Friday, February 09, 2007

Mr. Deity and Mr. Pagitt

Two great things happened today, both of which are related to Doug Pagitt actually. First...I went to a seminar led by Doug today called A Theology-Shaped Church: Ministry Beyond the Pragmatic that was really good. Doug raised a lot of interesting questions about the methods and hopes of many faith communities today that are simply trying to become "authorized re-tellers" of the gospel story rather than theologically imaginative communities in the way of Jesus. Central to this distinction is the missiological hope that seeks to include those who have questions by inviting and including them into the community (which implies a say in the life, direction, hopes, and aspirations of the community) through relationship rather than orthodoxy or orthopraxis as prerequisites for inclusion or a voice in the community. (Think Ortho-centric or boundary sets of community living in contrast to relational connection.) Doug pointed out that although churches and faith communities are trying to say that "spiritual" or "faith" conversations aren't happening, they are right in that those conversations aren't happening in the very place you'd expect they should be happening, that is within the church, but that they are happening very well and very intelligently outside of the church. Which brings me to Mr. Deity. Whatever you're doing, stop now and both go to the website (click on Mr. Deity.). And then using whatever podcatcher you have, subscribe to the Mr. Deity podcast and download the 5-6 video casts. Hot dang they are funny and poignant. Seriously, don't walk away from your computer until you download at least the first video-cast "Mr. Deity and The Evil."

I'd love to hear what you think of these videos, they are hilarious and really quite brilliant. Doug showed a couple in the above seminar and they stirred up a lot of laughs and great conversation about the theological task ahead of the church.

After the seminar I got to sit down with Doug and Todd and Brady (Todd's son) for about an hour and a half today to talk about church planting, new expressions of theologically imaginative communities, my paper discussing how our eschatology affects and informs the spiritual formation of our communities of faith, we shared stories, laughed, talked about Todd's (and Lisa's!) church restart Convergence, and more. Doug is a really great guy, and is awesome for taking some time to hang out and chat. If you're ever in the Minneapolis area you should visit and check out the community he is a part of called Solomon's Porch. This includes my brothers who freakin' live so close by...go check it out.

It's my last night in San Diego, and it's been a fun day. It's been a lot of fun hanging out with the Cullop's and has been cool getting to know Todd's family better. Not sure what will be going on tonight, but am hoping to check out one of the movies up for picture of the year...we'll see.


Tom said...

I'll check out the podcast though "Who is God" is calling my name right now. I can't wait to hear more about the week.

Also, I'm curious as to (did I misunderstand?) the idea that the church is not simply a communicator of the gospel?

Josh said...

yeah man, you got to check out the podcasts, and yes, you are right in picking up the idea that the church is not simply a communicator or authorized re-teller of the gospel. perhaps it is also a place of theological imagination as well? that is, as the church re-imagines what it means to tell the gospel story in its appropriate context...