The Third Way and Attacks from Each Side

Ryan Robinson

It is easiest to identify Ryan as both theologian and tech guy. By day, Ryan is a Technical Consultant work with PeaceWorks Technology Solutions. There, he works on websites, CRMs, and SharePoint implementations. Along with blogging here, Ryan is a founding member of the MennoNerds blogging network and a contributor to the book A Living Alternative.

7 Responses

  1. It was this part of the podcast that REALLY got to me when I heard it today… it’s what I feel MCUSA is missing trying to pick one of two sides… It’s a messy place to be, as Bruxy mentions, but it is, I think a GOOD place to be and one that I affirm. You and I, Ryan, are on different “sides” of the issue… but I think this Third Way allows us to continue God’s work, even though we disagree.

    My hope is that this kinda thing is infectious and that it will spread and will not die here.

  2. Kevin Daugherty says:

    I am somewhat annoyed by the “third way” position that I see people like Greg Boyd and Bruxy Cavey falling into. I feel that it is the same bad theology but in passive aggressive form.

    • I’m with you on the bad theology, but that’s a sibling disagreement conversation we can have and I don’t think needs to be divided over. I’m not with you on it being passive aggressive; I think it is very possible to actively love someone even if you don’t agree with all of their ethical positions, including on this particularly-contentious issue, and from what I’ve seen I do think that Boyd and Cavey are both doing a pretty good job of modelling that.

      • Kevin Daugherty says:

        I agree that it doesn’t need to be a dividing issue, but I also try to be very inclusive theologically. (I don’t even like creeds.)

        I am sure that there are many places where you can genuinely love someone but disagree with their ethics. As someone who has a family, I experience it all of the time. However, for me the debate around LGBT issues is different. Perhaps it is because I am personally passionate about it, or perhaps it is because that sort of theology has led to discriminatory policies in both church and state.

        • Yes, that theology definitely has led to discriminatory policies. Sometimes even the rhetoric that sounds like Third Way is really just a mask for a more passive aggressive discrimination. I have no problem admitting that. If I see that abuse, I will still do my best to call it out. But just because the Third Way language has been abused doesn’t mean that it is an abusive (passive-aggressively) line of thought.

  3. Tim Nafziger says:

    I was surprised to see Bruxy is headlining Evana Network’s conference in January:

    http://evananetwork.org/flourishing

    Does this signal an abandoning of the “third way” position given Evana Network’s prominent role as a network formed by shared rejection of LGBTQ inclusion?

    • I don’t know enough about either Evana or about Bruxy’s criteria for accepting speaking requests to be able to truly answer that. If Evana exists for the purpose of excluding LGBTQ people, it would seem like an odd choice, for sure.

      The Meeting House definitely continues to promote the “Third Way” approach when it comes up. For example, I think pretty much everybody in my Home Church is affirming, including the elders, and TMH doesn’t have any problem with us continuing to meet under their banner and talk openly about it.