I had a great conversation with Brian McLaren yesterday in preparation for an article for our website and newsletter. I continue to be impressed with Brian's passion for seeing the church move beyond political and doctrinal disputes and institutional maintenance to free its energy to help God bless the world, and with his humility and gentleness in spreading that message.
He spoke of the gifts our Lutheran tradition offers to the church in emerging culture, from Luther's insight about the importance of catechesis, helping people know what they believe in the context of their culture, to our rich, examined theological tradition that both allows us to grapple with tough issues and to resist lining up with the Religious Right.
McLaren noted our significant dropout rate among confirmands post high school, and said we're not alone: Southern Baptists have similar rates and his church is affected, as well. He pointed out the opportunity we have to re-engage with youth and young adults by recognizing their post-modern culture rather than trying to shoehorn them into the modern church. If we can help them develop an active, missional faith, we will build a strong platform from which to share our Lutheran gifts with the church.
I'll have a lot more to share as I process and digest the interview.