tag : bright yellow-green apples: a new kind of ecumenicalism

"I see little point in persisting in a discussion with one so obstinate as you" Martin White

Monday, July 12, 2004

a new kind of ecumenicalism

After talking to Sarah the other day, this came to mind again.

I've begun increasingly to notice how my presumed ideas about how I relate to people of different faith positions have been challenged and drastically altered of late. Before there was a filtering of who I would even listen to about Christianity, they had to be flagged up explicitly as liberals for me to take them seriously. In retrospect this is quite an admission, and I hope the fallacy’s been fully overcome by now. Now it seems to be that there's an affinity with people less on the basis of a set theology, and more on an approach to life and faith. Whether they be conservative or liberal Christians, those that move and inspire me, who I find myself respecting, are those who are open and generous in their considerations, creative and lateral in outlook, free with their respect and sharing of the divine. We all have something to share, and some do it with great spirit.

And so these people that I now look to, who challenge and enrich me, are no longer selected as to they’re being 'allies' in that old way I did with such earnest. I have just found that they have naturally come to light, and am very grateful for their being around. Maybe this is what Brian Mclaren and Dave Thomlinson both envisaged, the rising above simple liberal<------------->evangelical polemics into another altogether different space of relating? I am convinced now that base theologies are effectively irrelevant (out with the systematic theology, in with the Taizé) compared with approach, in the dreaming of our new lived Church for this 21st century.

Shall I name a few personal names? Not for now I think, that would be to embarrass and inflate egos, though a few probably know who they are to me. There’re lots of great types about, who live out this openness of Church relating beyond former formal lines, and you'll surely come across them up in time. But then we’re all one in Christ anyway.

3 Comments:

Anonymous Anonymous said...

i think i've been experiencing a similar change in position- although in my case it is more that i would dismiss something if i knew it was written by someone "too liberal" regardless of whether i agreed with it. nowadays I, too, have found that i can find inspiration and wisdom from the writings of people from all streams of faith (or most anyway... ;oP ) and indeed from people who do not share in our faith. i find great inspiration from people like David Hume, and recently in the ending of a novel i've been reading...
perhaps it marks the begining of a new age of ecumenicalism? let's hope so!

2:17 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

i think i've been experiencing a similar change in position- although in my case it is more that i would dismiss something if i knew it was written by someone "too liberal" regardless of whether i agreed with it. nowadays I, too, have found that i can find inspiration and wisdom from the writings of people from all streams of faith (or most anyway... ;oP ) and indeed from people who do not share in our faith. i find great inspiration from people like David Hume, and recently in the ending of a novel i've been reading...
perhaps it marks the begining of a new age of ecumenicalism? let's hope so!
-ash

2:17 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

oops... that came out twice... :oS
my apologies!

2:18 PM  

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