According to some Christian outlooks we were made for another world. Perhaps, rather, we were made for this world to recreate, reclaim, redeem, and renew unto God's future aspiration by the power of His Spirit. - R.E. Slater
Secularization theory has been massively falsified. We don't live in an age of secularity. We live in an age of explosive, pervasive religiosity... an age of religious pluralism. - Peter L. Berger
Exploring the edge of life and faith in a post-everything world. - Todd Littleton
I don't need another reason to believe, your love is all around for me to see. – anon
Thou art our need; and in giving us more of thyself thou givest us all. - Khalil Gibran, Prayer XXIII
Be careful what you pretend to be. You become what you pretend to be. - Kurt Vonnegut
Religious beliefs, far from being primary, are often shaped and adjusted by our social goals. - Jim Forest
People, even more than things, need to be restored, renewed, revived, reclaimed, and redeemed; never throw out anyone. – anon
Certainly God's love has made fools of us all. - R.E. Slater
An apocalyptic Christian faith doesn't wait for Jesus to come, but for Jesus to become in our midst. - R.E. Slater
Christian belief in God begins with the cross and resurrection of Jesus, not with rational apologetics. - Eberhard Jüngel, Jürgen Moltmann
Our knowledge of God is through the 'I-Thou' encounter, not in finding God at the end of a syllogism or argument. There is a grave danger in any Christian treatment of God as an object. The God of Jesus Christ and Scripture is irreducibly subject and never made as an object, a force, a power, or a principle that can be manipulated. - Emil Brunner
Ehyeh Asher Ehyeh means "I will be that who I have yet to become." - God (Ex 3.14)
Our job is to love others without stopping to inquire whether or not they are worthy. - Thomas Merton
The church is God's world-changing social experiment of bringing unlikes and differents to the Eucharist/Communion table to share life with one another as a new kind of family. When this happens we show to the world what love, justice, peace, reconciliation, and life together is designed by God to be. The church is God's show-and-tell for the world to see how God wants us to live as a blended, global, polypluralistic family united with one will, by one Lord, and baptized by one Spirit. – anon
The cross that is planted at the heart of the history of the world cannot be uprooted. - Jacques Ellul
The Unity in whose loving presence the universe unfolds is inside each person as a call to welcome the stranger, protect animals and the earth, respect the dignity of each person, think new thoughts, and help bring about ecological civilizations. - John Cobb & Farhan A. Shah
If you board the wrong train it is of no use running along the corridors of the train in the other direction. - Dietrich Bonhoeffer
God's justice is restorative rather than punitive; His discipline is merciful rather than punishing; His power is made perfect in weakness; and His grace is sufficient for all. – anon
Our little [biblical] systems have their day; they have their day and cease to be. They are but broken lights of Thee, and Thou, O God art more than they. - Alfred Lord Tennyson
We can’t control God; God is uncontrollable. God can’t control us; God’s love is uncontrolling! - Thomas Jay Oord
Life in perspective but always in process... as we are relational beings in process to one another so life events are in process in relation to each event... as God is to Self, is to world, is to us... like Father, like sons and daughters, like events... life in process yet always in perspective. - R.E. Slater

Friday, September 7, 2012

The Legacy of the Christian Blogosphere

a deeper story
Chick-Fil-A, Love Wins, the maelstrom over a particular post about 50 Shades of Gray – sometimes I find myself worrying that this will be the legacy of the Christian blogosphere, that these controversies (and hundreds like them) will be all that people remember in twenty or fifty years.

Sure, we wring our hands at the unpleasantness of it all, but that’s usually while we are busy rolling out the outrage machine and the language of persecuted minority or righteous-defender-of-all-that-is-good-and-true.

We say we wish it wasn’t like that, that we don’t want to be this way, that they started it.

But, sometimes, I really don’t think that’s the case.

I think much of the blogosphere can’t do without it. We have become the outrage-industrial complex, building a digital empire by speaking in the vitriolic language of us vs. them.

I think that if there wasn’t a conflict we would have to start one.

I worry that if people twenty years from now remember the Christian blogosphere as driven by controversy, outrage, and infighting, tragically they might be more right than wrong.

How many blogs would soon fall silent if there wasn’t an “enemy” to oppose? We get a high off it, but like any junkie we are quite talented at denying we have a problem, no matter how much damage we are doing, no matter how out of control it has become.

And it’s a shame, because so many of you have beautiful stories to tell, and incredibly brilliant ideas to share. So many bloggers are writing and doing things that are redemptive, imaginative, an outworking of the Gospel story.

But those bloggers, the sort who don’t want to play the game, they often tend to drop out over time, exhausted and disheartened by it all. Or, these wise and quiet voices get passed over in our mad dash from one controversy to the next. And so, one way or another, we never hear them.

I suppose that is part of what I appreciate about this community. True, it is not afraid to address difficult or controversial issues – but it finds its identity not in outrage but in grace, love, and the little bits of life that we share through our stories.

I think if all the controversies went away, by some miracle of God’s mysterious grace, the people here would have just as much to say. These writers would not fall silent.

Because it isn’t simply writing about a controversy that’s the issue, it’s when we start to confuse these controversies with the Gospel, and confuse our stance on them with our identity as children of God. These controversies are not our story, or at least, they shouldn’t be, because our real stories are far better.

And it’s those stories, those stories about love and grace and resurrection, that I hope people remember long after the controversies have been forgotten.

About Mason: Mason is a husband to Melinda, seminary student, blogger, and freelance writer in Grand Rapids, MI. He is passionate about theology, community and justice. What little time is left amidst his busy schedule is devoted to reading, coffee snobbery and a new adventure in home brewing.

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