Thanks to Don Heatley
Thanks to Don Heatley
Due to snow in the Twin Cities, several C21 participants got held over for another night here, allowing us to revel in the glories of the gathering for another day. But today holds a couple more airport runs, some packing, and beginning to decide what’s next for JoPa.
At Jay Bakker’s request, I will be posting about the event, at length, in the next couple days. Until then, enjoy the images of Courtney Perry:
I’m busy the next couple days, co-producing Christianity21 — a gathering that promises to be unique on the Christian event landscape. Here’s the Twitter feed for the event, a great way to listen in on what we’re doing:
We’re currently battling Christian euphemisms here on the blog.
Here’s a passage from my book, The New Christians, about my experience with one Christian euphemism while in college:
Back on campus, I chafed under some of the policies of Campus
Crusade. First, a glass ceiling inhibited women from ever achieving the coveted
position of campus director. When I asked about this, I got fuzzy arguments
from scripture–it turns out that Crusade doesn’t necessarily bar women from top
leadership positions, but the general discomfort with women’s leadership is a
part of a particular angle on biblical interpretation. This was lost on me at
the time, since I’d grown up at a church with ordained women ministers.
Second, we were being trained in so-called cold-call evangelism.
What that meant was, once per month, we left the MnM rally and spread across
campus to evangelize the unbelievers. A partner and I (because Jesus sent out
his followers two by two) went to the dorm we were assigned and began knocking
on doors. When a door was answered, we’d ask, “Are you willing to take a short
survey?” to which any undergrad who’d like to avoid homework answered, “Yes.”
According to Wikipedia,
A euphemism is a substitution of an agreeable or less
offensive expression in place of one that may offend or suggest
something unpleasant to the listener, or in the case of Doublespeak,
to make it less troublesome for the speaker. The deployment of
euphemisms is a central aspect within the public application of political correctness.
It also may be a substitution of a description of something or
someone rather than the name, to avoid revealing secret, holy, or
sacred names to the uninitiated, or to obscure the identity of the
subject of a conversation from potential eavesdroppers. Some euphemisms
are intended to amuse.
I think that Christians, in our desire not to offend (either God or one another), are more heavily reliant upon euphemisms than many other people in our society. And yet euphemisms don’t serve us well. They push us toward at least convoluted communication, and at worst passive-aggressive communication. They also tend toward “insider speak,” which works against our call to be missional.
So, please, help me stamp out Christian euphemisms by posting your (least) favorites in the comments below, and I’ll start posting them.
Only YOU can stop Christian euphemism!
I was having a conversation with a friend about the evangelical interest in Jim Belcher’s book, Deep Church. Jim’s written a good book, and I was happy to endorse it — albeit with the caveat that he and I disagree significantly on some theological issues like the nature of God and the nature of scripture.
In the book, Jim takes aim at the “traditional” church and the “emerging” church. He offers a “third way” between the two, though any fair reader can see that he’s tougher on the emerging church than he is on the traditional church, and his third way leans significantly in the direction of traditional Reformed theology and worship. Ignored are Catholic, Orthodox, Wesleyan, and Anabaptist visions of ecclesial life, and, as Jenell points out, women.
I don’t begrudge Jim any of those (except the ignoring of women) — he’s entirely entitled to his own opinions, and to publish them. I wish him success. And that wasn’t really even the point of my friend in our conversation. Instead, he was intrigued that conservatives and Reformed folks would be so taken with Jim’s book when he’s pretty tough on them, too.
I’ve taken a month hiatus from this blog, primarily for personal reasons. In fact, I haven’t even read a blog in a month (with a few exceptions, including Zach’s series on gays in the church).
I’ve tried to breathe deeply and find love. It had been, for the most part, good for my soul.
So, I will re-enter the blogosphere and, quite honestly, I don’t know what I’ll write about. I’m not brimming with strong opinions about anything at the moment. I’m trying to get a small business off the ground, struggling to complete my dissertation, and working to love and support my children and the others whom I love.
What I don’t know is if blogging helps me do that…
This week, I’ll be consumed by the 2009 Emergent Village Theological Conversation with Jurgen Moltmann, an event that my company, JoPa Productions, is producing. Here’s the Twitter feed of the event, so you can look on with us.
I’ve been influenced by the blog, Minimal Mac, to simplify my cluttered workspace, so I canceled cable TV and used the money I saved to buy a cheap-but-highly-rated Dell monitor. I’m trying to keep all paper off my desk and allow no clutter except the occasional coffee mug.