i have been having a conversation with a friend via email where i used the term "more heat than light". she asked me to explain it and as i typed out my answer i thought it might make a good blog post - and because they are so few and far between lately i'll take anything i can get! :)
i used to be quite the scrapper in groups of people - eager to state my views and beliefs and argue theology left and right. i think it was one of my ways of dealing with my misbelief that i was an "extrovert" as my social discomfort was soothed by making everyone else in the room uncomfortable... sigh.
i now judge my participation in conversations by whether they are generating "heat" or "light" - if it's a debate I want no part of it any more - (i used to think that every time there was more than one view in the room it had to be a debate or an argument) - now i know that different views can be in the same room without it escalating into chaos and anger. it's been one of the best gifts emergent has given to me. not having to CORRECT everyone's theology before the end of the discussion. gosh it's tiring being the holy spirit! :p
so if people are there to argue i want no part of it - if they are there to speak and listen i'll gladly join in. i want light - not heat. does that make sense?
it's how i judge conversations with people of other faiths too (especially those of the "old time religion" i used to participate in) - i used to try to argue them away - now i'll gladly talk if there is a real conversation happening. i don't live in fear that they will pollute me or my beliefs - or that I AM THE ONLY JESUS THEY WILL EVER SEE... sigh. it's exhausting being jesus too! :)