weaving my theological web

part of being Post-foundational is a move away from thinking in “foundation stones” – building block that become unmovable or unquestionable over time – and moving to more a “web” of meaning or interpretation. The advantage of the web-mentality  is that it is flexible and you can adjust one part of it without the entire project crumbling into ruins.

I like this switch a lot.   Of course, no system or structure comes without it’s complications, glitches, and obstacles.

A web is not a liquid existence. It still needs to be anchored somewhere. It has to be connected to something.

I am fond of saying that I want to be innovative, but in a way that honors the original idea and provides continuity with the tradition. This desire means that I am not floating from thing to thing as if I was un-anchored. We are all, at some level, tied to both the original vision and to the modern manifestation. The first asks for accountability and the second one calls for integrity.

navigating between the original vision and the historic progression is demanding. It takes time, a little bit of research, and a whole lot of grace. In fact, I see why some people don’t want to do it. It would be easier to either A) be conservative and just set the foundation stones in place and then never need to move them or ask the original questions again or B) be destructive and/or pragmatic and just do what works now without consideration for the road that brought us here.

I have noticed a pattern lately in my conversations. There seem to be four ideas or movements that I use to anchor my web of meaning / interpretation to.  I ran this by a couple of friends and it has led to some really interesting conversations.

I am a post-conservative, emergent, progressive with charismatic leanings. – this allows me to be in conversation with process thought as well as interact with post-modern thinkers. More

Clowns at every Circus

I wrote this as part of another project, but I wanted to post it here in prep for something that I will soon be up to .

I exist in a mixed environment – spiritually speaking. It is progressive (not a capital P) and also includes many people who have  ‘emerged’ (not capital E) from a predominately evangelical-protestant-with charismatic leanings type heritage. I also have many friends and conversation partners who would still identify as conservative, reformed, or some other type of evangelical.

In my circles I have always assumed and heard that when public characters like  Jerry Falwell sounded off on Hurricane Katrina being a punishment from God for the people of New Orleans – that most people rolled their eyes and knew that his was such a marginal expression that he should not be taken seriously.

or when Franklin Graham said that Islam (as if it were one thing) is a terrible religion filled with hate – that people knew he was not a spokesman for  Christians (as if we are just one thing).

or when Mark Driscoll  says that he could never worship a Jesus that he could beat up – that it carried about as much weight as a WWF wrestler mouthing off in order to get pumped up before a match, pulsing with vibrato and testosterone.

But apparently that is not the case. More