See Me, Feel Me, Touch Me, Heal Me

Actually, listen to me. If you haven’t gotten enough of me this week, I’ve taken over the Homebrewed Christianity Network.

I guest co-hosted The Homebrewed Podcast at Subverting the Norm 2.

I was interviewed about my experience at that conference by Christian and Jordan on the Homebrewed Culturecast.

PS: The headline of this post feels very Slacktivist, doesn’t it?

Can Postmodern Theology Live in Our Churches? #STN2

That is the overarching question at Subverting the Norm 2, a conference that I’m attending this weekend in Springfield, Missouri. Honestly, not many people addressed the question yesterday, at least not in the sessions I attended. So far this morning, the presenters have pivoted to talking about it.

Last night, I responded to John Caputo‘s plenary address. Some here accused me of failing to actually respond to Caputo, others have wondered if I made a Derridian move, and still others have thanked me for speaking plainly and forthrightly. Some requested that I post my response, so I will do so here. But before that, some prolegomena:

First, Caputo is the rock star of this conference. Several people here are his former PhD students, and many are his acolytes. I, too, am a big fan of Caputo — I think his Weakness of God is a brilliant text — and I had no desire to present a deep critique of his work in this context.

Second, due to no fault of his own, Caputo did not provide me with his manuscript in advance. In academic conferences, respondents are usually able to see the paper in advance so as to write a prepared response.

Third, Caputo is a philosopher of the first order. I am not. I’m a (practical) theologian, well-versed in postmodern philosophy, to be sure, but not at the level of going nose-to-nose with someone of Jack’s caliber. To do so would have been stupid of me and disrespectful of Caputo.

For all of these reasons, to attempt an on-the-fly response to Caputo would have been nigh on suicidal — or at least would have held the potential for a massive trainwreck. So, instead, I composed 13 points of challenge and exhortation for those in the crowd — particularly clergy — who are really trying to answer the question, “Can postmodern theology live in our churches?” Some of these points I prepared before Jack’s talk, and some are a direct result of and response to it:

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Hawaii Doesn’t Suck

I’m putting up this quick post from LAX, where Courtney and I are en route back home after a week on the Big Island of Hawaii. My parents took my brothers and me and our spouses to celebrate our marriages and their own 70th birthdays.

Of course the weather was amazing, as was the fresh fish, the ocean breezes, the breeching humpback whales and pod of 30 dolphins and the Mai Tais. All of that was fantastic.

But, honestly, the best part was an uninterrupted week with my family. As I’ve written here before, I don’t know how I would have survived my divorce without my parents and brothers. And, as well as loving me through that, they have wholeheartedly embraced Courtney into the family. In my book, there is simply no substitute for a supportive and loving family.

I appreciate your reading and commenting during my absence, and I’m grateful to the guest bloggers. We’ll dive back into the deep end of the pool tomorrow with a Question That Haunts. But until then, I’m still dreaming of crashing waves and swim-up bars.

35 Hours Traveling, only 2 of them Sleeping

Your Favorite Blogger and Laura Tremaine (Hollywood Housewife)

I arrived home this morning, exhausted, but thankful for a wonderful trip. My hosts in Malaysia were wonderful people. And my journey home was made far less agonizing because I got to leave the airports of Taipei and Los Angeles to hang out with friends new (Grace and Tim Heebner in Taipei) and new (Laura Tremaine in LA). In both cases, they knew I was traveling because of social media, and they reached out about getting together. In both cases, they picked me up and brought me to some great food.

When I arrived home, I immediately fell asleep, and Courtney just rousted me out of bed so that I wouldn’t sleep the whole day away. I’m going through mail and returning email and running to the Apple Store to replace the MacBook power cord I left in Kuala Lumpur.

And I’m very, very grateful for friends old and new, who would drive an hour or 90 minutes to hang out with me during a layover. I’ve done nothing to deserve such friendship, but I am thankful for it.

Tim and Grace Heebner at the Taipei night market. We ate chicken hearts and (what’s up?) chicken butt.