Another link. Signs the Emergent Church isn't for you.
Tonight I sit in my office, soaking up George Herbert's delicate blend of truth and beauty. Herbert does what no modern artist can do for me. As I read lines that have been swriling through my head since I first read them a dozen years ago, Herbert's words speak of holiness and repentance and make them fresh and beautiful.
Perhaps I'm a product of my times, but I think that few people can wax didactic without destroying every bit of aesthetic appeal in their work. One reason, perhaps, is that their own humanity (or more spefically, the failure intrinsic in their own humanity) just makes their words sound hollow.
There is safety in Herbert. He is far enough removed from me that I know nothing of his own failures. There's no doubt that he, like all of us, was a mixed bag, a chiaroscuro good and evil, a reforming sinner wearing a pious face that masked a legion of wickedness within. Those close to him would have noticed his own faults, whether a hot temper or a roving eye or Phariseeical piety or whatever sin he was prone to.
But I get to view him at a distance. I can gaze in admiration, if only because I'm too far off to see his blemishes and deformities. Baptized in antiquity, sanctified by chronological distance, he has become a hero of the faith.
There's a reason they saint people only after they die.
One day I may write blog entries again. For today, however, I will simply give you more links. If you're bored over Christmas break check these articles out:
Why I'm not Emergent. Hilarious.
"Why should Disney, or Switchfoot, or Philip Yancey, or whomever, have to do our work for us?" (I.e., a tract or a movie or a book is not an excuse for you to forgo the sometimes painful process of building a real live relationship with your neighbor.)
Zarathrusta shrugged Maybe your coworker doesn't really care that your connect-the-dots Bible prophecy apologetic makes sense to you.
Thou shalt be cool. C'mon guys, everyone knows that we Christians are inherently nerdy. We don't party, we're bound to some ancient Jewish holy book, and we like to use words like "abstinence," "evangelism," and "sin." So can we just stop trying to be hip? In high school the bookworm geek was always more tolerable, maybe even likeable, when he just recognized that he was a nerd without trying to be cool by piercing his ears and talking about his nunchuks. Besides, the problem with trendy Church is that trends, well, they're just trends. They're ephemeral. Pretty good article by Crouch.
Of wardrobes and potters. Proof that not all Christians are enamored of hysterical conspiracy theories.
Humor is essentially incongruity. Put two things together that are entirely incongruous, and the cognitive dissonance brings us to laughter. Brevity, freshness, and strong vocabularic force also help.
Case in point: here.
A related form of cognitive dissonance arises in the form of random humor. Something that is completely bizarre is presented as normal, and the incongruity between what is presented as fact and what meets our standards for normalcy brings us to laughter.
Case in point: here.
I can only hope that (1) you agree and that (2) the cognitive dissonance created by these articles causes your laughing apparatus to go haywire, inducing a mild discomfort in the abdominal wall as it did for me.