Sunday, May 21, 2006

duncan and driscoll

a while ago i almost posted something like this:

my girlfriend and i happen to be huge fans of david james duncan. his book 'the brothers k' is nearly a perfect novel. in any case, last month he visited seattle, promoting his new book God laughs and plays: churchless sermons in response to the preachments of the fundamentalist right.

during the last few weeks i've been meaning to share about the brilliance and so-so-ness of duncan's visit. my experience with authors has recently been like watching ray and walk the line in quick eye-blink succession. in the space of two weeks, i heard both anne lamott and duncan--two quasi-christian, anti-bush authors who use their talent to push political agendas. duncan (and lamott) had good things to say, but i suspect that i'm something of a purist. give me fiction, i say, screw politics.

my response to these authors is similar to attending a service at mars hill church. this trendy yet word-based church is an odd phenomena in seattle: it's growing. it's growing so much that following a 8:30am service in the ballard sanctuary (the first of the day), pastor mark driscoll's voice is thrown into the back of a van (on dvd, of course) and driven thirty minutes north to a 9:45am service. all told there are seven services between these two locations. now, pastor mark's voice has cool things to say. driscoll seems dedicated to preaching straight from the text. however, he also seems to have pet issues. i can't recall a sermon where he didn't refer to gender roles--a man does this, a woman does this. personally, i teeter-totter back and forth in my opinion of gender and the church, but week after week i don't need someone like driscoll jumping on the teeter-totter with me. give me the gospel, i say, screw gender.

okay, i know: i'm insane (aggggggahawwwwwwwwwaaa!), but david james duncan has become a literary (and liberal) mark driscoll.

ummm...anyway, duncan also read some really interesting passages. and, to his credit, it totally makes sense that he writes about his passions. i really should shut up and applaud his efforts.

andrew david 'shaman for hire' yelapa, mexico. there's no connection between pastor mark driscoll and this shaman. while driscoll drinks beer i doubt he chews peyote or practices ancient huichol customs. also, this list was for a sign-up sheet for one-on-one healing; despite the title, i don't think people actually had to pay the shaman for his services. in any case, it was a wee bit odd staying in the same jungle as mr. shaman. the thing that i really like about this picture is the cork and other periphereal items. i think that they give the picture a lot more character.


Beth said...

Hey now. I think Anne Lamott would be offended at the "quasi-" qualifier. She's a Christian--what's quasi about it? Is it the doctrinal differences you have with her? Granted, there are some big differences, but despite that, I think it's a dangerous policy to start calling certain kinds of Christians quasi, unless they themsevles make that sort of distinction. Duncan kind of does that, so I'm not sure how he'd feel about being called quasi. Probably fine.
I will refrain from public comment on the comparison of Duncan to Mark Driscoll.

andrew said...

quasi-Christian AUTHOR, just like i would say that the dandelion method is a quasi-Christian BAND. doctrinal differences didn't play a conscious role in my decision to use 'quasi.'

yeah, it's a bit outrageous (after all, i did say that i'm insane), but don't you think that the comparison (in this limited sense) is apt? from my perspective, i'm not stretching it that much to compare driscoll and duncan in this way.

beth said...

oh, got it! I totally read it differently. You know: quasi-Christian authors, as opposed to quasi Christian-authors. I totally agree with you now.
Your comparison makes sense... in the strange way that your other the-mind-is-like-a-tongue comparisons make sense. I never would have thought to compare them, but you have a way of finding those connections. yeah, they both have some pet issues. But the WAY they argue their pet issues is completely different.