missionary life but applied to very practical situations. I would recommend it for any missionary. Bosch develops strong arguments over the course of several pages, so he doesn’t really lend himself to soundbites, but I will try to find a few interesting quotes to whet people’s appetites for this fantastic book. Here’s one on prayer: Read more about David Bosch on Prayer


"Religious" isn't religious, part II

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Let us imagine a Hindu, with very little understanding of Christianity, saying something like this:

Hindus should not use printing presses. The printing press is a Christian invention. If you look at the history of the printing press, you will find that it was created by Christians, for the explicit purpose of printing Christian Bibles. Since then hundreds of Christians have used it to create all kind of Christian books which they believe have brought people closer to their god, and so it is obvious that printing books is a Christian religious practice.


Bamboo Tree and Christmas Tree

When I was at language school I was swapping stories with my language teacher. I was asking him about the collections of bottles of water you often see outside Japanese houses around the obon season; I had been assured by an experience missionary that they were offerings to the spirits of the ancestors who returned to earth at obon, so that they could have a drink on their journey. Well, not exactly, said my language teacher; they’re there to reflect the sunlight into cats’ eyes and stop cats peeing on people’s gardens. Read more about Bamboo Tree and Christmas Tree