28.5.07

open is closed and conservative is radical...

or so John Richardson suggests.

I guess I might want to argue with him on a couple of those points based on the fact that I have both declared myself as Open and Radical (in the evangelical sense)

I think that the main difficulty is that, from my own perspective as an Open Evo, I have tried my hardest to be someone who is open to ALL traditions. And so the most concerning paragraph in John Richardson's blogpost is this:

'Unfortunately, the ire of Open Evangelicals is thus reserved for, and directed almost entirely at, their Conservative ‘brethren’. Indeed, one only has to read the comments and articles posted on the Fulcrum website to realise that Open Evangelicals scarcely regard Conservatives as brethren at all. One is tempted to say that if there is a Hell in the Open Evangelical universe, then Conservative Evangelicalism is in its ante-chamber.'

For a start I would like to remind those who might also read the Fulcrum forums that not everyone there would define themselves as Open Evangelical - as far as I have read it is extremely rare for those posting there who would give themselves this denotation to be as vitriolic as to condemn Conservative Evangelicalism to Hell's ante-chamber. I have to say that I find this assertion on a well known conservative evangelical blog to be extremely militant and, well frankly slanderous.

I commented on David's blog about the Wycliffe situation, here is what I said in response to Rich B lamenting the narrowing of the term evangelicalism to exclude us:

'that is probably the crux of the matter Rich, I too want to include conservative evangelicals in the breadth of our faithful walking together - I think we would be poorer for separation, but how long can you walk beside someone who is running away from you?'

most Open Evos I know would say the same. I lament that most CEs I know do not wish to walk with me.

with regards to the term Radical - it is true that I do not have the copyright on this term there have been others - here and here - who have used the term before me and have have in fact inspired me to use this term. It is in fact Nigel Wright's book which gives a fantastic explanation of what it means to be radical. He says that it is neither those who wish to walk with the world in the post-modern setting (liberal) or those who are modern in thinking and so perpetuate the status quo in the church by default (conservative) who are the radicals.

The radicals are those who are (as Tony Campolo has suggested) the prophetic voice in the Church and the World - those who are able to discern where and how the Spirit of God is at work, and go to work with Him. In this sense it is easy to see why those of us who wish to engage with both the World and the church context that we are in in a radically prophetic way, will face those who would wish to silence us - this is the way of the prophet, scripture is clear about that.


So, John, yes Open, yes Radical.

3 comments:

naab00 said...

“'Unfortunately, the ire of Open Evangelicals is thus reserved for, and directed almost entirely at, their Conservative ‘brethren’.”

“I have to say that I find this assertion on a well known conservative evangelical blog to be extremely militant and, well frankly slanderous.”

I think the outrage and aggression in the second statement (yours) simply confirms the first statement (John’s).

jody said...

naab00 (I tend to find it good to use names)

I suspect that most peacable people who read that they have stored up all their hate for one set of people and have condemned that set of people to hell will find this remark outrageous.

I was making the point that it is tantamount to a call to arms for CEs as it is on a CE blog - you will find that my response was to quote a comment that I had made on a different blog which states my obvious wish to walk with CEs

kens1 said...

naab00.
I certainly affirm what Jody has written about some of the harsh comments on Fulcrum about CEs coming from those who would not claim an OE or Central E understanding.
You have made similar assertions on Titusonenine in the past, confusing all those who post on Fulcrum as OE. Likewise on Titus 1:9 there are 'posters' who are certainly not CE!!