Blog Archives

The Future of Body Theology

On Monday, guest poster Matt Cavanaugh brought up a good point about the changing nature of Church and what the future might bring. He said:

Our world is becoming more isolated physically but more social in a digital sense. I anticipate seeing this trend further, where church (and The Church) is becoming more about what is convenient for our busy schedules. I anticipate people’s spending less time in chapels and more at home with virtual socialization.

So, lovely readers, you are the body theology buffs now.  What do you think?

On the one hand, we have the passing of the peace that Matthew van Maastricht mentioned in the comments to Monday’s post.  We have the seven desires of every heart, one of which is to be physically touched in a safe and non-sexual way. We have the universally accepted healing power of physical touch (ever seen that Vicks Vapo Rub commercial where the mommy is comforting her sick child by rubbing his chest with Vicks?).  Then, of course, there’s the laying on of hands we see in scripture and continue to use today as a physical expression of spiritual support, prayer, healing, and blessing.

On the other hand, we have at least 10 merits of digital community.

A more digitized community might make us more conscious of and intentional about the need for physical connection.  Or it might numb us to the need for human touch and create disembodied communities full of people disconnected from their own bodies as well as the physicality of the incarnation and the body of Christ.

We might be more inclined to follow the example of the desert mothers and fathers and separate ourselves from society for the purpose of prayer and contemplation.  Or we might lose our passion for social justice and creation care and consider them nothing more than the cares of the world that will soon pass away.

What do you think will be the outcome of a more digitized community of God in the future?  Will it affect our body theology positively or negatively?

Advertisements

Guest Post: The Future of Church

I’m extremely proud and grateful to host a guest post from my wonderful, brilliant husband, Matt Cavanaugh.  In addition to the privilege of being married to me, Matt is a musical composer, avid hiker, and lover of all things REI.  He holds a masters in Worship, Theology, and Art from Fuller Seminary as well as undergraduate degrees in psychology, theology, and church and ministry leadership from Trinity Christian College in Palos Heights, IL. Find more from Matt at his website.

God created us each with purpose in mind. It could be purpose as in singular or purposes as in plural. But we’ve been created with — what I believe scripture would support — a ton of intention. (Is there a person who has read Jeremiah out there who can give me an “Amen”?) Not only do we have a purposeful existence, but we also have a purposeful time and location.

I believe that we are living at a very important point in Church history. We’re coming out of the Seeker/Modernist movement and a shorter but important Emergent/Postmodern movement… and now we’re in what I’d consider an idling spot. If we are talking about cars, we have our car still on but at a red light, awaiting a green to move forward and go to the next place.

And so I ask… what is this next spot? This next movement/evolution/step?

Is it the pendulum swinging back towards the more conservative movement (ala Neo-Reformists like Piper, Driscoll, etc…)?

Or is it more progressive?

Or, to think more multidimensionally, is it not a question of more liberal/more conservative or progressive/regressive but instead an entire paradigm shift?

God created us at turning point, and I believe that each of us has a role that requires our integrity and intention. God’s purposes are great for Creation; I believe that (and hope you do too!), and we have been invited to play a part in this wonderful drama of God’s world.

What is your role? I’m not necessarily talking Strengthfinders 2.0 or Myers-Briggs but instead your ROLE. How is/will God use you to further the growth and development of the Kingdom? How will your existence be important to the further unveiling of God’s heart and Plan? (This is not rhetorical… I really would love to hear your answers!)

What might be God moving us towards next?

I have a feeling that the next movement will have to do less with theology and more with physical and emotional socialization. Our world is becoming more isolated physically but more social in a digital sense. I anticipate seeing this trend further, where church (and The Church) is becoming more about what is convenient for our busy schedules. I anticipate people’s spending less time in chapels and more at home with virtual socialization. Maybe someone will figure out a way to create increased digital social community, more developed and fulfilling than what we have already.

How would this more digital and physically isolated experience of the community of God affect our body theology?

Regardless of what the future holds, know this: You have purpose. I have purpose. God is purposeful. Let’s be intentional as we play our part in the future of Church.

%d bloggers like this: