I don't remember how long ago it started -- you can search "Dan Kimball" to find out. But I'm reading Pastor Kimball's new book, They Like Jesus But Not The Church, and, well, you know ...
But this week will not be a book review of Pastor Kimball's book. I'm sure Bob Hyatt will be surprised by that, but all things being equal I'm not finished with the book and there's no reason to review a book you haven't finished reading unless you're just itchin' for trouble.
What I want to do today is start a conversation. Nice, right? Because I have only about 20 minutes today to get something worth reading up on TeamPyro, I thought I'd put this up here and let the meta hash it out while I finish reading the book.
Here's the thing: on Page 96 of his book, Pastor Kimball starts a chapter on people hating the church because it's too judgmental. You know what: fair enough. Anyone on TeamPyro would get his nose out of joint over fundamentalist prudery or wearing a "God Hates Fags" t-shirt -- and if that's what he's talking about, amen, I guess. (Do they say "amen" during sermons in emerging churches?)
But there's this bit which I am having a little trouble getting past:
I was embarassed about giving my friend this particular bible because all of the negative commentary would distract him from reading about having a positive relationship with Jesus. I wanted his experience of reading the Bible for the first time to be about who Jesus is. I wanted it to be about inner heart issues rather than select outward actions. ... I am all for telling people about sin, but we should do it in the right way, and at the right time.Without me editorializing, I have three questions:
- Who is Jesus -- that is, How does Jesus present Himself in Scripture?
- What is a man's relationship with Jesus -- that is, what about man or about Jesus makes that relationship either appropriate or necessary?
- When is the "right way" and the "right time" to tell a person about sin?
This is about the Gospel and about the church. There is an application to fundies and to EC churches, but you can't go there until you get these three questions answered right.
Now go get it -- 3 questions. I'll be back later to clean up ...