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« "The way you ripple the earth..." | Main | Sundays and church and stuff... »

Friday, September 26, 2008



Good question...this reminds me of a lot of the stuff I read in Pagan Christianity...
I think that Hirsch has a point but when I think about the monastaries that often did have a life that seems closer to following the Carpenter than we do now and the many people that had a genuine faith and sought to live it out practically (Anabaptists and other persecuted (often by the church) groups) I think that it is too strong a statement because we limit God by saying this. He can work through different cultures and pagan elements are not perse 'evil' just like I believe we can use Sigur Ros (really cool Icelandic post-rock, non-Christian) and other modern and post-modern 'pagan' artists in church meetings. The EC talks about there being less emphasis on the sacred/non sacred divide and maybe that is the key to understanding Europes Christian history too? Pagan? Yes! Christian? Sometimes...


really good post and a lot for me to think about today.....I have always thought post christian but this gives a different twist...hmmmm

Johan ter Beek

Hi Rogier, good questions!

Read Oliver O'Donovan's post-christendom theory. In Dutch: "Levend in Leviathan" van Ad de Bruijne. It's a different view on this topic. Enjoy!

I also liked the little book "How the Irish saved civilisation" a lot. It's the story about Saint Patrick and his monastic movement which lay the spiritual foundation for medival europe. It's amazing! Almost Emerging! ;)

Bill Clarke

Makes me think about the nature of what we call a "Christian culture". Does it mean that the society is permeated by Christians and their influence? Does it point to the result of having a church on almost every corner (as you can see in some parts of the American South where I am from - ignore the fact that churches are one of the most, if not the most, racially segregated fixtures in American society)

Makes me think about the devotional my wife and I read this morning regarding the influence of one man in "post Christian" or "never Christian" Europe. I did not know that his influence reached so far in actually helping make the "Christian cultures" Christian. Certainly something in the culture in which he was raised (Dutch) contributed to his gift to the world. Could that "something" be a "Someone" - the Holy Spirit?

Makes me think about God's economy (for our pesonal lives and for our cultures) - the mustard seed, the yeast working through the dough, the widow's mite, a boy's lunch...)


From the "Our Daily Bread" devotional from RBC Ministries for October 13, 2008, entitled "Erasmus".

"For centuries, many Christians were not permitted to read God’s Word in their own language. Instead, they were encouraged to attend Latin services that few could understand.

Then, in 1516, the Dutch scholar Erasmus compiled and published the first New Testament in the original Greek language. This landmark work was the basis for the later publication of Luther’s German Bible, Tyndale’s English Bible, and the King James Version. These translations made the Scriptures understandable to millions of people around the world.

Erasmus could not have known the influence his Greek New Testament would have, but he did have a passion for getting its message to laypeople from all walks of life. In the preface he wrote: “I would have [the Gospels and the Epistles] translated into all languages . . . . I long for the plowboy to sing them to himself as he follows the plow [and] the weaver to hum them to the tune of his shuttle.”

The prophet Jeremiah reflected this same passion for the Word: “Your words were found, and I ate them, and Your Word was to me the joy and rejoicing of my heart” (15:16).

Having God’s Word in our own language allows us to experience the joy of meditating on it each day. — Dennis Fisher

More precious than gold is God’s Word to me,
Much better than pearls from deep in the sea;
For in the Lord’s Word I take great delight,
And it is my joy each day and each night. —Fitzhugh

The treasures of truth in God’s Word are best mined with the spade of meditation."

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