Postcard from Switzerland

I’m in the midst of enjoying a wonderful week of activity in Switzerland. The week began with my participation in the “Prophets, Priests, and Theologians” conference hosted by the good folks from the Shema Community in Geneva, and co-sponsored by Emergent-UK. The conversation–a nice, pretty intimate gathering of about 50 practitioners (with a few academics)–took place in the Auditoire au Calvin, John Calvin’s teaching base in Geneva. Panelists included Brian McLaren, Jason Clark, Andrew Jones, Pete Rollins, myself and a few others. Good people, with good questions, and fun to be with. I’m looking forward to continuing the conversation. It was a special treat for all of us to stay together at night at a wonderful retreat home (next door to a 12-century priory) in Paillonex, France. This added a sense of intentional community to the conference, which helped solidify relationships so that the conversations were charitable and took place in a “safe” environment. A wonderful model.

I then took the train from Geneva and am now enjoying a stay at L’abri in the little village of Huemoz. L’abri is a community founded by Francis and Edith Schaeffer for those looking to explore questions of faith, particularly in engagement with contemporary culture. Deanna and I were here back in 2003 when I delivered the lectures that have now become Who’s Afraid of Postmodernism? (So it was a treat to bring copies of the book here for the L’abri library, in thanks for their hospitality.) I presented two lectures based on the new book I’m working on, tentatively called Desiring the Kingdom. Last night I enjoyed Richard and Karen Bradford’s delicious fondue, and today I’m going to hike up to Villars before enjoying a formal lunch discussion with students this afternoon. It’s a treat waking up to the Alps in my window–I only wish Dee and the kids were here with me to enjoy it.