Theology, socially

As sometimes happens during the day, I was chatting on instant messenger about youth ministry with Adam yesterday.  We were talking about a mutual interest, something he was planning out a blog post on – discipleship.  As the conversation rambled around some ideas, my interest was grabbed by a particular facet (or tangent, lol) about the same time as Adam updated his twitter account.  The following exchange grew from there (non-twitter users should keep in mind that twitter is a timeline of posts in which @ means ‘reply to’; I’ve tried to arrange them in a more conversational order):

mclanea Have a fun theology of discipleship conversation with @pattigibbons. Booyah!   about 23 hours ago from web

MarkMatlock @pattigibbons I’ll take you up on that conversation! Got some notes to share?
about 23 hours ago from web in reply to pattigibbons

mclanea @MarkMatlock I took notes. I’m working on a video post for my blog. @pattigibbons totally just schooled my hypothesis!  about 23 hours ago from web in reply to MarkMatlock

pattigibbons @MarkMatlock we’re hunting for the place where the disciple car got disconnected from family and hooked up to church   about 23 hours ago from web  in reply to MarkMatlock

CoffeeWithChris @pattigibbons hmmm, what are you thinking? I was on the Industrial Revolution & start of Sunday school track?   about 23 hours ago from web  in reply to pattigibbons

pattigibbons
@CoffeeWithChris I think that’s a spot, but it may go back even further   about 23 hours ago from web  in reply to CoffeeWithChris

pattigibbons @CoffeeWithChris I think that’s an important spot, and the most contemporary, but I’m wondering about the days of church as primary educator   about 22 hours ago from web  in reply to CoffeeWithChris

CoffeeWithChris @pattigibbons just went and talked to one of the other pastors on staff here, first place he went to was Constantine & the Empire…   about 23 hours ago from web  in reply to pattigibbons

pattigibbons @CoffeeWithChris I’d have to hear more to blame Constantine for this one (he did plenty, but I’m not sure originated this disconnect)   about 22 hours ago from web  in reply to CoffeeWithChris

MarkMatlock @CoffeeWithChris My feeling is that the church is putting the blame for it’s failure on parents without offering much in the way of example.   about 19 hours ago from web  in reply to CoffeeWithChris

MarkMatlock @pattigibbons Hmmm..the Great Commission wasn’t given to families. The call was for disciples to make disciples. I’d love your thoughts.   about 22 hours ago from web  in reply to pattigibbons

CoffeeWithChris @MarkMatlock true but that doesn’t imply the institutional church either, right? Deuteronomy says for parents to teach their children…   about 22 hours ago from web  in reply to MarkMatlock

pattigibbons @MarkMatlock if parents are disciples, and if the OT instr to teach your children are both in effect, there should be cooperation on that   about 21 hours ago from web  in reply to MarkMatlock

MarkMatlock @coffeewithchris @pattigibbons I’m just shooting from the hip here btw. I like this conversation.   about 19 hours ago from web  in reply to CoffeeWithChris

MarkMatlock @pattigibbons I do agree with you, but feel the real problem came when we separated disciple making and evangelism.   about 19 hours ago from web  in reply to pattigibbons

pattigibbons @MarkMatlock we agree on that as well. I’m of the strong opinion that the best evangelism is Christians being truly Christian in real life.   about 19 hours ago from web  in reply to MarkMatlock

MarkMatlock @CoffeeWithChris I agree, but the OT context is specific under a theocratic culture. Still relevant, but church has responsibility.   about 19 hours ago from web  in reply to CoffeeWithChris

CoffeeWithChris @MarkMatlock totally agree, it has to be “both/and” instead of “either/or”   about 19 hours ago from web  in reply to MarkMatlock

So, a little theological discussion 140 characters at a time, and it’s still on my mind! Do you have ideas about discipleship, the family and the church? Would love to hear it, and the comments here accept more than 140 characters!  Please feel free to chime in.

Adam posted his thoughts about discipleship in youth ministry in a video called Open Ended Discipleship [click here to go to that post].  A different facet of the conversation, but an important related question for youth ministry.

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6 Responses to “Theology, socially”

  1. Tre Lawrence
    December 3, 2008 at 12:07 pm #

    Good stuff, and useful too.

  2. Michelle
    December 3, 2008 at 6:01 pm #

    Mmm, fascinating. I’m inclined to think Constantine was the worst thing that ever happened to Christianity, but I’m sure someone can come up with a counterfigure, probably some bishop who murdered some bishop to further some doctrine. Anyhoo…

    About the Great Commission not implying the institutional church–perhaps because there wasn’t one yet? I’ve heard an interpretive theory regarding, I think, the book of Deuteronomy, that it was a way of re-understanding the Torah in a context that was no longer tribal but national, Israel having grown so large that the old tribal implementations were no longer effective. Perhaps something similar applies? Not as a way of dumping responsibility on The Church merely because it exists, but a way of re-imagining the old methods for new times?

  3. Bradley Buhro
    December 18, 2008 at 1:42 pm #

    I mentioned this discussion in my recent post “The Vocation of the Child” which explores in part the partnership between parents and church in the faith formation of Children. Thanks, Patti, for thinking and writing about this issue.

  4. didier grossemy
    February 5, 2009 at 8:41 am #

    Are we connected or socially disconnected…
    I personally believe that technology has reduced our social capital—the relationships that bind people together and create a sense of community. Consequences include decreased civility, loss of behavioural boundaries and increased crime. We must find ways to deal with our profound loss of social connectedness.
    Even though technological advances have contributed significantly to the problem of isolation, the emphasis on individualism in today’s society has compounded it.

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