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an invitation especially to 'reasserters'

One of my favorite memories from General Convention 2006 took place just before the biggest hearing before Committee 26, the legislative committee handling resolutions related to the Windsor Report. I'd gotten there early -- not just so I could sign up to testify as soon as the lists came out, but also because there was an open wireless network outside the grand ballroom where the hearing was to take place, and I had a lectionary blog entry to write. I found an electrical outlet and a chair, pulled out my pocket-sized NRSV (yes, I do actually carry a bible with me everywhere I go -- this one is fabulous in that it's got the whole Hebrew bible and New Testament in pretty much the dimensions of a very thick checkbook) and my laptop, and started typing away.

I wasn't working all that long before Martyn Minns (who's being invested as missionary bishop for CANA on my birthday) walked up. "I see that there's one thing we agree on ..." he said.

I was sure he was going to say something about the open bible in front of me, but it was to my laptop that he pointed.


I think he and I agree on a great deal more than that, for as much as we disagree passionately about some important things. But I'd love to see if the community of readers here and on 'reasserter' (a term often preferred for self-designation by people often designated as 'conservatives' by progressives) blogs such as TitusOneNine and StandFirm can come up with a list of important points we actually agree on.

So here's what I'm going to do. I'm going to start a list of points on which I think I and many 'progressives' agree with the vast majority of 'reasserters.' Progressives and reasserters, please use the comments either to add your own points on which you think we'd agree or to let me know if you don't actually agree with one of the points posted up here, and I'll periodically edit the list in light of the comments. I'm not using the most specific or detailed language I could use, as the goal is to come up with the greatest number and most specificity possible while still allowing broad agreement. I'm also not listing everything in this first bunch of points that I believe and I think most reasserters also believe, simply because that would take too long and I've got papers due. I'll add more later, but I hope this is a good start.

That said, here's my initial list of things I believe that I think most reasserters would also affirm:

  • Jesus is Lord.
  • Jesus and the God who created the universe are one.
  • The Old and New Testaments were inspired by God, and are useful for teaching and Christian formation (a la 2 Timothy 3:16-17).
  • Jesus of Nazareth was an actual historical person who was born of Mary, gathered disciples and taught, healed, and confronted evil powers in ministry the first-century Roman province of Palestine, and was crucified under Pontius Pilate's authority.
  • Jesus of Nazareth was and is the Christ of God.
  • The God of Israel raised Jesus of Nazareth from the dead. I know some Christians struggle with this, but I believe this was a bodily resurrection, and the tomb was empty (and John Dominic Crossan never persuaded me that there was no tomb).
  • Jesus' disciples met the risen Jesus -- some had visions, some corporeal encounters (though Jesus' body was different in some ways -- e.g., he didn't seem to need doors to be opened or unlocked to get into a room), but in all cases reported in the New Testament it was Jesus they met.
  • I think the list of canonical books in the New Testament is a good one. There is no non-canonical gospel that I would have liked to see in the canon, and no book currently in the canon that I'd exclude if I could.
  • I believe that the kingdom of God was inaugurated in Jesus' ministry, and that Jesus will come again to realize fully his work among us.
  • I believe that the God of Israel has chosen Jesus, the Christ, as judge of the nations.
  • I believe that Jesus is really present in the sacrament of the Eucharist.
  • I believe that Jesus is really present wherever people gather in his name.

So, what would you add that you think we both believe? Is there anything above that you couldn't sign on to? And how would you identify yourself (a reasserter? a conservative? a progressive? a liberal? a moderate? something else?)?

April 28, 2007 in Churchiness, Just for Fun | Permalink | Comments (135) | TrackBack