NPC – CCC#4 – Leron Shults

It seems it is taking me quite a while to work through a lot of my thoughts that developed at the National Pastors Convention. That’s good – dang good – because my church fronted dolla’s (that’s rap for a bunch of cash) to send us. So, of course, they hope it’s somehow worth it.

The fourth presenter at the emerging critical concerns course was Leron Shults. I had never heard of him before, but he would be THE reason I would consider going to Bethel Seminary. He is really smart (his blog is here), but he helped me to further develop my beliefs about process salvationism (combined with what Campolo taught about Einsteinian physics…more on that much later) and he writes killer books. He’s also just one more reason why I keep thinking it sure helps you to be emerging if you are Wesleyan…

From the titles of his books you who think I am a little too deep can see why I am going to be buying them when my book buying fast is over:
The Postfoundationalist Task of Theology
Reforming Theological Anthropology: After the Philosophical Turn to Relationality
The Faces of Forgiveness: Searching for Wholeness and Salvation
Reforming the Doctrine of God &
Transforming Spirituality: Integrating Theology and Psychology

So here’s what I heard and learned and thought…

> His main point was to talk about Decentering the Renewal: the disturbing spirit in the emerging churches

>the emerging church must be driven by a centrifugal force (out of control)
>examples of Jerusalem against Antioch as major centers of the early church

>the natural response to loss of control is fear (my thoughts: is that what the Spirit of God does…instills the fear of God?)

>Acts 9:31 =

>the secret to church growth is the FEAR of the LORD (we should fear no other) and comfort…these two conditions lead to vulnerability.

>salvation: the reordering of a community because of the presence of the spirit of God. (my thoughts: not only does this help me explain process salvationsism, but it is also a commentary of communal salvation…which I beleive in but don’t totally understand, yet.)

Challenges from the panel…

> our theological categories must change because they are based on theories of understanding which are no longer contemporary.

> my notes: this is the massive underlying truth about the emerging movement – the old ways of knowing are leaving because the things that people believed were true are simply not anymore. It’s very similar to the times when they found that the world is not flat…only now we are finding that the universe is not infinite, just curved. Funny thing is…some church leaders think that this is a load of crap, a fad. I wonder if that’s what they thought when they suppressed Galileo for saying the earth wasn’t the center of the universe…


3 thoughts on “NPC – CCC#4 – Leron Shults

  1. I agree this dude was stinkin smart….actually too smart for my britches! There was alot of stuff I heard that “stuck” and there was alot I just didn’t “get” but I think I agreed with….does that even make sense? Honestly, as far as the “academic” guys went…he was one of my favorites. I will jst wait for you to read his books and tell me how I should think about them =).


  2. Okay, so salvation is the reordering of a community because of the presence of the spirit of God. Wow, that is like a huge thought! A community, whether church group or a group of friends or a community group should, ideally will always be reordering itself, eh? Because the presence of God is always a challenge that makes you look at your life and want more of him, don’t ya think? So is salvation never within our grasp? Are we always “becoming saved?” whatever that would mean. And what would that look like in everyday life? Like go to school, go to work, hang out with friends who don’t always seem to care about becoming anything life? Honestly James, some of the things you say have implications that if you think about them for more than two minutes…


  3. and my response is….YES!

    I’m still wondering who the anonymus is…a canadian?

    but – I do think that salvation is an “already…not yet” thing that should create a level of tension. I was saved (at the cross), I am being saved (Paul’s working it out) and I will be saved (at the end of all things) – all three of these, though, are present realities that affect the everyday life.

    So, yes salvation is within our grasp, and yes, salvation is always (until the new heaven and earth) just beyond our grasp.

    And, this statemnt:
    Honestly James, some of the things you say have implications that if you think about them for more than two minutes…
    is the reason I stay awake at night. DO I even realize the implications of what the Scriptures are teaching me!!

    Great comment! thanks – I’d love to know who you are though…


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