I was quite happy to catch this shot. The weather is becoming more like summer now. Apparently, a German Old man mentioned his weather forecast was more accurate than the TV (he observes the animals, the trees, and the climate, etc). And it seems he’s right.
It’s interesting that for a big chunk of my Christian life, the word “liberal” (usually associated with a negative tone) and Germany had a close relation. There was a kind of “stay away” form German scholars, or your faith will crumble kind of reaction. Then we tend to just isolate ourselves with the “safe people” who kind of have a similar wave length or way of doing things.
Maggi’s post Emerging Church, tribalism and Liberal theology and Simon Says’ comments On Being a Liberal offer some thoughts from UK which are interesting.
Personally, I think I’ve grown more from a more conservative background of Christianity expressed in Pentecostal, Charismatic and Evangelical flavours (for lack of better terms). And I think the danger for people like me is to just get locked into thinking that’s all to Christanity. My “heart” dimension of my personal faith development is definately influenced strongly by these streams. And I do know that there are other maybe “head” or “hands” dimension of my faith that may get help from streams that I’m less familiar with.
But, after more and more interaction with fellow Lutherans (which has a big variety in ourselves worldwide), this has “deepened” my appreciation of diversity, clarified what “core” or “crucial” for me, and then of course, through blogging and the internet there’s other new relationships that open up more possibilities (e.g. those linked with Emergent and the Emerging Church discussion ). And now, the intensified experiences here with the German Lutherans and people from other nations provides a kind of “experimental space” for not only learning but personal growth in a “holistic” sense 🙂 and a kind of “reshaping” by the Spirit in a way.
The fact is we’ll never agree on everything. But the spirit in which we relate to one another is important and will potentially determine whether we move forward, backward or just get stuck.
Of course, there’s a danger of just being “nice”, politically-correct, or surface in our interactions. But, I also believe some genuine “good” can come out of our efforts to not only appreciate one another but actually work together! Again it’s not reading about people in books or blogs but actually interacting with them that makes a diffence. “Listening” is a important first step and often it’s a hard barrier to overcome …
I find myself very fortunate to have these chances to be part a wide array for different experiences these past 4 years. And during this Sabbathical and especially in this summer school I find myself enjoying God’s leadership in my life thus far.
This Pause-“Selah”-transitional moment is precious to think back my personal timeline/history and see where I am going from here. It’s exciting indeed. And beautiful!