Sitting in a coffee shop at 11:28 pm…

af750dffaf4fce1cYou know, I’m kinda starting to dig this blogging thing. I mean, what I write is absolute crap, but it’s still pretty fun to get it down “on paper.” Especially just before closing hours at a local coffee shop.

At Westminster on Monday night, we were thinking about the state of the world. We talked about Martin Luther King and speaking truth to power or, said another way, placing the Word before the Powers (thank you Chuck Campbell). We read part of the book of Amos and thought about what in the heck the shepherd from Tekoa was thinking and why he felt like he had to say what he did. And, we discussed what the “powers” in our context are… what they look like on UA’s campus.

It was a really interesting conversation, and it got me to thinking about my life as a student at Furman. I will be the first to confess that I didn’t exactly look at culture or politics holding a red ink pen, ready to strike and mark and edit. I just kinda took things as they were… I really don’t know why I didn’t think about these things. I just didn’t. I lived life in my own little bubble without giving the world its due thought.

Which is why I was really impressed with the way WF’s students were able to name those things that they feel are unjust… not just things of a theological nature, but also “stuff” bearing a distinct political and sociological bent. Which has gotten me to thinking… but first, a side note.

When I was at Furman, most of the campus ministries that I knew about were really focused upon conversions, evangelism, living the life of the straight and narrow. Granted, I didn’t go that much… I felt uncomfortable when questions of salvation and “are you a Christian” came up. So, maybe I didn’t give those ministries much of a chance, but, what I knew of them didn’t seem that holistic. They were more focused on “don’t get drunk” and “maintaining physical boundaries” in relationships. Not that those aren’t important… but, what I realize now that I didn’t then was that that’s not the whole story. There’s more to loving Jesus than the decisions we make at a fraternity party or on a date.

Because, “out there” is a world yearning for justice and reconciliation, love of neighbor and living with the marginalized. I’ll be the first to note that some ministries are guilty of focusing solely upon the social Gospel… they, too, aren’t telling the whole story. But I just didn’t see that side of Jesus in college…

Which brings me back to my thoughts… What I hope, what I dream is that WF (and [Presbyterian] campus ministries, in general) does not err in telling just one side of the story. I hope we mix in some evangelism with prophecy. I hope we worship and play (not that these two are mutually exclusive). I hope we take a look at the world and say that some things just won’t stand. I hope we can voice what it means to follow Christ, though we will no doubt fall short…

But, hey, it’s 11:54. The shop’s about to close. I probably should run…


~ by presbytide on January 22, 2009.

2 Responses to “Sitting in a coffee shop at 11:28 pm…”

  1. James i think you are lame because you clearly still had six minutes left in that coffee shop to write about your views of what wf should become. And I agree with you that evangelism is very important, but my main problem with using the word evangelism is the negative connotation that is always connected with it. I feel that evangelism should not be feared, but at the same time their is a very strong stereotype with it that probably wont go away, and if we use this term too boldly we might deter some people from our ministry.

  2. That’s an interesting point Caleb. Maybe our aim should be to reframe what evangelism means… or, at least how it’s interpreted. Evangelism shouldn’t just be about handing out fliers and asking if people know Jesus. It’s a lot more than that… so what can WF do to embody that?

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