Friday, September 5, 2008

On Sherman - Rhythmizing Dynamic Orthodoxy

I'm doing a 'series' of sorts on the team from ROH, the same team which running the upcoming Merdeka 2008 event. This won't be just a straight-forward e-bio, as I wish to specifically include what you can learn from each one of them. First in line, the crew-chief, Sherman Kuek.

First, he's a brand new doc, so congratulations are in order. He shifted from Accounting to Theology - good reinventional move, I'd say.

Second, he's one of the coolest, calmest dudes around. His facial expressions don't oscillate much between serious joy and gentle thinking. It's hard to feel agitated when you're speaking to him (unless you have an agenda he won't buy). [How do people feel in your presence?]

Third, he's not argumentative at all (unlike me). This isn't to say he can't hold his own in a theological fist-fight (he can, and you'd better be able to) but I suppose he recognizes that much of what passes for theological debate is sheer ego-surfing i.e. time-wasting. [Is there stuff that you do which you consider highly important but which just MAY be pointless to do?]

Fourth, his mum makes a killer curry chicken!

Fifth, he's a paragon of theological imagination. He's unafraid to move in, out, around and between theological schools and denominations. To this day, I can't figure out his precise theological 'category' (an issue he probably finds irrelevant anyway).

And yet you know you've learnt from someone not when you've figured out which pigeon-hole he belongs to, but when you realise your thoughts couldn't have taken the shape they have without conversations with this person. [What conversations have shaped you? Are you, in fact, having enough conversations with enough people?]

Carl Rashke should concur, as he cites Sherman in his latest book, GloboChrist. Rashke takes seriously Sherman's inquiry on, "whether the project of contextualisation is ultimately about embellishing a 'static universal core' of the gospel...or whether it comes down to enunciating a 'dynamic universal core' (i.e.) a 'series of articulations which is time sensitive and perennially changing wiht the development of our theological understanding.'"

Sherman's expertise is Asian post-colonial theology, a form of contextual 'located' theology. From his writings so far, I gather his mission in life is to nurture thinking and transformed believers, aggressively in love and in tune with Christ, dancing heart in heart in the rhythms of dynamic orthodoxy. [What impressions does the word 'Christian orthodoxy' bring to you? What have you learnt about God and the church lately? Have you learnt by design, chance or rumour?]

1 comment:

Sivin Kit said...

wah ... my bracket missing liao... I listed down about 15 hats I'm wearing. Even I dunno how to describe myself. I think you can do better ... hahah