There are many people within the " emerging conversation " that haven't even heard of Samir Selmanovic Likely because he's seen as even being on the fringe of the emerging church. He's a fresh voice in the midst of the noise of religious bullying to see who controls God in the sandbox of life. His Christian faith grew out of his Islamic culture. He offers not only Christianity, but all religions a way forward if humanity and creation have any hope of a future. Recently, he talks about the emerging church's dogma seen more as conversational.
Those of us in the emerging church have been asked, “What do you stand for, really?” Do we stand on shifting sand, without commitment, without convictions about right and wrong, without truths to defend and lies to attack, without anchors, or foundations, without a rudder or a spine? Without dogmas?
I think not.
There is a hill on which we are willing to die, and it is called conversation. We don’t think of conversation as a method of communication. Or as an agent of change, or even as a virtue. We see conversation as the teaching, the truth, the doctrine. We confess it. Conversation is deeply biblical, rooted in Christian history and theology, and, importantly, in the life and teachings of Jesus. Conversation involves incarnation, life, death, and resurrection, both God’s and ours. If you think of faith as something that can be lived outside of a continual experience of living and dying through conversation with the divine and human other, we emergents maintain that you are wrong, terribly wrong.
We believe in a conversation with our God, scripture, strangers, friends, enemies, saints, heretics, committee chairpersons, evangelists, our own soul, brother sun and sister moon!
This is the linchpin of the emerging church. We are as diverse as Christianity, but we hold conversation in common. It is how we pursue justice and beauty, how we hope, where we find comfort. We converse with God and with one another, and our relationships hold us, like prayers.
"In a conversation, you always expect a reply. And if you honor the other party to the conversation, if you honor the otherness of the other party, you understand that you must not expect always to receive a reply that you foresee or a reply that you will like. A conversation is immitigably two-sided and always to some degree mysterious; it requires faith." ( Wendell Berry )