A friend noted that I have not been updating this space of late, so I will be happy to do so.
One thing is clear: I no longer hold some of the same views I have had before after realizing how dangerous or untenable they are. It is not that I am afraid of being on the edge; rather, I realized that as “being on the edge” becomes nothing more than being on one side of a polarity, it becomes more and more difficult to find common ground.
So for instance, groups influenced by secular political categories that are running parts of the Christian world these days seem to be forgetting that what they believe (faith) is at some point distinct from how they act on it (order). When what they do, not what they believe, threatens the ability of Christians everywhere to witness to the Gospel, it should be possible to say “Slow down!” and ask for some time to think.
Whatever they believe, say, about sexuality, do have some common ground in that–at some point–they share a common discursive space (the Church) and language (theology) but start from different understandings that are influenced by the secular political order.
These understandings, of course, are where what they do arise. The danger is that if Christians do not reflect enough on what we do in light of what we believe and how to dialogue with those who think differently from us, what we do will not necessarily lead to what we hope to see realized. But it requires that we should, at least, agree to disagree on what we do in some things… and try to find where we can come to fuller agreement.
Which is why the shape of worship/liturgy has always been something I have thought about. The “worship wars” have come home to me sometimes where I sit. But I think it may help to understand that precisely the grammar of worship, as James K.A. Smith suggests in his latest book Desiring the Kingdom, may put into question the origins of understandings we may have about how the Church should act in the world and for whom.
Incidentally, I came across this sermon from Derek’s wife, an Episcopal priest, which is a very good commentary on the Pauline statement on Christ being the image of the invisible God, in the light of Trinitarian theology. The same passage supplied the theological foundations for Jean-Luc Marion‘s own reflections on the icon and the idol in God Without Being.
Here’s where the story continues: I think the shape of my own response to God’s call has become clearer of late. Where it leads me, only God knows.