Faith Seeking Understanding

I feel bad. It’s the kind of feeling I get when I try to join a conversation already in process by interjecting a remark that turns out to be entirely inappropriate because I missed something that was said earlier. It’s embarrassing. Even worse is the feeling I get when I start asking questions to get myself caught up on the subject of the conversation and others become impatient because they’re eager to take the discussion to the next level, not waste time bringing me up to speed. Sometimes I try to to camouflage my faux pas behind a wisecrack, but more often I just shut up and listen, hoping for a few understandable crumbs to fall from the table of their esoteric dialogue. In either case it’s painfully (to me, at least) obvious that something has been going on—something essential to the conversation—that I missed, and that my attempt to fit in demonstrated that I had not first acquired the necessary background. Continue reading

emerging conversation

I started a new blog this morning called “Emerging Conversation” in which I’m trying to initiate a conversation about the Emerging Church. I realize that there’s an awful lot on the Web about this subject, but that fact only highlights the challenge: where does one begin? Is there primary text, or a canon of literature I may consult? I’ve also noticed that much of the material on the Net is of a contentious nature. And I understand that some of that contention has also been committed to print. While I’ve never been one to avoid a good debate, in the spirit of Renaissance humanism (Ad fontes! — “To the sources!”) I think I should first familiarize myself with what the emerging movers and shakers are actually saying and doing before expressing any opinion of my own. And since this emergence has been going on for some time, it will probably take a while before I feel qualified to have an opinion, which, when I finally get it, I hope to express in a loving spirit.

Meanwhile, as I was going about the business of setting up this new blog, my first choice for a name was “Emerging Church,” but apparently that one is already taken (even though there currently doesn’t appear to be an actual blog at that blogspot sub-domain). So then I chose “Emergent Church,” though little did I know that someone had actually already started blogging there—over a year ago, however, which is probably why Blogger.com allowed me to usurp that sub-domain and start blogging right over the previous posts. I discovered this fact accidentally, and truly regretted defacing someone else’s work, no matter how neglected it may have been. So I suppose this is a lesson to all of us who use Blogger: don’t allow your blogs to sit idle for too many months if you expect to keep them. In the end I didn’t like the name, and if I don’t delete it I may use it as a place to store interesting citations from Emerging Church literature.

free country

Last night, as I was preparing to read chapter 4 of The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe to Ben, I noticed that he was watching a particularly dark episode of some cop profiler drama, and I registered my disapproval with Wendy. Ben entered the discussion with his usual flair, objecting to our efforts to circumscribe his TV viewing, with his climactic line being, “This is a free country! I have my rights!”

He’s only seven. Where does he get this stuff?