Sound and Silence

when necessary, use words


February 2010

Sculpting the Narrative: McLaren’s “Greco-Roman” meets Fox’s “Fall-Redemption”

I am just about as excited as I could be. I’ve just put down Brian McLarens “Part 1: The Narrative Question” in his new tour de force “A New Kind of Christianity”. And on the table, too, is my well worn copy of Matthew Fox’s 1982 Classic “Original Blessing.”

If there are two defining works for the Christianity of the 21st Century, these two books are it. You may have seen Avatar in 3D, reading NKoC and OB together will give superb depth to any vision of the future of Christian spirituality. The very fact that McLaren is predominantly Evangelical Protestant and Fox Dominican Catholic, and that both these great contemporary thinkers consider themselves post the modern era, gives us a tremendous ecumenical advantage over narrower, more sectarian points of view.

The problem in a nutshell

Matthew Fox’s thesis is that Modern Christianity has been hijacked by a set of anti-biblical assumptions, which he calls the “Fall/Redemption” tradition. Properly understood, the Biblical narrative emerges from what he has named the much more ancient “Creation Spirituality” tradition.

The key curators of this are the “Yahwist” author of Genesis, the Wisdom writers, The Old Testament Prophets, Jesus, Paul, Francis, Mechtild, Eckhart, Teilhard and host of others, while the main proponents of Fall/Redemption include Augustine, a Kempis and Tanquerry. Fox shows how modernity built on Newton and Descartes, and siding with this latter paradigm, resulted in the crisis of spirituality we experience today, especially in the West. Continue reading “Sculpting the Narrative: McLaren’s “Greco-Roman” meets Fox’s “Fall-Redemption””


Abide In Me : A hymn

This is a new rendering (not yet recorded) of the hymn Eventide by William H. Monk (1861). It develops the hymn “Abide with Me” by Henry F. Lyte (1847) from a mood of solace in despair, to a more hopeful panentheistic one as part of an awareness of the essential connectness of all things.

from www.triciamccannonspeaks.comAbide in me, as I abide in you
Home to your Spirit, the Source of what is new
Once I was blind, unconscious and unseeing
Now in you I live and move and have my being

When faceless powers wreck havoc with this life
Forces of destruction loosed by greed and strife
When all around me yields to corruption let me see
You who is unchanging, oh abide in me

Each one has their season before they say farewell
Give me courage Lord at the tolling of that bell
Where death is your sting, or grave your victory?
Sustainer of all living things, abide in me


Be the change you want to see in the world. [Ghandi]
“Enlarge the place of your tent, stretch your tent curtains wide, do not hold back; lengthen your cords, strengthen your stakes.” [Isaiah 54:2, NIV]

Well the “New Kind of Christianity” storm is upon us. I am yet to read the book, but right now I am an observer from the edges of the weather system created by Brian McLarens cyclonic lifting of the pressure of our inherited orthodoxy.

Right now, emergents are fighting theological and ideological battles, and so we should. But clear or correct thinking is not an end in itself. We should fix our gaze beyond.

That end, I might offer, is the Life of God. Do our thoughts support and generate It? Are we brought further into right relationship with all things, especially our Creator?

Here are some alternative voicings of the question: Continue reading “Bemerge”

avatar cloud



universe organism

deep ecumenism

mandala congregation


sky roots


Wise Wilderness Wild Wisdom

cosmic tribe

Toxic Apocalyptic

“ngumuntu ngumuntu ngabantu”



Tree City


terrestrial reef

magnificent diversity



trojan horse

Sky Tree

light of the world

Aho Mitakye Oyisin

“I see you”

At One

suicide machine


The New Age – a postevangelical view

Tierazon1 fractal (Jack Haas)

Despite my naturally pedantic approach to language, I find that there are a few words or phrases that remain stuck on my tongue and in my head. My lifelong struggle against cliché and bad habits is tainted by this clutch of problematic symbols that like Pauls thorn, seem to resist my every effort in the battle to say what I mean and mean to be as fresh, new and creative as is humanly possible. One such phrase is “New Age”.

I first became aware of it while at the start of a journey which took me to the heart of charismatic evangelicalism, almost 30 years ago. What I remember this pejorative usage implying was false, relativistic, disembodied and uncommitted spirituality.

These are a few things from popular culture which in my experience are deemed “New Age”: Continue reading “The New Age – a postevangelical view”

Caleb and Joshua : Emergent Pioneers

But my servant Caleb – he has a different spirit…” [Num 14:24]nicolas_poisson_Spies with grapes of promised land

I have rediscovered the fascinating narrative from Numbers 13 and 14 concerning Moses and the people of Israel on the brink of entering into the Promised Land.

Despite associating this kind of Old Testament story with theologies of exclusion, spiritual heroics, conquest and conversion, I am now finding in it a particular resonance with current debates around emergence and the move beyond Modernity.

It’s a tale of twists, and here is the storyboard: Continue reading “Caleb and Joshua : Emergent Pioneers”

Blog at

Up ↑