The book is done, revisions and all.
The book is done, revisions and all.
From Shane Hipps:
Calling all “emergent-types” in the Valley
Tony Jones is in Phoenix next weekend and we’re having a little get together. Tony is the National Coordinator of Emergent Village, author of numerous books and most recently editor of An Emergent Manifesto of Hope. Tony and I will be enjoying a beverage at Aunt Chiladas near 16th st. and Northern on Saturday June 2nd at 8pm. You’re welcome to join us.
I promise, I will return to regular blogging after June 1. The final revisions on my book manuscript are due that day. And, in the meantime, I’m licking my wounds over a couple of difficult speaking engagements, most recently this past weekend. More on that later, as well.
But I will say, I’m thanking God for my dear friend, John Franke, who has been providentially available to me twice in the last few months as I’ve been received less than favorably at two different venues. If I were in this thing alone, I’d have quit a long time ago.
…with Will Penner. Check it out.
I am so way, far behind on blogging! My final (and fourth) draft is due to Jossey-Bass on June 1, so it’s difficult to write here when that’s breathing down my neck. I’m also traveling to speak every weekend this month.
I was at Western Theological Seminary in Holland, Michigan for the first half of last weekend. As I arrived, I saw two girls walking down the sidewalk in full Dutch costume with wooden clogs on. No joke. Turned out it was the weekend of the annual Tulip Festival. Of course, I immediately thought this meant they were celebrating driscollian/piperian theology, but in fact it was the flowers they were excited about.
Speaking of reformed theology, I found the folks at WTS to be warm, open, evangelical, and reformed. They were thoughtful, and not the least bit reactionary. Surely some didn’t like all that I had to say, but their hospitality trumped any disagreements.
The conference was for area youth workers, as well as interested seminarians and Hope College students. When I meet people like that, I almost reconsider my current thoughts about seminary education…
As some of my friends know, I’m trying to piece together a living: part-time with EV, part time speaking, and part-time writing. The speaking is what keeps the Joneses liquid, and I happen to love it. But, as I’m figuring out the rhythms of this life, it seems that some times are great for speaking engagements (Sept-Nov, Jan-Mar, May), and other times, well, it’s slim pickins. So, I’m trying to figure out a way to pay for our lives while I write my dissertation (which is next in the queue after the current book).
Anyway, I’ve got some travel scheduled for the summer, and I’d love to speak to your group, preach at your church, or spend time with your staff or volunteer leaders. I’ve also got a bunch of frequent flier miles, and I’d be willing to fly somewhere for a day or two to get some work. I’ve listed below some places I’ll be for meetings, and I’d love to talk if you’re interested in scheduling something else around that time. Or we can talk about another time in another place. You can email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Also, I’m looking to land a regular column in a magazine or journal. I’ve talked to a couple periodicals, but I’m open to suggestions on this, too. Lemme know what you think.
June 2-3: Phoenix
June 10-11: San Francisco
June 24-25: Los Angeles/San Diego
July 8-9: Atlanta
August 11-12: Oregon/Idaho
(This is a bit of a vulnerable post for me, thus the comments are turned off. And if you are considering sending me an email telling me that I’m preaching heresy, etc., you can keep it to yourself.)
Over at Emerging Anglican, Robert Lancaster has posted an open letter to me regarding my address at Wheaton. He asks more good questions, and I will respond to him next week. In the meantime, you might check it out and drop a comment on him with your own response.
In other news, I have just begun Draft #4 of my book. That’s right, Draft #4. Ugh. And yes, it’s still due on June 1. I’ll be heading into the northwoods for a few days to pound out many words, which is why I can’t respond to Robert till next week.
Then, the following weekend starts a harrowing three weeks of travel and speaking (along with many late nights of writing in hotel rooms).
Well, I’m glad that Al commented on the last post to clarify that the fellow theologians don’t consider me a real theologian. I wonder if that has more to do with the powerpoint, or that I haven’t finished my dissertation (or that I didn’t wear a tie). At least Ken Silva has the cojones to call me an anti-theologian. (In fact, I think I like that title!) My thoughts on academic guilds are well known, and it does not surprise me that they esteem me not.
My “paper” went for a bit over an hour, then there were about 40 minutes worth of questions before Vince Bacote and I finally had to cut it off. I’ll likely publish a version of that paper somewhere, sometime, so I’m not ready to give it all away here. But, the gist of it was that I said that orthodoxy doesn’t “exist.” Instead, orthodoxy is an event, in the Derridean/Caputoean sense. That is, orthodoxy happens when human beings get together and practice it (talk about God, worship God, pray to God, write books about God, etc.). There’s no orthodoxy somewhere out there that one can point to and say, “See that? That’s orthodoxy. That’s what we’re trying to get to.”
The thrust of the conference was to talk ancient-future, to bring the patristics to bear on the present. I argued that the way we are faithful the Fathers (and Mothers, and the many marginalized voices in the history of the church) is to be conversant with them as we are attempting to be faithful in our time and place. I suggested that the Council of Chalcedon, for instance, was a messy, political event that eventuated in the “orthodox” rendering of Jesus the Christ as two substances, one person. Now, I don’t reject that articulation of Christ, but I do want to acknowledge that it was a human and political process that resulted in that event of orthodoxy.
I received some comments during the Q&A time, as well as a couple of emails, all suggesting the same thing: I’m opening the door to liberalism. One emailer has asked if I’ve not abdicated all realism to the infinite deferral of deconstruction. But, like he said in his email, liberalism and conservativism are two sides of the same coin. They both rest on foundationalist assumptions that I reject. So I see no fear of sliding into some kind of neo-liberalism.
I used the analogy of a baseball umpire who has to call balls and strikes during a game. While the rulebook declares what will constitute a strike, and the umpire can quote that definition verbatim, there is really no such thing as a strike until the ball is thrown and the umpire declares it. I asserted that, though the Major League strike zone does not accord exactly with the rule book, there will not come a time when batters will be required to swing at pitches over their heads. The community of baseball (umps, managers, batters, pitchers, catchers, fans, and MLB officials) all hold the strike zone in a dialectical tension.
Similarly, Christian orthodoxy is held in tension by you, me, the Pope and Benny Hinn — by all 2.2 billion of us. Plus, we’re also listening to the interpretations of those who’ve gone before us — the church fathers. (Sadly, we don’t have the voices of the mothers and the slaves to guide us, but we’re getting better at that.) As such, I do not consider the Apostles’ Creed or the Nicene Creed a perfect articulation of the Christian faith. They are remnants of our liturgical past, and, as such, they carry much hermeneutical weight. However, they as limited as all human language is limited.
My best argument that the “strike zone” of orthodoxy will hold is the 2,000 year history of the church. From the Early Church through the Conciliar Age, from the Dark Ages, through the Middle Ages, the Scholastics, the Reformation, the Modern Era, and until now, the worldwide community of faith has adjusted the strike zone, but also guarded it. Now, wrested from the hands of ecclesial elites and placed in the hands of bloggers and “laypersons,” the same thing will happen: we will all work out our orthodoxy together.
However, I’m not going to take the bait and tag five others.