Sunday, August 28, 2005

A New Kind of Conversation
Blogging Toward a Postmodern Faith


This blog-book will discuss what a postmodern evangelical faith looks like. The blog format will make it possible to allow you the reader, to participate in the writing of both the blog and the eventual published book to follow by Paternoster Press. Be a part of this experiment in conversation by adding your voice to the discussion.

“A New Kind of Conversation” begins on Sept 15th 2005.

You can sign up for this at this site.

More from Hunter Barnes: good friend, fellow parishioner and colleague at the college, Myron Penner and I signed a contract with Authentic Media & Paternoster Press to write a book! For Myron this is no surprise, in fact he just published a book with Brazos entitled “Christianity and the Postmodern Turn”. But for me this is something new altogether. Fears aside, we have started work on a unique writing project that will see the authoring of a book taking place on a blog site, then eventually moving into a print form. On August 1st you can be a part of this project yourself by going and contributing to the conversation at & We have teamed up with five of the brightest minds discussing Christianity and Postmodernism. Our contributors include Brian McLaren, author of “A New Kind of Conversation”, Bruce Ellis Benson, Professor of Philosophy at Wheaton, Ellen Haroutunian, writer & speaker, Mabiala Kenzo, Professor of Theology at Canadian Theological Seminary, and Myron B. Penner, Professor of Philosophy at Prairie College.
These five will be our main contributors to the blog, and any online reader can add their thoughts to the conversation and possibly be published in the book!
What am I doing in this auspicious crowd, you ask? Well, I’ve asked that myself and still haven't figured it out. The best I’ve come up with, or what I tell everyone, is that I am kind of the “idea guy”, and they believed me. The plan to do this book sprang from some of my ideas, shared in conversation with my good friend Myron. I’ll be co-author/editor with Myron, a project manager of sorts, and occasional blogger on the site too.
Be sure to check out the site. This is a brand new kind of book publishing project. We’ve received a lot of attention from our publisher, and have some big hopes for the quality of the conversation that lies ahead. Would love for you to be a part of it.


Paul Fromont said...

Thanks for this Stephen. A very interesting idea. I'll will pick it up in a post this evening (NZ time)...

Bob Robinson said...

I just signed up! Looking forward to that interaction.

I just started reading Christianity And The Postmodern Turn: Six Views that Myron Penner edited. This is exactly the kind of dialogue that we need to have!
It features essays by R. Douglas Geivatt and R. Scott Smith (who are more pessimistic), James K.A. Smith, John R. Franke and Merold Westphal (who are more favorable), and Kevin J. Vanhoozer (who takes a great mediating position).

Stephen said...

thanks paul and bob.

i'll have to pick up the Penner book! thanks for the reference.


Hunter said...

Hi Stephen,

this is Hunter Barnes checking in. Thanks for posting about the new blog-book, we can't believe the attention our little blog release has already stirred up. I wanted to make an important correction in your post though. The Myron Penner you have linked is not "the" Myron Penner. You have Myron A Penner from Trinity Western. The Myron Penner in this project is Myron B. Penner, believe it or not. Myron B. Penner is a Philosopher, Kierkegaard scholar who also happens to lives and teaches in Western Canada. In this case, Alberta. Thanks again for telling folks about the project. cheers. hb

Bob Robinson said...

And, yes, Myron B. Penner is the author of the book I talked about above.

Kent C. Williamson said...

Since Bruce Ellis Benson is involved in the New Kind of Conversation dialogue, I thought you might be interested in this...

While editing a section of the film Rebellion of Thought called "Creating God In Our Own Image," I included this quote from our interview with Bruce Ellis Benson regarding Christian Idolatry...

"...we affirm as Christians that God does exists, and that our conception of God is not purely a kind of idolatrous conception of God. Now of course, there it gets a little difficult, because as Christians, I assume that our conception of God is probably never completely pure, that is to say, our conception of God is never completely free from idolatry. It's very easy for the conception of "Jesus, Lord of my life," to morph into, to change into, "Jesus, who is the granter of my desires." That's not a very big step, as it turns out, and indeed I assume that many of us live, in a sort of practical way so that Jesus is the granter of our desires, first and foremost, rather than the Lord and Master of our lives."

What are your thoughts on this concept of Christian idolatry?

To learn more please visit the blog Rebellion of Thought and/or

Stephen said...

Kent, thanks for your note. I think that Bruce is using the term metaphorically and maybe even a bit iconoclastically to communicate in dramatic fashion that our conception of God isn't always completely pure. I do think it's arguable as to whether or not that's an effective metaphor considering the Scriptures strong interdictions and black/white statements regarding idolatry!