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the bride (church & ecclesiology)
What does God want?  According to Jesus: us.  God longs to live with you and me like a groom longs for his bride.  This metaphor runs like a river through scripture.  In the Prophets, God pulled a dirty and dying people from slavery like a man rescuing a hooker from a brothel.  He cleaned her up, built her back into a beautiful woman, and married her to give her the life she always wanted.  But the romance didn't last.  The bride got the itch and chased after other men.  But then Jesus came to call the bride back.  He rescued her again and now is waiting to finally make her his at the end of all things.  This is the church -- a rocky-road romance of the people of God trying to find their way back to him.

Hosea and the Prostitute PDF Print E-mail
Written by Lindy Erin   
Friday, 14 September 2007
Derek Webb and Francine Rivers
Two people I would highly recommend checking out their music and books.

I was recently able to go to a Derek Webb concert where he continues to challenge the way I look at my faith, and the way my faith should interplay with social justice issues around me.
(click here to listen to some music)rich young ruler is my fav. song

"The church"
i have come with one purpose
to capture for myself a bride
by my life she is lovely
by my death she's justified

i have always been her husband
though many lovers she has known
so with water i will wash her
and by my word alone

so when you hear the sound of the water
you will know you're not alone

(chorus)
cause i haven't come for only you
but for my people to pursue
you cannot care for me with no regard...
Original at: http://lindyerin.blogspot.com/2007/09/hosea-and-prostitute.html.
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Neither Oligarchy nor Democracy nor Anarchy PDF Print E-mail
Written by soulster   
Monday, 10 September 2007

Pope Loe XBy now you might be sick of the word "service". It's used an awful lot in Christian circles. Sorry, but it's a very important word. It can also be a very dangerous word depending on how it is meant. For example, those in power may speak of service and mean the subjection of other people to their will. They preach service as godly participation in their programming, but ignore the ungodly exploitation and neglect required to realize their ambitions. On the other hand, people on the bottom of the power pyramid may use the term to mean what they think they are entitled to receive from the people in power. They angrily...

Last Updated ( Thursday, 13 September 2007 )
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Discovering the Body: Part II PDF Print E-mail
Written by Jared Looney   
Tuesday, 21 August 2007

Imitation of Christ

For weeks, I meditated on the nature of the church, on Christ’s mission, and on the spiritual gifts in the body of Christ.  I began to honestly ask the question:  Is this really true?  What makes this kind of community possible?  And no sooner than I asked and the answer seemed to be everywhere.  The same thing occurred in every text about life in the body.  It was everywhere!  The answer to my question was imitation of Christ characterized by forgiveness, humility, kindness, and love.  For a community to be able to function as a body it must share a common humility with the help of the Holy Spirit.  To work together despite diversity, a church must seek humility in imitation of Christ.  To free ourselves to be taught by others, we must first recognize that the Spirit of God is at work both in others and in our own life.  Without imitation of Christ, we will always go back either to seizing control or to passive reliance on charismatic personalities.

Last Updated ( Tuesday, 21 August 2007 )
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Discovering the Body: Part I PDF Print E-mail
Written by Jared Looney   
Tuesday, 21 August 2007
At the beginning of 2006, my family spent 5 weeks on a sabbatical in Costa Rica.  I spent significant time in meditation of Scripture beginning in Ephesians.  I was particularly interested in a study of the church (ecclesiology) and its nature.  As a personal journey, this is not new, but I wanted deeper insight into the functioning of Christ’s body.  I hoped to gain understanding that would be practical, especially for our faith communities in the Bronx.  I wanted to let go of my personal comforts and do my best to let Scripture tell the story.  At times I wrestled with the text.  I do realize that for some these won’t be new ideas, but if I had any doubts concerning the relational nature of the church, they faded during these weeks.  As a result, I grew in my desire to summarize this study for the faith communities that I serve.  This writing is a result of this study, and I hope that it serves as a resource for deeper understanding and community life.
Last Updated ( Tuesday, 21 August 2007 )
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Drum Circle PDF Print E-mail
Written by Jared   
Tuesday, 19 June 2007
I'm in Los Angeles -- Pasadena to be exact -- as part of an academic program in missiology. I miss my family, but the program itself is a great experience. We are with our cohort from morning til evening everyday for two weeks as part of an intensive residency, but we get the weekend off to rest and get ready to week 2.

So I found a cheap rate on a car rental for the weekend and spent Sunday afternoon at Venice Beach. I read, prayed, walked, and contemplated God's mission in the...
Original Content at: http://urbanekklesia.blogspot.com/2007/06/drum-circle.html.
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