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doug pagitt

solomon's porch



1.  how would you define the postmodern movement? 


When it comes to "postmodernity" there are two words that need to be defined; "post" and "modernity". For most people in ministry the term modern is a specific term relating to the way of thinking that began to emerge in the late 1400 and 1500's. (as apposed to the term "modern" used in art, architecture, music and the like) Specifically the way of thinking had to do with determining truth and reality in the world. In most cases people are referring to an "enlightenment" orientation that puts the scientific method at the center point. Enlightenment thinking also assumes that the human mind can reach a point of full understanding and that understanding will bring about a desirous way of life. This way of thinking was at the heart of western expansion and the creation of American cities of the turn of the 20th century. The promise of the "American Dream" is a result of this enlightened, scientific, dominance way of thinking. So for people who are thinking of the issues of postmodernity, it could also be defined as being postenlightened. That raises the second word that needs definition: post. When people refer to something being post, it does not normally mean non. It means after. It assumes that what came before effects that which is post. A post-game show following a sporting event is not a non-game show, in fact it only exists in response to the game. In a similar way postmodernity is life in a world deeply effected by enlightened thinking and living. So for those who hold that postmodernity will reject all of modern ways and simply move to another way will be deeply frustrated. 


 2. i love the name "solomon's porch" what is the meaning behind the name?


The name comes from the Bible. Solomon's Temple was a large area with many sections ( There were a series of colonnades, balconies or porches. One of these porches was in a public area of the Temple and that is where the book of Acts records the followers of Jesus meeting during the early days. We picked the name because we wanted our church to have a name that had a historical connection, was connected to the Bible and would help us tell the story of Christian faith. We were not interested in a name that was conceptual. Our feeling is that Christianity has been reduced to theory and concept for too long and we need to start defining ourselves by the real history of our faith. The name also allows us to show the importance of the Bible in our community without having to say something like, "we think the Bible is really important". It allows us to be us and not pick fights with people who view the Bible differently.


 3. i know you are connected with the Evangelical Covenant Church - what would you say are the pros and cons to connecting with a denomination?


For us being affiliated with the Evangelical Covenant Church has allowed us to participate with other churches in significant ways. It has allowed us to be part of a "family" with all the pros and cons of that. Our experience with the Evangelical Covenant Church has also allowed us to be supported through structure and funding. There are draw backs of course, any association of churches has particular ways of functioning that make it difficult for new churches with new ways to fit in. Just part of being the family I guess.


 4. on your site, the arts play a role - how do you see the arts working in a worship service and how do they differ from a "contemporary church" use of the arts?


We do not "use" the arts. We simply have people who are artistic and they are encouraged to be fully involved in our community. In fact, our church is an effort of many us who are trying to figure out how we can remain faithful to the way of God in Jesus. So what we do is an attempt at being Christian. As it turns out there are others who want to do it with us. In my analysis that is one significant way differ from the contemporary church. We are certainly open and inviting and welcoming of people to our community, but we are not saying, "what do all the people who currently do not go our church want" and then designing for them. We are saying, "what will we have to do to be faithful to the way of God in Jesus" and allow others to pilgrimage with us.


 5. how do you define "holistic ministry?


"Understanding that all areas of life are connected, including faith, time, family, work, body, money, intellect, et al. WE believe that the way people live is what is essential and not simply belief. We also hold that a person is not made of three or four parts, but is a whole being and what happens in one area of life effects all the rest. There are people who when they hear the word Holistic are afraid that we mean it in "new age" sense. When that concern is raised I often say, "what is wrong with the word holistic in the new age sense?". I happen to think that they are on to something that Western Christianity forfeited and it is time to get it back.


6. in a world were friendship is so very important, how does Solomon's porch connect people to people?


We live as friends and cheer on Community. We do not do any official "small group" programming. In some ways we fear that the current state of Small Group ministry fosters individuality and not community. We fear that it turns people into commodities that we should use to be served. WE offer ways for people to meet and spend time together. WE have many meals, and outings. We try to treat people like adults and not suppose that we need to be their match makers. We also view spiritual formation has happening in these relationships and not through education. So we resist the temptation to add curriculum into our get together. There are times that we meet for Bible discussion groups, book clubs, movie clubs, day long seminars, but we are not insisting that people need to be talking about something in particular for the time to valuable. 


7. how would you define "a world view of Christianity?


"To live with God in the way of Jesus. Doug Pagitt



Reimagining Spiritual Formation: A Week in the Life of an Experimental Church Paperback; Buy New: $11.89





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