Monday, September 10, 2007

If you could write a book

First, a link for the day:

Emergent Deutschland - thanks to the efforts of Peter Aschoff (and Jason Clark for the heads up)

I have been tempted for some time to detail my own spiritual pilgrimage here on the blog, but have nevertheless persisted in desisting. I have been a part of the charismatic/Pentecostal evangelical scene for my entire Christian life, but the last few years have led me to question much in these traditions. I’m still hanging on in an open evangelical camp (though plenty of the popular evangelical stuff makes me want to puke out my lungs), but the past few years have involved a search for wisdom in other traditions - especially as sometimes I feel like I’m in a kind of spiritual exile in my “home tradition”. The “emerging conversation” has been a help in this process. So good on these Germans!

vernetzt mit Emergent Deutschland

I’ll detail more about my spiritual story in my forthcoming memoirs: How to be Like Me and Why You Need to Know (though some so-called "friends" tell me that the book title From Conservative Evangelical Zealot to Pretty Badly F***ed Up, is more honest. How rude).

Actually, while Jim West, Ben Myers, Mike Bird, Mike Pahl, Josh McManaway and the like are producing their tomes on theology and exegesis, I intend to write a number of popular books for my charismatic brothers and sisters:
  • A Manifest a Day Keeps the Devil Away (Subtitle: How Manifesting in the Spirit Can Work for You)
  • Buying a Room with Thick Rubber Wallpaper (Subtitle: Practical Help When the Manifesting Gets Out of Control)
  • Become a Millionaire by Faith: Tips on Receiving and Harvesting Miraculous Gold-Fillings

What books do you hope to one day write?


At 9/10/2007 10:26 PM, Anonymous Jim said...

I hope to one day write the following book:

The Summer I Spent in Stratford-upon-Avon and the Tartish Vixens and Trampish Skanks Who Dressed and Spoke Like Shakespeare in that Dank And Dark Corner of her Majesy's Formerly Mighty Empire: Or How To Convert the Multitudes Of Varlets With Drive By Baptisms As Exemplified In Chris Tilling's Valuable Tome- How To Baptise Vixens in a Drive By. Published in 1999 by Hoot-n-Annie Press: Cambridge.

At 9/10/2007 11:23 PM, Blogger Nick said...

I would have never guessed that you were a Charismatic-Pentecostal... I always knew that there was something I liked about you... I just for the life of me, couldn't figure out what it was :-P -- Now I know that it is your choice of the best and most correct denomination on the face of the planet (*cough* *cough* umm... my denomination)!

Over the last couple of years I've become highly critical of some of the practices of the faith which I have mentioned in passing here, here, and here -- but according to this I'm an Evangelical Holiness/Wesleyan and not a Charismatic-Pentecostal so I guess all my house cleaning was in vain. =/

As far as book projects go, I'm working on one called Slain in the Spirit: The Art of Napping in Church While Looking More Spiritual Than Most. Keep your eye on the NY Times best-seller list. :^D

At 9/10/2007 11:33 PM, Anonymous Shane Clifton said...

Chris, in respect to your move away from your pentecostal/charismatic heritage,let me issue you a challenge. What good is it if everyone who studies and opens their horizons moves away from the pentecostal/charismatic scene? It is not as though other traditions lack academics - but a theological pente/charo is a still a relatively rare beast, and very important for these movements?

Apart from the need within these communities, surely it is also possible to retrieve the best of pente/charo spirituality and affirm the value of thinking? Indeed, it is my experience that pentecostals long for a deep spirituality that touches both the heart and the head.

So - it is brilliant to open our horizons and learn from other traditions, but i do wish that more sons and daughters of our movement would sense the responsibility to stay on board!

I should also note that the tenor and tone of your blog suggests that this is your desire also but that you struggle to find a philosophical way of doing so? (sorry if this seems like i am psycho-analysing you!) I do understand this, although i am of the opinion that in the classroom (and on blogs) we have the chance to change this.

At 9/10/2007 11:55 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Chris, After listening to your review of Jesus Camp, I understand a bit more in your blog writings. I have had many friends of many denominations who have gone off to become scholars/theologians/teachers
and I haven't found one yet that hasn't turned away from their upbringing in their particular church. So, I wouldn't be too concerned about those 3 kids being taught radical views of creation/evolution or global warming. You seemed to have found your way...not that it's the perfect or correct way, but I think each one of us are responsible to take the information and crap that teachers/pastors/theologians/
politicians and parents give out, and funnel it through our being and become accountable for what we begin to believe and teach to others.

At 9/10/2007 11:59 PM, Blogger Chris Tilling said...

Jim. That is evil.

Nick, thanks for the laugh and the links! I'll check them out.

