I have listened to these lectures several times. Each time Taylor leads me into the darkness something new is revealed. This week, I have been busy preparing for the Season of Advent fearful that I might not be able to capture the anticipation of the season. In a bit of a panic, I shut my eyes and saw the darkness pulsing with a kind of invitation to enter into the sacredness of the dark. So, after a long winter’s sleep, I awoke wondering if darkness itself might be the key to embracing Advent. Over a leisurely breakfast, Taylor’s musings on the power of darkness have opened me to a whole new vision of the wonders and mysteries of Advent.
Taylor spent fifteen years in parish ministry and was named one of the twelve most effective preachers in the English-speaking world by Baylor University in 1996. She became a professor of religion at Piedomont College in 1998 and also teaches spirituality at Columbia Seminary. Still a priest in the Episcopal church, Taylor has travelled the world in pursuit of sacred wisdom finding most of what she needed in her backyard.
These 3 lectures are rich in images as Taylor explores the “thick darkness” in which God dwells. The lectures were described as “a negative theology for emergents” and I do believe that progressive Christians would do well to revisit Brown’s mastery of mythic communication. So, if you are afraid of the dark, stumbling in the dark, or intrigued by the dark you will find in these lectures a familiar darkness in which lies beauty and wisdom. If you are a preacher, take the time to linger over Taylor’s images, you will be rewarded with inspiration. Linger over the richness of her words, you will not be dissapointed!
LEARNING TO WALK IN THE DARK – LECTURE 1
LEARNING TO WALK IN THE DARK – LECTURE 2 – Night Guides
For me the heart of this conversation is expressed by Rob Bell: “The word ‘evangelical’ means ‘good news’ right? Yea, so we’re all about good news, right? So whatever else that word means, I would hope that we are all people of good news. So, if that word refers to a tribal group deeply aligned with an industrial military complex and the furthering of an empire that has on occasion stormed through the world a little more briskly than we would like, tied into a political party that has an agenda often run by multi-national corporations, I’m not interested. But if its referring to an open tomb and hope for everybody, I’m in. “
“So, you either walk away from the word, and say I don’t want anything to do with that, or the word ‘radical’ has its root in the word radix which is a Latin word that means root. The radical is the person who goes back to the roots. So, you either walk away from it or you grab it and say, ‘No, this is what it means.’ And you just hold on tightly. Secondly, I’m interested in anybody who has fresh word about Jesus: Lutherans or Methodists or Anglicans or Evangelicals, or Catholics, or Jedi. If you have fresh insight into Jesus, that’s what I’m interested in. So, when people say that doesn’t line up with Lutheran doctrine, I couldn’t care less. Is that a fresh word about Jesus?”
“I actually think that what you are realizing right now is that some of these tribal systems are falling apart because all of a sudden I’m having fish tacos with Richard Rohr and Peter Rollins shows up and its just an absolute potluck of Jesusness. I think what’s tipping now is people are going, ‘You’re interested in following Jesus and I’m interested in follow Jesus and that trumps whatever institution we get our pay-cheque from.”
Video recorded in April 2013 at the Seattle School of Theology. The interviewer lacks depth, but if you fast forward to the Q & A (28min mark) the students questions provide Bell with an opportunity to delve a little deeper.
As the Roman Catholic Church prepares to elect a new pope, this presentation by Phyllis Tickle seems very timely. Tickle provides a history lesson which enlightens us on the marriage between the church and empire that gave birth to Western Christianity. Tickle is convinced that a whole new day is dawning in this post-Constantinian church that promises to seriously engage the 21st century.
Recorded on Feb. 26, 2013 at Calvary Episcopal Church in Memphis Tennessee during their annual Lenten Preaching Series.
Peter Rollins will wind up his visit to Holy Cross in Newmarket with a Pub Night on April 14th. For details check out the brochure here.
Speaking at ikonNYC Peter Rollins looks back to the classic movie A Brief Encounter to explore the relationship between belief and unbelief as well as the nature of scapegoating as a means of avoiding inner conflict.