more about this sight

"you're packing a suitcase for a place that you've never been...a place that has to be believed to be seen"...'Walk On' by U2

WATERSHED: A voice in the wilderness. DARYL UNDERWOOD.


The concept of Centerpoint Christianity briefly stated is:

Christianity from the centerpoint outward.

Christianity from the climax forward.

This blog constitutes concepts for a new view of Christianity that begins with what is foundational and moves forward from that point. It is based on the assumption that we are being pulled towards something unseen and pushed from a place that once was.

What Centerpoint Christianity attempts to do is bypass some of the constraints imposed by metanarratives by using the life of Christ and particularly the climactic actions of Christ as beginning points.

It supports the conviction that God is essentially timeless. From this beginning point we endeavor to move outward from the definitive moment of the parousia (visitation) of Christ and forward to the future which functions as a type of magnet to "what can be--and is coming".

When we begin at the life of Christ and move outward as from the centerpoint of a web, rather than in a linear timeline of history, another wide picture emerges.

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Letters to home

An open letter to my home town or "Why emerging in the church is so hard"

“And after it rains
There's a rainbow
And all of the colors are black
It's not that the colors aren't there
its just imagination they lack
Everything's the same
Back in my little town”—Paul Simon in “My Little Town”

In the song “My Little Town” Paul Simon laments the inability for his roots to change with the changing times. Across the wide spaces after the cleansing rain there is a rainbow most certainly signaling something of a treasure somewhere out there. But not here, not in my little town laments Simon. Here the colors turn black after the rain. Why? No imagination. The townspeople lack the ability to wonder, to question, to seek, to move forward. They are quite satisfied with the way things are here.

And I come from a little town called Evangelicalism. I was born and raised there; it has its own way of thinking. I wouldn’t say or dare go so far as to sing that there is “nothing but the dead and dying back in my little town” of Evangelicalism but it is definitely slow to move and a bit unaware of the rest of the world. Like most little towns they do like to keep things the same. As a result I was a bit trapped there. I decided to move down the road and began to ask questions about other ways of doing things and some of the folks wondered about me.

“Does he think he is better than us? Why does he have to be so unsettled anyway, we have a great little town? Is he one of us anymore or one of them, those people out in the world?” and I lost some of my small town friends or we are just losing touch.

To this town and their musings I want to be clear. I do not consider myself better in any way, I am not chasing cars or chasing other stars or simply not very grateful or appreciative of the small town virtues. No, none of the above is true. In fact some of the simplicity of the small town comfort me and ground me. I am not any smarter or modern, or seeking fame or fortune, or emerging while you are so stuck in a rut, and I most emphatically do not disdain my heritage; it is really quite rich.

But I sense the stares and whispers when I am near. And this from my family or townsfolk.

I still want to stay in the family of Christianity. You see, some of the problem with my little town is their reluctance to accept the way anyone thinks unless it lines up with their thinking. They say they love you, accept you, etc. but their actions don't back it up so well. If you are not evangelical or fundamental you probably aren't "Christian" or so it seems.

But I needed to ask questions…and this was discouraged in the small town. And the questions became too loud to ignore. They spoke all the time and when I began to ask others, to talk about it, I found myself a bit tedious to them. They liked me, I grew up there, but they didn’t like what was happening to me. The questions lingered. It was time to move on before my questions alienated everyone in the small town.

But like any son I would like a blessing from my roots. Only time will tell if it will come. I suppose the people in evangelical-land don’t feel they owe me anything. We are right here in the town you came from and you know where to find us. I understand they hear stories of what I am up to and there are mixed reviews, some hope I’ll get over it, others secretly hope I will fall flat on my face so that I realize the error or arrogance of my way. And a few may actually hope it works out. As for me, I just would like to come home to hang out with my family and friends without feeling like I am some kind of deserter or outsider or bad person. And the purse strings, well I know they stay in town. But I imagined it might be different.

At any rate, I want to spread my wings again. And honestly, I would like a blessing to do so. I am not the enemy. New always comes and can never stop happening. But it doesn’t mean the old wasn’t a place to build character. And we never forget our roots.


I am meeting a lot of very different thinkers out here. People like Jack Miles, Marcus Borg and Abraham Heschel. Some of these guys I was told to be wary of but they are really great people that think differently. One is a pulitzer prize winner, another marched in Selma with Dr. Martin Luther King and may be one of the most articulate folks I have ever met. The third was once labeled trouble but seems to have worked things out rather nicely which I can really respect--such honesty.

I suppose they are fascinating because they are from very different cultures and have helped me to see that this is a big world with many perspectives. I am having the time of my life. Love to all back home. I will write again soon.


The city has a lot to offer for sure and it is fascinating. Unfortunately it is not all it is cracked up to be. There is crime in the street, people are not all that friendly, and there are feuds, disagreements, tempers run high. Someone got thumped last night and never saw it coming. The city has a lot to offer but it isn't the end all. I am coming to relize that some of the small town was pretty good.

If I could just find a place in the middle. If I could have the best of both worlds. If I could just saty out of the extremes on the continium. If I could have both/and instead of either/or. If I could be in the center somehow that would be so...good. But then I wouldn't have a place. No where to lay my head. Maybe that is the place to be.

Just a song before I go...

Clowns to the left of me,
Jokers to the right, here I am,
Stuck in the middle with you...Gerry Raferty as recorded by "Stealers Wheel"

We have the liberal left, mainline, liberation theological leaning folks. We have the conservative right, fundamental, evangelical positioning folks. Me...I want to be smack dap in the center 'stuck in the middle with Jesus'. Looking for him, listening to him, being offended by him, encouraged by him, and truly mentored by him. I know, I know, I know...I CANNOT be objective on this but I can be aware of my tendency towards skewed perspectives and subjectivity on these matters so that I have a thin, pliable heart...a as scripture declares 'circumcised heart'.


Reader Comments (2)

well played.....

July 21, 2008 | Unregistered Commentermbowen

I bless your wonderings, musings, questions,honesty, courage....Barb

July 30, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterBarb Naylor-Tatterson

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