Hope for the Sake of Creation

From the final session of the Mainline Emergent/s gathering by Brian McLaren

We must be concerned with the earth and not just the church. The substance of the message that is being presented in a local congregation is important – is the gospel one of escape or transformation?Possible action steps after the gathering:

  • Stop focusing on saving the church and think about the good news of the presence of the kingdom of God.
    • The gospel is a matter of life and death for the earth.
  • Find a cohort – remember that thinking is a social process and that change is an agonizing process.
    • Make friends: non-utilitarain relationships.
    • Be a friend to yourself…
  • If you can start something new, do.
    • You have more power than you think. You do not need permission to serve God.
    • If the people of your context are not interested in change, consider what you may be able to do in other areas.
  • Realize the positive relationships between innovation and imitation
    • Support experiments
    • Expect failure
    • Adaptively imitate success
    • Innovation and imitation are not enemies – small organizations may be able to innovate in ways that larger organizations can not. Larger organizations may be able to imitate this innovation and use it effectively.
  • Don’t criticize anybody
    • Think of us / us, not us / them.
    • Include people in a circle of love, whether or not they include you in their circle.
    • Criticism can make you bitter or better. Criticizing will not make you better.
  • Emphasize “first order practices.”
    • 1st order – pray; 2nd order – a theology of prayer
    • 1st order – giving to the poor; 2nd order – an economic theology
  • Hope against hope and ask… What if this works “exceedingly abundantly beyond all we can ask or think”? (Ephesians 3:19-20).

By Andrew Conard

Christian, husband, son, brother, homeowner