Monday, April 27, 2009

The Hidden Curriculum

And yet another one from Leadership Journal...

Your Hidden Curriculum: What do people learn from you about the Christian life? Sometimes it's what you never intended to teach.

Here's what Sr. Scribe JoeB had to say about the article:

If the invisible curriculum of my own life hasn't shouted it down, you may recall my many rants on this subject. I call the invisible curriculum the "Unwritten Rules", and I believe the Bible calls them "spiritual forces of wickedness in the heavenlies."* I imagine all of his superb examples fall in the category of "reverse beatitudes", the ways of the world. Power before love; expedience before justice; victory before mercy. The shabbily dressed are welcome...if they sit here, at my feet. The meek inherit the soon as the powerful are done with it, and they've decided where the meek must stand.

I think these "spiritual forces of wickedness in the heavenlies" begin as individuals' shortcomings, but people play along with them and they become institutionalized. They become prescriptions for attitudes and behavior. And people master the curriculum just by breathing the air.

The invisible curriculum can be positive, by the way. And it is overwhelmingly powerful. I have experienced communities that overflow with love in the holy spirit, and it is earthshaking. In evangelism terms it is like the irresistible force.

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Traditionalism vs Reforming Tradition

Another great article from a friend:

Something Old, Something New: Combining liturgy and postmodern culture leads to fresh forms of worships in the U.K.

A few choice quotes:

"...the goal isn't to be trendy. The gospel always comes to us wearing cultural robes, speaking the language of its own time and society."

"the contemporary worship movement structured itself around bands that led blocks of singing followed by preaching and responses. In the 1970s and '80s, this movement was an exciting recovery of freedom of expression in worship. But over time, in many places, contemporary worship has gotten stuck, and what once felt radical and alive now feels a bit past its sell-by date."

"Communion is another precious old gift in the treasure house. We have improvised by putting Communion back in the context of a meal in homes or around tables in a café."

I also liked the part about NT Wright's example of "faithful improvisation," and us being in the middle of the fifth act of the Bible. Discuss.