I found Bob’s entry good … because first it highlights another worth while event the 4th National Congress On Integrity which is focused very much on our Malaysian social-political context. I think this is good because so often Christians and the public in general often are very passive in these matters and we reduce our involvement mainly through complaining (Lord have mercy).
Bob continues after that with some interesting comments on Brian McLaren and the Friends in Conversation 2007 event which we’re organizing for the first time. And what’s important to me .. is right from the start we wanted the focus to not be on the so called “emerging church” phenomena or perceived controversies surrounding Brian McLaren. Bob cheekily writes:
“The buzz is on this one. Noted and sometimes considered controversial speaker Brian McLaren will be in town engaging conversation partners from the Church in Malaysia in considering the challenges and opportunities facing the 21st century Church. McLaren is no stranger to controversy and while some love him, many others love to hate him (I can already think of a few I know personally LOL)
… I know some would balk at just hearing McLaren’s name but I would suggest that even if you have reason to be critical or disagree with his teachings to come and hear him out and get the opportunity to actually challenge his supposed heresies direct from the floor.”
I wonder whether people will be disappointed when they find our how ordinary and down to earth Brian is. And perhaps, what he’s going to share isn’t that “controversial” after all 🙂 We’ll see … what’s important is I believe there will be places where we will be comforted .. and in other cases, challenged.
My personal hope from the start is that Brian’s sharing and engagement with the conversation partners will serve as a catalyst for our own wrestling with the issues at hand – keeping in mind the Gospel, the role of the Church, our own discipleship as well as a keen eye on the world we live in. In many ways, the 2 events one initiated by OHMSI and the other by emergent Malaysia desire to encourage concerned followers of Jesus (or Christians) to connect their faith and witness with the realities we live in. The accents might be different but both seek to give a chance for individuals and groups to interact with each other for the good of our country (which includes the wider world).
The fun little extra Bob threw in was the Bonus Tip for Valentine’s Day. As we talk about changing the world .. the mega issues, the public morality matters, the wider concerns, etc. I’m reminded … of those who are immediately close to us. And for true change to happen, we cannot ignore our wives, our kids, our loved ones, our local congregations, etc.
*update: Bob added another event A Christian Response To The Marginalised which I got the info via email earlier. After seeing this, suddenly I felt Malaysia is blessed this year not just because of visit Malaysia 2007, but the fact that there are quality conversations and consultations on stuff that matter!*
Micah Network Asia-Pacific Consultation 2007