In my previous post, I started speaking of “relational”; I saw this as a related piece of the “catholic” emphasis; as a piece of the emotional/liturgical/
This [Protestant/Enlightenment/rational] shift manifests itself in the life of the church with the Reformation, which displaced the centrality of the Eucharist (a very tactile, affective, sensual mode of worship) and put the sermon (the Word) at the center. The heart of worship becomes “teaching,” and the shape of worship becomes driven by very cognitive, basically rationalist tendencies. This develops to the point of caricature in the evangelical worship service centered around bullet points on the PowerPoint presentation.
—again, JKA Smith in the church and postmodern culture: conversation: Is the Future Catholic?
The relational piece is the sense that here is a community that is in celebration and observance and offering of itself to God, and awaiting further movement of the spirit amongst them.
Protestant, mainline, modern church follows an intellectual, “content” and ultimately “entertainment” trajectory, rather than a community based, practice-centered expectant sense. Behind that latter scenario or vision is a knowledge held amongst that community that in this community there is a commonly held assumption of accountability. That the journey of each of us matters to each of us in a radical way. This is the only way to integrate our individualness into the body which is interdependent. But to affirm this in some vague general sense seems insufficient to me. It must in some manner be lived. Rollins does say in his book that it is not “what we believe” but “How we believe”.
I’ve been in a long period of “unbelief” in that sense. I haven’t done the HOW. I haven’t wanted to try and return to some effort in finding a place to call home as a church (a church in that it exists unmistakably and obvious-to-all as an intentional community intent on living as an alternative society, and disciplines itself and each other in radical support to that end.)