The Quotable Ray Anderson

So as i mentioned recently, i’ve been reading a lot of Ray Anderson lately.  Although i was a bit unhappy at the amount of exposure i was getting of Anderson in comparison to other theologians, make no mistake about it, Dr. Anderson is a fantastic theologian.  He is a fun read as well.  Here are several gems, all taken from his book An Emergent Theology for Emerging Churches

The incarnation of God in the person of Jesus Christ was a sacrament of divine grace intended to repair the ecological rupture between the spiritual and the material workplace of the human habitat.  In this view of sacrament the division between the holy place and the profane workplace that resulted from the Fall was overcome.  Through the redemptive sacrament of the incarnation the created order was restored as a unity of material and spiritual life.

There are churches whose environment is stale and sterile, with hardly a breath of the Spirit’s presence.  In such churches one is reminded of a wax museum, where the living and the dead mingle cautiously and circumspectly, so as to not disturb each other. 

While the church tends to differentiate itself from the world by its religious nature, the kingdom of God penetrates and transforms the world by its secular nature.  This is why the Spirit of Christ calls us to be disciples of the kingdom rather than the church.  Discipleship is not a religious vocation.

Sin is living inhumanly, not just ungodly.

Spiritual health is not evidenced by possessing spiritual gifts but rather being possessed by the Spirit in such a way that each member is a gift to the health of the body.

 

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3 responses to “The Quotable Ray Anderson

  1. “While the church tends to differentiate itself from the world by its religious nature, the kingdom of God penetrates and transforms the world by its secular nature. This is why the Spirit of Christ calls us to be disciples of the kingdom rather than the church. Discipleship is not a religious vocation.”

    Wow. NOT what has been taught to many believers. Now I’m really intrigued . . .

    Brian

  2. Hey Brian,

    yeah he’s a bit different than th rest. He calls himself a maverick theologian, and not without good reason.

    As far as books go, if you want place to start reading, here are a few good options:

    The Shape of Practical Theology (ISBN-13: 978-0830815593), The Soul of Ministry (ISBN-13: 978-0664257446), or Dancing with Wolves While Feeding the Sheep (ISBN-13: 978-1579109219).

    There is some overlap in all three of these books. Dancing with Wolves gives you various snippets of his thoughts, as does The Shape of Practical Theology, although i bit more in depth. The Soul of Ministry is a bit deeper, but doable. Also, it represents some of his most mature thoughts on church and ministry.

    This is where i would go to start engaging his theology. He also does a lot of work on integrating theology and psychology as well, but for theology, here is where i would start. Hope this helps.

    Derek

  3. I did some further digging and found out that I *have* read one of his books, The Gospel According to Judas, way back when it was first released. I recall getting into some very controversial conversations as a result of reading that.

    (On a completely unrelated, and somewhat humorous sidenote . . . as I was finishing up that last sentence, I had a sudden cough attack and launched my cigarette, dangling from lips, right onto my laptop. What a mess! I really need to quit . . . )

    Brian

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