coming up with original theological reflections is like trying to make a superman movie that doesn't suck.
everyone grew up with superman
knows who he and is what he stands for
feels a sense of iconic connection to him
wants to see more of him
but also knows that superman - in the way he's always been viewed - seems oddly out of place in our modern world
the perceived need on the part of filmmakers to try and reinvent superman
[or batman, or spiderman, etc...]
which they often do poorly
but - if one of them ever does superman well - it is a crowning achievement
this is like theology
we all know and love jesus
we understand what it means to be saved
we know that our spiritual lives are in constant evolution as we increasingly try and give ourselves over to the spirit
but we need new ways to articulate these things in order for them to stay fresh in our minds, in our ambitions, etc...
so, when you [as a pastor, theologian, etc...] finally find a way to say some of these things that is new, original, fresh, etc... it feels like a major achievement
particularly, if you're someone like me
you know, unfamous, unwealthy, unknown
it's like giving birth
you labor and labor to come up with meaningful ways to say meaningful things
striking out more than making it to first [feeling comfortable with mixing metaphors along the way]
but finally having some kind of theological brain child that you can be proud of
you might work for years before you came up with one thought that really felt like it was yours and yours alone and that it actually helped someone
imagine my sense of hurt and confusion when [twice in the last month] i've seen two of my children being touted around by their theological foster parents.
once on a blog
and once in a transcription from a pastor's conference
[and one, lesser, time where i read an article that looked disturbingly similar to the materials i presented in doxa]
i found my children being claimed by someone else
i won't bore you with the details
because they're likely to seem small to you
and this isn't really the place to "make my argument" for copyright or license etc...
this is just the place for me to air my grievance
[is it festivus already?]
i'm not typically concerned with getting credit for things
i'm more concerned with things simply being done for the kingdom
but it feels very different when someone takes your work and the credit for your work
and passes it off as their own
it's just plain dirty.