I've been thinking again about the nature, purpose and focus of this site. And for those new and visiting getting a feel for the site, it might help to put some aspirations up front. As I think about the site, I think it is mainly about the following:
1. Praxis and Reflection: The site is focused alot around reading/thinking, thoughts, that inform practice and the interplay between. Rather than idealism, that has no grounding in reality, I want the site to explore reflections on church, that have grounding in the real world. It's too easy to dismiss thinking and reflection as inaction, and too easy to get caught up in notions of church and never take any action. That's why you'll always find me blogging events from the life of my church community, a real church plant with real people, as they intersect some of the thoughts here.
I hope this site provides space for theological and pragmatic reflection, on as many aspects of church as possible, and room for questions, without the need for harmonized answers and correct solutions. A safe space to think and reflect, constructively.
2. Not too high, and not too low: Trying to steer an impossible course, the blog will at times, go slightly into the academic, and at others dip more in pragmatics/praxis of church life.
3. Positive and Deep Church: In a european context where the church has sleep walked into near extinction and where Christians are giving up on church in any shape or form in record numbers, I want to have positive conversations about church. I have a definite and conscious bias of not wanting to fall into the post-church negativity of european culture.
That doesn't mean being non-critical, but it does mean the focus is not dissecting church for pathological and therapeutical reasons, but it does mean reflection in order to see a vision for what church is and can be. It means I want to avoid the shallow measure of church by whether it has a sunday service or not, or cool aesthetics etc.
That also means not seeing the church presctiptively, not deciding there is a correct kind of church that negates all others, but seeing that there is a plurality of church experiences, that together are the experience of the body of Christ. In other words holding a value on the depth of the church in history and it's current forms. I want to hold to a high regard for the idea of church and have a confidence in God for our churches in all the daily mess that they are.
4. Resourcing: I hope the above provides resources, and the site will provide links to other web sites, books, events that are resources to these aspirations.
5. People: If you have been around here for the last few months you will have seen the posts by guest authors. I hope that they have deepened the discussions around these aspiration, and it has introduced you to other people you might have met otherwise. Rather than just one voice, I hope you are hearing many others voices. Some will be regular, some will be one off, but having others prompt and develop discussion will be a continuing part of this site.
6. Kindness: Another value, is that discussion takes place with kindness. That means gratitude and acknowledging people who post and comment, it means responses and replies by me to people who post comments and questions. It also means the tone of discussion, is one of believing the best of each other and asking questions rather than bashing each other with our hurt, and frustrations.
I'm sure the site falls very short on all of these, but they are the measure by which things are posted and my hopes. Thank you to everyone who visits, posts, comments and has made the site what it is so far.