Monday, August 27, 2007

Cool Christianity from hell

Let me set this up by saying how thoroughly I disagree with this crap. I understand these videos are widely shown in churches, no doubt to cheers and derisive laughter. If you've bought into this, I ask you to look again behind the cute veneer.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YT9ZSnYwhiA

Thanks, Jared Wilson for your post on this subject. Very long, but a brilliant read, and VERY timely for we who fancy ourselves as the great hope of the Church.

http://gospeldrivenchurch.blogspot.com/2007/08/gospel-rant.html

17 comments:

soebeck said...

Ouch. I kinda laughed at the video. Then I read Jared's post, and I agree with him. Why, oh why, did I not read his rant first? God forgive us, every one.

scott said...

I agree that it's counterproductive to make a video like that (and I've seen multiple similar Christian Mac/PC parodies -- Can't Christians come up with something original?). But at the same time, the actual content of the video, and the point it makes -- apart from the stupid "cool vs nerdy" way it presents itself -- is much too real in many Christian circles.

And yes, I laughed a bit at the part about "the wrong people in Washington" and "organize a protest."

Some of it comes down to content vs presentation, if you ask me.

Joe B said...

Actually I'm not so sure. This thing is mocking both God's beloved and biblical truths by putting them in the mouth of a nervous, sweaty, non-sexy, and generally unfortunate guy.

"You were not many wise when you were called, not many rich, not many noble. But God hath chosen the foolish things of this world..."

It's not as though the old guard chritians he represents are persecuting us. they're just not adoring us the way we feel they should.

That said, the nerd guy turned in a hilarious performance and the script was very clever.

Robotface Shumway (Big Doofus) said...

Being "religious" is not bad. It all depends on what you're "religious" about. Plus you can be religious and authentic at the same time.

It looks like the church from whence this video came is a pretty typical evangelical church. But I DO agree that this is a really bad idea for so many reasons.

Usually when you hear of people referring to themselves as "authentic" these days, they are coming from an emerging church background--which is another issue we should consider discussing at some time. However, that doesn't seem to be the case here.

Joe B said...

Authentic is good. What about Emergent? Is that good too?

Hmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmm........

Robotface Shumway (Big Doofus) said...

Based on your reading list, I have a guess as to what you think about it.

scott said...

I'm still confused as to why EmerGENT is different than EmerGING.

Either way, it's not a denomination, it's a CONVERSATION, right? :-)

And Joe, why didn't you post those Emerging articles here? For Rog and all the world to see?

Robotface Shumway (Big Doofus) said...

Emerging
Emergent
Potato
Postmodern

Let's call the whole thing off.

:)

Joe B said...

:-) :-) :-) :-) :-) :-) :-D

Reading-wise this has been a big year for NT Wright's light books. Emergies refer to him, but he's hardly one of "them", is he?

My most formative books lately have been The Challenge of Jesus & What St Paul Really Said (by NT Wright), The Divine Conspiracy (Dallas Willard), For the Glory of God (Rodney Stark), and a far-out book Christ Plays in Ten Thousand Places (Eugene Peterson.) I hate to admit it but I have been awed by two Camille Paglia articles tucked in as a prologue to Sexual Personae (which is actually a book about poetry.) Lesbian Feminist genius. Most interesting writer of our times maybe.

Joe B said...

I didn't post the articles because I had only read two of the three. It wasn't that inspiring. I have a good one to post that actually sheds light on the subject, though. Refreshing, given the Emergies penchant for obscurantism.

It's in the basement of my other computer.

Robotface Shumway (Big Doofus) said...

Eugene Peterson is one of my favorites. I'm currently reading a book called Practitioners which is a collection of Emerging/ent essays. Most of it is pretty useless, touchy-feely stuff, but I really enjoyed a chapter on prayer. I'm also reading D.A. Carson's book, Becoming Conversant With the Emerging Church. It's not light reading, but he does a great job of breaking down the shifts from pre-modern to modern to postmodern.

Finally, I'm reading The Call by Os Guinness and I'm taking a group of men through it.

scott said...

Ha! A couple of the articles I mentioned in my above comment were actually all about that DA Carson book.

Here's all three of them. Note that Joe says they aren't that inspiring...

Joe B said...

I just cracked open Gibbs & Bolger's "Emerging Churches: Creating Community in Postmodern Cultures." It's a research piece intended to identify patterns found in 120 interviews with Emergy church pastors in the US & UK. They define Emergent as follows, and identify nine characteristic practices:

"Emerging churches are communities that practice the way of Jesus within postmodern cultures." They:

1, identify with the life of Jesus; 2, transform the secular realm; 3, live highly communal lives. Therefore they: 4, welcome the stranger; 5, serve with generosity; 6, participate and producers; 7, create as created beings; 8, lead as a body; 9, take part in spiritual activities.

Note how non-theological these patterns are. They do not note that thse folks are nearly all non-evangelical, post-evangelical, or evangelical gadflies. Even if their confession is not in theological opposition, their focus on practice of faith ("following Jesus") is markedly different than the evangelical focus on attainment of positional righteousness ("being saved").

brian said...

I think that there´s a bit of caricature written in the script, as there´s no-one so cool as Joe Cool and no-one so nerdy as SuperChristian in the video. Well, maybe there are a few like that, but we´re talking about an extreme few. I was offended by the glib mocking of Cool Guy, to be honest.

I´ve seen enough people who are of the "hyper-religious" sort in churches, and it´s not up to the "cool" people to sort them out and mock them. God deals with each of us in His own way.

The only way that one might take this video seriously is in the context that Jesus did tend to step on the toes of the religious people who had no heart for God and His ways. But I don´t see that intent at all in the video.

If you want to see authentic Christianity, come to Europe, where you´re too dependent on one another to care about labels.

Joe B said...

Europeans don't use deodorant

brian said...

They do, but they don´t have the industrial-strength stuff like they have in the States.

Please send Speed Stick! ;-)

Joe B said...

A little olive oil with a bit of crushed garlic should do the trick...