In thinking through what it means to be “missional,” and in reading some stuff about it, I came across John Burke’s No Perfect People Allowed and blogged about it already.
But, a book that tells the story of what is often called the liminal is a good read for many of us. Liminal refers to those who are “in between” — in this case orthodox faith and not really sure where they are, or those who are “in the middle” of faith and sometimes not too much faith. That book is Patton Dodd’s new book, My Faith so Far. Frankly, an autobiography at his age is a bit early, but I do want to say this: here is a story of a person who will be found in every church that shapes itself missionally, that permits permeable walls to grow up everywhere, and that encourages honest struggling to come to the surface for the health of the community.
Patton grew up Southern Baptist, converted to a radical faith with the charismatics, trotted off to Oral Roberts University, and met one crisis after another that led to his leaving-but-not-totally-leaving his former faith. There are some gripping descriptions in this book, and a lot of honest questioning and struggling.
I thought the last chapter on Over and “in the middle” was exceptional: many are looking to find a place where the struggles are Over and where life will be Over and all will be peace and joy and all that. He wonders if the place called Over can be found. Instead, he finds himself in the middle somewhere.