Well, I didn't see that one coming.
I have occasionally visited the team pyro site and other similar sites in an attempt to understand their point of view. I have come to realize that, in spite of the fact that we are all in Christ, we do not agree in our perceptions of what God is like.
I find the strident tone of the conversations at some sites draining rather than life-giving. Therefore I prefer to spend my time at blogs that inspire and encourage me in my spiritual walk. And that's okay! There are zillions of blogs to select from, and I can't read them all.
When I came across the posters at team pyro, I was neither hurt nor angry. Rather the posters confirmed that their opinion of emerging/missional thought is well-established in their minds. When the writers at pyro made the posters, they wrote their honest thoughts concerning each of the topics.
The difference in the two sets of posters portrays a clear example of word association. With the same word, they hear one thing, I hear another. That is what triggered the inspiration to create my own posters. The same 20 words inspire entirely different thoughts in my mind than what was portrayed in the team pyro posters.
Honestly, I think it boils down to a matter of choice or preference. If you want the words to be meaningful, they can be. If you reject them as associated with something you oppose, then the words will invoke thoughts of opposition.
My posters are the result of what happens when you take a little spare time, a little inspiration, and a husband out of town for the weekend. I took each of the words, and in true word-association style, wrote down the first thought that came to mind about each of the words.
After the posters went hugely public, I was left to disclaim that they were not Official Trademarked Emergent-Approved Definitive explanations of the terms. Good grief, if I had known more than 50 people would see them, I might have put a little more thought into it. However, in the end, I think the word-association method is appropriate.
There have been over 100 links to the posters. Many of the early links came from my friends, and many people have written awesome posts about the two sets of posters. I tried to follow as many of the other links as I could and have added several interesting blogs to my blogreader.
Of course, not everyone likes me or the posters. Oh well. One of my favorite critiques is that they were overly positive. We certainly wouldn't want to be too positive about Jesus, the gospel, or salvation now, would we? And apparently Phil Johnson has accused me of being..... ...........sweet. I'm crushed!
As to my motives, both sides have given me too much credit. My intent was neither especially gracious nor malicious. They certainly were not a "back at ya" to team pyro. They were not a well-thought-out plan to make team pyro look mean. And in case anyone is worried that I might be too nice, they were not even a prayerful response to ridicule.
They were simply me expressing myself with little forethought to the results. I didn't realize that I had stepped into or inadvertently created a poster war. It caught me by surprise to suddenly be expected to defend the emerging movement and perhaps all of christianity.
My first reaction to some of the more harshly toned comments was, "Hey, what did I ever do to you?" It still surprises me when someone who knows nothing about me shows up with strong accusations. I don't understand approaching a conversation that way. It seems like a better approach would be to share your own point of view rather than attacking a stranger's point of view.
As for this blog, those of you who have been around know that things are pretty civil around here. We have had some great insightful conversations in the past. Agreement is certainly not a requirement, but for the most part, people share what they have to say in a sincere and respectful manner.
If you're new around here, I would love the chance to get to know you. Feel free to introduce yourself in the comment section. And tell me what you wonder about. My old friends can play too. I'll go first in the comments.
I have quite a few posts in process but not much time to write. I'm remodeling my kids' bathroom, and we have quite a bit of company dropping in over the next couple of weeks.
In the hopper:
Winners and Losers
Why I'm Not Joining The Emerging Church
Oh my!.....stay tuned.