From the Goose

It’s been over a month since the Wild Goose Festival and I still haven’t written about any of the talks we attended.  Unlike past years, I didn’t take detailed notes this year. Those that I did take have been sitting here by my computer for weeks, waiting for me to do something with them.

Krista Tippet’s interview of Brian McLaren will be on her radio program eventually, so there isn’t much point in trying to recall that discussion here.  (By the way, her interview with Nadia Bolz-Weber is already available for any interested.)  But here are a few of the things he said that made it into my notes:

What you focus on determines what you miss.

We write “In God We Trust” on the god we really trust.

A whole new thing happens when Christianity is derived from an empire that needs it to baptize its wars.

If we don’t become people of peace in our hearts, we’ll just create a new set of theological ideas about which to become violent.

Some good stuff upon which to chew.

6 comments on “From the Goose

  1. Bob Braxton says:

    “Arch” A.R. Ammons, poet (published 1952-1972, died 2001) wrote that poetry is “fingers, nets, seives” and so forth. At first I mis-understood and thought of it as what one catches (minnow seine) but now I surmise that is not the point. The point of a net / web and so forth is not what it catches but what it lets through the (living) spaces. What one catches (pays attention to) potentially dies / is dead. However, what is living (as in “song”/singing) is what goes through – the spaces and continues to vibrate – sound and such.


    • Bill says:

      That’s an interesting observation Bob. That quote strikes me because when I reflect back on my workaholic years as a lawyer climbing the ladder I realize that I was so focused on my “career” during those years that I missed a lot of really really important things.


  2. shoreacres says:

    The quotation about God and trust reminded me of Luther’s explication of the first commandment, particularly this: “…confidence and faith of the heart alone make both God and an idol. If your faith and trust be right, then is your god also true; and, on the other hand, if your trust be false and wrong, then you have not the true God…”

    It’s so true, and like so much of Luther, so helpful. Every time I’m tempted to get exercised over some of the things said by people who declare themselves “radical atheists”, I just remember Luther, and smile.

    It’s always fun to think about which false gods are in fashion. Today, I think I’d put “government” and “self” right up there near the top. An idle thought: isnt it funny that “social” media is used almost solely to elevate the isolated self?


    • Bill says:

      Yep. “Status” can be an idol too, and seeking it is to elevate the self (usually to compensate for some underlying insecurity).

      For what it’s worth, Nadia Bolz-Weber is a Lutheran pastor, albeit an unconventional one. Her memoir Pastrix was just released an has made it to #17 on the NYT Best-sellers list, which is fairly remarkable.


      • shoreacres says:

        And now I’ve finally come across Bolz-Weber, on the front page of Drudge, no less. Here’s the link to the article in WaPo .

        Despite her appearance and earthy tone, what she has to say would make Luther happy as a clam. Some of what she has to say makes me even happier, particularly the line about wanting to reach out to people who want to hear from Jesus and the Apostles in church, not Thich Nhat Hanh or Barack Obama.

        It’ll be interesting to check in on her in five years.


      • Bill says:

        Thanks. That article has been making the rounds today throughout the Emerging Church community. She’s becoming quite the celebrity. She’s a very engaging (and snarky) person, kinda like Luther. 🙂

        Someone in the intentional community we’re affiliated with here shared this quote today: ‘This isn’t supposed to be the Elks Club with the Eucharist,’ Bolz-Weber said in a taxi ride before her Austin talk. Religion should be ‘something that’s so devastatingly beautiful it can break your heart. Instead it’s been: ‘Recycle.’ And ‘Don’t sleep with your girlfriend.’”


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