Monday, February 19, 2007

encouraging words

A year and a half ago when I flew to New Mexico to attend the emergent gathering, I think I mentioned here that I was actually worried about how I’d be accepted there. At the time, so much of the conversation included frustration, criticism, and intolerance of church as it is, and many people were pulling away, leaving, and gathering among believers in totally new community paradigms. I, on the other hand, was leading worship in a contemporary church and teaching at a traditional, conservative Bible College. They were tired of talking and were doing, I was still talking and trying to open minds. Would they see what I was doing from within in any way connected to their pulling away and doing it differently?
When I arrived at the gathering, it took no time at all for my new acquaintances to become friends, and with me as newbies to the gathering were many others who were still trying to affect growth and change within their contexts. The reputation of my school is widespread, and many were outrageously shocked, but equally encouraged that I was there. Word traveled fast that there was a Bible College faculty member among them. I was sought out for conversation. But within my own contexts, I’m still somewhat of an anomaly. There are, however, signs that more are willing to hear, by necessity as we seem more disconnected and less effective with the students to whom we minister, and with the world into which we wish to send them. But I’m still a small, marginal voice in a big pond. Research still trumps experience.
Recently a much bigger voice began a series of chapel sermons here dealing with post-modernism that discussed the topic with a much more open, (dare I say intelligent?), teachable approach. Our President Emeritus, Robertson McQuilkin, delivered a message called “Post Modernism: Capturing it.” There is nothing new here, no new topics to bring into the conversation; but the encouragement is that it was delivered here. His words will be heard when mine sound squeaky and unintelligible, uninformed, naïve, and rebellious, and perhaps open ears to my own.
I’ve asked Dr. McQuilkin for permission to link you to his message and he was excited to give it. He did, however, voice the concern that he didn’t challenge the students enough to be self-critical and challenge some of the stuff they’re buying into. I believe though that he created an atmosphere that will allow him to do that more specifically and be heard and trusted. He will be able to point out specific areas of concern to him without throwing the baby out with the bath, and creating a false antithesis between, “biblical world-view” and “post-modernism”, as has always been done.

I’ve provided a link to this message, if you’re interested. Give a listen. More will follow. In any case, be encouraged with me.

Link: Post Modernism: Capturing It