Saturday, February 18, 2012

What is the future of the church?

My friend Diana Butler Bass has just released a new book Christianity After Religion: The End of Church and the Birth of a New Spiritual Awakening.  I've not yet started reading, though I've been in conversations with her and have attended several presentations and lectures that she's given over the past three years -- while she was writing this book.  She has been raising up the question of the relationship of religion and spirituality.  Many of us in the Christian Community, especially we who pastor relatively traditional "brick and mortar" churches, have been wondering about our future.

In  a little more than a year from now, I'm planning on taking a sabbatical, and in the hopes of gaining a nice grant to cover my 3 months off, I've been working on a theme.  I'm playing with a theme centered on tradition.  That is in part due to my own academic interests in 18th century high church Anglicanism.  No one was more embedded in Tradition than "my guys," the Nonjurors.  But the question that many of us have to ask is -- how do we remain tethered to our traditions, while walking into the future.  What will that look like?

Diana has been working  on that question, and I expect it appears in her book (I'll let you know once I'm done with it -- as a review copy sits on my desk).   In the meantime, Diana has a brief video conversation from Day1, where she shares some of the concerns and opportunities of the day.  Take a look and listen, and then offer thoughts.  Where are we and where are we going?

H/T Diana's Blog.

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