He just wrote back. My bafflement is temporarily on hold, at least in his respect. I’m writing back. We’ll see where this goes.
Tractor girl has been asking for more news on the Brian McLaren conference. Here are some impressions – though if you’re not familiar with emergent church (and I’m not particularly) you might like to poke around some of the links on his site.
It was good for us to have an opportunity to speak to someone from outside about our bad church experience. He both believed our experience and attested to first-hand knowledge of similar situations.
We also enjoyed the meetings. I could totally identify with so much of what he relates and thinks. At first, I also felt a little disappointed that there was not really much in terms of possible future directions.
To be honest, I thought “he doesn’t seem to be much further forward in his thinking than we are” (although of course a whole lot better set out, which is the difficult part – synthesising ideas and thought so that someone else looks at it and thinks “but that’s obvious”).
Then I sort of turned that thought round to “perhaps that means we are as far along as he is” which suddenly seemed to be much more encouraging.
In short, I think that on an unconscious level he has helped legitimize my thinking, and that is perhaps the most valuable thing anyone could give me right now.
As an interesting sideline, Mrs E. was in a prayer time with a lady in our fellowship yesterday evening. They spent a lot of time praying with regard to muslims in the wake of the current scandal here in Europe over the Danish cartoons of Muhammed. The other lady was suggesting we get some muslims over to learn from their values of hospitality and party during times like Ramadan, and hope they might learn something from us of Jesus. I hope this means our small church is, unwittingly, in as emergent a place as one might wish.