Remember the torn curtain that released the sacred into the world? Sine speaks to this mingling of the sacred in a profane world when he describes the emerging church stream as “not only inclined to draw from the ancient but actively searching for ‘the sacred in the profane’ of popular culture as well” (34). Since reading Fandom, I’ve begun noticing so many of the topics in everyday life, especially with the Olympics going on. Even in church yesterday, we were talking about the movie Mr. Smith Goes to Washington and its correlation to the message of the gospel story when the Canaanite woman kneels before Jesus. That’s what I like about the emerging church: finding the little messages God leaves us in the world around us, even in the most unlikely places.

“Some time back, we had stopped living Christianity and just started studying it” (71). Isn’t this a familiar critique of theologians (and for that matter, seminarians)? How often do we give up our devotional time in order to finish a paper or make it to class on time?

On another note, I told you I’d be back to the subject of body theology soon enough: “Our bodies are the temples of God…We are the body of Christ, not in some figurative sense, but we are the flesh and blood of Jesus alive in the world through the Holy Spirit–God’s hands, feet, ears” (79). This is what I mean by more than body image. It’s not just understanding our own physicalness but the physicality of the communal body of Christians who ARE the incarnation of Christ in the world because of the empowerment of the Spirit. How about that for a headrush?

And I also like the next section when the curtain in the temple rips: “Not only was God redeeming that which was profane but God was setting all that was sacred free” (80). Now God is in the world, not contained in a holiest place that no one can inhabit. Now the sacred is everywhere, and it’s in the body.

I like that Claiborne defines “radical” as “getting to the root of things” (20). A radical Christian is rooted to the authentically daring life of our incarnational God. It’s true that “many of us feel God doing something new, something small and subtle” (25). I’ve been saying all year that I believe God is doing something new at Fuller, but I think it’s something big. Maybe I’ve been thinking about size in terms of radical rather than movements. And it’s true that we are transformed by “people and experiences” (28). Any emerging church leader will tell you that. As we fight pluralism, secularism, relativism, and even “dualism” (28), it is the personal experience of the new thing God is doing that will work change. And it’s our job as non-nominal Christians to live it out, and to tell the story. Claiborne tells his own story of being “suffocated by Christianity but thirsty for God” (39). How many people like that are out there, those who love Jesus but hate the church, or maybe just don’t care?

Amusing article. I’m not sure what there is really to comment on. I loved the suggestion at the end about inviting celebrities to phantom charity events and watching them look confused. I was offended by pretty much the whole section on erotic capital. Only a man would write stuff like that and think he’s inside the female mind, even a mind like Paris Hilton’s. I do think it’s interesting the distinction between “young Hollywood in all its narcissistic stupidity [and] regular working people condemned to a life of eternally nonfabulous boredom” (336). We love to hate celebrities like Hilton precisely because we both envy and despise them for being so rich, so nonchalantly wasteful, so…very, very rich. Our lives seem petty in comparison, until the moment of self-pity passes, and we realize that we do not serve Mammon. Suddenly, my heart breaks for Paris Hilton, with her millions, her amassed stuff, her famous for being famous for being famous public image, and her subsequently empty, empty life. Jesus talks about abundant life, not big bank accounts. Let’s not forget the difference.