Thursday, December 11, 2008

something done

Study leave ultimately is meant to produce outcomes! Publish or perish. All those words typed into a keyboard, are then destined to endure the red pen of an editor, the hard glare of peers and finally the cold, hard light of day, as published work. Along the way, the initial glow fades and one’s brilliance is replaced by the rigorous work of refinement and clarification. This is why I still think there is a place for book and journal writing in the internet world. Writing for blogs is fun and fast (and often inflammatory in the hope of hits), but is a different discipline from the cold, hard slow scrutiny of printed publication, with each and every word weighed and weighted.

All this to say that I have just ticked off my first concrete sabbatical outcome and the better half of the emergentkiwi partnership tells me to celebrate. I have just sent off a chapter (A pneumatology for an everyday theology: whither the anonymous Spirit in Luke 10:1-12?) for a book on the Spirit in theology today. It began life as a conference paper in August, was debated by an Adelaide theological post-grad forum in October and endured 2 edits via my noble co-researcher. A publisher has expressed interest and an editor has compiled a range of chapters. I have done my bit and the 6,600 words are now in the hands of the vagaries called “with publisher.” All I can now do is wait.

Here’s a paragraph: This leaves a question with regard to discernment. Invoking categories of the Spirit at work in “the world” leaves one open to the accusation of “how low can you go” and of being on the slippery slope toward liberalism. Brown sums it up well: “The claim is that the world is fallen, and so cannot be read properly unless it is approached from the perspective of the Christian faith and not the other way round …. For too long [the doctrine of Original Sin] has been used to yield selective negative verdicts only on what happens outside the Church.” Yet in contrast to the monolithic nature of such assertions, Luke 10:1-12 offers a plurality of categories with regard to the materiality of “the world.” The text simply refuses to “baptise” all things cultural as Christian. Instead, the Kingdom is to be named both in receptivity (“Stay there eating and drinking” (10:9, NRSV)) and in rejection (“Even the dust of your town that sticks to our feet we wipe off against you” (10:11, NRSV)). Discernment must be thus multi-faceted rather than simply the breathless adulation of “theology” in all things everyday and popular.

Posted by steve at 02:31 PM

1 Comment

  1. Steve,

    Which Brown are you reffering to here (Colin or David both could say something like this).

    Paper sounds great – an area I have struggled with in integrating from my own different influences.

    Let us know when/if it gets published.

    Comment by David Morgan — December 22, 2008 @ 9:53 am

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