01 February 2006

I'm published!

Hey! I'm published! And not just on my own blog, either!

I wrote an article that is now published in the webzine "CrossLeft Matters", Volume 1, Number 1 (January 2006). CrossLeft is "a strategy clearing-house and central hub for grassroots activism among progressive Christians." They're a bit like Sojourners in that they're attempting to organize the progressive Christian voice, in contrast to the (often ultra-) conservative Christian voice articulated so clearly by Christian radio, televangelism, the Christian Coalition, etc.

I wrote the article after reading the first issue of the webzine (Volume 0, Number 1) and coming away a little concerned regarding the tone of some of the rhetoric. I thought the passionate call to action was entirely appropriate, but I thought the metaphor of "war" used to describe progressive Christians' engagement with their conservative sisters and brothers was not appropriate in light of John 13:34-35 and other key Biblical passages. So I wrote this article. And it certainly helped that I was a friend of the Editor-in-Chief. So now I'm published.

Upon re-reading it now, I find myself wishing that I'd inserted the word "some" at the beginning of the phrase "conservative Christians have worked hard to associate Christianity with...." And there are some other things I might reword if I were writing it today instead of three weeks ago. It occurs to me that it's got the potential to piss off a wide spectrum of folks. But oh well, them were my words, and I take responsibility for them. I didn't intend to antagonize anyone, just to say: do speak, do act, but do it in love.

Anyway, feel free to share your reactions, if any, in the comments below.


Mike said...

Mike, I loved the article. Just a couple of comments:
1. It wasn't very 'rude'. We've come to a certain expectation, sir!
2. Your term 'Constantinian settlement' is breathtaking. Ironic, powerful, and (if I may say so in the context of war rhetoric) a bomb.
3. I believe the term 'compassionate action' is trademarked or something. You'd better check on that.

Mike Croghan said...

Ha! Well, I think I tend to exaggerate my supposed "rudeness" in an attempt to defuse any potential negative reaction to the things I say. It's because in reality, I'm a wimpy milquetoast, and I don't want to be yelled at, so if anybody were to get hot under the collar, I'd say, "Hey, I *said* it was going to be rude!" Now my carefully laid plan has been exposed. Curses.

It also has the effect of causing people to say, "I wonder what the hell *that* is" when they see my site name in a search result or something. Then they click through hoping to find something sarcastic and controversial, and are most likely disappointed. Oh well, I suspect if that's what they're looking for they don't have too much trouble finding it.

"Constantinian settlement" isn't my term - I think I read it in Darrell Guder or one of those Missional Church big-head guys. It is a term I used with some trepidation, knowing that most people would say "Wha?" but hoping that the "Wha?" might lead to investigation/reflection in some cases at least. I think there's at least some truth to the idea that, in beginning to wake up to the extent to which the church has been in bed with the culture (to the extent of compromising the gospel) all these centuries, we are at the beginning of the biggest change in the church since the fourth century, potentially making all that stuff that happend 500 years ago look like a minor re-org. If that's at all true, we "just" need to take care that the change isn't into a different but equally flawed type of cultural compromise and gospel reductionism.

Re: compassionate action: riiiight. Good point. I hope I can work out a licensing agreement. :-)

Elizabeth M. said...

Well done, Mike!

Jamie Arpin-Ricci said...

Good on ya, bro!

Gallycat said...

Props to one of your readers. Apparently the Holy Spirit smacked me upside the head with a case of homophonitis, and Mr. Kloss caught it.

I am truly sorry, and humbly repent. Not that homophonitis is sinful, but when you're a professional editor, it's really hilarious!!!!

Jan Nedelka said...

Woohoo! Well done, Mike, and congratulations on your first published article. Thoughful stuff, and certainly material that reasonates with me!