Alright, we just wrapped up with the opening session of the Worship, Art, Liturgy and Preaching Conference put on by Emergent Village.
Randy and I had a great trip up here. He is such a great guy with an honest heart and sincere love for people and our Maker. We laughed quite a bit and tried our hand at the physics of Knight Rider and the moving truck (what would the speed of Kit be if his tires are spinning at 70 miles an hour while the truck is moving at 65?).
Anyway, it's great to be with a group of people who are wrestling with similar questions and issues.
Tonight we heard Sister Rose Pacatte, a lady within the catholic church dedicated to finding God's truth in films and media. Nothing crazy new in her presentation. The normal thoughts of "movies show reality" and "God is reality" so "let's learn from movies". Obviously the thought process is much more extensive, but that's the basic idea...forgive me if I'm off there. But I was struck by her challenge to help young people develop a process of evaluation. She didn't lay the process down, but it was basically, "How was God shown in this and what can we learn from it?" I gathered that there are two extremes that result from not teaching the evaluation process. One extreme is the complete avoidance of any entertainment, thus shutting oneself and one's children off from healthy interaction with others who are involved with entertainment. The second extreme is the complete permission of all entertainment without any restraint, thus exposing oneself and allowing oneself to be shaped by the content.
I went to Solomon's Porch (ah it's nice to be back in Wilmore, KY) afterwards with Randy and Pete (guy from Hagerstown, MD). There we met some other people from the convention. I sat down with Ken (from OR) and Shawn/Sean (from MA, originally from Midlothian, VA...knows Julie Scott, sister of my friend, David Scott). There we wrestled with some questions. Ken seemed to have an abundance of questions. One question was, "What does the Emergent conversation have to add to my questions? I have already asked many questions. I don't want another place that just asks questions." Another was, "Where do we draw the line in what we view as entertainment? Isn't truth shown in other ways? Is showing movies of Christ?" And, "can we be countercultural and biblical?"
1. It is my understanding that Emergent is about asking questions together, about being honest, about being ecumenical, about seeking to tell the truth in manners appropriate for each setting. Emergent isn't all about form, or new ways of doing things. It's about rethinking our former ways, about making sure that the direction we are heading is God's direction. You can find more info about it at http://www.emergentvillage.com/Site/index.htm.
2. After talking for quite some time, we came to the conclusion that there is no official line. Our boundary is the holy Spirit, the breath of God, who is given to us to guide us to all truth. So there will be different spaces for each person...
3. Biblical is entirely countercultural and entirely cultural. Maybe being biblical isn't the main concern. Maybe being true to God's essence is the greatest concern...We didn't get to this question, but I wish that we did. It seems that God is always moving within and against culture...maybe a better way to put it is that God is always wanting to stretch culture, wanting to make it reflect him more. This doesn't mean a neat tidy culture where everybody always does the right thing and never drinks or smokes. But more of a community that attempts to become like Him. A community that when someone jacks it up, seeks to reconcile the situation...okay, this is bigger than this blogspot, but being God-like doesn't seem to be about culture.
Alright, I'm off to bed. It's late and I'm going to hear McLaren tomorrow morning...can't sleep through that now...