A few weeks back Steve Knight and I had a lengthy conversation via Skype about the Disciples of Christ, what it means to be missional, and the place of tradition in this mix. Steve has posted this conversation on YouTube and at the Intersection, a conversation portal for Disciples to talk about things missional.
I've been in conversation with Steve for a couple of years, before he decided to become Disciple, and over time we've been in conversation and sought to work together in the process of bringing new life to the Disciples of Christ community. Steve has been a major participant in the Emergent conversation -- long before I got involved -- and now he brings that experience into the Disciples, serving as a consultant for the Hope Partnership, an effort that began with the Disciples' Church Extension Division and seeks to bring together the church planting and revitalization arm with the Leadership/Education arm and the Division Homeland Ministries. Together these arms of the Disciples of Christ church seeks to engage the churches as the face the future with a missional vision.
I'm blessed to have the opportunity to work alongside Steve in this effort! Some of that effort is the grist for the mill of our conversation.
Our conversation springs from an earlier one that Steve had with Tony Jones, whose recent Princeton dissertation has been published directly by Amazon with the title The Church Is Flat: The Relational Ecclesiology of the Emerging Church Movement. I posted my own responses to that conversation in a blog posting which you can find by clicking here. I encourage you to watch that video conversation, which is embedded there, along with my conversation with Steve, which you'll find below. In the course of this conversation you'll see where I am in agreement with Tony and other Emergent leaders such as Doug Pagitt and Brian McLaren, while hearing where I have questions and concerns. Steve describes me as a bridge between the traditional and the emergent. That is probably a good description as I have tried to keep a foot in each. It's not an easy place to be, but perhaps due to my place in life, that's where I find myself.
As you watch these two conversations (you'll want to check out the interview with Tony), I hope you will enter into a conversation about the church today and the church in the future, and as you do I suggest that the question of roots be engaged. Won't you join with Tony, Steve, and with me in this conversation?