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Greenbelt 2003


MattPage
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Well i just got back from another great Greenbelt (was anyone else there? I meant to ask before I went just in case). Here's a list of what I saw.

Talks

Gareth Higgins - Meaning at the multiplex. This was one of the most interesting things. Higgins has just published a book How Movies Helped Save My Soul: Finding Spiritual Fingerprints in Culturally Significant Films (he had to buy his own copy from the Greenbelt shop its so new) which I bought and is good so far. Its a nice mix of more popular stuff & more arty stuff. He clearly loves film rather than just trying to use it for his own needs and has a great appreciation for it and is great at helping others really get the most out of film & get into it. Its also incredibly readable & witty. The introductions 17 points for getting into film is challenging, but again accesible & funny. I'll let you know more when I'm done, but worth getting a copy for IMHO.

Mike Yacconelli - Openness Can't remember the proper title, but that was the jist. Yacconelli is great on this stuff cos he makes you actually want to be more open, rather than getting you to grudgingly agree it would be a good thing.

Brian Maclaren - Six Dimensional Jesus Jesus as seen form six persepctives, evangelical, Catholic, Orthodox, Anabaptist, Liberal & Pentecostal. Good for its generalised systemisation, although othing really revolutionary.

Jonathon Poritt - Can secular solutions ever save our sacred earth AGain very interesting. Not least for the revelation that the media tarred pagan is actually a Christian (though not evangelical), and some interesting insights.

Anita Roddick - No idea what the title was Anita Roddick is the founder of Body shop, a major high street name over here which has practised fair and environmentally sound trading for 15 years. Short talk, but good.

Mike Yacconelli (again) - 5 pagan values Chriitans love Mike at his best & was glad to be able to introduce my wife to it at the same time.

Music

Eden Burning

Iain Archer

Aqualung

Billy Bragg

- Just not that into the music stuff anymore

Other stuff

A very private passion play - This was OK, but I just didn't get it in honesty

Martyn Joseph's 'the rising' - Song writers forum

Colourscape - An amazing art installation / sculpture - indescribable

Mullholand Drive - Not seen this before, but liked it - weird tho - off to find your reviews of it.

Sexuality Debate

Classical Music concert - mainly mainstream stuff - but a nice change

Think that was about it. I missed seeing 'waking life' (due to time) on a big screen & 'Rabbit proof fence' (due to fullness). I'm sure there was one more talk, but there you go.

Matt

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You know, I really wanted to try out Greenbelt this year. A couple of years ago I would have baulked at the idea--the ultimate symbolism of an evangelicalism sold out to unabashed paganism, in my mind--but now I think it would be right up my street. I may yet give it a go next year.

Drop by The Grace Pages, a rest-stop for fellow pilgrims.

-- Dave aka Alvy

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MattPage wrote:

: 1 - Busyness

Ah, just the other day, I was looking at my collection of Door back issues, and came across the one with the cover that proclaims "BUSYNESS IS A SIN"! smile.gif

"Sympathy must precede belligerence. First I must understand the other, as it were, from the inside; then I can critique it from the outside. So many people skip right to the latter." -- Steven D. Greydanus
Now blogging at Patheos.com. I can also still be found at Facebook, Twitter and Flickr. See also my film journal.

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Right here they are:

1 - Busyness

2 - Dullness

3 - Niceness

4 - Power

5 - Sufficiency

Alvy,

You should come along. The Christian Press has demonised Greenbelt and as such its lost a lot of numbers to safer festivals such as Soul Survivor (who are good at what they do, but its very different). Greenbelt takes risks, doesn't pick only speakers from a set viewpoint & tries to appeal to all of Christianinty. If you will come you will disagree with some stuff, but I'm sure you can deal with it & its so worth it for all the other top insight & the sense of just working out what following God means & feeling its OK just to do that without big pressure to change your life completely that instant.

I love it love it love it, and feel silly for having 5 years off.

Matt

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Thanks for the list, Matt. Amen to #4! -- at least in the USA, I think it's the worship of political power by lots of Christians (and lots of the groups alleging to represent them) that has alienated so many people from the real Gospel message.

To be an artist is never to avert one's eyes.
- Akira Kurosawa

https://www.patheos.com/blogs/secularcinephile/

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MattPage wrote:

: The Christian Press has demonised Greenbelt and as such its lost a lot of

: numbers to safer festivals such as Soul Survivor (who are good at what

: they do, but its very different).