Shane, an important challenge, thanks! I probably wasn't clear enough in my post but I don't feel like I have emigrated away from my pentecostal / charismatic background. I remain, whether I like it or not, an evangelical with a charismatic bent. I remain also in a pentecotsal church. For me, to be a bit more clear, I feel I remain in a tension of inclusion and critique. If you understand me?

Thanks Anon, I hope you are right!

At 9/11/2007 12:38 AM, Blogger Nick said...

Nick <<-- wonders what Germans speaking in tongues sound like...

If you have any audio please pass it along :^D

At 9/11/2007 12:40 AM, Anonymous Arni Zachariassen said...

Anon said, I have had many friends of many denominations who have gone off to become scholars/theologians/teachers
and I haven't found one yet that hasn't turned away from their upbringing in their particular church.

That's a very intriguing point. As someone in the process of becoming a theologian I can relate to that. I'm not turning away from my denomination decisively, but I'm rethinking some key aspects in it. If this process is as widespread as Anon suggests, I'd really love to hear some stories.

At 9/11/2007 12:53 AM, Anonymous zoomtard said...

As a Catholic man who has somehow found themselves working in the Presbyterian church I think the first volume of my spiritual biography will have to be called "I Gave Up The Chance To be Pope"

At 9/11/2007 1:33 AM, Blogger Bob MacDonald said...

Hey Chris - don't get discouraged. Don't give up on the covenant dialogue no matter what tongue you are using. Quench not the Spirit. Maybe some day I will do greeting cards or t-shirts embroidered with psalm images.

At 9/11/2007 2:16 AM, Anonymous TJ said...

"What books do you hope to one day write?"

Hmm, I would write book titled "Zucker der Erde - Ein Gespräch mit Hans Küng". But since I don't live in "near Tübingen" and my time is limited, unlike some New Testament scholars, I won't write that book. I'm awfully sorry!

At 9/11/2007 4:22 AM, Blogger Ross said...

Hi Chris


I have been an Anglican priest for 25 years now and have spent quite a bit of time this year on my own blog thinking about my spiritual journey. I started at LBC, with MMBT as my New Testament tutor, very much in the evangelical/charismatic camp. I believe still in the Bible and its authority, but just don't feel at home with much evangelical culture.

I don't regret were my own journey has led me, but it can be lonely a lot of the time.

At 9/11/2007 4:29 PM, Blogger Brian F. said...

Chris, maybe reviewing the likes of Roger Stronstad (Charismatic Theology of St Luke) or Menzies (Spirit and Power, Empowered for Witness) or Max Turner and other blokes of likemindedness on pentecostal/charismatic theology here on this site might help with the thinking processes.

To be sure Pentecostalism has a tradition of anti-intellectualism and this is to its shame - we need brilliant fellows such as yourself to help the movement develop a solid theology of the Spirit along the lines of Fee and such.

It is just so hard because much of evangelical scholarship has eschewed anything even remotely related to the "e" word (experience). It is as if soon as that word is mentiond the conversation is over when it doesn't have to be. Expereince is very much a part of the faith yet when it comes to this issue, expreince is not allowed in the discussion.


At 9/11/2007 9:21 PM, Blogger Chris Tilling said...

Thank you all for your comments!


-> Kiwibananakiwibanananana

grins @ zoomtard!

TJ, as to the interview with Kueng, that is now sadly history. He apologised...

Brain F, thanks for your thoughts. Max Turner is my supervisor.

At 9/12/2007 12:57 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

brian f said: "To be sure Pentecostalism has a tradition of anti-intellectualism and this is to its shame - we need brilliant fellows such as yourself to help the movement develop a solid theology of the Spirit along the lines of Fee and such."

Thank God the apostles weren't intellectual. They may have ended up being theologians.

At 9/12/2007 5:51 AM, Blogger One of Freedom said...

Chris I have found that the Canadian emergent discussion has been similar to Shane's encouragement. It isn't about starting yet another denomination or movement, but rather how do we who have found a home in a particular movement (oft times despite our frustrations) bring that movement, or maybe just our small patch of that movement, into a place of relevance and authenticity.

Now I say that and I realize that relevance and authenticity are by no means self-evident terms. But they do describe a multiplicity of application in different contexts. For us as a very new movement it has proven a blessing to capture an ancient-future vibe. For others it is about adjusting to the questions post-modern people are asking. I find that in this way the emerging conversation, at least in Canada, has been most helpful.

At 9/15/2007 11:48 PM, Blogger Chris Tilling said...

Anon, point taken, but just a brief response to one part where you wrote: "Thank God the apostles weren't intellectual."

Paul? Love God with all your heart, mind, soul...

I'm with you there Frank, sounds good to me.


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