I want to thank all of you who have so diligently entered into this conversation. There are many others out there in small study groups, around the diocese working alongside you even if they do not get to comment online. So, this week, although many of you have already, we enter into Part II intro and Chapter 3, pages 41-62. I wanted to comment on an overall view of last week's comments.
There were a few comments about the Creeds. Many seem to point to the need to change them in some way. I want to throw into this discussion the idea that we have just passed through an era where this was the "plan." If only we could get the right word usage, or drop a line here or there, or simply leave it out altogether, we would be better off. In some ways I wonder if this does not show some contempt for those who went before us, a somewhat arrogant belief that we are smarter than they are. I put this up against the reality I am seeing in the newer generations, who do not seem to have the need for the semantic changes to yet continue the conversation. With this, they hardly check their brains at the door either. They seem more willing to honor those that left the tradition and history as they knew it, and to instead look for the Truth our forbears were trying to tell us in the story. Even in these conversations there seem to be insinuations, or outright statements, that Tickle is not very smart, that those that came before us are not very smart, and that it is up to us to "make this all right." I am pushing a bit I realize, but so have some of you! I used to teach a class where I invited the class to rewrite the Creed to "make sense" to them. Of course, if there were 20 individuals in the class, there were 20 different versions of what is "right." Even after putting them together to come up with one, well you see where this is going. I am well aware that this is how we got the Creeds we have, but having some unaltered centering point to come back to, to honor, and to question seems to make sense as well.
On a totally different subject, a rather passing thought in this but brought up by Tickle nonetheless, is music, and the importance of it in sharing and passing along the story. I have to say I am quite attached to this feeling as well, and wonder what others think about it. I see many places where music seems to get in the way, rather than help, and other places where it carries the day in profound ways. What do you think about this?
Finally, in some defense of Tickle, this book is not there to answer all questions, but rather, as Anonymous in the 8:39 p.m., March 8th post states,
"The "greatness" and 500 year intervals seem contrived but there is an underlying truth: every so often the institution that is the church becomes inadequate. Today's inadequacies, in my view, include being disconnected from both its foundation in Jesus and from the culture in which we live. In what little I know of emergent churches I see an attempt to pull Jesus into the context of life today-and it's not one size fits all."
Although I do not want to try to direct this away from the way you choose to take it, my hope in this was more of what is spelled out above, less a critique of the book, and more of a "push" on the larger questions and what we might do here and now to address those.
Again, I am most honored by your engagement in this study.