Wednesday, February 08, 2006

what is happening here?

liberation by M.C. Escher
i have begun to really appreciate liberation theology- for its latin american roots, focus on the poor, and the recovery of lost or marginalized voices. the father of liberation theology, gustavo gutierrez, called for a "teologia desde abajo" (theology from below or underneath) emphasizing that theology should be birthed out of specific contexts where communities of faith are wrestleing with scripture and discovering what it means for them to follow the way of jesus as a specific community, in a specific place at a specific time. this is in contrast to "cookie cutter" theological systems being enforced from the top-down; sometimes irrelevant, sometimes oppressive in themselves.

i believe "teologia desde abajo" is what is happening in this space and on blogs all over town where voices from the streets are in conversation about what it means to follow christ in our current and specific contexts. in many ways this dialogue is far more relevant and engaging than anything you hear from the average pulpit. perhaps this is an invitation to pastors to join the conversation. read more here: "We know more than our pastors" by tim bedner.


Lian said...

really interesting bro. I read the first bit of the article.
I'm curious, is there any sense in which we are hiding from each other through this medium? I know for me it is certainly more comfortable than face-to-face. I think the literary aspects are invaluable but on a personal, interactional level, are we avoiding the real person that must be loved and embraced in all its circumstantial grotesqueness (ed?)?

elnellis said...

definitly, our faces are absent in a huge way. i'm always aware of the nature of blogging, but i don't want to discredit the theological and relational work we do in spaces like this. while much of it can become a playful game of taking intellectual jabbs at each other, i find my life and relationships impacted in meaningful ways. erika said in an earlier comment:

"I find it funny that something so superficial like a blog site can have such an impact on our day to day lives. God has thoroughly used various conversations on a few blogs to force me to face myself and my views on relationships..."

and that is what i mean- theology from below!

(disclaimer, i havn't read the article in it's entirety, but skimmed portions of it and thought it was interresting, if not amusing)

nathan Barrett said...


How did you find this stuff? I avoided blogging and IM because of the impersonal nature of it (lack of voice, body language, response time, etc...) Now I appreciate it and believe that of course it is sovereign because of the need to respond to globalization. The world will get smaller and smaller until Jesus comes the way things are going. I believe this is an aspect of global evangelism and the second-coming of Jesus. Blogging is allowing a lot of things to happen - communication and relationship - that wouldn't happen otherwise. I cannot have sustained long-term and meaningful relationships with more than 5-10 people at a time, but I don't need to get to that level with all Christians, yet there is still a need to interact. Blogging is a blessing because, on the other side Lian, it provides me with the ability to learn and converse with someone responsible without having to invest a lot of "context" for the relationship to have depth and yet much learning and communication takes place. I don't want to be highly intentional about most of my relationships - it would wear me out. But I still want to reach and interact with the other on all levels of intimacy and depth. Christ did the same thing from three years with the disciples to a moment of encounter with a blind man. Blogging allows for this, but on a global scale. I'm in South Africa at this moment and yet I am interacting with one of my close friends in Seattle and he has introduced and re-introduced me to friends from his circle - WOW, that is a God thing!

pedro said...

My experience and perspective are similar to Phil and Nate's. My wife and I have been in transition for the last 6 months (we've had temporary living situations and have moved several times), and even though we've been attending church on Sundays and have benefitted from being with the Body on the most basic level, my most meaningful fellowship has come through interactino with all of you on the blogospere.

Again, I feel that, though electronic interaciton is not as ideal as face-to-face dialogue, context allowa us to tweak our practice. As Nate pointed out, we live in a world where time and space have practically been eradicated through the internet (although, interestingly, existential and cultural barriers still exist). As Jaime has pointed out, though, talk is always cheap if it is devorced from our walk.

Lian said...

yeah, I agree with you guys. I wouldn't be here writing this if I wasn't benefitting hugely from the blogging I've been doing. I think, for me, though, this is often a way to hide. It's similar to the friends I have here who will sit and thumb-type messages on their phones while I'm trying to talk to them face to face. The person on the other side of the world or the city you're in always seems to get priority over the person on the other side of the room.

elnellis said...

your words are convicting, chad. there are many a day i come home, kiss the wife and kid, then spend an hour "unwinding" on the blogs... when there are two faces i have not seen all day, waiting to be loved... again, the importance of living out my "aledged" theology in my specific context!

phillip weller said...

We are seeing a rise of dead beats amongst young married men spending their days and nights dicking around on the internet, no doubt.
However I myself came across Loopis Billow and unlike other blogs found it actually had some good discussion.
As opposed to the usual "you rock dude" and other three word discussions.
I find a good discussion/debate allows me to resonate on things i may never have thought about.
So like anything i guess, regulate/redeem your time and make some for blogs such as this