Here's my results...just for kicks, comment on who it says you are...
You’re St. Justin Martyr!
You have a positive and hopeful attitude toward the world. You think that nature, history, and even the pagan philosophers were often guided by God in preparation for the Advent of the Christ. You find “seeds of the Word” in unexpected places. You’re patient and willing to explain the faith to unbelievers.
Robert M. Grant writes (The Anchor Bible Dictionary, v. 3, p. 1133)
Justin's first work seems to have been his treatise Against all Heresies [now lost] . . . Later he composed his Apology now divided into two parts. The work is addressed to Antoninus Pius and his two adopted sons. Its date may be given by Justin's insistence on eternal fire for the wicked, for in the year 156 Polycarp of Smyrna, favorably received at Rome the year before, was burned alive after threatening his judge with "eternal fire." Justin's essay begins with the demand to investigate accusations and explains what Christians believe and do. The so-called "second apology" looks like a continuation of the first, perhaps with more emphasis on the philosophy espoused by the future emperor Marcus Aurelius.
Justin Martyr was a second century Christian apologist. His apology is dedicated to Emperor Antoninus, who ruled from 138-161. His apology may be dated internally from the statement in chapter 6 that "Christ was born one hundred and fifty years ago under Cyrenius." Since Quirinius entered office in the year 6 C.E. according to Josephus, the apology may be dated to the year 156 CE.
His three works are known as the First Apology, the Second Apology, and the Dialogue with Trypho. Irenaeus tells us that Justin Martyr wrote a work against Marcion, which is now lost. Some authentic materials are preserved in the fragments of Justin quoted by other writers, although some of these fragments may be suspect.
The other documents attributed to Justin Martyr listed above - the Hortatory Address to the Greeks, On the Sole Government of God, and On the Resurrection - are of dubious authenticity. They may have been written instead by another Christian author, now unknown. It has been suggested that the Discourse to the Greeks was originally a Jewish treatise.
The following can be found at Achievable Ends (a blog by Bill Kinnon)...I would argue that he's still working out some "evangelical angst" (his addendum says that this is a polemic...sometimes angst is the same thing), but many of us (myself included) have been there...and all in all he's got some thought-provoking points...be sure to check out the blog to get a feel for Bill in context...
------- The People Formerly Known as The Congregation We are people - flesh and blood - image bearers of the Creator - eikons, if you will. We are not numbers.
We are the eikons who once sat in the uncomfortable pews or plush theatre seating of your preaching venues. We sat passively while you proof-texted your way through 3, 4, 5 or no point sermons - attempting to tell us how you and your reading of The Bible had a plan for our lives. Perhaps God does have a plan for us - it just doesn't seem to jive with yours.
Money was a great concern. And, for a moment, we believed you when you told us God would reward us for our tithes - or curse us if we didn't. The Law is just so much easier to preach than Grace. My goodness, if you told us that the 1st century church held everything in common - you might be accused of being a socialist - and of course, capitalism is a direct gift from God. Please further note: Malachi 3 is speaking to the priests of Israel. They weren't the cheerful givers God speaks of loving.
We grew weary from your Edifice Complex pathologies - building projects more important than the people in your neighbourhood...or in your pews. It wasn't God telling you to "enlarge the place of your tent" - it was your ego. And, by the way, a multi-million dollar, state of the art building is hardly a tent.
We no longer buy your call to be "fastest growing" church in wherever. That is your need. You want a bigger audience. We won't be part of one.
Our ears are still ringing from the volume, but...Jesus is not our boyfriend - and we will no longer sing your silly love songs that suggest He is. Happy clappy tunes bear no witness to the reality of the world we live in, the powers and principalities we confront, or are worthy of the one we proclaim King of Kings and Lord of Lords.
You offered us a myriad of programs to join - volunteer positions to assuage our desire to be connected. We could be greeters, parking lot attendants, coffee baristas, book store helpers, children's ministry workers, media ministry drones - whatever you needed to fulfill your dreams of corporate glory. Perhaps you've noticed, we aren't there anymore.
