2006 Emergent Theological Conversation (Initial Thoughts)

I had a great time with friends.  Putting blogs to faces.  The sessions with Dr. Miroslav Volf of Yale Divinity School were very challenging and inspiring.  Here are some blogs that have offered some great summaries:

Cracked Pots (Jose and Mayra Humphreys)

Only Wonders Understand (Jay Voorhees)

Pomomusings (Adam Cleveland)

faith as a way of life (Chris Scharen)

…and I am sure there are many more.  If anyone knows of any please throw them my way.

Thoughts on Volf:

– Was intrigiued by Dr. Volf’s distinction between the social self and the belief in the fictive individual that emerges out of modernity.  This led me to other thoughts along the issue of racial/ethnic reconciliation.  Much of the theology and praxis of racial reconciliation in the Evangelical world seems to pressupose the fictive individual.  If we are truly social selves then we (we Evangelicals and whoever else) can no longer ignore the systemic character of sin when dealing with various social issues (e.g. racism).  I am not advocating the abolition of agency but atleast a more serious look at these larger forces at work in the world in our minds.  If we are not fictive individuals then racism has to be more than individual prejudice…but a kind of participation and complicity with the racial course of this world (i.e. principalities and powers).

– The vision of God as self-giving, giving love to us, and in turn we give love to the world.  This vision of God is subversive in our current American context.  We don’t give to get but give as God gives.  This can be challenging to various narratives of power and privilege in our culture.  If God reconciles the world through the giving of self…what does that say to us who live in various context where ir-reconcile-ness rules? 

–  Not to be redundant…but I am stuck on this issue of agency vs. socialization.  What if the church is to be a community where we engage in various practices whereby we enter a journey of subversive socialization?  What kind of church would that be?  What does it mean to emulate God’s self-giving-ness along racial, gendered, economic, and political lines among God’s people?


– Got a chance to have quality conversation with Rudy Carassco.  I really appreciate him taking time to share his story and wisdom.   

–  I got a chance to sit down with Dr. Volf, Tony Jones, and Tim Keel along with the many other conversation partners to discuss Volf’s latest book Free of Charge.


–  Had a great time with brothers from the Latino Leadership Circle.  These are some serious brothers doing indigenous theology and practice in urban enviroments.

–  Hanging out with emerging theologians Chris Scharen, Will Samson, Ken Archer, Geoff Holsclaws, Troy Bronsink, Dwight Friesen, Saranell & Tim Hartman 

–  I was grateful to meet Kevin Hector.  We had a little argument on the blog several months ago on the issue regarding white privilege.  Unfortunately, we stop writing to each other on this issue.  Well…as providence sometimes goes I found myself sitting next to him during the Emergent Diversity break-out session.  Jay Vorhees has an excellent pic of us sitting together.  Kevin narrates our initial meeting and providential subsequent meeting in the airport. It was definitely a kingdom-moment.  I’ll post more on this later…this weekend. 

There are some more Volf-isms I want to reflect on and some questions I want to throw out there to anyone involved in this conversation. 



10 thoughts on “2006 Emergent Theological Conversation (Initial Thoughts)

Add yours

  1. “What if the church is to be a community where we engage in various practices whereby we enter a journey of subversive socialization? What kind of church would that be?”

    I’m looking forward to your thoughts on this.

  2. i’m so glad you and kevin got to meet up and, i guess, make up. you both rock. as for the conversation, i wasn’t able to make it (i was on retreat at a monastery), but my pastor (who is much more intelligent to understand everything discussed) was guest blogging in my absence from the conversation. shalom, -g

  3. Anthony,

    It truly was a blessing to meet you and spend time hanging out and sharing. Blessings on you, and your ministry as you continue to bless us with your contributions.


  4. Hey Anthony,

    I really enjoyed getting to meet you at the conversation. I also have a blog on wordpress now. I am at gregarthur.wordpress.com so check it out and maybe we can join some conversations together. Hopefully you can make it up to Chapel Hill sometime.

    Greg Arthur

  5. Hi Anthony (and everyone)
    I wasn’t able to attend the conference at my alma mater (Dr. Volf was also one of my teachers) but I am really looking forward to hearing peoples takes on it. There are a few entries on my blog asking for comments from attendees. If you’d consider joining the fray there, I’m sure my readers would be well served.

    Chris Cocca
    (name above should be a link to the blog)

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