Friday, 20 September 2013

Christians without borders

I am currently in Canberra at the third Common Dreams Conference. This is a conference for those exploring progressive theology. We have been blessed already with a myriad of thought provoking speakers and presenters speaking about a variety of aspects. It is exciting to be listening to some of the people I have been reading for many years. Often, when you see or hear authors in person, it can be disappointing. That is certainly not the case so far. 

One of the difficult things in "progressive" circles is finding a way to describe who we are. As it has been pointed out a few times already, we are a group united by what we don't believe rather than what we do believe. The label "progressive" does not really do justice to what we really are on about and is problematic in a number of ways. 

Val Webb, in her address this morning, suggested a possible alternative - "Christians without borders". I like her thinking. She commented that we are defined by who we are at the centre, seekers of the sacred. Marcus Borg said much the same thing the night before when he described "progressives" as having a deep intention at the centre with soft or no boundaries on the periphery.

To have soft or no boundaries can be very threatening and foolish for those who live with fear. Who or what will get in? Will my core, my centre, be safe? I am not sure of what or whom it is that I need to be afraid, but I can only speak from my own experience. The softer the borders of my periphery have become, the deeper my centre has delved. The search for the sacred mystery in my life has caused my soul to whisper constantly, "tear down those walls". And now I can see new horizons and possibilities, now I have a freedom from the fear that I had hidden behind for too long. 

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