I am trying to grasp the fullness of human life. My wife and I left for the hospital on the evening of June 17 and arrived back home on the afternoon of June 19 with a small person with us who was just welcomed into human reality. She is fully human yet is completely dependent on our provision for life. I have seen her progression from birth through 3 months old including physical and mental growth, change is attentiveness and reactivity, and motor skill development. She now laughs, makes expressive faces, tries to talk, grabs things with her hands, looks around, gets excited. She is fully human yet cannot do anything to keep herself alive. It is the breath of YHWH that naturally fills her and sustains her while his (not intended to be patriarchal or label YHWH with a gender specification) creativity keeps her body “involuntarily” functioning. I may be trying, but I cannot grasp the fullness of human reality.
The presentation has initiated the aforementioned blog dialogue that appears to be quite hateful and intolerant. Driscoll initiates the bantering by referencing Emergent and/or theologically non-conservative-evangelicals, specifically Doug Pagitt, Brian McLaren, and Rob Bell. I have read and/or listened to each of the three and my intent here is not to defend each’s theology or to speak negatively about of any. My deepest concern is that the focus of many teachers, public voices, and bloggers has been to harpoon each other at the expense of learning the way of Jesus. That which is called “theology” has become quite the opposite. What should be expressions about and of God have become psuedo-academic/scholastic rants to defend one’s stance on any given issue or doctrine while sacrificing the worth of others in the community.
I may unpack the previous line of thought later as I must fully process and think through the proper language to use. For now, my question in response to this podcast is, “What good did this do for the Kingdom of God?”
Sarah, Kyla, and I attended a gathering this morning with those who call themselves Journey Church. Journey is good people. They are kind and welcoming. We saw several good friends and shared a meal following the teaching. We will begin to integrate ourselves into that community.
My concern with the Journey gathering is that everyone with whom we interacted or met is of nearly the same demographic. We are all young (by which I mean college students to young parents with children ages 3 months – 11 years old [Kyla is the one who is 3 months]). We are nearly all white. We all appeared to be monetarily “fine.” Sarah and I hope to discover or initiate a genuine yearning and purpose toward decompartmentalizing and finding value in diversification and intentional relationship beyond that which currently exists.
The post entitled “Narrative.” contains a vague statement about “alternative consciouness.” Walter Brueggemann deals with this idea in “Prophetic Imagination“. There exists a movement and thought pattern that thrives on criticizing institutions, traditions, theologies, and “church.” I would include myself in the collective community of criticizers who know there is a method(s) and picture of church that must be more in keeping with what Jesus intended compared to that which currently and popularly exists in America. Brueggemann makes an important assertion that criticism of the current consciousness is not in and of itself evil, bad, or wrong, but must be complimented by an energizing toward an alternative consciousness. Our gathering is a progressive movement alternative to that of three songs, an “offering,” and a 30-minute lecture. It is by no means new or creative unless one is ignorant to the meetings of 1st century Israel, avoidant of extending grace, hope ,and peace when there exists an atmosphere of openness, vunlerability, and authentic mystery, or insistant on adhering to modern, popular methods of American evangelical “church.”
About 15 (fifteen) of us gathered tonight in the living room of the apt. connected to Oakwood Hall to discuss our lives as covenant community. The gathering is called “narrative: grace. table. story. breathe.” Our time together was rich. I am thankful to have heard the stories that were shared tonight. It seems as if the walls built by “the church” (walls which guard intimacy, relationship, authenticity, vulnerability, and transparency) are beginning to crumble. The alternative conciousness of church may not be so alternative anymore.
In an attempt to add traffic to my blog and thereby increase my commitment to continually updating my blog I have added BlogRush. Follow the link by clicking here if you are interested in adding. It is very, very simple to add and useful in finding others in the vitual community with whom to dialogue.