Church Narratives

Lesson 9: New Love Narrative

Lesson 9: New Love Narrative

Before turning to the specific contents of a modern Christian narrative it might be worthwhile once again to point out that this in no way distorts the Gospel message. To give thought to words and ideas that make sense to people living in our time is not surrender to worldly values or agendas. It is […]

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The Phone Call

The Phone Call

I found drama a very effective way to poclaim the modern Christian narrative. I cannot remember the situation when I wrote this the following dialogue sermon for Christmas Eve. I do recall a number of people reported it spoke directly to them. In fact, one said hearing it was a life changing experience. The Phone […]

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Lesson 8: Conversation and Dialogue

Lesson 8: Conversation and Dialogue

We have come to the last of the five reoccurring themes that I found when hastily rereading the documents of Vatican II. Although my intention was simply to refresh my memory, I was pleasantly surprised to find the five could serve as the framework for a modern Christian narrative. Each addresses our present societal problems […]

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Lesson 7: Unity in Diversity

Lesson 7: Unity in Diversity

The call for unity in diversity emerged as one of the hallmarks of Vatican II. It was used in a variety of contexts during the Council and remains a helpful guideline for a servant church speaking to a global society. I think it initially appeared in the first session when discussing the liturgy. Maximos IV, […]

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Lesson 6: The Dignity of Humanity

Lesson 6: The Dignity of Humanity

I am increasingly convinced Vatican II was able to lay the groundwork of a new Christian narrative for our modern age, because for the most part, it looked at our situation with a simple honesty. That honesty recognized the narrative the Church has used to identify and understand herself has changed throughout history. Consequently, it […]

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Lesson 5: The New Age

Lesson 5: The New Age

Several times a day, friends lament that they are unable to talk about important issues with people who hold opposing views. Today, one reported that Thanksgiving was awful, because family members got angry discussing politics. Another said bridge club has become uncomfortable, because you have to avoid so many topics that have become divisive. In […]

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Lesson 4: Life as a Reality Television Show

Lesson 4: Life as a Reality Television Show

Years ago, students of technology warned that everything in a technological society becomes entertainment. Usually they were speaking about the evening news, and their prescience is downright obvious there. Today, news has become 24/7 entertainment, political talk show hosts rationalize their inaccuracies by claiming they provide entertainment and not news, and every network is open […]

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Lesson 3: The Servant Church

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Lesson 2: Christian Conversation

Lesson 2: Christian Conversation

Perhaps I got ahead of myself last week. I spoke of the need for a new Christian narrative in our technological society and suggested that Vatican II offers us groundwork for developing one. Incidental to that, I observed that I feel the narratives by which Lutherans and Roman Catholics have identified and understood themselves for […]

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Lesson 1: A New Church Narrative

Lesson 1: A New Church Narrative

In marking the anniversary of the Reformation, it became clear to some of us that 500-year-old narratives really do not serve our mission to proclaim the Gospel in our own time. That has put me on a kick to consider what might be a possible new narrative to which I hope some of you will […]

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