Preparing to launch this website, a few of my friends have asked, “Why now?” It’s a good question, really. I’m not technologically savvy. Nor am I particularly interested in being know beyond the community I’m a part of. Furthermore, I’ve been a minister since 1998 and have – for better or for worse – avoided social media. And so, why now?
My short answer is that praxis and theory have filled me full and I am about to burst. Let me explain.
For almost two decades now, I have been a pastor at one church – Pearl Church. At this church I have known life and death, scarcity and plenty, joy and sorrow, failure and success, baptism and eucharist – always eucharist. Pearl has been my place of praxis. And, throughout my time at Pearl, I have been in graduate and doctoral studies, which means books, articles, papers, languages, and lectures – always lectures. The classroom has been my place of theory.
My experience then, is tethered by these two extremes. Theory in the classroom has enraged, enlivened, and encouraged me to consider and to attempt ideas in actual living and breathing community. Praxis at Pearl has meaningfully undone, challenged, and sent me back to theory with better questions. This back and forth has been both frustrating and invigorating, and the tension between these extremes, I believe, is healthy tension. Theory without sincere praxis is nothing more than idealism whereas praxis without extensive theory is merely romanticism.
Years of praxis and theory, together, have contributed to a realization in which I no longer desire to be part a Christianity that facilitates incoherence and violence in Jesus’ name. In the past few years I’ve come to realize that I am not alone. Many others are tired of incoherent “truths,” dogma that fosters violence, and faith that is animated by fear. This is not good news. This is not the fruit of a kingdom called heaven. This is not the way of Jesus.
Herein lies another realization as a result of praxis and theory, together – a way forward. You see, my hope is that this site provokes deconstruction that gives birth to reconstruction. Reconstruction of an ancient revolution inaugurated by Jesus. It is a revolution that insists on a gospel that is truly good – in sense, in truths, in the fruit that it produces, and in its revelation of a truly loving way of life in the world, today.
Why now? There are ideas in my mind and convictions in my heart that I consider wonderfully good, and I’m ready to share.