|York Moore has coined a new term: Wikifaith. Here is a fascinating entry from York's Facebook page. Imagine a merging of Christian Faith and Wikipedia.|
I've been working on a second book and hope to start marketing it for a contract sometime this summer. One of the most controversial aspects of the book will be the concept I've coined "wikifaith," after Wikipedia. Wikipedia, as we all know, is an on-line, open-sourced, collaberative encyclopedia project where anyone can submit and edit articles on just about everything. One of the fears of such an encycolopedia is that the open-sourced nature of the articles would lead to an even greater manifestation of relativism, further sinking the concept of truth into the murky waters of self-perception. To the surprise of many, this project produced articles that are extremely reliable. Because of the communal editing aspect of Wikipedia, inaccuracies typically don't last long or go unchallenged.
This concept does involve risk but openning the definition process up to community, we have a greater sense of shared intellectual wealth and excitement as we, together, define the reality around us collaberatively. Unlike the leather bound coffins for ideas that sit on dusty shelves, forever embalming the truth on everything, this living encyclopedia has revolutionized the industry and has brought a new era of interest in the encyclopedia-something Microsoft's Encarta could never achieve.
There is risk and trust involved. Not trust in the individual but trust in the process. I believe that this same process in America needs to be embraced when it comes to faith and religion. I believe that the American Church has a limted piece of the article entry. This "piece" is rich with theological thought and practice but it is, in fact, incomplete. When it comes to who God is, what His Kingdom is all about, and what is truly important in the world, I believe the non-Churched world has much to say and contribute to our understanding.
When it comes to evangelism, for instance, we should no longer come to the transaction as expert educators as in the modern milieu. Instead, teaching others about Jesus should also include authentic listening. Listening should always be a part of sharing Christ with others, but today, I believe we can hear the voice and heart of God in the convictions and beliefs of those who are outside the Church. The vision of life that many have is much closer to the vision of Christ's Kingdom then most people in the Church in America today. We have so pragmatically limited what life and mission are all about in the Church that we have shut the door on the fuller understanding of life under the King and have thus removed the connecting space that many who are "out" would find otherwise.
Wikifaith is the more holistic understanding and practice to Christian living that comes when we take our understanding of God and His Kingdom and collaberatively live life and dialogue out with those many who are "out" but clearly have an understanding that is patently missing in the Church. This involves risk and faith. Not faith in the individual, but in the God who has deeply rooted himself in a generation, birthing in that generation a missing piece of Himself and His Kingdom. Wikifaith can lead to genuine societal transformation or the destruction (hallowing out) of the church. The difference is how we engage in the process.
Wikifaith requires theologians. Wikifaith requires sculpting a justice generation, not merely affirming their thinking about the world. While the Kingdom space in the hearts of this emerging generation is authentic, it is guided by brokenness and a world system that is, in fact, anti-Christ. Wikifaith is a process that God is calling the Church to today. We need to adjust our values, our thinking, our passions. We need to learn from those we seek to reach in humility and awe, awe in the great and mystical work of God who has planted himself in the hearts of a new generation-and that without our permission!