I've just started reading a book I ordered from the library. I don't remember who recommended it - probably either someone at Jubilee, or else a blog I read.

Based on the number of things I've liked so far, and I'm only through the introduction, I suspect I'm going to really like this book. They start out by giving four people with different stories. I'll quote this one because it is exactly me:

"Cathy became a Christian in her first year at university. It was great. She spent hours hanging out with her Christian friends, talking through their faith, praying together, sharing the gospel with other students. But two years after graduation she feels spiritually flat. She goes to church each Sunday and attends a home group on Wednesday evenings. But she misses the intimacy of the relationships she had at university. She misses the discussions, the enthusiasm, and the late night prayers. She laughs to herself at how immature they were sometimes. But she can't help wondering whether 'grown-up' Christianity is any better. If only there were a different way of doing church."

As I read the one sentence to Heather just now, I realized that the "discussions, enthusiasm and late night prayers" are exactly how I just spent my last week in the Dominican Republic with various college-aged folks. I do truly miss it - I know various people who have told me that I inspire them in these areas - where they feel too caught up in "life" to slow down or something. But, I don't think I know anyone who has really changed much, though they might say they'd like to.

More quotes from the book:

"The theology that matters is not the theology we profess but the theology we practice."

"Being both gospel-centered and community-centered might mean ... having churches that are messy instead of churches that pretend."

"In practice, conservative evangelicals place a proper emphasis on the gospel. Meanwhile others, like those who belong to the so-called emerging church, emphasize the importance of community. Each group suspects the other of being weak where it is strong. We agree with the conservative church that the emerging church is too often soft on truth. We also agree with the emerging church movement that conservative evangelicals are often bad at community."

Posted by Jon Daley on March 16, 2010, 10:47 pm | Read 5560 times
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The book sounds interesting - is its title "Total Church" or is that just your blog post headline?

Also, in paragraph four (right after the "Cathy" quote) I'm not sure I followed you entirely. "I do truly miss it" implies to me that you don't engage in those discussions etc. anymore (or only very rarely), but then immediately afterward you say you're an inspiration to others in that area, which implies to me that you do engage in these discussions often. I feel I either misunderstood what you miss or how you inspire others - would you mind elaborating a bit?

Posted by Stephan on March 19, 2010, 1:26 am

Yes, "Total Church" is the title, by Tim Chester and Steve Timmis.

I don't have as much interaction with others as I'd like. Though my scale is so far different from everyone I know that the low end of my scale is way off the charts for other people.

Posted by Jon Daley on March 19, 2010, 9:15 am

I know one person whose scale is like yours, Jon!

Misquoting the only lines I like -- because they're applicable to so much of life -- from my only experience with a Woody Allen movie:

Q: How often to you get together with other people?

A1: All the time -- at least three times a week!

A2: Almost never -- only three times a week!

Posted by SursumCorda on March 19, 2010, 10:49 am

Who is the one person?

Posted by Jon Daley on March 19, 2010, 1:58 pm

Who is the only person I know who is energized, not exhausted, by leading a church youth group? And not just leading it, but being so active I'm sure she wears the kids out rather than the other way around?

Actually, I'm sure if I thought about it I'd find other examples, but this one is too obvious.

Posted by SursumCorda on March 19, 2010, 2:34 pm

ah, now I get it. Yes, we are similar in lots of ways. I was surprised when Dad said how similar he and I are - but he had some good points too in terms of being good at figuring things out and fixing things, etc.

Posted by Jon Daley on March 19, 2010, 3:08 pm

Yep, no maternity/paternity issues here. :) That's one of the beautiful things about children -- seeing aspects of each parent, and even more distant relatives, together with the child's own unique personality, all mixed up together. Sort of like genealogy. Only different.

Posted by SursumCorda on March 19, 2010, 4:39 pm
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