Questioning Our Way towards New Quests

Is the Church sliding down a slippery slope into oblivion, or standing on the threshold of something new? I believe in the latter. Like the characters of Sarah and Elizabeth in the Scriptures, though well past their prime (closer to a nursing home than to nursing a child, as Brian McLaren would say), a surprising new birth awaits… but like every birth, much pain and sorrow must come before the joy of new life. Something is happening within. Voices of discontent are spreading like fire, getting louder and louder. Questions are stirring in the hearts of many… and they are no longer satisfied with the old answers. And people are realizing that they are not alone… Change is coming. The door is open for the emergence of new possibilities…

When people tell us to be quiet and accept the conventional answers we’ve been given in the past, many of us groan like the ancient Hebrews being forced to produce bricks without straw. We cry out to God, ‘Please set us free!’ We cry out to preachers and theologians, ‘Let us go! Let us find some space to think, to worship God, outside the bars and walls and fences in which we are constrained and imprisoned. We’ll head out into the wilderness – risk hunger, thirst, exposure, death – but we can’t sustain this constrained way of thinking, believing and living much longer. We need to ask the questions that are simmering in our souls.’ ~ Brian McLaren, A New Kind of Christianity

At this moment in history, we need something more radical and transformative than a new state: we need a new quest. We need more than a new static location from which we proclaim, ‘Here I stand!’ Instead, we need a new dynamic direction into which we move together, proclaiming, ‘Here we go!’ We need, not a new set of beliefs, but a new way of believing; not simply new answers to the same old questions, but a new set of questions instead. New statements can inspire debate and bring us to a new state. But only new questions can inspire new conversations that can launch us on a new quest. ~ Brian McLaren, A New Kind of Christianity

Paradigms and dogma can be defended and enforced with guns and prisons, bullets and bonfires, threats and humiliations, fatwas and excommunications. But they can be undone by something as simple as a question. ~ Brian McLaren, A New Kind of Christianity

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