The question which has stayed with me from Johnny Bakers talk at the National Gathering is quite key it think.
“can new types of church come from the established church”
this question has two roots. first the histry of church change is littered with new denominations being formed as a reaction to and from something else. new expressions of church seem to be primarily reactions against established church or another church. Martin Luther didn’t set out to divide the catholic church. (or form catholics and prodestants) The Salvation Army’s early development was financed by backers who supported William Booth, after having an arguement with the methodists over wether to have an organ in church or not.
secondly this article at adbusters speaks of the way the art work deals with the new and the powerful types of art by adopting and absorbing them to the point where the lose their power and ability to be different.
It’s a cycle that has become all too familiar. Anything subversive, anything meant to disrupt the status quo and challenge traditional models of thought and behavior is eventually adopted into the mainstream it is swimming against. Once caught in the currents of convention, it becomes powerless. Just another commodity to be traded in the system.
The Church of Scotland has reportedly started a 1.5million pound fund to invest and allow for new types of ministry and mission I wonder if this money would be better spent challenging artists, anarchists, creative people, homeless, and heretics to react to the church and see where that could take us. (perhaps a kind of Dragons den spin off.)
but that wouldn’t be very presbyterian would it?