We are The People formerly known as The Congregation. We have not stopped loving the Father, Son and Holy Spirit. Nor do we avoid "the assembling of the saints." We just don't assemble under your supposed leadership. We meet in coffee shops, around dinner tables, in the parks and on the streets. We connect virtually across space and time - engaged in generative conversations - teaching and being taught.
We live amongst our neighbours, in their homes and they in ours. We laugh and cry and really live - without the need to have you teach us how - by reading your ridiculous books or listening to your supercilious CDs or podcasts.
We don't deny Paul's description of APEPT leadership - apostle, prophet, evangelist, pastor, teacher. We just see it in the light of Jesus' teaching in Mark 10 and Matthew 20 - servant leadership. We truly long for the release of servant leading men and women into our gifts as apostles, prophets, evangelists, pastors and teachers. We believe in Peter's words that describe us all as priests. Not just some, not just one gender.
We are The People formerly known as The Congregation. We do not hate you. Though some of us bear the wounds you have inflicted. Many of you are our brothers and our sisters, misguided by the systems you inhabit, intoxicated by the power - yet still members of our family. (Though some are truly wolves in sheep's clothing.)
And, as The People formerly known as The Congregation, we invite you to join us on this great adventure. To boldly go where the Spirit leads us. To marvel at what the Father is doing in the communities where He has placed us. To live the love that Jesus shows us.
-------- Following up: some additional posts that have surfaced to go alongside "The People Formerly Known as the Congregation"...agree, disagree, whatever...just think through where some segments of "the church" are coming from...there's probably a lot to learn here...I'll add to this list as more surfaces...
A final "We're Sorry" posting is now available from John Smulo. Check it out here. Also check out John's thoughts about a Sorry Sitehere. Interact with him and this idea (though admittedly I haven't)...there's good stuff going on.
Herod tried to kill the baby. Not the Christmas baby.. he would have welcomed this western child. No, the boy Herod wanted to kill was a king.
The baby he would have wanted around was our western baby, colonized by the myth of Christmas, jingle bells, ho-ho-ho, and all night shopping. “Joy to the Mall” will always be blessed by the powers that be.
Lights, bright ribbons, hot chocolate, Starbucks and Wal-Mart.. come on. Who is threatened by this stuff? It’s good for the state. The Santa myth won over the Christmas baby with hardly a struggle. There is no death there.. no rumor of angels.. no harsh travel on dangerous roads, and no swat teams. The Santa myth is all about consumption, addiction, good times for all, and a growing economy. What government in their right mind would want to oppose it?
But the other story.. the one about the baby king and a future kingdom, a kingdom of peace and justice.. that story is dangerous.
Better to find a way to merge the two stories, so that the one receeds into history while the other is oh so present, offering promise today of happiness, plenty, and comfort. We turned the Jesus story into flannel graphs and plastic nativity scenes and canned music because the wildness of the real story was subversive. And anyway, how can you market soldiers and Rachel weeping for her children? How can you market “the rise and fall of many in Israel” and “scattering the proud” and “filling the hungry with good things” while the rich are sent empty away?
Hmm.. well, you could market it to the hungry and the poor. You could market it to the humble and those who have nothing to lose. And that’s where the Gospel really grew and took root. Big surprise.
He then points us to a piece that he wrote a few years back...
I tried to turn some of these.. admittedly uncomfortable.. thoughts into a story last year, and it is found HERE.
“The people who plant the seeds of movements make a critical decision: they decide to live “divided no more.” They decide no longer to act on the outside in a way that contradicts some truth about themselves that they hold deeply on the inside.
“As often happens on the spiritual journey, we have arrived at the heart of a paradox: each time a door closes, the rest of the world opens up. All we need to do is stop pounding on the door that just closed, turn around — which puts the door behind us — and welcome the largeness of life that now lies open to our souls. The door that closed kept us from entering a room, but what lies before us is the rest of reality.
“If we are to live our lives well and fully, we must learn to embrace the opposites, to live in a creative tension between our limits and our potentials. We must honor our limitations in ways that do not distort our nature, and we must trust and use our gifts in ways that fulfill the potentials God gave us.”
Parker J Palmer, Let Your Life Speak
Good thoughts contained in those 3 paragraphs! Thanks to Len for sharing.
I now feel compelled to embark on rereading To Know As We are Known. Wish me luck!