Kenda Dean and Andy Root on "Innovation"

 I recently had the privilege of facilitating a conversation between two of my best friends and mentors, Andy Root and Kenda Dean. If you're reading this, there is a good chance you already know who they are. Both are prolific writers and both are thought-leaders of the church in America. Andy's publications include Christopraxis: A Practical Theology of the Cross, The Congregation in a Secular Age, and When Church Stops Working. Kenda's publications include Innovating For Love, Delighted: What Teenagers are Teaching the Church About Joy, and Practicing Passion

Andy and Kenda have a lot in common, but they do differ on their perspective regarding "innovation" in ministry. They both express skepticism about the concept of innovation, but where Kenda continues to see innovation as an important way forward for the church, Andy sees it more as a temptation to be avoided. Both want to prioritize God's action––Kenda sees God as the true "innovator," grounding her perspective in an interpretation of Jürgen Moltmann's theology of the Novum Ultimum, and Andy sees innovation as a prioritization of human action that reifies a secular frame of reference that marginalizes transcendence. 

This article puts their two perspectives in conversation (literally), and the content is fascinating. I am thankful to Andy, Kenda, and Presbyterian Outlook for allowing me to be a part of the dialogue. I am also thankful to Arlene Flancher for transcribing and editing the conversation. 

Click here to red the article...