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malcolm chamberlain

musings about the emerging church, mission and contemporary culture...

God is at large, intimately involved in his world in ways that the church is maybe just waking up to!

conversation & right v wrong...

Wednesday, January 17, 2007

Scot McKnight has an excellent post on the art of conversation 'here' in which he suggests that many evangelical Christians don't know how to hold genuine conversations because of what he calls the 'right vs. wrong risk'...

"Orthodoxy is right; anything else or less than orthodoxy is wrong. With that looming behind every conversation, when a person raises a question there is immediately a worry if what the person is asking is orthodox or not; whether or not by participating in such a conversation a person will be seen as harboring doubts about orthodoxy; and whether associating with such persons calls into question one’s reputation. Quickly, in many cases, the conversation stops being conversation and becomes instead a quick lesson on what tradition teaches the Bible says and that if one strays from that one is questioning the Bible and, there you have it, it all becomes a reduction to whether or not a person believes in inerrancy."

Read the whole post and make up your own mind...

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posted by Malcolm Chamberlain, 12:16 PM


hi malc

you know the more i think about words the more i realise their inadequacy, and how they mean different things from one person to another

i mean orthordoxy to me will be bound to be different to say Benny Hinn - i like the discussion though

belated new year wished wise one


only just found out you tagged me through visiting si and kester - apologies, have been mac-less until a couple of days ago - will remedy my 5 things this weekend

Hi Paul

good to hear from you - hope you're well and (even more) belated new year wishes to you too!

I think you're right about the inadequacy of language and the likes of Derrida and co got under a lot of skins by pointing out the same! The problem is that language is pretty much all we have in terms of communicating things, so somehow we need to get around the problem and use language better. I think that's part of the problem I had with the so-called evangelical 'covenant' I blogged about - the fact that they use terms like 'biblical' and 'orthodox' without qualifying what they mean by those terms. Tom Wright hit the nail on the head when he suggested that what is actually meant is 'my version of biblical' and 'my orthodoxy'. In other words, "you're ok and 'sound' if you agree with me"! I think we simply need to be more honest about what we actually mean by the language we use and then we might get somewhere in conversation.

Re. tagging you - sorry!! I did email the others I tagged but unfortunately couldn't find an email address for you so relied upon you finding it through blogs. It's never too late though...

Take care mate

commented by Blogger Malcolm Chamberlain, 2:21 PM  

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