i know the Emergent movement has many Christians up in arms, but i wonder if there isn't something to learn from them.
i have not read Rob Bell's stuff, but in a recent podcast, he was interviewed as saying, "All truth is God's truth." i like the sound of that. it makes sense, and it explains some things.
if love is so revered -- as seen in movies, theatre, literature, television, or in all story-telling -- then it is because love's power to change and benefit was set up by God. so there are things to affirm in the "secular" world. i use the word "secular" hesitantly, because this world is God's, no matter whether i believe it or not. therefore, truthfully, there are things from God all around us, even in things tainted by sin.
i think Christians would do well to treat the world around us with the respect due anything God has given us. it's like N.T. Wright said at a 2005 debate at New Orleans Baptist Theological Seminary. "The world is God's creation, not to be treated as our ashtray." he was elaborating the point that God's acting to purify his world involve not merely humans, but all of his creation (nature in general). we are guilty of forgetting our first God-given task (Genesis 1:28).
(NIV) God blessed them and said to them, "Be fruitful and increase in number; fill the earth and subdue it. Rule over the fish of the sea and the birds of the air and over every living creature that moves on the ground."
(NLT) God blessed them and told them, "Multiply and fill the earth and subdue it. Be masters over the fish and birds and all the animals."
(the Message) God blessed them: "Prosper! Reproduce! Fill Earth! Take charge! Be responsible for fish in the sea and birds in the air, for every living thing that moves on the face of Earth."
(so the tree-huggers are right, after all. who knew?)
so what's the point? i have things to learn, from those who look/smell/talk/act like me, from those who believe as i do on most things, even from the vilest of sinners, because i am no better myself. do i really listen even to those who hate all that i believe in/stand for?