plumcots and possibilities

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Monday, September 29th, 2008

plumcots and possibilities

i recently began doug pagitt’s new book, a christianity worth believing: hope-filled, open-armed, alive-and-well faith for the left out, left behind, and let down in us all (that’s a mouth full…). i hope to get back to it soon (via a little freenobling) because in just getting through the first chapter, there was already so much good stuff.

in just the first couple pages of the preface, he offers a great analogy that i intend to use in the future to talk about the emerging church. he tells of a friend who approaches him with something called a plumcot, explaining that it is a hybrid between a plum and an apricot. as unappealing as the name sounded to him, doug accepted the offer, expecting some sort of strange and pungent taste. much to his surprise, he says the plumcot was one of the most delicious things he had ever bitten into.
tasting and enjoying this strange, but delicious hybrid, he finds it analogous to the emerging church and how things have been shifting within the church for the last 10 or 15 years (or, one could argue, for decades). he writes the following:

the plumcot suggests that we live in a world of possibility. somewhere, somehow, someone imagined a new kind of fruit, a new flavor, a new color. whoever fiddled with the plums and apricots was probably not trying to eradicate plums and apricots from the face of the earth but to offer something else, an alternative to what was already out there. i think that behind the plumcot is an intuition that life, even if it’s just the life of produce, is never really settled. there is always room for a new idea, a new thought, a new fruit.

read this again: whoever fiddled with the plums and apricots was probably not trying to eradicate plums and apricots from the face of the earth but to offer something else, an alternative to what was already out there. that’s such an important analogy for us folks involved in this emergent conversation and the emerging church.
one of the unfortunate misconceptions and suspicions present within the “established” church is that us emerging people are trying to run them all off or push them out. this couldn’t be any further from the reality. whereas we can certainly offer a pointed critique and become frustrated from time to time, the emerging conversation isn’t intended as a covert operation to “take-over.” rather, it’s to offer a plumcot, an “alternative to what was already out there.”
one of the beauties of the church is the unique diversity. god is bigger than a single set of theologies or worldviews or political perspectives or ages or sexes or whatever. god is bigger than just plums and apricots. he welcomes and calls people to create and eat plumcots.
so, let us come together as one body and feast upon both plums and apricots as well as plumcots.

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