Monday, April 12, 2004

a toast to the depths of opaquacity

i like dan hughes. he is so opaque that he must be deep. he draws the very best of opaqueness out of me. he liked my email. i liked his response.

for the record, our mutual email love session goes like this,
>>the opaque dan: …theologies and ecclesiologies that have come to dominate the memory of the man Jesus. We envision a direct, participatory spirituality
>the opaque steve: All theologies start with the dream of direct, participatory spirituality.

the opaque dan: Maybe. “All” is a broad term and we might disagree with what “starting with” means in any given case. I do not believe, for example, that the major fourth century creedal conferences and the bureaucracies that calcified around their work-products had a dream of direct, participatory spirituality. Much of what we look back on with a bit of wistful and rosy retrospect, I would suggest, had a more nuanced history of political positioning and ideological power-mongering that we would do well not to forget.

>the opaque steve: What will prevent your’s from calcifying?

the opaque dan: Mine will. Just as I will calcify, decay and die. So be it. Functionally, though, I am not setting out to build anything for anyone that could be christened, “mine.” What I do and say is an outflow of my life as life. I only do theology and ecclesiology as it is locally relevant to my history, experience, communities and interests. I am, as far as I know how to, directly participating in the life I’ve been given without the ambition of creating a definitive anything save the definitive life that Daniel Hughes was given to live with and for others.

>the opaque steve: could not these theologies and ecclesiologies in their domination still contain inherent subversions, which if deconstructed, would reveal the subversive Christ.

the opaque dan: Oh, yes. Hegemony is self-subversive, indeed.

A toast to opaquacity. Now is the world any different?

Posted by steve at 05:35 PM

1 Comment

  1. Yay opaque theology geekery. 😉

    You know, reading this exchange it strikes me why I love the ’emerging church’ weblog scene right now.

    It reminds me of some of the other weird garage hacker scenes that are evolving on the Net: the open source programmers, the grassroots human rights advocates, the fanfic writers, the indie musicians, the people building strange electrical buzzing and flying contraptions…

    … lots of obsessed people who love tinkering with stuff, pulling ideas apart, putting them together in strange configurations, giving it a go and sharing information about what seems to work and what doesn’t, and having a virtual beer afterwards.

    Sure there’s probably plenty of more useful things we ought to be doing, but… well, we *might* just discover the next theological E=MC^2 or HTML… at the very least we’ll get some blurry snaps of Bigfoot.

    Bigfoot Jesus would make a great band name.

    Comment by nate — April 13, 2004 @ 11:59 pm

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