Sunday, 8 February 2009

The Nebulous Indefinite Verson - Isaiah 6

You've been sitting in the Emergent Church service in Starbucks for about half an hour now. A young girl has just done an interpretive dance representing the emotional wounds caused by her growing up in a middle class Christian home with parents "who loved her, but like, didn't get her, ya know?"

You're just about to have contextual communion with latte and almond cake, but it's your turn to take part. What will you say? You could talk about the evils of John Piper's grammatical idolatry, but you remember that you have your new emergent bible translation, "The Nebulous Indefinite Version" in your cargo-pants pocket. Time for some Lectio Divina. You turn to Isaiah 6 and read:

I saw the lord low, at about my level, and seated on a Lazy Boy. Candles, banners, acoustic guitars and ancient icons filled his temple. Surrounding him were cool people, drama groups, comedians, finger-painters, storytellers and crowds engaging in private religious devotion. The people all called out to one another and said, "Relevance, relevance, relevance, fills the place. The whole earth reflects our relevance." And as the floor reverberated with the sound of the acoustic guitars, the bongos and the interpretive dancing, the temple was filled with applause. Then I stood straight and tall. I laughed and shouted, "I'm okay. You're okay. We're all okay!"

And one of the mime-artists went over to the coffee shop to bring me a flapjack and a mocha. And he said to me, "Woe, woe, woe to those who love propositional truth," and it was then that three cool middle class white dudes appeared. With dark-framed glasses he covered his eyes, with a cool goatee he covered his mouth and with a Che Guevara T-Shirt he covered his back.

And the first cried, "We're an inclusive community." And the second cried, "Fight racism." And the third cried, "End third world debt." Then I heard a sweet voice from the Lazy Boy, "Who will go share these messages with others?" And I felt cool and lovable, and I said, "Sure, I'll go. No sweat. Everybody's aching for this word. Send me!" The voice said to me, "Guard each person's self-worth, and save each man's pride." And I said, "For how long?" It said, "Until they've decided how to live their own lives, until they've chosen their own values, until they've found the gloss, until they become like the lords they worship. And good luck to you! I'm not quite sure what the future holds." And I went out feeling super."

(Postscript - I adapted this from a similar parody on the Banner of Truth website.)