Terry Heaton, as usual, has siezed on a profound cultural incident and made observations about it that I think also relate directly to the church today, particulary our denominational tribes. Apparently the Washington Post began some blogs, but after one of its writers was corrected/exposed/reviled in some blog comments, rather than dialoguing and seeking to understand, the Post just stopped its blogs all together. Read the article at the Pomo blog here. Terry compares it to taking your ball and going home when the game is not going your way.
I think the significance of this incident is repeated hundreds of times today in the western Christian culture. There is a growing movement of innovative, passionate and authentic Christ-followers, but for the most part established denominations are very uncomfortable with them. Rather than ongoing dialogue or “Faith Seeking Understanding,” (a required textbook in many seminaries) they too are taking their toys and going home.
I know of one exec who informed a group of ministers that if they were reading or encouraging others to read Donald Miller’s Blue Like Jazz, that they needed to stop immediately. That kind of response is evidence of an unwillingness to dialogue, along the lines of the Washington Post. It’s that “top down” prescriptive thinking that frustrates and jades honest seekers of faith in our culture from giving the church the benefit of the doubt.
Another observer of how the church can’t handle outside thinking is George Hunter, author of The Celtic Way of Evangelism: How Christianity Can Reach The West?Again. There is a great interview with him here.
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