The last couple of years have been difficult for me. I have found myself in a place where I agree with the base assumptions of many around me. But, I often do not agree with the conclusions they draw from those assumptions or even the methodology which brought them to those assumptions to start. This has resulted in me living in a space where there is a superficial resemblance to those around me but in reality there are some very deep seated differences. During this time I have found the lectures and writings of the people at Gutenberg College to be very nourishing both intellectually and spiritually. I do not always agree with them (I do much more than not) but they foster an environment where that is okay.
They just posted a short article, Art as a Spiritual Ambassador, to their blog, which is an excerpt from Wesley Hurd’s longer rumination, The Critical Zone: Speculations on a Conceptual Space for Postmodern Seekers. Wesley first sent me this article about a year ago when he agreed to work along with me and a group of academics, church leaders, and business leaders on the Advisory Board for the Aletheia College project. I found the article to be very insightful and used it in a college course I taught last year. But, most importantly it was helpful to me personally. It was a clear articulation of a truth I had already come to understand…the point of engagement is located neither in the church nor within the broader culture. If we, as Christians, are to truly engage we must (and some of us seem to by default) exist in a space between the two worlds. We must be free to question and to seek truth without the constraints of our individual cultural groups. We need to live and thrive in the Critical Zone.