Reductio Absurdum . . . Or, The Ex-Reverend Parses Martin Marty

I recently returned to Ethics As Grammar. David Fitch recommended I read Kallenberg to access Wittgenstein via Hauerwas. How is that for a project?

My interest derives from my friendship with The Ex-Reverend. Language, vocabulary in particular, forms much of the critical evaluation offered by The Ex-Reverend. Kallenberg gives a progression for what is meant by understanding W, no not Geroge W., in Philosophical Grammar.

Essentially, as I see it, the move is to evaluate how language is actually applied. Or, in something of an admittedly overly simplistic default, “words mean something.” And, when they enter a given context we learn that words do not always have a global, or universal, sense. The result is an attempt to parse.

My personal intrigue is not just on the level of finding the best means of communicating faith when often the standard words are so variously applied – see the recent trend from missional to gospel-centered. Mix in a little Fitch and it is not hard to see W at work in Fitch as he parses Zizek for the rest of us.

Casual conversations with youth and 20-somethings, even early 30-somethings, prompts some of us to realize the vocabulary most often used in our churches has been an arrogant oversimplification fearing if we talked faithfully about life and faith it would be just too hard to understand and “scare our young people off.” Or, at least intimidate them. As if they are not intimidated by our publicly unwavering stridency. Read More

An Immigrant Reflects on Youth Culture

No, not that kind of immigrant. Len Sweet has used the immigrant/native relationship to describe cultural shifts. Even though some of us would be considered native to the United States, we may well be like immigrants in an “Information Age” were our skills hone in the “Industrial Age.” Or, if you consider Doug Pagitt’s descriptor for the current era, “The Inventive Age,” more of us may be immigrants than we may like to admit.

Youth Culture can hardly be considered monolithic since there are vast nuances among youth cultures spanning social spheres, economic considerations, and ethnic diversity. But, we may consider Youth Culture to categorically describe teenagers and common experiences related to the varied stages of adolescence.

Mark Riddle consults with churches as they consider their relationship to Youth Culture, youth cultures, and how they intersect with the Church/church. Our conversations over the past ten years have pointed up two things. First, there are some aspects of Youth Culture that are like the Preacher in Ecclesiastes notes, “There is nothing new under the sun.” Second. there are some aspects of Youth Culture that are indeed new under the sun. Read More

What’s Your Story?

Recently youth from Snow Hill produced a short video around the theme of their recent Justice Now. “What’s Your Story?” provided the framework to think about their story as it relates to the story of God. Even more, youth learned to consider others’ stories and how the story of God may intersect and re-shape our understanding of the way the world works – especially encountering loving followers of Jesus.

Justice Now 2008 at Snow Hill

We are excited to host a converted DiscipleNow dubbed Justice Now 2008 at Snow Hill. Brad, our Youth Minister, used a popular discipleship format and forged an event where youth will get a chance at helping with a ministry of mercy and hear from 16 year old student, Sally Rymer, who founded Clapham Sect Phase II.

We will also host Rachael Hurt who will lead worship and offer a concert on Friday evening. Rachael works with World Vision. Our youth should come away with an idea who they can live justly following Jesus today.