This post is from the defunct blog “Dying Church”
Ron Martoia writes:
just returned from the 2003 catlyst conference in atlanta and had a blast with our 40 or so other teammates that went. I remain quite confirmed after doing two labs sessions that the issue of theological reflection, how we use biblical and extrabiblical terminology and our understanding of missiology and the kingdom are watersheds for this next edge of the emerging church. The response I got from over 100 people attending my labs almost exclusively focused on this issue of salvation, our language, kingdom, conversion and the movement from point to process. Those topics seemed to stoke the fires the hottest.
I was in his lab session, and he's right. He convinced me that our terminology and mental maps are at the heart of what needs to be examined to stay faithful. Ron dusted off 2,000-year-old teachings and exposed them in ways I'd never heard before. I suppose some would accuse him of not being Biblically faithful, because his conclusions deviate so widely from what is taught in many churches. Ironically, it's because he is Biblically faithful that he's able to expose how we've got it wrong in the recent past. Ron's approach is helpful to me personally. I find it's easy to criticize the modern church. Talk about an easy target. In the end, where does that get us? Ron's approach calls us to something different and better: to rediscover the teachings and to learn to be God's people in the way he originally intended. I don't think we'll get it completely right, of course, but how exciting to discover the richness and depth in Jesus that many of us haven't seen in a long time.