Shane Hipps on the podcast discussing his new book Selling Water by the River.   Selling ShaneShane and I met at the Big Tent Christianity event in Phoenix where we found out we shared an interest in emergent evolutionary styled thinking.  He was not only the tag-team partner of Rob Bell at Mars Hill but before making it to Grand Rapids he worked as a Mennonite minister and an advertizing guru for Porsche!

In the podcast we not only discuss his book and the way he sees Jesus’ message in contrast to the trappings of religion but we end up getting in to integral thought, spiral dynamics, and how this was used in leadership during his time at Mars Hill with Rob Bell.  Go follow Shane on twitter!

Those not familiar with integral thought can check out the Bruce Sanguin podcast from 2008 or the work of Steve McIntosh.  Hopefully Steve will be on the podcast soon to give you the 101 on integral.

Remember: Easter comes early this year so Lent starts on February 13. Bo will be blogging through the book Neighbors and Wisemen every weekday through the Lenten Journey.  Come and join the conversation!

This episode is sponsored by the Subverting the Norm Conference 2 in Springfield Missouri April 5th and 6th. Thanks to both Drury University and Phillips Theological Seminary for sponsoring the conference and making it the most affordable two-day event of the year.

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A few friendly, open questions:  How might we envision an integral model leadership that facilitates (or even allows for) opportunities for people of different meme pastiches to engage in honest dialogue that may lead to constructive conflict?  I am wondering if there are checks within a spiral dynamics model that account for the possibility that those of similar dispositions (meme pastiches) might simply cluster into discrete sub-groups within a given community.  Is fostering engagement between meme-groups within a community desirable for an integral leader? (I am thinking of the language of the unreliable ally...)  Need such an emphasis be supplied from elsewhere?  How might the question of scale be related to the applicability of this model?


This was an excellent listen, maybe the best podcast I've heard that you guys have done. I had never heard of the Spiral Dynamics book that was mentioned frequently in this podcast—you mentioned that there were several other podcasts you guys have done that mention and explain more deeply the concepts of that book. Would you please lead me to those so I can do some study about them?

trippfuller moderator

 @michaeldobler i think people generally cluster with their own meme. people tend to spend time with people who see the world in a similar way as they do.  being aware that the conflict taking place in a congregation isn't about the supposed surface issue but seeing things differently is helpful..... i think that's the unreliable-ally bit. 


 @trippfuller Thanks Tripp.  I like the way that spiral dynamics takes first principles and underlying assumptions seriously and sees them as helpful for conflict resolution.  So, is spiral dynamics simply a model for understanding conflicts that already exist?  I am wondering how helpful the model is for fostering an environment in which that underlying conflict can be exposed and dealt with communally.  


The temptation for a leader operating under this model seems to me to reinforce these memes by assuming that the conflicts are reducible to specific pre-identified traits.  In other words, understanding individuals or groups as iterations of general worldview patterns would seem to lead to a reification of those predetermined categories.  What stops that from happening? 


For example, I saw this in how Shane talked about the effect that his preaching had on those who listened.  It struck me as kind of "Pentecostal" (biblical event of Pentecost) in that each person heard what he or she could given their current view of "the gay issue."  I want to know what happens when people from two different meme groups try to talk about that sermon.


As an unreliable ally, does the preacher just resist limiting the interpretation of the message as exclusively addressing the concerns of any one meme group?  I like the way that this might work at decentering the responsibility for engaging with the biblical language, moving the onus away from the pastor and toward the people.  However, the preacher is still at the center of it.  He or she has introduced this meta-language that meets people where they are at.


 My concern is that being an unreliable ally might simultaneously let the preacher off the hook by letting him or her assume that the conflicting worldviews in their congregation are inherent and intractable, and let members off the hook by modeling speech in such a way that they never are faced with the fact that the preacher is not just speaking to them.  I am coming at this with a concern for how the Church can practice genuinely truthful speech in working toward I-Thou relationships, and I am wondering what might stop spiral dynamics from leading to pigeonholing and superficial harmony as a result of somewhat duplicitous speech.