Wandering But Not Lost

Saturday, May 28, 2005

Evangecube, Christian Subculture and Cynicism

Somtimes, I don't know what to make of the Christian subculture...or its attempts to "reach the lost". During my travels today, I came across a newspaper article that describe the "Evangecube". It is a rubic-style cube that portrays the life and death of Jesus. There is even a ministry and website: www.evangecube.org.

I'm spending the weekend at a Christian camp because the organization my wife works with rents the facility for its last week of camp for college students. In my room is a television and a Dish network receiver. I was all excited at first, thinking I could watch the NCAA lacrosse finals, or catch the Red Sox stomping the Yankees, but noooooo....they only have a dozen Christian channels to choose from. Yecchhhh. I did enjoy watching David and Goliath this morning but it was downhill from there.

Maybe it is being surrounded by the subculture, or seeing things like the evangecube described in a town newspaper that gives me an icky feeling. Maybe I should be less cynical and praise the God who spoke through the jawbone of an ass and is evidently speaking through a rubic's cube. Maybe I should see the good, but all I feel is a sense of shame in having a familial relationship with such things.

I wish we could get more people like Jim Wallis seen in public, or Jim Skillen....people who think well, write well, are bright and articulate. People that speak their own minds and don't follow the Christian stereotype. Please stop by Sojourners if you don't regularly...there is a great article about Bush's speech to the Calvin graduating class. I am thankful that there are those in the body of Christ that do think...that do engage the culture with intelligently, and who break the mold.

Have a great memorial day weekend! I for one am trying to make some progress with Brian McLaren's Generous Orthodoxy and for fun, re-reading The Search to Belong, Rethinking Intimacy, Community, and Small Groups by Joseph Myers. McLaren is one of my favorite authors and the Myers book has touched me in significant ways in the past year. Re-reading it is like catching up with an old friend.


Friday, May 27, 2005

A Picture is Worth...

I love it when things cross my desk and it signals to me that I should take notice and see what God has for me to learn. The June issue of Christianity Today just came in the mail and there is a column by Andy Crouch about Visualcy. The point of the article is that we have become a more visual culture, transitioning again from oral to written cultures, now to an era where 80% of cell phones have cameras, sharing pictures has become easy and commonplace. I quote from the article:

"But if Plato was right when he described the three transcendent realities as truth, goodness, and beauty, then people who care about truth and goodness must eventually care about beauty as well. And people who value beauty might eventually look for truth."

That reminded me of a post on pomomusings about an emergent convention seminar that talked about developing and fostering the creative impulse in self and community. From the post...
Initial thesis: We live in a culture today, that the missional context of our world has changed. To engage missionally in our culture requires a form and posture of leadership which our systems are not ready to engage or release. Intuition, artistic, prophetic, poetic → these are what are needed, and these are what seminaries, institutions are woefully unprepared to release and/or even name these.

I have added the book The Rise of the Creative Class by Richard Florida to my wishlist. I wonder how we as people of the Word can take our love for scripture and creatively engage, present, study, question, debate the lessons of scripture. We in the church can do a much better job of creating multi-sensory experiences within our worship and within the preaching of God's word.

Finally, I got an invitation to participate in a workshop on Digital Storytelling. One of the departments on campus is buying copies of the book
Digital Storytelling: Capturing Lives, Creating Community by Joe Lambert
(http://www.storycenter.org/book.html). We'll be discussing the impact of Digital Storytelling on academia, where I spend most of my waking hours and I'll be trying to assess the impact for the church with my extra brain cells.

All of this converged on my brain in about three days time. I get all excited when I see patterns like this emerge and I know that God has something for me to learn and to think about through this. I have felt for a long time that we are losing the founding generation of our church and that we need to capture the faith stories of people who were my age or younger when the church was being founded. In some ways, approaching our culture from a missional perspective is nothing new...our church was founded with that thought. I know of few mainline, institutional churches that appreciate the contextualization of the gospel as much as Central. It gives me hope that we may make the transition from deep scholars of the word to creative artists of the word, ready to engage the visual, creative culture that we live in.

Thursday, May 26, 2005

Test 1, 2, 3, Is This Blog On?

Websites that I have been reading lately:


Blog by a Princeton seminary student. I have really enjoyed his thoughts on a wide variety of topics. Recently he has been describing the events at the most recent Emergent convention in Tennessee.

National Community Church

A young person from my church found this church while away at college. Her father visited and came back really excited, so I took a friend and went to visit a sunday evening worship service at one of DC's largest secular nightclubs. They are doing some really interesting things and are worth following.

If you have other websites\blogs that you like to follow, leave a comment.