Interesting. See, over here in North America, pretty much the ONLY British Christian music festival that I, for one, have ever heard of is Greenbelt, and that largely because of Steve Taylor (who recorded his 1986 live album and video Limelight there, and who produced a documentary on the festival, an excerpt of which was included on the 1994 video anthology Now the Truth Can Be Told). What's more, in the spring of 1994, as I was preparing to go to England for an archaeology course I was taking, The Door (which was then still being edited by Yaconelli) put out an issue, guest-edited by Martin Wroe if I'm not mistaken, that ran a series of interviews with Greenbelt figures like Graham Cray, and I decided to make a point of attending the festival that summer. Now, I had heard from a friend of mine who had been to Greenbelt in 1991 that it was the most "liberal" thing he had ever seen, but he was the sort of guy who LIKED this sort of thing and was thus prone to exaggeration (it was in his Bible study that I first developed a love of The Simpsons). And when I interviewed Steve Taylor in Vancouver a month before I left town and told him I looked forward to seeing him again at Greenbelt, he mentioned that he was really looking forward to seeing Midnight Oil there, so I knew Greenbelt wasn't just a CCM ghetto. But my first hint that I might be getting into something a little MORE liberal than I anticipated was when I chatted with some folks at a bed-and-breakfast; one of them said he edited an evangelical church newsletter, and I said "Oh, cool, I'm a Christian too, and I'm going to Greenbelt in a few weeks", and his eyes got that uh-oh sort of look and he expressed some reservation or other about the festival. And then, when I actually GOT to the festival -- hoo-boy. I bumped into Steve Taylor as he was filming a promotional video for the fest, and I had to ask him what he made of certain, uh, tendencies there, given how he had always hyped the place (and was continuing to do so, given the video he was working on as we spoke); I was especially curious to know what the man who sang against homosexuality in 'Whatever Happened to Sin?' made of the fact that every seminar on sexuality I had attended had been either boldly pro-gay (John Bell) or reluctantly pro-gay (John Peck), and there had been none that were even cautiously opposed to gay sex. So, my one-and-only direct, personal exposure to Greenbelt was interesting, to say the least, and not what I would have expected, based on at least some of the people through whom I had heard such great things about it.

"Sympathy must precede belligerence. First I must understand the other, as it were, from the inside; then I can critique it from the outside. So many people skip right to the latter." -- Steven D. Greydanus
Now blogging at Patheos.com. I can also still be found at Facebook, Twitter and Flickr. See also my film journal.

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I've never heard of Greenbelt but from what I've read it sounds like a very open-minded Christian music festival? Sounds great. My question is, Billy Bragg played there? I like his music (favorite CD, Worker's Playtime) but I'd think he'd stay away from anything remotely related to Christianity...or is there something about his views (or this festival) that I don't understand?

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Greenbelt is a festival in the UK. It attempts to pitch across the Christian spectrum , so there's more conservative speakers, and more liberals, Catholic speakers, Protestant and others there. Ironically the fact its open to all traditions has generally seen it portrayed as dodgy by many conservatives who have stayed away and gone to other festivals where they can ensure that what is taught remains within their particular doctrine (cos obviously the rest of the body of Christ and the world has nothing to teach us)

One thing that is big on the agenda is social activism, and being active in working towards justice. One of Greenbelts main partnerships is with Christian Aid, who do stacks inside & outside the church & are well thought of by both. This year they did a big carnival on "Trade Justice" on the last day and that's when they got a few probably-not Christians along such as Bragg and Roddick. They basically try and get a few people along each year who have a passion fro justice & I guess reflect kingdom values, even tho' they don't identify themselves as following the king.

The appeal from Billy Bragg's side is playing a festival full of activists, rather than a passive rock and roll crowd who only care about the music (paraphrased from what he said from mainstage)

Matt

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There is kind of a mythology built up around Greenbelt among conservative evangelicals in the UK. The story I heard repeated again and again whenever Greenbelt was raised in conversation was the one about the year they had some witch speak about paganism. You could guarantee if the name Greenbelt ever got a mention, someone would immediately pop up with "Ah yes. That's the place where they had a pagan on stage one year promoting witchcraft."

Drop by The Grace Pages, a rest-stop for fellow pilgrims.

-- Dave aka Alvy

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I don't know about pagans and witchcraft, but I do remember a session in the 'Hot Tent' devoted to astrology the one year I was there. But it was not done in a this-is-okay-from-a-Christian-point-of-view sort of way, more in an if-Christians-want-to-understand-what-this-is-about,-then-why-not-talk-to-an-actual-astrologer sort of way. I never went to the session on 'sexual friendships' and other 'new' kinds of sexual activity, but I have always wished I did.

"Sympathy must precede belligerence. First I must understand the other, as it were, from the inside; then I can critique it from the outside. So many people skip right to the latter." -- Steven D. Greydanus
Now blogging at Patheos.com. I can also still be found at Facebook, Twitter and Flickr. See also my film journal.

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I don't know about pagans and witchcraft, but I do remember a session in the 'Hot Tent' devoted to astrology the one year I was there.  But it was not done in a this-is-okay-from-a-Christian-point-of-view sort of way, more in an if-Christians-want-to-understand-what-this-is-about,-then-why-not-talk-to-an-actual-astrologer sort of way.  I never went to the session on 'sexual friendships' and other 'new' kinds of sexual activity, but I have always wished I did.
Yeah I was there that year too, and it was definitely done in the spirit Peter says. It pretty bad really cos Greenbelt lost a lot of numbers in the 90s (they were down to 2000 at one point which is quite a drop from 20000 at one point). However,people have begun to either realise what ridiculous scaremongering that was, or forget that and othre moments of contraversy, or possibly even post-9/11 get a bit more tolerant, andn desiring to understand other perspectives. Not sure which it was , but apprantley this year Greenbelt was back up to about 14-15000, which is good news (though it was harder to get in to see stuff. wink.gif)

Matt

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