Monday, July 12, 2004

mclaren on church: the real - the ideal

"Like Bishop, I have been deeply impressed and instructed by Dietrich Bonhoeffer’s Life Together. Bonhoeffer wisely warns Christians about the dangers of “wish-dreams” about community, ideals and dreams of community that become idolatrous, tempting one to love the ideal or dream more than one loves the actual people in one’s community. Having switched our focus of affection from the people themselves (with all their faults, annoyances, and idiosyncracies), and having bonded instead to our ideal or wish-dream, we are tempted to hate the people who fail to cooperate in seeing our ideal fulfilled as we might wish. Thus we blame them for sabotaging our vision of ideal (or authentic, or Biblical, or whatever other adjective identifies we might insert) community, blinding ourselves to the self-sabotaging hatred or resentment that lies within our own heart, all the while waving the banner of our ideal in “righteous” indignation."

Jason Clark posts a Brian McLaren article that explores church from the points of view of what Brian sees as alternatively contradictory and complimentarian: the ideal and real.

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