Selective Hearing at Wild Goose

Catherine Caimano has a post at Faith & Leadership which offers a critical look at the Wild Goose Festival.  Her bottom-line critique: Not Enough Jesus.  She got this impression, it seems, from attending a few sessions and overhearing people talk in private conversations.

Among the elements to which she refers is the “Sexuality and Justice” panel that I moderated.  What’s interesting is that I used an extended biblical illustration connecting Jesus’ healing of the man lowered through the roof with Peter’s healing of the cripple by the Temple gate in Acts 3.  After that session, several people stopped me to thank me for talking about Jesus and the Bible.  One young couple said, “We love it here, but we’re youth pastors in a conservative church and it’s tough for us to bring what we’re hearing back.  Thanks for using the Bible — we haven’t heard much Bible here.”

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A Conservative at Wild Goose

Devin, a new friend of mine, has a post on Patheos about what it was like being a conservative (young, restless, Reformed) at the Wild Goose Festival.  Definitely worth the read:

The fact of the matter is that so much has been said about the Emergent Church and it’s leaders that is utterly bogus. There has been very accurate assessments of their methodology, philosophy and hermeneutic. It can’t be denied that overall they have been painted as the boogeyman and many of their critics would rather shove them out of their congregant’s sights instead of really assessing what is fueling the movement. The Church is infected with slack anti-intellectualism when it comes to critiques that come from the outside. It is a tradition of men to ignore the popular philosophers of our day because they don’t share our theology. We all know that much of the material is liberal theology that has been tweaked for our time in an attempt to get Jesus into places that are usually afraid of Him. While I don’t line up with how this is done, I have seen them provoke more thought about the person of Christ among secular communities far more than I’ve seen in any street preaching venture. There, I said it. [READ THE REST]

The Wild Goose Festival: My Talks

I actually didn’t give any talks, per se, at the Goose.  I was a speaker host, I sat on a panel, I moderated a panel, and led a discussion in the GeoDome.  I’m glad about this, actually, for it afforded me just the kind of dialogue in which I think I work best — that is, the more I mature as a theologian, I think I’m better at dialogue than I am at monologue.

The first was a panel on Friday, moderated by Becky Knight, on the topic of sexuality.  It was held in the GeoDome to an overflow crowd.  Along with me were Paul Fromberg, Andrew Marin, Mark Scandrette, Seth Donovan, Rachel Swan, Jay Bakker, and Becky Kuhn.  With so many panelists, we didn’t get much time individually to talk, but we each made an introductory statement, then we had a chance to respond to questions from the audience.  My opening salvo was basically this: A clergyperson acted as an agent of the government and married me, binding me in a legal contract; but that clergyperson was nowhere to be found when it came time to undo that legal contract; therefore the church should get out of the marriage business.

I would say that the consensus of the panel and the crowd is that we must make the issue of sexuality in the church be about a lot more than “what to do with ‘the gays.'”

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Amazing Photos from Wild Goose

My Beloved, Courtney Perry, is a uniquely gifted photographer.  She shot the Wild Goose Festival last weekend, and she’s uploaded 227 images for your enjoyment — you can even order prints of your favorites.  (They’re also available for download to media organizations that are reporting on the festival.)

View Courtney Perry’s Gallery on PhotoShelter