So today I picked up two books that I started reading, both of which have intrigued me.
First is At the Corner of East and Now: A Modern Life in Ancient Christian Orthodoxy by Frederica Mathewes-Green (ISBN 0874779871). The prologue really engrossed me: a woman who grew up in a nominal Christian home, left that as a teenager, decided in college to be Hindu, and then had a radical encounter with God on a trip to Scotland. Her husband soon had his own encounter, and he eventually came to be ordained in mainline Protestant denomination that he served for fifteen years. Now? He is an Orthodox priest at a small church outside of Baltimore. The book is Frederica Mathewes-Green’s reflection on the goings on at their church, and I find it incredibly invigorating. Her descriptions of the Orthodox faith are refreshing to me. Hopefully I will blog more about my reflections as I get deeper in the book. She speaks of Orthodox’s firmness that what is Orthodox is what all people believe at all times. It is very different from my experience in the Baptist world, where we are currently allowing even the most minuscule of things to divide us.
The other book I found is The emerging Christian Way (ISBN 1551455218). It is a reflection on what in evangelistic circles is known as the Emerging Church, but (at least from my reading of the first chapter) hails from a mainline (what fundamentals would call “liberal”) background. I have only read the first chapter, but I look forward to more from this, as well.
I have become very frustrated of late with my Baptist tradition. I grew up Southern Baptist and now attend a Cooperative Baptist Fellowship church. And many of the experiences I have had lately seem to show that I don’t belong in either place. So I guess I’m searching for where that place might be. Mathewes-Green and Marcus Borg (who wrote the first chapter of “emerging”) have struck chords with me. I don’t know that I can walk the whole path with them, but it is good for conversation along the way.
It’ll be interesting to see where we wind up.