A Helpful Comment and Compliment: Continuing the ECM and OST Discussions

Monday, July 11, 2005

A Helpful Comment and Compliment
Continuing the ECM and OST Discussions

Earlier today I received what I took as a helpful comment and compliment from a saint named Dana Ames. Dana entered my Response to Andrew Perriman on Open Source Theology, and the comments have been interactive and helpful.

I responded to Dana this past weekend, and another helpful response as followed, this time including what I took to be a compliment. I am including a paragraph of that response here, not to brag on myself (for those who know me well know there's very little of that to go around!), but hopefully to reflect to those in the EC movement and OST my heart in this matter, toward the stimulation of more interaction and discussion. Thanks Dana for the kind words.

"After reading some more of what you have written around your blog, I get the sense that you understand the redemption of culture/cultural expressions. So often, people who are afraid that the Gospel is being compromised are also afraid of interacting with not-yet-Christians, because those nyC's highly value cultural expressions that are different than what we are used to in our Christian bubbles- some examples: film; tattoos & piercings; screaming musical expressions; casual (or even outright weird) dress. I'm sure you can think of others that are not really issues of morality, but rather of cultural differences. We Christians often isolate ourselves from nyC's because we don't want to do the work of seeing beyond the differences and figuring out how to relate to the people God loves who are behind those expressions. For example, in the area of film, I think it's important to know what films are out there, what messages filmmakers are trying to get across, and what points of connection there are between those messages and the kind of life God wants for humans. That doesn't necessarily mean actually viewing all those films- there's plenty out there written about most of them to get the gist of what's going on. You don't have to watch "American Beauty" to understand that the filmmaker is commenting on his perception of the emptiness of "the American dream". Whether or not one agrees with the filmmaker's point of view or the images he chooses to use to illustrate it, there are points of connection with people who would pick up on that filmmaker's message, and we could talk to people about those points of connection in relation to the kind of life God wants for humans, as the level of our relationship to those people would allow. So Christians don't have to be "anti-movies" to show that we are living the kind of life God wants us to live. I get the sense from what you write that you are not that type of Christian, and I am glad of it."

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