having linked to richard's series in the last post i have since looked at his blog again and noticed a very poignant critique of the over against rhetoric of kester brewin and pete rollins. i think it's a brilliant piece and hope it blows open a conversation needing to happen. i often get asked what i think of pete's work and usually respond by saying that i love having his voice in the conversation but it's not the only voice i want to hear. i loved the book how not to speak of god. but this conversation reminds me a little bit of the book nation of rebels: why counter culture became consumer culture which makes a powerful critique that the over against rhetoric of liberals who talk a good game round the dinner table about the evils of the system and overcoming it are not the people who effect real change in society. it's the people who have engaged in the public square, engaged in civil rights marches and so on - often long slow painful processes - who have done more. on reading that book i was challenged to think that actually being alternative is a poor strategy for change which i remember saying as part of a blah in manchester in 2005.
i'd probably want to nuance that now and say what i have said many times that actually change or newness is most likely to come from having people work at both the centre and the edge. artists, tricksters, prophets and now pirates (?!) - characters i tend to love and warm to - their ruses and plays are inevitably going to dwell on the edges and so they should to do their work and share their gifts in those spaces. but the loyal radicals who work at the centre, in institutional spaces and located in traditions are those who may equally herald the future... for what its worth i try and play in both arenas.