the weblog of Alan Knox

The iMonk’s Liturgical Gangstas

Posted by on Feb 19, 2009 in blog links | 1 comment

I don’t know how many of my readers follow the blog of Michael Spencer (the Internet Monk). Recently he began a series in which 6 people from 6 different religious traditions answer a set of questions. His panel consists of an Eastern Orthodox priest, an Anglican priest, a pastor of a Southern Baptist church, a Roman Catholic, a United Methodist pastor, and a Lutheran pastor.

His sixth installment is “Liturgical Gangstas 6: Unappreciated Strengths and Overlooked Weaknesses“. In this episode, Michael asks his Liturgical Gangstas the following questions:

What is the most misunderstood positive thing about your tradition, and the most ignored weakness of your tradition? Of the five traditions represented, from whom do you believe your tradition could learn the most?

I have loved and been encouraged by the interaction between these different individuals, especially concerning this last set of questions. Not only do these questions require each person to critically (not in the negative sense) examine their own tradition, but also to find something positive to say about another tradition.

It is easy (especially in blogdom) to find posts tearing down traditions that are different from their own. It is rare to find people coplimenting different traditions. I believe that if we made an honest examination of our own tradition and an honest of other traditions, we will find that there are many things that we can learn from one another – if we are willing to interact with one another beyond finding faults.

One of the aspects of PhD work that I have enjoyed the most is the breadth of reading and study. In the MDiv program, most of my reading consisted of books by other baptists, or those who held very similar beliefs. Because of the breadth of my recent reading, I feel like I am beginning to understand some different traditions – but only beginning to understand. However, I think I understand different traditions enough to know that I can learn from them.

I wonder if any of my readers would be interested in identifying their own religious tradition and answering the Internet Monk’s questions?

One Comment

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  1. 2-19-2009


    I’m a regular iMonk reader (and commenter!). I find the gangsta posts to be most enlightening. What I’ve learned most from other traditions (not that they belive this themselves) is that there can be tradition without insisting that a tradition is the only way; but rather on of many ways.

    My own “tradition” is difficult to define. I’ve always been in “reformed” and “calvinist” circles, even if pseudo. My current church is a reformedish baptistish non-denominational church. One of our strengths is that we can embrace certain theology witout taking it to wacky denominational extremes. A weakness might be the same thing; things can be vague without any teeth. We could stand to learn from all these traditions, especially ones that truly value community.