managed to catch up with pete rollins at blah in manchester last night along with some other friends from sanctus1 and lancaster. he was presenting faithful betrayals. the notion of a faithful betrayal is that sometimes when god breaks in to our lives it causes such a rupture with what we know that it is like a betrayal. but because god is in it, it leads beyond what we knew before and leads us to see in a very different way. the best example i can think of in the bible is when peter has a vision of animals that are pronounced unclean in his scriptures and in the vision god tells him to kill and eat. if he is to obey the voice of god he will be disobeying the word of god in the scriptures. a dilemma. he does trust the spirit in that situation and it leads to him seeing that the gospel is for the gentiles. that's the notion of a faithful betrayal... the best example i can think of in my own experience was when i read the book don't be afraid any more by troy perry the founder of the metropolitan church (a gay church). in that book there is a passage where the spirit is outpured at a gathering of the denomination with healing, prophecies and so on. when i read it (with my evangelical background) i was shocked - could god really be present in that way in a gay church? it caused the same kind of rupture - i had to radically rethink and find that god was beyond my limited understanding of god. i subsequently attended a service at the metropolitan church in bath where i was at the time - sure enough as far as i could discern god was present and i worshipped there humbled and ashamed of my own prejudices. so faithful betrayal - a term i've not heard before but one i'll remember... musings from roland are on the sanctus1 blog.
i noticed in the build up to blah a sort of anti-intellectual stance emerging from conversations on blogs. i felt a bit sad about that. people like pete are a gift to the church. and he is totally immersed in living out what he is talking and writing about in ikon, a community who clearly want to wrestle with their faith and love ideas as part of that. half of his book describes practice anyway - very unusual for an academic/philosophical book. a split between praxis and thinking is a dualism that i think is profoundly unhelpful... i definitely want to and think the church needs to engage its intellect and its hands and feet as we seek to follow in the way of christ.