Eastern Orthodoxy and EMC: kale alloiosis

A new friend sent me this beautiful quote from Facing the World, by Archbishop of Albania Anastasios Yannoulatos. He said it reminded him of my most recent book "Everything Must Change:"

In its Orthodox ideal…Christianity is still defined by its holistic vision: an approach toward and account of life that embraces everything, life in its entirety, in all its dimensions and meanings. This all-encompassing vision was elaborated…by the three ‘ecumenical teachers’ Basil the Great, Gregory the Theologian, and John Chrysostom. With all their being they lived the Bible’s message that everything is reiterated in Christ…and they struggled for an all-encompassing change in human affairs: a ‘change for the better” (kale alloiosis), [a] transformation of everyone and everything, which Christ initiated in both the external and the interior realms.

"An all-encompassing change in human affairs ... a change for the better ... a transformation of everyone and everything ..." this indeed expresses my understanding of the beautiful movement initiated by Christ.

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Going to San Diego

I head out today for San Diego for our next stop on the Everything Must Change tour. If you live in SoCal, why don't you drop your weekend plans and be part of this? You can show up at the door - info is at deepshift.org.
Looking forward to meeting up with a lot of old and new friends - to talk about really important things!
By the way, next weekend we'll be in Chicago - actually, Oak Park. Spread the word to friends in the Midwest - we'd love to have them be part of it!

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Tony Jones – “The New Christians” and Playboy

I've been re-reading Tony's excellent new book this week - which tells the story so far of the emergent village in the US. Here's how Tony introduces me on page 49:

"A decade older than most of the early emergents, a baby boomer, and a suburbanite, McLaren was a bit of a misfit."

Ah, the story of my life. Fortunately, things took a turn for the better in the next sentence: "... Brian got it."
Tony's funniest line - he quotes an anonymous source who says,

"Evangelical pastors have to read A New Kind of Christian wrapped in a Playboy cover."

Better, I suppose, than the reverse!

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Huckabee on Wright

I really appreciated this statement from Mike Huckabee, quoted this week on the Sojourners' site:

As easy as it is for those of us who are white to look back and say, "That's a terrible statement," I grew up in a very segregated South, and I think that you have to cut some slack. And I'm going to be probably the only conservative in America who's going to say something like this, but I'm just telling you: We've got to cut some slack to people who grew up being called names, being told, "You have to sit in the balcony when you go to the movie. You have to go to the back door to go into the restaurant. And you can't sit out there with everyone else. There's a separate waiting room in the doctor's office. Here's where you sit on the bus." And you know what? Sometimes people do have a chip on their shoulder and resentment. And you have to just say, I probably would too. I probably would too. In fact, I may have had ... more of a chip on my shoulder had it been me.
- Mike Huckabee, offering his perspective on the preaching of Rev. Jeremiah Wright. (Source: MSNBC)

I've been dismayed to see so many white pundits take more umbrage about Rev. Wright's statements (some of which are, no doubt, offensive) than they do about the racism that created the anger, insult, and hurt out of which those statements arise. By amplifying their offense at Rev. Wright, they demonstrate their relative insensitivity to how destructive racism has been, and in so doing, they add to the anger, insult, hurt, and misunderstanding - perpetuating the vicious cycle. Their impolitic responses make Mike Huckabee's response look all the wiser. Way to go, Mike. That's leadership worthy of the adjective "Christian."

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Episcopalians & Anglicans on EMC

The good people at Anglimergent have begun talking about EMC here ...
Also of interest to Anglicans, I feel greatly honored to have been invited to participate in the Lambeth Conference in July. I'm a great admirer of Archbishop Rowan Williams and I look forward to speaking to the gathering about evangelism/disciple-making.

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