More Than Splitting the Difference: Intro

Ok, so this conversation is a long time coming, but the recent provocation centered around the idea of joining an evangelical heart with a mainline brain.  So I thought I would start to explore why it is so hard to push beyond this polarity and a “best of both worlds” approach, or a “let’s just split the difference” mentality.

Granted, I’m coming at this from a much more “evangelical” perspectives as on trying to get off the right-left continuum. But I think (or hope, believe) there are many from a more “mainline” perspective that similarly hope to jump the conservative-liberal polarity.  If that is you, please jump in and help round out the discussion, I know we would all benefit from it.

So, using Reeces Pieces and the Platypus to understand a prodigal Christianity, or the radical middle, let’s talk about “more than splitting the difference” between conservative and liberal mentalities.


Disclaimers: I realize that we all have multiple, overlapping, and contradictory understandings of both the idea of “evangelical” and “mainline”, and “conservative” and “liberal”.   I’m not going to offer a standing definition of each because 1) I hope in the near future to discuss my understanding of Evangelical history, and 2) I think definitions around terms like this are best centered around actual issues, which is what I hope these video will accomplish

6 Replies to “More Than Splitting the Difference: Intro”

  1. I think it’s for this reason that Brian McLaren’s visual image from “A New Kind of Christian” helped me.
    If you think of things on a line, a spectrum, from left to right, usually we try and place ourselves on that line somewhere… either close to the middle or leaning one way or another.  But what if where God wants us to be is no where on that line but actually someplace in a different plane than that line… some point hovering above or below the line…  Then we can encompass the left AND the right without being defined by either.
    Another way of viewing it was given to me by the Dean of Biblical Seminary here in Hatfield.  Think of that line of “left” and “right” as not a line, but as a circle seen edge on.  Left and right are extreme ends of the circle…  but if you are in the middle…well, you could be either on the FAR edge of the circle or the NEAR edge of the circle… expand it into 3 dimensions as a spherical view and now you could be up, down, left, right, under, before, after, etc…  anywhere within that volume of space…
    And in truth, what God may have intended is not one point within that space… but ALL of it as a whole in some way… or, even, something else that CONTAINS that space.
    This is what happens when you get a math geek with a penchant for topological and three-dimensional space talking about “spectrums”… 
    So… “splitting the difference” or “best of both worlds” I feel still represents a false dichotomy and where we are intended to be is someplace entirely different that we can only get a glimpse of…

    1. tristaanogre I love the image of a circle seen on edge.  so, rather than splitting the difference we need to both change our perspective/angle and our position within it.  That is what I think we need to do and get beyond left/right polemics.

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