CIVA ruminations, part 1

(Originally sent as part of an email to friends I'd seen at CIVA conference...the theme of which was Transforming Spaces: the virtu(e) and the virtual):

Hello friends; it was good to reconnect with each of you this past week, some more extensively than others. I thoroughly enjoyed myself, and am still processing much of what I took in.

On that note, I've still been considering the whole idea of "transformation", specifically around the appropriateness of it, and what constitutes true, careful and loving transformation. I heard one set of voices, for example, quick to caution that certain slants of "transformation" can be elitist, mono-cultural, totalitarian; racist even. Another group of voices acknowledged this, yet made a distinction between "negative" transformation, and the edifying, life-changing and affirming forms and possibilities of transformation. Ken Myers, in his brilliant words based partially around Romans 12, was in this camp.

Interestingly enough, this week on my bus ride to work I was finishing up a Dallas Willard book, The Great Omission, on discipleship, and came across some poignant words on transformation that felt suddenly very apropos. I will say first though, that I was most intrigued with how Allan Wexler articulated his definitions of transformation, in the form of the most important transformation beginning inwardly, and then allowing that to work out, to wherever it would find purchase. And as Allan also said, this sounds incredibly selfish at first. When I first thought about his definition, I didn't agree; it sounded too self-centered; too egocentric. But little did I know I was falling into the easy trap (though partially true) that many of those outside of the art world fall into when critiquing artists...and then I found this quote from Willard which was a nice tap on the shoulder (he prefaces this by denying we are called to firstly "convert" the church, or even the world)...

"Your first move, 'as you go' is, in a manner of speaking: 'convert me'...we begin with ourselves."

In other words, in a Christocentric context of course, we must, to retain all genuineness and humility, start with ourselves in any process of transformation. Here is another quote which also fleshes out a bit more of what true transformation should be like -- and not like:

"He [Christ] did tell us that, when filled with him, we would bear witness of him "to the ends of the earth" (Acts 1:8). Witnesses are those who cause others to know; they wit-ness. They are not manipulators - no need of that - though what they do is radically transformative."

waynestead  – (Thursday, 28 June, 2007)  

I agree, Wexler's statement about self-transformation was probably one of the biggest things I took from the conference.


the fourth samba  – (Monday, 02 July, 2007)  

Very interesting Tim. For me I'm baffled sometimes by the way people scurry away from the self. Meaning the love of oneself, taking care of oneself, etc...
I'm glad you pointed this out.
Y'know, Jesus said Love the Lord your God and your neighbor as YOURSELF.
Interestingly the standard here is the way somebody loves him/herself. Loving oneself is the most basic thing. Surely we love because God first loved us, but then that love is in us to first love ourselves. Watching people who don't truly love themselves attempting to love other people is a complicated thing to watch.
Do unto others as you would have others do unto you. Again the example of how to love another is the way one first loves oneself.
Well put, brother. Dope to see it written.

Peace, kindness, love from Our Most High. Looking forward to seeing you at the studio.

GIERSCHICK  – (Tuesday, 03 July, 2007)  

Good grief; this one isn't THAT old...

Post a Comment

Related Posts with Thumbnails