What’s all this then?

There’s a meme spreading through the blogging community called 5Q4. Someone (garth) asks someone else (andrew) five questions. These questions are asked on the first persons site/blog, and the questionee answers on their own site. Then the questionee (andrew) asks questions to five more people, and the idea (and the links) spread.

I think something has been lost in the translation, and it should probably be four people, or why wouldn’t it be called 5Q5? but 5q4.com doesn’t ever seem to have had any content, and these are the rules i got, and that’s the explanation you’re getting.

Garth has asked me five questions i have finally answered them. if you want me to ask you five questions, add a comment to the bottom of this page

Q1: Can you describe your church/gathering/community. From what I remember you were not attached to the local denominational church. What are the values, the goals and practice?

A: We have a saying: “If it’s not as good as dinner, i’m not interested”. My gathering is the dinner table, my community is, well, my community. That puts a lot of weight on the quality of your meals, your environment, your friends, your conversation. But as long as we can keep our table honest, open, and generous, i won’t have to worry about the politics that come with organised community every again. The last three churches I attached myself to were emerging / alternate / fresh / new / cafe style churches (depending on what sort of christian books you read). They were all very significant to me, and two of them i dreamed would last forever, but a deep community is a fragile community, and they don’t last forever. The longer i live, the simpler my values and goals become – to love, to be generous, to show hospitality, to make things better if i can, or at least not to make things worse. I don’t need any more money, I have some good friends (that’s a quote from you, Garth), and so I try to spend my days, as much as possible, communing with my friends. Which looks a lot like art, music, long meals, and quite a bit of walking.

Q2: You have a written a book with an accompanying CD which I know nothing about apart from the blurb on your page. I was going to ask “What do you see as the biggest challenge for the church, and are they/we attempting to address it?” but rather can you give us an insight into the “Prodigal Project” which I assume covers this question?

A: I like your second question much better than your first one. Thanks. The Prodigal Project is a book which comes with a CD-ROM (i built the CD, and did a lot of support for the book, but i didn’t actually write any words). We like to think of it as the return of the illustrated manuscript. It is a portrait, a dream, and a manifesto, of the movement known as “alternative worship” which grew up during the 90’s in Australia, New Zealand, and the UK. We spent a year collecting stories, photos, images, artworks, songs, and movies from worship services in all three countries, and Mike, Mark and Cathy wrote of their theology, their hope, and their experiences as instigators of such communities. I still believe that we are in transitional times, that postmodernism will turn out to be presomethingelse, and that the experimental communities on the fringes of the mainstream church will eventually find a path to a way of being church for another century. But if it isn’t as good as dinner, I don’t think i’ll bother.

Q3: An ideal summer getaway for you would be spent where and why?

A: Well, when i get those phone calls from India offering me a special discount on a luxury resort somewhere, i ask them why i would want to stay at a luxury resort when i would have a much better time visiting a friend. Summer, eh? It’s about time i went to see my friend Tony in Cairns. Tony is one of my oldest friends, and i visited him about five years in a row, but i’ve skipped a few years now. He’s bought a boat since i was last there. and got a girl. i think it’s time. probably not high summer, but late in our spring, just before the wet season kicks in…

Q4: What one message would you want readers of your site to leave with?

A: Gee, i don’t think there is an answer to that. Nope. Some people write songs and play them in pubs or at parties, some people draw pictures and show them or give them to friends, i write computer code and put it on the internet. It’s my art form really, to be taken at face value. you might learn something about me, you might discover dark secrets i have carried from my past, you might read something that has inspired me or play with one of the animations i have been inspired to create. If there is a message, it’s like the letter a friend of mine got from his five year old daughter while he was on holidays – “dear daddy, please read my letter, love from tahn”

Q5: I was interested to read that you are a customs officer who has a degree in philosopy and in your spare time re-builds computers and has fluency in several programming languages. Can you think of a philosopher that has been influenced the way you think and why?

…………Which reminds me of a great joke I heard early last year

Descartes walks into a McDonalds and orders a Hamburger. The cashier asks, “Would you like fries with that?”To which Descartes replies, “No, I think not,” and POOF! ………He disappears!

A: Ah yes, and on the same day the dalai llama walked into a different hamburger shop and said “make me one with everything.”

a philosopher.David Dockrill. he was a professor at uni. a beautiful man. i founded a fan club, “the dr dave groupies”, which peaked at four members. he taught me that you can’t philosophise sitting down (that is, if you don’t do something you probably don’t really believe what you’ve said). that profound words are best spoken softly. that the totalitarianism of youth (you get a lot of it in philosophy 101) should be treated with respect, and can mature into wisdom. that old friends are valuable and that you can keep a good idea brewing for a long time. if you want a famous philosopher, it could be Emmanuel Levinas. i think his ideas have changed my life more than any other ideas which haven’t come from someone i actually know.

The end.

If anyone actually stumbles on this page and wants me to ask them some questions, i’ll post them here.