Wednesday, October 29, 2003

all gone

I did it. I chopped my hair, and boy does it feel weird. I think I like it, and I've gotten good reactions from folks here at Seabury. I'll pay y'all later for the public compliments! Someone remarked that its a summery haircut, and how ironic that was since the temps dropped significantly this week. I was happy to remind him that its not ironic at all, since I leave for Hawaii on Friday.

On the theme of "all gone", I've had some thoughts rolling around in my head about the differences between judgment and critique. It started in a class a couple weeks ago when we were talking about non-violent resistance in the Gospel, and a group of Christians in Cental America who took up arms to defend their church. The discussion was pretty theoretical (obviously, since we were sitting happy-suburb-land) but one person suggested that we were being judgemental, that none of us could possibly understand the context of an active revolution, and could not possibly say what we would or would not do in that situation. How can we sit in Evanston and talk about whether or not these Christians understood the Gospel? (He did include himself in these comments)The point was well-taken: We certainly are in no position to judge. God alone has that position. But there must be some way for us to critique particular responses for the sake of everyone's learning. How do we as people, and especially as Christians, offer critique (not criticism per se, but critique: thoughtful responses to actions and ideas, pointing out potential pitfalls, areas to be fleshed out, etc.) while resisting the tempation to judge? An intial answer, offered by the book that spurred all of this, was integrity. Our critiques must always include ouselves and our actions. I don't think thats enough. I think the only way is that critique must be based in relationship. In knowing one another, we can place critique within context, both on the giver's and recieveing end. Perhaps a better word would be friendship - relationships of love. When I bounce ideas and plans off a friend, I can receive critique as an offer for improvement, rather than an attack or a grab for power/superiority. I suppose this doesn't always work out either, but it seems like a starting point.

In other news, I'm adding two folks to the blogroll. Todd is another seminarian, and Don is a gardener in Indiana.

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