Doulos Christou is also known to the world as Warren Rachele. My ministry includes the thoughts and devotions that you read here and my work in Worship that you can find at WorshipCraft.com. You may have also read my writing in Your Church, PRISM, or elsewhere and I hope you have enjoyed it or have been challenged by it.
I believe that the local embodiment of the Church that Jesus established is the hope of this world. My humble contribution to this mission has been to minister churches in Idaho and Colorado. I have also been privileged to enrich people’s lives by teaching at Regis University for over eighteen years.
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My name is Steve Hu and I’m a recent graduate of Biblical Theological Seminary (BTS) in Pennsylvania, U.S. Perhaps you’ve heard of BTS – BTS is an institution that is taking a missional approach to seminary education and ministry (John Franke is one of the resident faculty there). Ever since attending BTS, I’ve discovered this discussion is often emotionally charged with the emerging side defending itself against charges of syncretism and accomodation. This label is what “traditional” evangelicals would place upon the emerging church (see D.A. Carson). Although I myself am not part of the emerging movement, I do find myself thinking and acting more like someone who is part of the movement. Thus I do find the term “syncretism” which folks like Carson use to label the EC to be hurtful.
In March 2007 I had the opportunity to present a paper at the eastern regional Evangelical Theological Society (ETS) conference on this very subject (with Alan Roxburgh as the plenary speaker). The paper is entitled “Are We Syncretizing the Gospel? A Reflection Upon Lesslie Newbigin’s Definition of Syncretism for the Church’s Missionary Encounter with Culture.” In my paper I examine the charge of syncretism which has been used to describe the emerging movement. I first begin with a brief historical analysis of the term and point out the original usage of “syncretism” actually carried a positive connotation. It wasn’t until the rise of the Protestant missionary movement this term became a pejorative descriptor.
My contention is that before we use this word to describe the emerging movement, critics of the movement ought to be careful to know that to do so is to use “syncretism” as a “power” word. Thus critics of the emerging movement see themselves as guardians of orthodoxy. In my paper I also rely on Newbigin’s argument the way we understand and propagate the Gospel here in the West is also syncretistic. Thus before critics of the emerging movement should throw around the “syncretism” label, they ought to also examine themselves to see if they are syncretizing the Gospel. I call for honest self-reflection on all parties when engaging in this dialog.
For my paper, I referred to some of Andrew Jones’ blogs as I know this issue of syncretism is a hot potato in current discussion in the emerging church (which the EC taking a defensive posture).
If you would like, I’d like to send you a copy of my paper (PDF format) and perhaps you could make it available on your blog for your readers. My hope is that my paper would bring to light to your readers this very issue of pejorative labels. I also hope to advance the discussion further so to help both sides see and understand the pejorative labeling is a distraction and counter-productive to the task we have at hand, that is, the task commissioned to God’s people by Christ to faithfully live, embody, and incarnate the Gospel to the world.
Somerset, New Jersey, USA
I am a Website Designer and currently working on an AAS in Computer Technology.
It would be nice if you could check out my blog.
I am always in need of another writer (Politics & YouTube In Review just set up 203 regional and/or metropolitan news on June 2, 2007), so drop by and leave me a message if you’re interested.
Hola. I don’t really know how I stumbled on your blog. Anyways I am a teenager in high school. I plan on going to Rockford Masters Commision when I complete high school. I like to write about real-life stuff. Life, friends, love anything. Anyways I think that you are doing a really good job. Check me out or e-mail me at email@example.com Peace
Just “checking you out” after your comment on my blog. See that your wife is Asian and that you have a son. I am half Korean and half Caucasian. Anyhow…looks like you got an interesting blog. I appreciate your heart for justice…I share a same passion. If you don’t mind me asking, what kind of church do you attend?
Hey Rick, glad you stopped over. My wife is Korean so you and my boy have much in common! Looks like a great family.) Pleased to find a kindred heart for justice and its restoration through the work of the Church. Sometimes we get so caught up in the process of ‘doing’ church and forget about ‘being’ the church. Our church is non-denominational run of the mill Protestant.
This is Bryan from the Ravenhill Challenge. Either we’ve lost or never gotten your address to send you the Dr. Brown book. Send it over to us when you can and we’ll gladly mail it out to you.
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I was looking at your blog today, and I really like some of the things you have to say. I’ll be sure to check back often.
I have really enjoyed your reviews of books. Your careful discernment and absorbtion into the book really shows not only how much you like to read but that you read for understanding. I am writing because I just published a book and would love to get your review of it (no matter what you end up thinking of it!). It would help me not only in exposure but I really appreciate a review from someone who will give their attention to it.
The book is actually only a part of a large project called ‘Days With Jesus’. It combines the book, which walks the reader through the first half of the Gospel of John, with numerous videos shot on-location in Israel hosted on the website where a person can see where that particular Day took place. I call the book a ‘Docuvotional’ as I attempt to take the reader through the life of Jesus as told to us by His disciple John, then help the reader to try and apply the teachings in a devotional manner.
I can send you the ebook if you would like to read it unless you would prefer a different format. Feel no rush but if you would like to do a write-up on it I would be grateful. Please just shoot me an email if it interests you to do a review so I can be on the lookout for it.
Thanks for your consideration!
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