TNT Call in July 2014

The Nerds return after an unplanned break.  The field calls from Brekke, Tyler and Richard. TNT

One of the calls has to do with the topic of ‘authority’. Here is a link to Bo’s blog on the topic of authority. 

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Exile Child
Exile Child

We who depend on you have missed you: welcome back to engaging and thanks for this TNT. I think the questions you tackled this episode really hit to the core of certain critical issues I have wrestled with and wondered about Homebrewed. I'm not sure you really wrestled with Brekke's question, which is a good one, so please consider this paraphrase and anybody respond accordingly: Brekke has convictions that 1. Jesus is God 2. There is saving grace 3. The crucifixion did something meaningful and real 4. The resurrection happened. She wants to know how to reconcile these convictions with the fact that her best friend is Muslim: should Brekke actively try to convince her best friend of these things too? My personal question if I were Brekke would be: Is my Muslim friend going to hell, and if not, then what is the point of Christian faith and what is the point of my vocation? She needs a theology of the other and wants you to wrestle with these issues too. 

Your response mostly consisted of confirming that we can and should have multiple conversions throughout life, you confirmed conversion as being a good thing, you confirmed baptism as an active phenomenon that is still happening, you suggested that progressives need to raise the bar for church participation and expectation, and gave witness to the fact that sometimes adult converts can wake up those who are just sitting on the sidelines. If I understand your response, perhaps Brekke should be deeply concerned about the spiritual formation and ultimate destination of her Muslim friend, and therefore should be actively trying to convert her.
But perhaps Brekke could be encouraged to hold her convictions loosely (like a lover)? But what are the theological implications of that? Perhaps the essence of Christianity has to do with the idea that certain deadly habits of mankind have been deemed null and void, such as scapegoating and sacrificial atonement theory and using God as a sword to divide and legislate who is out and who is in. But what are the theological implications of that? I think Brekke asks a great question and I would love to hear more from you all.

Jesse Turri
Jesse Turri

Great episode guys. Thanks. I particularly liked the authority part. I've thought a lot about that question too. Bo's right about the Protestant dilemma of reconciling human phenomenon with Divine "alien" phenomenon, it's a problem for a lot of people. I'm also in accordance with Bo I think, when he says that it's obvious the Bible can't be the ONLY authority when there exists at least 50 other groups who claim the Bible as authoritative but interpret it differently! Boggles my mind.

As for what I check my ideas against, I touch on it in this post: . The wesleyan quadrilateral is good, but it sort of leaves out the local (and maybe global), immediate community (church and otherwise), which I think is one of the most important authorities...

UPDATE: Just listened to the last seconds of the show and Tripp does mention community being important. HA! Nice

Exile Child
Exile Child

@Jesse Turri I too enjoyed the conversation about authority, and I like your previous post about it Jesse. Great question by Richard. I think adding community to the Wesleyan is good, and I think adding culture to the recipe could be good too. Cultural context is related to community but community is more about insiders and culture more about outsiders. That makes 6 points: scripture, reason, experience, tradition, community, and culture. Maybe there are more to add? Eventually, I would be interested in seeing the word authority replaced with something else. Like Bo touched on, we are in the business of discernment, making informed decisions, and taking responsibility for those decisions. But claiming some sort of divine authority for those decisions gets problematic.