First, I’ve been a slacker at this site. Confession is good for you. Partly because I just didn’t like what I was writing. Too polemical and not devotional enough. Too intellectual and missing some of the emotional range. We never had that level of traffic here, but I also really didn’t like what was going on elsewhere in the theology internet. Basically I saw echo chambers where people who already believed something gathered to hear others say that back to them or tell them they are right or just to pick fights with straw men. If someone who disagreed stumbled in, it usually got ugly. And these were people who if they met each other at church would never say a cross word to each other. Recently I’ve been reading a couple of sites that are different. Dr. Richard Beck’s, Experimental Theology and Dr. Diane Zemke’s, Community Vitality. They manage to bring something worthwhile. They are dialog in the best sense. They are not debate, they might be discussion sometimes, but they aim at dialog. They say serious things, but in an inviting way.
So, my summer theological project is to try and create that kind of space here. Where something serious can be said, but in an open way. It probably won’t be too topical. That turns into debate. I’m aiming at formational things; nobody is formed in debate. It will be idiosyncratic and experimental – what I’m interested in and think is valuable. I hope it is reflective of real life in all its messiness – and the grace that we at St. Mark’s find in Christ.