By Graham Glover –
My post from last week generated quite a few comments. (I guess a Lutheran pastor advocating a reconsideration of the papacy will do that!) Generally, this is a good thing. I like people to comment on the articles I write, be it on The Jagged Word or my personal Facebook page. The exchange back and forth is one of the things I most enjoy about writing these weekly pieces.
I was especially pleased with the quality of the responses on the question of the papacy. There were some that missed the point entirely or that gave the same tired answers, but on the whole I thought the dialogue exemplified much of what we are trying to do here at The Jagged Word: that is, to discuss and debate – passionately at times – things like theology, politics, culture, art, sports, technology, fashion, etc. Perhaps more than others, I like to push the envelope, challenging some of our sacred Lutheran norms as well as our American understanding of politics. Whether you like my posts or not, I assure you that I will continue to push, continue to challenge, continue to stir the pot.
But folks, you’ve got to remember, The Jagged Word is a blog. It is a place for people to read and, if so inclined, to comment on the issues the authors of this website write about. But it’s just a blog. While the conversations taking place on this site are some of the most refreshing and timely ones I read on a weekly basis, it is just a blog. I’m convinced what we are doing at The Jagged Word is not done elsewhere, and this is one of the reasons our readership has tripled in the past year, with more and more websites and Facebook pages referencing our articles every day. But even though I firmly believe in what we are doing here, it is just a blog. Even if only incrementally, I think this venture of like-minded friends, theologians, and scholars is changing the landscape of the congregations, schools, and people we serve. Still, this is just a blog.
We are not creating doctrine at The Jagged Word. We are not passing laws. We are not electing politicians. We most assuredly are not delving into the politics of the church. We are doing what I think is some of the purest form of theology and politics around. We write. We comment. We debate. We discuss. Sometimes our articles make sense. Sometimes they don’t. Sometimes the authors hit home runs. Other times we barely make a base hit. But we are committed to writing substantive, thought-provoking pieces. And as I think the past 2 ½ years have illustrated, we are not afraid to address issues that nobody else will, even though they know they should. Our arguments may work, or at times (as I know all too well) they fail to measure up to what we were trying to do.
Look, there is no need to lose your sanity if you disagree with what we write or propose. Honestly, I prefer for people to disagree. The conversation is much more fun when I’m debating people with whom I disagree and/or who question my conclusions. So argue when you must. Do it often, if you want. But remember, this is just a blog. There is no need to make our banter personal. You need not think our articles are authoritative or representative of the various institutions we represent. Sometimes they do. Oftentimes they do not.
Bottom line, I encourage you to engage. I want you to participate. Those who sit idly by bore me. I don’t want people to buy the party-line, hook, line, and sinker. I want you to challenge things, to question things, to debate things. I want you to do what The Jagged Word is all about. I want you to be part of the conversation. But if we’re not on the same page, don’t think we are enemies. We may be. We may not be. But let’s talk it through. Let’s do what theologians and philosophers do best; let’s debate. And above all, let’s have fun doing it. If we can, let’s do it over a cocktail and a cigar – things are always so much better with bourbon and tobacco. It will likely not be easy. It’s probably going to be messy. But that’s ok. That’s what theology and politics are all about.