I think I stumbled across a new verb yesterday that badly needs to be integrated into the English language: to robell.
It describes the process whereby young evangelical Christians cast off the shackles of what is perceived to be a dogmatic church authority soon after discovering that there are deeper books than Jesus Calling and deeper thinkers than Mark Driscoll.
Soon everything is up for grabs. They fall into a vast crevasse of theological ambiguity as they wrestle with the contemporary theological questions that somehow seem to have evaded Karl Barth, Thomas Aquinas or Maximus the Confessor. These questions can include whether Christians can play a game of poker once a month with some buddies or not? Is Keynote a theologically more appropriate slide show presenting software than Powerpoint? Or even “Which is better: Grand Theft Auto VI or Anselmian formulations of penal substitionary atonement (the grand total of your understanding of which stems from a twenty minute sermon you downloaded off the web)?”
The robell is surely the most terrifying threat to Christian integrity in the world today. Not greed, nor violence. The scourge of robellion probably needs to be headed off with some angry paperback books describing how to become conversant with the robellious, how to win them back to sanity and failing that, how to kick them out of your community in such a way as they’ll never trouble you again. If in your haste to get those books to the presses, you engage in some light plagiarism (or better yet, “citation errors”), then fret not. The Kingdom of God is at stake! You must clarify without hesitation that if Jesus lived in Iowa in the 20-teens, he would definitely prefer The Wire to Mad Men and he would be gluten free out of solidarity with the wheat intolerant.
In other news, here is Stanley Hauerwas speaking Christian. Curiously, that is a standard that many of the words uttered by Christians somehow fails to meet.
Your Correspondent, A new word he gives you