AKMA is, believe it or not, a postmodern priest! OK, I don’t know if he’s a priest or minister or what — the picture of him on his faculty bio shows him in a collar, and Jew that I am, I don’t know which clergy wear collars and which don’t, so to me, he’s a priest.
Anyway, a postmodernist, with what looks to be about a half-dozen books of postmodern biblical and theological analysis to his name (where does he find the time?!). Not a hell-fire and damnation kinda clergyman, though — AKMA writes with a sensitivity and compassion I bet you wish your clergy had. On the topic of the “emergent church”, for instance, he writes:
The emergent leaders I’ve met want no part of a rope-’em-in-for-Jesus membership head count game; they’ve stopped cold, asked the basic question of why people who love God and want to follow Jesus should do it in bunches, and are trying to see what answers make sense on the ground.
I’m not a part of that endeavor, and I’m probably misconstruing it in various ways, but as far as I understand it, I respect the impulse and the ways it’s being played out around us. Institutional spokespeople (like me) should mostly just quiet down and let the Spirit speak, aye or nay, through the ministries of hard-working, committed leaders such as these.
Given the way that many religious folk, clergy or no, respond to any sign of difference within or without their congregations, AKMA’s openness and willingness to exptend respect even to folks whose take on spiritualism he doesn’t personally agree with is truly a beautiful thing, and for that, I extend the same respect to the man himself.
Even if he is a Christian. :-)