Brian McLaren, one of my favourite authors and speakers, addressed the Lambeth Conference, challenging the bishops about the “hurricane of change” in our contemporary world. The church needs to catch up and keep up. He used the illustration of a bridge in Honduras which survived Hurricane Mitch in 1998 but the riverbed moved so the bridge was redundant and has become a tourist attraction. Is this, for many, the experience of Christianity and the church?
Brian McClaren describes his experience at the Lambeth Conference:
I know that most people think the “news story” here is about divisive controversies over sexuality, but my sense is that the real news story is very different. There is a humble spirit here, a loving atmosphere, a deep spirituality centered in Bible study, worship, and prayer, and a strong desire to move beyond internal-institutional matters to substantive mission in our needy world.
In every conversation and gathering I’ve participated in, the spirit has been kind and holy and positive. That sort of good news doesn’t attract the media the way a salacious or pugilistic story does … It will be interesting to see whether the press reports what is actually happening here, or if they need to rewrite the narrative to fit the shape of war-tales they are more accustomed to telling.