Friday, November 02, 2007

Off The Map LIVE - Thoughts on Diana Butler-Bass

In her talk this morning, Diana Butler-Bass used her tinker toy model to describe the continuums of liberal-conservative, conventional-purposeful change, and modern-postmodern. Among other things she explained how people traditionally polarized on the liberal-conservative axis are finding a lot of common ground when they talk about how to respond to a changing world and how to be more purposeful, etc. with their faith and worship. We share questions about how to reach a changing world.

I’m really encouraged by this new shared space for relationship and friendship between mainline and evangelical protestants. An evangelical friend shared with me a conversation she had with a mainline friend on this subject matter. The mainline friend said, “You’ve got the fire, we’ve got the fireplace.” That might not be entirely fair, but it made me smile. I think many of us on all points of the liberal-conservative spectrum are tired of fighting all the old fights and ready to find some common ground.

Here’s the rub though. Many of the conservative folks I know are still very suspicious of all things that can be labeled liberal. And when some of us walk into this shared space and engage in relationships as Diana described this morning, we become suspect as well. I hope we will see more and more engagement and that we will learn from each other along the way.


Anonymous said...

Hey Karlene,

I loved what Diana Butler Bass had to say throughout the weekend. I think that many who still worry about the liberal/conservative divide just don't understand how damaging it is to the whole concept of unity! Diana is a sweetheart, and NOT the "Whore of Babylon" as James Dobson would have us believe. HA HA.

It was great meeting you and Josh at OTM...even if you did follow us everywhere....

Make sure you check out my blog to see what I will have to say about OTM. It's all a matter of having time to write. Frankly, I'm still trying to get my head wrapped around what I was hearing.


Brad Shantz (Willamette High School, class of '88...GO WOLVERINES!!! **WINK**)

Karlene Clark said...

Hey Brad,
Thanks for stopping by! We enjoyed meeting you, Anne and Natalie too. I agree about the damage done to unity with our protestant in-fighting. Events like this are hopeful for building bridges I think.

Just to set the record straight - it was YOU following us everywhere. And here you are again! :o)

Catch you later...