Ok, let's try this again...

By "this" I mean the heart and intent of this blog...

I just got off the phone with James, a good friend of mine who will no-doubt be reading this post.  In as gentle a way as anyone could, he suggested that I've been less than gracious in some of my posts.  He mentioned Joan Ball's recent comment as resonating with him deeply.

"I love you, and I'm going to keep reading your blog, but if you really want to have respectful dialogue with people who disagree with you - as I know you do - you've got to speak with the same grace toward conservatives as you do with liberals, homosexuals and Muslims."

And I know he's right.

But this isn't easy, because James acknowledged: "The people I'm hardest on are the ones who have the same background I do."

And so with me, I tend to be harder on conservatives because they share my faith-of-origin.  It might not be fair, but when I "critique" conservative theological (or cultural) views and beliefs, I usually feel like I'm actually critiquing myself.  Maybe that sounds like an easy out, and maybe it is.  But I recognize it isn't "fair" in the spirit of respectful, compassionate, gracious dialogue.

If you're a conservative who frequents this blog, I'm sorry if I've offended you, overstated my vehemence, or appeared intolerant of ideological differences.  With respect to my recent post, "DISCERNING TRUTH AND GOODNESS," I will continue to struggle with how to graciously voice "disapproval."  As I said, I genuinely disapprove of placing limitations and provisos on love, and I think it's a major weakness in the Christian church.  However, I think conservative Christians want to be loving and gracious as much as liberal Christians.  That's right - I don't think the liberal church is uniquely loving and gracious, or particularly more successful at it.  In fact, many of the most caring, loving human beings I have ever met have been in very conservative Churches.  Personal transformation is quite separate (in my experience) from corporate teaching.  But I continue to resonate more with liberal teachings because - at least in ideology - it seeks more gracious roads.

James' other kind criticism of this blog is that EmergingChristian.com hasn't been much FUN lately.  A lot of my posts have been more negative in tone - the unfortunate, inevitable effect of deconstruction.  But if you know me day-to-day (in the flesh) you know I'm a pretty sarcastic, fun-loving, clowning little S.O.B.  I laugh so hard that I cry almost every day.  I also cry almost every day.  Maybe I'm emotionally unstable.  Or bipolar.  Or just easily amused.

If you disagree with many of the tenets of this blog and still read, then I thank you for your grace.  If you've just stopped by for the first time, then I hope you'll give all this a chance.  My intentions are not to convert conservatives to liberalisms.  Or Christians to agnosticism.  Or moderns to postmodern.  I am on my own, personal journey.  It's exciting, terrifying, frustrating, and continually surprising.  I pray that continual surprise is because I seek and love a God who is continually doing something new and beautiful.

Blessings, always,

1 comment:

Joan Ball said...

Wow Peter. Just wow.

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