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"come follow me,

and i will make you all mushy."

- from the internet monk



Posted on Friday, March 3, 2006 at 01:36PM by Registered Commentermdog | Comments1 Comment

Reader Comments (1)

Resident anal hypercritical checking in here...

As much as I agreed with large, large portions of what he said, this article bugged. He is absolutely dead-on when he talks about how a lot of worship music makes me the focus instead of God. That is a HUGE problem. But maybe he should have stopped there, or at least anchored his argument a little more thoroughly in that.

I do agree with his assessment of the flaws of romantic feelings as we humans traditionally experience them. Like:

>While we may admire some aspects of the behavior of those who are "in love," we all realize that life-long commitments, like marriage and parenting, MUST move beyond this to a kind of love that finds joy in loving the beloved without the emphasis on the emotional, romantic experience. Can those who are "in love," love as well as those who choose to love with mind and heart and intention of commitment?<

but then I want to say: (A) false dichotomy, (B) why can't we take the language of romantic love, which has been stripped of meaning by our culture, and redeem it?

This obviously requires us to use this language thoughtfully, not just getting caught up in rhetoric. And does that happen all the time, or even most of the time? No. And if this is all the language we ever use, that's a problem too.

Also, I think that the moves toward emotionalism and experientialism in Christianity have been too extreme. But I also think that western Christianity has been enslaved to the rationalistic Enlightenment mentality for far too long. Over-reacting in the other direction is no solution, but let's be honest about how the latest brand of over-reaction got started. Unfortunately, extremes of one degree tend to produce a reaction that is also extreme (hello, pendulum!).

And I realize that moderating that extreme is all he's trying to do. And so I applaud that. But I'd be lying if I didn't say that overall, some of his stuff just didn't sit right with me. Like...

>For millions of young Christians, the current wave of romanticism will lead them to discouragement, despair and eventually abandonment of Christianity. When the Gospel is about what Christ has done for us, and what is offered to us freely in the Gospel, it is good news. When, however, Christianity becomes a subjective journey to produce feelings and maintain intensity, it is no surprise that so many judge it a burden they cannot carry.<

How does he know that these purported millions of young Christians are thinking, "Oh dear God! This Matt Redman song makes me want to leave the faith!" (and yes, I'm being flip here).

I'm young and--as much as the label still makes me bristle--Christian. And I can pretty much guarantee, as someone who is in continual danger of leaving the faith, that lyrics like, "Jesus, I am so in love with you" are pretty much the absolute last reason I'd ever do so, nor do they create in me some imagined burden to live up to some invisible standard of emotional experience.

I don't mean to be hypercritical of him, though I realize I am. Of course, as I always say, I tend to be most critical of people who are actually onto something. Complete idiots, those I just ignore :)
Mar 3, 2006 at 04:59PM | Unregistered Commentermeegs

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