You Need To Know About This, 12/30/12

Well, hello there

What a pleasant surprise. I discovered The Oh Hello’s last year when they released their eponymous EP, but then I drifted away from Bandcamp for a lot of 2012. Cruising the site this week revealed that a band I thought had a ton of potential has, indeed, lived up to it.

If I had been more on top of my game, this would have made my year end “best of” list, fo sho.

My fave: “The Lament of Eustace Scrubb”

It’s always in the last place you look

Tripp Hudgins maintains that U2’s “I Still Haven’t Found What I’m Looking For” can (and for him, does) function as a creed of the SBNRs.

Of course, the profound nod to church just underscores U2’s compositional/performative intentions. It’s a gospel song. They say as much. And the song is a confession of faith or a creed in lyrical content and, well, in the way that it is embedded in the African-American Gospel Music genre. It also crosses genre from Gospel Song to Rock Anthem…it’s in both simultaneously. It’s a worldly song. It’s meant to be sung in church, played on the radio and at Wimbley Stadium. It’s for all these reasons that it’s been my creed…It’s in the world.

A Gen-X Spiritual-But-Not-Religious Creed?

The New Norm

This one is for the Churchies among us…

University of Dubuque Theological Seminary’s Rob Hoch notes that the role congregation’s have historically played in the faith formation of many would be pastors is no longer taking place. Theological pedagogy is a particular interest of mine and Hoch’s analysis is pretty good, as far as I can see.

Today, we see a “new norm” taking shape: Students arriving at the seminary doorstep have only recently returned to a church they left during their college and early professional years.

“Their ecclesial formation,” says Murry, “lags behind their academic preparation. They arrive prepared for an M.Div., for the academic side, but lag behind in terms of their identification with the life of the local church. And given what we’re seeing with the decline of the church, we’re likely to see more of this rather than less.”

Consequently, the church’s role as incubator or “little seminary” for future pastors has been diminished or interrupted.

Theological education: liberating our hapless Gulliver

Mob Rule

Jaron Lanier’s book You Are Not A Gadget was recommended to me by my publisher when I first started writing Open Source Church. One of the visionaries and main proponents of Web 2.0, he now thinks that “the wisdom of crowds” will most likely result in an online lynch mob.

He might be right…

And so it is with Jaron Lanier and the ideology he helped create, Web 2.0 futurism, digital utopianism, which he now calls “digital Maoism,” indicting “internet intellectuals,” accusing giants like Facebook and Google of being “spy agencies.” Lanier was one of the creators of our current digital reality and now he wants to subvert the “hive mind,” as the web world’s been called, before it engulfs us all, destroys political discourse, economic stability, the dignity of personhood and leads to “social catastrophe.” Jaron Lanier is the spy who came in from the cold 2.0.

What Turned Jaron Lanier Against the Web?

One thought on “You Need To Know About This, 12/30/12”

  1. About faith formation – yep, that’s me! Just finished my first part time semester of seminary. I’ve only been reconnected to the church for about 6 years. Though in my case my pastor took a special interest in me, and connected me to leadership roles and theological formation in our congregation. And then discerned candidacy after a few years of that. I agree that congregational attachment is crucial, both for personal faith formation and to get insight into the real humanness of the congregation. I would hope that candidacy committees and seminary programs make some effort to help ensure local congregational connection while in the MDiv. The pragmatic part of me wonders if this can’t be more of an opportunity for innovation in candidacy programs, that they might become more holistic, rather than just sending people off to seminary. From what I know of the Episcopal church (I’m ELCA), I get the impression they’re somewhat further down that road.

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