An ‘Ancient-Future’ faith is an idea that gripped me more than a decade ago and, even as I have emerged into a very different expression of my faith, I can not shake. As I have revisited and revised my participation and understanding of the Christian faith, this concept has haunted me in the best of ways.
On the TNT that will come out early this week, I talk about trying to hold onto this idea even as the author who popularized it seemed to go astray/ re-entrench from that original vision before his passing in 2007. I blame it on the post-911 Clash of Civilizations mentality that gripped many white men over a certain age. That is for another day.
I continue to be intrigued by the pairing of practices from previous centuries with communities and expressions fully embedded in the 21st century. There is something beautiful and powerful about matching these two. We are attempting to maintain a healthy continuity with the tradition that we have inherited with a vibrant incarnation in the world that we inhabit.
That is not an easy path to navigate. It is far easier (and more convenient) to either retreat into the romantic silo of the imagined past … or to adapt and adopt every cultural expression that comes into the mall or across the radio waves. Discernment is needed.
Discernment, however, happens after recognition. Len Sweet* was the first to introduce me to idea that we are moving from the Gutenberg era to the Google era. While there are many aspects of this cultural shift, the most striking is the shift from black & white words on a page to the multi-media world of image & message. The image and the message compliment (or reinforce) each other and sometimes serve to contrast or challenge each other. This is something that us ‘digital-natives’ learn to negotiate early and easily. Some would call it second nature – which is an interesting phrase in more than one way.
Here is a video inviting people to our gathering at the Loft LA. It is a little intro to some of the ideas that I’m talking about.
I would love to chat with anyone who is interested in these topics. Here is just a quick list of ideas we might want to flesh out in an upcoming blog convo – just let me know below!
- Centering Prayer
- Ancient-Future Worship
- Gutenberg to Google
- The mosaic, collage nature of the 21st century
- Community discernment
- Collaboration & contribution
- Continuity with the tradition & integrity with the moment
- Post-christian apologetics
Mostly I just wanted to share some of what I am wrestling with in hopes of expanding the conversation.
I look forward to your thoughts. in Christ -Bo
* another apparent victim of what we talked about earlier