Saturday, July 31, 2010
BC and Back Again
Just got back from our vacation in BC. I presented two workshops at the Vineyard National Gathering - The Ladd Who Lit the Fire and Theology Pubs: Postmodern Hermeneutics. Both went really well and there will be slides up (at some point) on our new Thoughtworks website. In the first session I presented on Wimber's read of Ladd's Kingdom Theology. The big insight for me was how Wimber saw our relationship to God's reign as one of obedience. Obedience is a huge cornerstone in Wimber's theology and I think it is a brilliant approach to understanding the Kingdom of God as a dynamic expressed reign. Of course you can't spend an hour talking about the Kingdom without doing Kingdom ministry - so we spent the last half hour practicing our obedience, listening and responding to the King. The second session was different. I did a short presentation on Theology Pubs and how they work, then as a workshop we had one... actually two. Mark Taverner of North Langley Vineyard helped me out by leading a second group due to the large number of participants (Mark is a pastor and thinker I really respect, and he has a huge passion for our topic - Post-Modern Hermeneutics). I set up the pub by talking about how we would discuss Post-Modern Hermeneutics, including my own suspicions about the term post-modern. Then we made circles and chatted. What I had hoped for happened in my group - we had folks with completely different ideas able to have a conversation which didn't devolve into a debate. I was really happy with how it went. Also I was happy that the model seemed to strike a chord with many of the participants, they saw how it could open up conversations that are no longer possible with traditional evangelism approaches. Not that these theology pubs are overtly or even covertly evangelism outreaches, except that they allow us to engage in public theology, that is theology in a public venue where we don't expect to have all the answers. The evangelistic thrust is in the fact that it presents a face of the church that evangelicals haven't been good at showing - letting our faith seek understanding. I think such conversations actually lay aside the modernist quest for certainty that has been so problematic.
For our vacation we camped around the province in an old '77 camper van. It was totally Scooby Doo. At one gas station I emerged to have folks flashing me the peace symbol! Nice. We saw tonnes of deer (a few dead ones too unfortunately) and even a black bear on Vancouver Island. We marveled at Cathedral Grove. My wife and oldest daughter learned to surf. We swam in many rivers and lakes - some quite frigid. We bathed in hot springs, that was really nice. And we roasted hot dogs (gluten and dairy free was not easy to find!) over camp fires. So much fun.
Despite all this, I'm happy to be in my own bed again. Just wish I could get to sleep tonight.