Just in time! On the eve of the election Fitch and Moore describe a ‘Third Way’ approach to theology of church and culture. Some suggest a ‘Third Way’ approach is merely a position of privilege that too easily compromises and disengages. This episode corrects those fallacies and outlines how Third Way politics provides a different way of being with Jesus in the world.
THIRD WAY POLITICS AND ITS FALLACIES
1.) COMPROMISE? Third Way has often implied compromise- arriving at a solution to the conflict by way of the middle. Although I encourage listening and discerning in the middle of conflict, in no way do I suggest compromise. Instead, I suggest a conflict, when open to God’s presence and working, leads us into a future neither side could imagine within the existing frameworks they are working in – ‘a way beyond’.
2.) DISENGAGEMENT? Third Way has often implied dis-engagement. Although I often encourage refusing to engage a conflictual injustice in the world on the terms dictated by the world (antagonism), in no way does this imply disengagement. I advocate a different kind of engagement, through actual physical presence, resistance (getting in between) to the violence, questioning, speaking truth sincerely to power (parrhesia). In this way we stick a wrench into the machinery of injustice and open space for God to work. I call it the ‘way beyond.’
3.) REFUSE TO TAKE SIDES? Third Way has often implied refusing to takes sides. Although I often encourage people not to take sides within an ideological antagonism, in ways that pour flames onto the same enemy making machine, in no way does this imply we do not take sides with the poor, the oppressed, and speaking out of these places against unjust policies and wicked powers. Too often when we rush to take a side in an existing conflict, we do not examine the framework which sustains the injustice, and even if we (think we) ‘win’ the contest for justice, if we stay within the same frame, we perpetrate more of the same injustice, power structures. I see this over and over again when it comes to sexuality, race, economic, injustices. I’m looking for a way that disrupts the existing frame and moves us to a way beyond.
4.) WITNESS ONLY? Third Way has often implied, when it comes to justice, that all we need to do is be the church in our local context. Although I strongly encourage that justice must take shape locally in a social body first, this is no way implies we do not engage injustices in the world actively. It is a fact (I conend) that only by modelling a different way of justice in a social body can a society be disrupted and have imagination for what God would do for His justice. But these local bodies ferment a revolution in a way no national politics ever could. This form of politics leads to ‘way beyond’ current political imaginations.
5.) BE HUMBLE AND LISTEN … and everything will turn out all right… actually this posture id different from/more than “give up and be nice”… it’s a presence, a opening space to ask questions, it is subtle disruptive