Sunday, April 30, 2006

Cornerstone Festival 2006: Attend if you can!

It will be my pleasure to participate in my fourth Cornerstone Festival this July 4-8 in Bushnell, IL. This year I am privileged to present seminars in two tracks, including Cornerstone You and the Imaginarium. Both sets of presentations look at differing issues from the perspective of intercultural studies. My series in the Cornerstone You venue looks cross-culturally at the rage directed at the West by the Majority World:

“The West and the Rest: Where Does Their Rage Come From?”
Americans scratch their heads at the constant protests and expressions of hatred against our country around the world. In reality, our lack of cultural appreciation and perspective causes us to misunderstand other cultures and their rage, but also to misunderstand the Scriptures and the Christian faith.

This year’s Imaginarium will be looking at various Day of the Dead celebrations in differing cultural contexts, and analyzing it from differing cultural expressions. My contribution to this fascinating topic is the following seminar series:

"Incarnation Means Becoming Human: Body, Soul & Imagination"
Image, myth, symbol and ceremony are the bread and butter of the Imaginarium, a fare people respond to as if they'd been starved. Often, they have been - by a Modern culture that prizes abstraction over incarnation. Missionaries worry about syncretism - mixing with non-Christian cultural forms - but have rarely scrutinized Modernity's conquest of the faith. Yet recent developments in missiology parallel the Imaginarium's journey in seeking a more sophisticated approach to culture. This seminar surveys those overlapping trails, and serves as the theoretical counterpart to our evening series: "Death Takes a Holiday: Celebrations of All Saints, Souls, & Bodies."

I am really looking forward to the perspective I will contribute to these topics and many of the other seminars as well. This may be the best overall year for the Imaginarium yet.

Most intriguing is a seminar series by Gretchen Passantino Coburn. I was fortunate to meet Gretchen, and her late husband Bob, during a previous Cornerstone event. We developed a relationship that continues to this day. During the course of our discussions I discovered a similar perspective on many issues of theology, apologetics, and missional approaches. Gretchen will also be speaking in the same venues as I am, and one of her sessions in Cornerstone You will be a joint Q&A between the two of us. Gretchen’s series in this venue captures the direction she has been moving in her thinking over the last few years:

“Why Doesn't Apologetics Work?”
Even seasoned apologists like Gretchen Passantino Coburn agree that most people adopt false beliefs and join aberrant groups for reasons other than intellectual, yet a wide spectrum of Christian leaders continue to focus on education and knowledge as the keys to right belief and practice. How do we resolve this paradox?

I know that Gretchen has been rethinking apologetics, theology, and mission in recent years. It will be interesting to hear her presentations and to see where her thinking is at the present time. Perhaps this veteran apologist and past co-worker with the late Walter Martin has moved to the incarnational mission side of the coin alongside this blogger.

If you can attend this year's C'Stone Fest, I wholeheartedly recommend it. And if you attend one of my seminars stop on by and say "hello."

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