What Happened on the Blog this Weekend

On Saturday, I published a guest post here. That’s not particularly uncommon. I have, of late, invited posts from guest authors. In fact, when someone emails me to express an opinion that is contrary to something I’ve written, my usual response is, “Why don’t you write a guest post on that, and I’ll publish it.”

A couple things come to mind about this stance. For one thing, I am only a person who writes books and a compensated blog because, starting in 1999, kind people shared their platforms with me. Sure, I suppose they thought I had something to say, but they also chose to give a 30-year-old youth pastor a chance to write books and speak at conferences. A decade-and-a-half later, I’m happy to do the same for other, new voices that I think you might appreciate.

Secondly, I strongly believe that writing is a meritocracy. If you have something interesting to say, and you’re relatively articulate, people will read your writing. So I feel like there’s not much to lose, and a lot to gain when I publish a post by a new voice.

What happened this weekend follows both those rules.

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The Wisest of Words from Rachel

The truth is, that dude whose blog posts totally rub you the wrong way may be the best person in the world with which to watch a football game or talk theology over beer. That acquaintance on Facebook whose pictures make her life seem perfect may struggle with self-doubt, depression, and fear. That stuffy Calvinist you love to hate may melt into a goofy, delightful playmate when he’s tickling his kids on the living room floor. The feminist you always imagine shouting other people down may have an unbelievably tender heart.  The pastor you think is always wrong probably gets a few things right. And the pastor you think is always right definitely gets some stuff wrong.

via You don’t hate me. You hate my brand..

Repost from February, 2005: Response to Critics of Emergent

Official Response to Critics of Emergent

Response to Recent Criticisms

By Tony Jones, Doug Pagitt, Spencer Burke, Brian McLaren, Dan Kimball, Andrew Jones, Chris Seay

We continue to be amazed by the enthusiastic interest in the work of emergent, a conversation and friendship of which we are a small part. This conversation is bringing together a wide range of committed Christians and those exploring the Christian faith in wonderful ways, and many of us sense that God is at work among us. As would be expected, there have also been criticisms. A number of people have asked us to respond to these criticisms. These ten brief responses will, we hope, serve to clarify our position and suggest ways for the conversation to continue constructively for participants and critics alike. It is our hope and prayer that even our disagreements can bring us together in respectful dialogue as Christians, resulting in growth for all concerned.

First, we wish to say thanks to our critics for their honest feedback on our books, articles, speeches, blogs, events, and churches. We readily acknowledge that like all human endeavors, our work, even at its best, is still flawed and partial, and at its worst, deserves critique. We are grateful to those who help us see things we may not have seen without the benefit of their perspective. We welcome their input.

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Repost From December, 2004: The Trinity

De Trinitate

Scott Collins-Jones, “You are in more dire need of a blog than any white man in history.” (Movie quote, anyone?)

Since Scott, a funny, smart, opinionated guy who needs a blog doesn’t have one yet, he emailed me to ask how I can not think that someone who doesn’t believe in the Trinity is not unorthodox. Well, not coincidentally, Doug and I spent a long time talking about this the other night, sitting in his van in my driveway after catching the late showing of What the #$*! Do We Know!?. In fact, this is one of the things that Duffy Robbins and I talked about recently since Doug has made some public comments on this issue.

Now, listen, I disagree with Doug on some significant theological points — we’ve recently had heated conversations on the Trinity and baptism, among other things. But if you listen carefully to him, as I encouraged Duffy to do, Doug uses phrases like “The 3rd century Nicene understanding of the Trinity was once sufficient, but it isn’t any longer.” That is, he feels that many people use the “We’ve got to get back to a Trinitarian theology” line to once again hide behind a God who is quite — if not completely — removed from creation.

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