A blog whereby I motivate myself, and my readers, to punch me in the mouth.

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  "The consumate rocker's rocker. Charming, personable... a sucking void of inescapable inner turmoil."

Sunday, February 18, 2007

Tired of talking

There was [a small girl] being pushed along in a wheelchair. She seemed very pale, sick and withdrawn, and was murmuring something soundlessly to herself. Whatever it was she was murmuring seemed to cause her worry and aggitation, and she would flop this way then that in her chair as if trying to escape from the words coming out of her mouth. ...[It] worked away endlessly, appearing almost to lead an existence that was independent of the rest of her face. ...[But, looking more closely,] it seemed that she looked not so much sick and withdrawn as weary, harassed, and ununtterably fed up. She needed a little rest, she needed peace, but her mouth kept motoring on.

--Douglas Adams "The Long Dark Tea-Time of the Soul"

"Tired of talking" could be the alternate title for this blog. Which is kind of funny, if you know me--because I don't ever seem to get tired of it.

I guess "tired of the sound of my own voice" might be a more accurate representation, but then, it rarely appears that I am that, either.

But you know what I'm thinking, right now, about the whole conversation--what sems to be a worldwide conversation--about "the end of church as we know it", and "the emergent church", and "a new way of doing church", and "the new religious revolution", etc ad infinitum?

I am thinking that I am tired of talking about it. And that, perhaps, we should all be tired of talking about it. Maybe even Jesus is tired of us talking about it.

Talk, talk, talk.. words, words, words.. and so the discussion frames the Faith, and the central theme of the discussion is the Institution, and so (how ironically) the Institution defines the Faith. Perhaps time for shuttin' up and doing, no?

Oh, I know.. there are plenty of people who are both doing and talking. I applaud them (not that it should make any difference). But the argument for the continuation of the discussion goes, I think, "We don't want to make our faith about 'church', but if we don't talk about it then we're not doing our bit for The Bride."

Well.. I don't know. Seems like maybe that is, again, pinning the hope of The Church to our own efforts and our dissemination of knowledge to the masses. Is it? Is it even, possibly, that we're not as concerned with all those poor puddin'-headed people out there as we are with affirming ourselves by convincing others that we are right, and that our ideas are new, and novel, and finding our validation in their admiration? (I know, that's kinda dark, but hey.. it's a blog..)

Not that any of this will stop me. I mean.. I just wrote probably 300 words on this topic, all dedicated to the idea that we should stop talking about it. It's what I do.

But when I see things like... entire weekend retreats, complete with "featured speakers" and "breakout sessions" dedicated to the idea of getting together and talking about how different we are, and how we need to make our faith real in the world.. a transforming force..

Sorry folks. That gives me the screaming heebie jeebies. And (no small feat) kinda makes me want to shut up.

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At 6:50 AM, Blogger mr_eric said...

hey john,

been listening to the white horse inn lately, while not completely relevant to your post, i thought you would enjoy the conversation in their recent series examining postmodernism and the emergent church:

free downloads here:


At 7:27 AM, Blogger caparoon said...

Thanks! I'll check that out when I get a chance.


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