Thursday, February 2

Welcome to the Santa Fe Trail

Firstly, welcome to the Santa Fe Trail, my little slice of the blogosphere.

Secondly, let's clear up the whole 'Santa Fe' thing.

Santa Fe is a city in New Mexico, USA, which I've never visited. So why name my blog after it? Well, there are three reasons:

Santa Fe is a key city in the history of the US, being the first place to be settled by the, er, settlers... ahem. It's my belief that the church today faces its own Rio Grande as it crosses over from the modern to the postmodern period. Just like the Spanish settlers, some serious rethinking will be required in our New World (but unlike them, we're motivated not by colonial, but by post-colonial desires). Travel websites tell me that today's Santa Fe is a vibrant artistic haven (something I long to see in the church) and also very confusing to navigate through (just like, I believe, the church's future).

Santa Fe is also the home of the Santa Fe Institute, a research lab looking into complex and emergent systems. I came across their work while doing my (abandoned) Linguistics PhD and was struck by some of their insights. While I do not agree with many of their scientific tenets, their approach to science has much to teach us about our approach to faith communities. Read here for the SFI research aims. They describe themselves as a scientific community "emphasizing multidisciplinary collaboration in pursuit of understanding", and an "institute without walls". For those familiar with recent church developments in the UK, that last phrase may ring a bell. Not sure who nicked it from whom.

Finally, Santa Fe is Spanish for "Holy Faith". Which is not only cool given the above comments, but it also reminds me of the Nicene Creed. While some of the vocabulary used in the creed is probably in need of revision for today's context, I still think it's the best this blog can do by way of doctrinal statement... (and if you disagree, go ahead and post!)

"We believe in one God, the Father, the Almighty, maker of heaven and earth, of all that is, seen and unseen.

We believe in one Lord, Jesus Christ, the only Son of God, eternally begotten of the Father, God from God, Light from Light, true God from true God, begotten, not made, of one Being with the Father. Through him all things were made.

For us and for our salvation he came down from heaven: by the power of the Holy Spirit he became incarnate from the Virgin Mary, and was made man. For our sake he was crucified under Pontius Pilate; he suffered death and was buried. On the third day he rose again in accordance with the Scriptures; he ascended into heaven and is seated at the right hand of the Father. He will come again in glory to judge the living and the dead, and his kingdom will have no end.

We believe in the Holy Spirit, the Lord, the giver of life, who proceeds from the Father and the Son. With the Father and the Son he is worshipped and glorified. He has spoken through the Prophets.

We believe in one holy catholic and apostolic Church.We acknowledge one baptism for the forgiveness of sins. We look for the resurrection of the dead, and the life of the world to come. Amen."

But having said all this I don't think we ever really arrive at finalising our "holy faith": we're always on the trail, pilgrim-pioneers, never quite reaching Santa Fe - and that excites me. So hopefully, while we're on the way, we can get some good conversation going.


Anonymous Mideast MC said...

Nice one - I had been wondering.

2/10/2006 02:52:00 pm  

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