First Catalyst Conference Report

Catalyst Balconies pict

It’s just those Bible-Fundamentalist, Anti-Enlightenment, Creationist, Republican-voting Christian Neanderthals again…

Move along. Nothing to see here.

Except that they’re wrestling with what Jesus meant when he said they would find Him among the poorest of the poor…And it’s leading them to think about turning the economy upside down…As they struggle desperately to find ways to rescue everyone in poverty. I wanted to do this blog to dispel some of the shallow stereotypes about evangelicals—but at this conference I find myself having to catch my breath over and over, because I didn’t expect it to be THIS different.

That message of turning your whole life over to the poor—and organizing your church to do the same–is almost the dominant theme at Catalyst this year. Chris Seay was just one person to deliver that message on this first day of the conference in front of about 1,000 people (there seem to be about a few thousand here today, attending different concurrent sessions). You can catch the essence of his talk in this video of his. PLEASE check it out, just a few minutes long:

Today has been packed solid. Between the two of us we’ve seen talks on: racial reconciliation, the modern abolitionist movement, how hip hop culture can be a positive social change agent, creation care (by a pastor of a very Republican & conservative charismatic church), radical person-to-person anti-poverty work and a Las Vegas church that welcomes everyone—including strippers, gamblers and drug addicts—in the spirit of “uncensored grace.”And there’s another full session tonight. So we might not be able to write up as much as we wanted to each day.They’re making available full sets of CDs of every session on Friday. So I HOPE to be ale to put together some sort of audio montage that can give our readers a feel for what all’s going on here.

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