Friday, March 13, 2009

Of lava and tabernacles

I don't know how to describe this event that has left me wrung out and empty another day. We are speaking in shifts of four and five, with a strict time limit of five minutes apiece, followed by an hour or more of group discussion. Four of these sessions occurred today after one that started us off last night (to a bleary audience of jetlagged theologians, at least one of which slept through most of it). Eating, drinking, more talking (always more talking -- what else are we good at?), and then to cap it all off, a public presentation/"dialogue" tonight with about 150 people who came to visit.

At various times during yesterday and today, I've wondered whether anything productive can come of this. I know that I'm writing down theological thoughts furiously, and I suspect I'll get something out of it in terms of an impetus for my own work. Does that contribute to "transforming theology for the church"? I don't know.

It's certainly exciting to sit next to Harvey Cox or Kirk Wegter-McNelly and carry on a whispered side conversation during a session. I've actually been a lot more active than I expected to be, making at least one comment (and sometimes more than one) at every meeting. But the utility and the outcome are cloudy. You can get more perspective from the liveblogging being done by Tony Jones and Tripp Fuller, from the perspectives of the emerging church and theological student body respectively.

2 comments:

Tripp said...

thanks for doing this. glad to hear what was happening while i was interviewing everyone.

Danny said...

I feel kind of bad for you...don't often hear you in low spirits. But I'm also encouraged by your frustration: Dissatisfaction is the impetus for change, right?