I’ve been reading and writing a ton while here at woodbrooke, which I suppose is good since that’s why I came here!? I just finished a fourth section to my final paper, it was on Martin Davie’s analysis of why and how Liberal Quakerism became the predominate form of belief in Britain. It took me a couple days to hammer it out, and it will take me as least as long to edit it, because it’s pretty long. I just quickly added up the word count on my various sections and I’ve got over 15,000 words so far, which isn’t too shabby. Actually, I think that’s as many words as I am required to have for my final paper for this tutorial, but I haven’t even written my conclusion yet, or added any of that fun juicy stuff where you get to argue your main points, etc.
About a week ago I had an article come out in Young Quaker, the publication run by Young Friends General Meeting in Britain (See volue 53,number 6). This edition was the last one for Jez Smith, a friend of mine who currently lives in London, and who I worked with on the Britain Yearly Meeting Blog a Month ago. Anyways, it was a pleasure to write an article both for a different audience than what I would normally have and as a send-off to Jez who has taken a job at “The Friend” the only weekly Quaker publication in the world. Since many of you won’t have access to the article I thought I would summarize what I wrote there and open it up for discussion.
Tony Jones, recently discussed a paper he read at Wheaton. In the paper he talks about the prospect of being an “anti-theologian,” (a designation I too find attractive) and orthodoxy as something that exists within particular events but not as an objective reality out there somewhere. I found some troubling questions for Friends given the reality of Jones’ arguement. About his paper he says, Continue reading Orthodoxy As An Event and Questions About a Quaker Orthodoxy
Today the Urban Connection of the Mennonite Mission Network has published an article on web communities. I am really excited about the article, Online Finds: Web Leads to Real Communiy by Ryan Miller, for a couple reasons. First it shows that the Anabaptists are also asking questions about the global information culture and implications for the church. And second, Ryan interviewed me and used some of our conversation in the article! Continue reading Online Communities and Radical Reformation Perspectives
Just today I got an email from Jarrod McKenna, a Christian activist who lives Down Under.
He says of himself, “Im a lapsed vegetarian wholl now eat happily my daily bread from dumpsters (but secretly longs for the flesh pots of evil big corporation burgers.) I spend my time as a nonviolence trainer for activists, students and whoever else will listen and sharing the gospel of a nonviolent messiah, (hopefully in more than just words!).”
“Frequently Asked Questions” is a segment on this site where basic questions get answered from people with theological training. If you’re interested in asking a Question you can contact me, otherwise you can visit the FAQ category or it’s corresponding wiki for more information.
met Zac Moon today from Nevada Dessert Experience, a Franciscan ministry that seeks to non-violently protest the proliferation of nuclear weapons and the nuclear test site in Nevada. I really enjoyed meeting with this fellow Quaker who comes as a radical Christian from the un-programmed group of Friends.
In talking about the problems of identity crisis within all strands of the Friends church he pointed to two ideas about why our Quaker churches aren’t as radical as they ought to be: A fear for suffering (owning our traditions narrative and the narrative of the Gospels) and a loss of focus on the Cross of Christ.
We all love our lives to much to be willing to go and protest things we theologically disagree with. Quakers today (especially evangelical ones) are not in the radical stream of living out their faith (generally speaking). What i mean is we as a community are not countering the power structures of the world today in the way that our forbearers did, who were repeatedly scorned, imprisoned, threatened, hated, debated, etc. We are afraid, I am afraid, to own the Gospel narrative in this way. It is much more american, and human, to read about Jesus’ suffering and say “that’s Jesus, I’m not Jesus, he doesn’t expect me to be,” than it is to say, “i own that story as my own, i bear the name of Christ and all he did, and will live it no matter the cost to me, my family, my friends, i have counted it all loss.” We need people today who are willing to enter into this kind of Christianity again, people who will truly own the Christian story, and show us again the power of faith, witness and the cross.