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?