Thursday, December 20, 2007

The New Monasticism

From Christian Research Network:

Christianity Today paints a picture of the emerging praxis of the new evangelicals:
"…these communities are the latest wave of evangelicals who see in community life an answer to society’s materialism and the church’s complacency toward it. Rather than enjoy the benefits of middle-class life, these suburban evangelicals choose to move in with the poor. Though many of the same forces drive them as did earlier generations—a desire to experience intense community and to challenge contented evangelicalism—they are turning to an ancient tradition to provide the spiritual sustenance for their ministries."

"…Scott Bessenecker, director of global projects for InterVarsity Christian Fellowship, says he sees among these evangelicals the latest burst in missionizing monastic orders. In his work among InterVarsity students, Bessenecker finds "an emerging movement of youth taking up residence in slum communities in the same spirit that I find in the start of the Franciscans and the early Celtic orders, in the Nestorian mission, and in the Jesuits."

"Bessenecker is working on a book about these "new friars," as he calls them. There’s a similar spirit among communities like the Simple Way, who call their movement the "new monasticism." Like earlier movements, the ones today attract mostly 20-somethings who long for community, intimacy with Jesus, and to love those on the margins of society. And they are willing to give up the privileges to which they were born…"

Read the entire article here.

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