Wednesday, October 19, 2005

Expressing an Ancient-Future Faith

In something of a sidebar to my present series on the Emerging church, I'd like to pursue another line of discussion.

A fellow bow tie wearer, Jonathon Norman (here's one of my bow ties), recently offered a series of posts that explored various facets of Robert Webber's conception of an "ancient-future" faith embodied by what he calls the "younger evangelicals."

So, with a nod to Jonathon as I finish tying my bow tie, and before I post my own commentary on Webber's work, I'd like to pose this question: how do you define "ancient-future" faith? What is it? What does it look like? In your opinion, are there really large numbers of younger people (say, high school youth groups up to 35-40ish) embracing an ancient-future faith? (Webber, of course, marshals data to demonstrate this; I'm looking for more anecdotal types of observations.)

Alternatively, might ancient-future be synonymous with the phrase (small "c") "catholic evangelical," as found in one of my recent papers and in several parts of Kennth Collins's book The Evangelical Moment? (It might be interesting here to remember that Roman Catholic theologians William Shea , Bill Portier, (and here), and Robert Barron discuss the term "evangelical Catholic.")

1 comment:

St.Phransus said...

Phil,
my experience in my youth group has been that the kids (7-12th grade) resognate with some of the practices that I've been teaching.

for instance on wednesday night we pray the psalms together- which i call "vespers in the round". There is a refrain and then we go around our circle with each youth simply reading a portion of the lectionary psalm for the week. We move directly from this into joys and concerns- which for us is the spiritual practice of the examen.

after we had been doing this for a few weeks some of the kids began asking if we were "doing that meditation thing with the psalms".

in my opinion it becomes a way to 1. engage scripture in community
2. pray communally in a way that provides quiet and peacefullness in the midst of a hurried and chaotic week
3. teaches a prayer practice that they will hopefully take with them

that's my story,
jonathon