So…I’ve been reading a book called MetaVista, which has got me thinking…and looking around on the web for other people’s thoughts on it as well. These folks said it way better than I could, so I’m going to quote them:
Metavista by Colin Greene and Martin Robinson, which has a lot to say about the importance of story in communicating faith within post-modern culture, surprised us by containing no stories! They’re not alone in that of course, there is no shortage of people keen to tell us what needs to be done but not offering much in the way of either stories or models showing in practical terms what they’re on about. That’s not to say that these two aren’t experts: they obviously are, and display evidence of their wide reading in (western) philosophy and social sciences in just about every sentence. From that perspective, it’s a great book. But as practical theologians we struggle a bit with the idea that theory comes first and that spiritual practice always starts with some kind of ideological basis. Most Christians probably operate the other way round, starting with practice and then maybe reflecting on it all more analytically. Like Gustav Gutierrez said, something about discipleship being the first act, theology the second.
This is really interesting isn’t it? One of the goals of the book seems to be to get people to integrate story/narrative into their presentation of the good news of God. So how do they get towards their end result? Linear, non-narrative.
That raises interesting questions for me. One of the realities I’m dealing with here is the organization and facilitation of a series of events that aim to investigate and affirm apprenticeship in the Way of Jesus. We’re attempting to structure those events in such a way where only about 15-25% of the time is spent using speaching or monologue. There are so many more impacting ways of encountering and being affected by information than the lecture style: art/aesthetic, soundscapes, images, actions, singing, etc… And one of our first questions was, “how do we go about introducing this? maybe we should do some kind of a teaching on it?” Isn’t that funny that this might be the first thought? It was right there at the top of my impulses! The very thing we wanted to get away from was the means we wanted to use to get away. **
I do this all the time…”Let’s have a talk about taking action!” Lol.
Confusing isn’t it?
And so we use war to bring peace.
We use angry and empassioned politicising to proclaim a way of love.
We use theology (thoughts) to bring us to praxis (action).
I can’t help but wonder if it’s easy to see the way forward but hard to live into it. It’s true for me.
**I’m pleased to say that we ended up deciding just to go for it…acknowledging that there would be challenges and possible disorientation but that was acceptable because it would be new…for EVERYONE!
Filed under: Book Review, confession | Tagged: 2churchmice, authentic press, Book Review, Discipleship, experiments, means to an end, metavista, portland oregon church, praxis, theology | 2 Comments »