Malcolm Gladwell in his insightful book, The Tipping Point talks about three different types of people: connectors, mavens and salesmen. I tend to see myself, and my blog as performing more of the function of a connector at times, rather than anything else. My mind tends to be all over the place, and so I enjoy connecting you to many different things. Some bloggers love to stay on one topic for weeks, but I just can’t do that. There are too many things that interest me, and that I am wrestling with at this point.
So as I leave you for the weekend, I want to connect you with some things. Interestingly enough, the things that I am going to connect you to, are things that were born out of this last Wednesday night, when we had Donald Miller with us.
Though he spent a lot of time reading from the soon to be published, To Own A Dragon:Rewriting the Legacy of an Invisible Father
it was probably during the Q and A time that shed the most light on who Donald Miller is, and where he stands on certain issues. This was also the time that probably caused the most uneasiness in some people, while some were more spurred on to want to actually make some changes in their own life, as well as in society, especially in how it relates to issues of social justice. Some of the questions ranged from his views on Christianity, to his own personal spiritual life, but the most often asked questions were in regards to his political views, and more accurately how it relates to Christianity and evangelicalism. The question that seemed to take him more passionately down this path was the following:
“What books are you reading, or who do you like to read?”
The book that seemed to be at the top of his list right now is:
Democracy Matters: Winning the Fight Against Imperialism
by Cornel West.
This was the one book that Donald Miller came back to on several occassions, while at one time stating that Cornel West is a prophet. This book has definitely been impacting Donald’s life as well as some other people that I know. I have also had some students ask me about the book, or tell me that that would be the next book they were going to read. I am pretty familiar with the work of Cornel West, but I have not read any of his books to this point.
And as my mind began to move in different directions, the issue of Cornel West led me to a blog that I read by Steve Bush because I know that Steve has been greatly impacted by Cornel West also. And as I got to Steve’s blog, I came across this statement by Cornel West in regards to New Orleans.
So for those who were interested in what Donald Miller had to say, and who were interested in his plugging of Cornel’s book, I hope you are supplied with some information.
And finally, Steve’s blog led me to this post on the Emergent Church, which was taken from an article in First Things, and written by Richard John Neuhaus.
The article is a critique of the Emerging Church and I think Neuhaus tends to paint with some pretty broad brush strokes, and lumping everything together. And by that, I mean that he tends to throw the baby out with the bath water. There are definitely some things that have been lumped into the Emergent Movement, or conversation, or whatever you want to call it that are probably not worth keeping, while there are also some great things. I agree that some of the identification of emergent with what is cool, hip or trendy is a big problem, but I believe that some of their concerns regarding missional communities, social justice issues, etc. are worth reviewing, worth rethinking, etc.