It’s been a while since I’ve done one of these, but I figured I would have another go at this today.
Now the idea behind these “All-Skate” posts is that I am looking for feedback from you, my loyal readers. While this blog is called “Everyone’s Entitled to Joe’s Opinion”, I do NOT want it to be just my opinion. Joe is not a lone wolf or a loose cannon. Joe is part of a community of believers who are doing life together and trying to work out what it means to live as a Christian in our world today. My wish is that this would be a community project and that you, my loyal readers, would take ownership of this and become involved.
The “All-Skate” posts are an opportunity for you, my loyal readers, to do precisely that. These posts are called “All-Skate” because everyone is required to skate. In other words, it is not enough to simply sit on the sidelines and stare at these words on your computer screen and allow them to pass into and out of your mind. Rather, the expectation is that you would engage with the question which I am about to pose and offer your response. Any response will do.
Those of you who do not respond: I have ways of finding you. I will track your computer’s IP address, reach out through your computer screen, and strangle you by the neck until you start to write bad checks. You don’t want to take a chance on that. So I would suggest that you respond.
The question which I am throwing out there today is addressed specifically to my fellow evangelicals: How would you feel if you were to find out that the pastor of your church was accessing some of the resources of the broader, deeper, more catholic (with a little “c”) Christian tradition?
For example: What would your reaction be if you found out that your pastor had skipped off to the Ash Wednesday service at the Anglican church down the street because there is nothing like that going on at your church? Or if he had skipped off to a retreat at a nearby monastery, and there had sat in on the monks’ morning Mass or Liturgy of the Hours service? What if you found out he was reading Thomas Merton or Henri Nouwen?
Here is a more challenging question: What if your pastor were to attempt to implement such things in your church? How well do you think that would go over?
Responses to this are probably going to vary significantly. Within evangelicalism, there tends to be a pretty strong prejudice against the resources of the broader, deeper, more ancient Christian tradition, as these things are typically associated (erroneously) with the Roman Catholic Church. And many of the more strongly conservative evangelicals would push back from these things because they would believe them to be tied to the New Age. But in a large city like Atlanta, there is probably a much greater level of openness to such things.
Okay, discuss. Please try to keep it civil.