I think it’s important to note these are very raw reflections from Alwyn, but he always has a gift for eye grabbing titles like this –> Detonations of Hope
“I’m gonna sound like I’m Brian McLaren’s No.1 fan in Malaysia.
Maybe it’s because I’ve been part of Emergent for the past 2-3 years. Maybe it’s my inadequate reading of McLaren (only 3 books out of about a dozen). Maybe it’s God knocking me on the head, on account of my lack of “spiritual involvement”. But there were so many instances during McLaren’s talks at the QRoH conference which “blew me away”, for instance:
…when he tied discipleship to the making of the rare violins (like the Stradivarius), sharing how a master violin-maker and his apprentice would go cottage to cottage in the mountains of Switzerland looking for a particular wood to make high-quality violins, with the apprentice slowly mastering the art by imitating the master. It dawned on me that I’ve been spending so much time thinking and talking about the faith that I haven’t been devoting enough attention to immitating its Leader and Perfecter. I/We have been so obsessed with rules of mastery that we’ve forgotten to follow and eat with and live like and love as much as, the Master.
…when he counseled that, with respect to adherents of other faiths, the proper response is to “love and know, serve and protect” them. Serve and protect Buddhists, “free-thinkers”, Muslims?? Serve and protect them?! Protect them from Christians, maybe? This response feels so right and even though the Biblical ‘alarm-bells’ are ringing, I sense that’s what God desires of His children. Our Christian narrative is not to be an irresistible meta-narrative steamrolling its way over other framing stories, but a redeeming narrative, suffering (even) for those who seek to stamp it out.
…when he suggested reworking our language in communicating the Gospel and declaring something like, “We are the Al-Qaeda of God, preparing detonationgs of hope, firing bullets of goodness, flying planes of truth into buildings of deception.”
And to think that I initially declined being a facilitator…(*Alwyn shakes head at himself*)”
Here ends what Alwyn has written.
A Special Note From Me [Sivin] (Just in case anyone is tempted to misunderstand Brian’s quote above): In reference to the final paragraph above on reworking our language … I don’t think Brian is suggesting we use it carelessly. What I understand is how often the content and language of the gospel no longer impacts us or shocks us into a place where we’d sit up and listen and consequently stand up into action/respond. Usually artist or poets would accent colours or their language to capture the attention and imagination of their audience. During our 2 days there were many moments where Brian was operating in this mode. And reading Alwyn’s post is encouraging to see the positive and good effect it has had on him.