How this works

We live in a time of radical change. The world in the 21st century is so complex and interconnected that a place to hear new ideas and exchange perspectives is advantageous.

The desire is to engage the Christian tradition while exploring contemporary thought and integrate them where possible.

This is done in the hopes of giving the church an authentic witness in the midst of a pluralistic societal context. 

These posts are conversation starters that employ a progressive, emerging, innovative and thoughtful lens.

None of us want to bogged down in the ‘argument culture’. This blog is not full of criticism or critique but a hopeful presentation of what can be by looking at what currently is and some of the history that led up to here.

I challenge the status quo but with the optimism of what can be.

The advantage to a post-modern approach is that it acknowledges a multiplicity of possibilities. There is more than one way to approach an issue and how you start often impacts where you end. New days, new questions, new possibilities, new tools and new conclusions are just part of picture.


Some ideas that come up over and over again in the conversation:

I believe in necessary Complexity. Things are not simple. Simple dualisms and false binaries will not suffice for the road ahead.

Language provides the lens through which we interpret our world. Word pictures and conceptual frameworks are key for both conversation and ultimately action within our communities.

 Narrative is the raw material for theology. Jesus told stories. The Bible is a story. Life is more than bullet points. Faith is more than propositions and formulas. The way that we talk and live should reflect this universal nature.
The ideas and words we use to frame and process are powerful. This involves word pictures, metaphors, new vocabulary and illustrations.

We don’t live in a 3 tiered universe. Telescopes, microscopes and space travel have changed how we thing about the universe. Former conceptions of the cosmos were influential on theology and doctrine – they are being rethought and renovated in light of our new understanding.

The world’s religions grew up in specific and historically located contexts. We are in the midst of a inter-National, trans-Cultural and multi-Racial world changing era of transformation.
The challenge is to re-interpret, re-envision and re-invigorate our unique heritage and tradition in light of this new day. The process is being undertaken all over the world by people of every stripe, color and generation in every religion and denomination.

Emergence Theory is a helpful way to understand and participate in the conversation of our day. It stands in contrast to top down – hierarchical – institutional models and their mechanistic and method-heavy approaches.

I am leery of schools of thought where God ends up looking like a blind watchmaker, cruel puppet master, absent land lord, divine trickster or a chess player playing both sides of the board. These notions ask to be reevaluated. I am asking where those pictures come from, how they got such a stronghold on our thinking and if we want/need them anymore.

I am not advocating a new type of Christianity,

I am acknowledging that Christianity is always being made new.

Connect and join the conversation on Facebook.

6 thoughts on “How this works

  1. HI:

    just got through looking over your blog and your homebrewed podcast. I am not a theologian, but a Claremont minted historian of American religion…wonder if I can get your take on why there are so few people of color in the emergent conversation? Since I assume that as theologians, you’ve read theologians of color, its informed your thinking and faith, but then, there are so few who are in these conversations? Something I’d like to think through before posting on my blog

    • Arlene, I just found this comment from a while ago – sorry for the delayed response!
      The important aspect of my answer is this: from what is the conversation emerging? The answer is that it is emerging from a context where the evangelical, mainline and post-christian (new atheists, etc) are largely of European descent.
      The larger context involves racial populations of the pentecostal, liberation and prophetic tradition (ie Jeremiah Wright, Cornell West, etc) which rightly have a specific focus that may not, initially, have a huge overlap with what the Emergent conversation is navigating.

      The two things I can tell you are: 1) of the 54 gatherings (churches, groups) that identify as Emerging, almost half are guided by female leadership. The reason that is staggering is that in my mainline denomination (also my school’s sponsor) that is vocal about women in leadership, only 8% of the pulpits are. There is a bigger context that the conversation emerges out of.

      I don’t know if that helps- please let me know if it doesn’t. I have other thoughts but wanted to keep it short. Thanks for the question -Bo

  2. Pingback: My 200th post is to thank my International Readers! « navigating between the everyday and theology

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s