Friday, 13 April 2007

'Fresh Expressions' are just old institutionalism

[...] I find the whole rhetoric of "new ways of being church" vacuous and cynical. The truth is that the institutional churches want to promote innovation in order to control it, to own it. A website on which people pretend to be at church is supremely unthreatening. Perhaps it will impress one or two onlookers as far-sighted. Its real function is to reassure those in the churches that they belong to a daring organisation.

By playing with trendy gimmicks the churches are evading the scale of the crisis they face. Christianity cannot recapture the cultural imagination by means of such trivia. It is institutionalism itself that is the problem. A genuinely fresh expression of Christianity will not be church-sponsored; it will be independent of every institutional church, and therefore it will be condemned as dangerous, anarchic and not really Christian at all. You'll know something interesting has at last happened in Christian culture when the clergy stop grinning and start frowning. Read more

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