Archive for the ‘Emerging Church’ Category

Emerging Jewish Practices

Wednesday, November 28th, 2007


The New York Times ran an interesting article on some of the emerging practices within some Jewish communities that in some ways mirrors some of the practices of what some call, “The Emerging Church.” It’s interesting to me to see how cultural realities are affecting different religious contexts.

If you’re interested in the Emerging church, take some to read about some “emerging” Jewish communities.

Here’s the article.

What’s next for Rob Bell?

Saturday, November 17th, 2007


Rob Bell has 13 more stops on his speaking tour this fall, so if you are reading this blog and you happen to live in San Antonio, Atlanta, Orlando, Raleigh, Washington DC, Pittsburgh, New York, Philadelphia, Boston, Louisville, Indianapolis, Cleveland, or Grand Rapids, get your tickets. It’s was another incredible message that he shared last night which finished in just under an hour and a half. If you’re never heard Rob, I know what you’re thinking. “He talked for an hour and half.” If you’ve had the privilege of seeing Rob before, you know that time flies by pretty fast.

I don’t know what Rob has up his sleeve next. Perhaps a major motion picture? Sounds ridiculous at first, but maybe not. I just find it absolutely fascinating the way in which he is blending genres and having such a major impact. That being said, after last night, I thought to myself, “He’s just getting warmed up.”

Another speaking tour

Tuesday, October 30th, 2007

I hope you already have purchased your tickets to see Rob Bell at Nokia here in a few weeks. Another great speaker is coming our way in February. Brian McLaren will be leading the “Everything Must Change” speaking tour which is actually a two day conference based on his latest book that shares the same title. Cost is reasonable and it’s being held in Dallas, February 22nd – 23rd. Many disagree and I don’t buy everything, but I would argue that McLaren is one of the most important theologians of our time.

Here’s the website for more info.

Book info:

“Everything Must Change: Jesus, Global Crises, and a Revolution of Hope” (Brian McLaren)

Church Mission Statements

Thursday, October 11th, 2007

Building a Christian community where people are becoming deeply committed followers of Jesus.

What do you think?


Tuesday, October 9th, 2007


It’s here.

What’s wrong with foundationalism?

Wednesday, October 3rd, 2007

I’m reading a book right now that is hurting my brain. The book is Beyond Liberalism & Fundamentalism: How Modern and Postmodern Philosophy set the Theological Agenda by Nancey Murphy. I’m reading it in conjunction with an independent study for seminary on Emerging Church theologies. I know it’s full of tons of great information. It’s just hard to digest so much “head” knowledge at once. The first section of the book is all about the development of modern theology and paritcularly addresses the ways in which the church has developed two polar opposite responses to modern philosophy; liberalism and fundamentalism. The second part is all about postmodernity. As you can imagine, I’m enjoying the second half much more. Here’s the opening of that section.

Contemporary theology, like an empty pile in solitaire, is waiting for a new king to come along and get things started again.” So says, Jeffrey Stout. Stout is pessimistic about the appearance of such a kind, and I am too. but what STout fails to consider – and what will be the focus of the second part of this book – is the possibility that the rules of the game might be changed instead. If all the possible move have been tried within the limits set by modernity, this should be a cause for dismay only if we believe modern thinkiers have had the final word on the topics of knowledge, language, and the ultimate nature of reality. It is becoming more and more widely accepted that modern thinkers have not had the last word.

He goes on to this quote from Karl Popper who is writing in 1935.

The empirical basis of objective science has thus nothing “absolute” about it. Science does not rest upon solid bedrock. The bold structure of its theories rises, as it were, above a swamp. It is like a building erected on piles. The piles are driven down from above into the swamp, but not down to any natural or “given” base; and if we stop driving the piles deeper, it is not because we have reached firm ground. We simple stop when we are satisfied that the piles are firm enough to carry the structure, at least for the time being.

W.V.O. Quine who wrote, “Two Dogmas of Empiricism” which Nancey Murphy uses the publication date to mark the end of modernity writes this.

The totality of our so-called knowledge or beliefs, from the most casual matters of geography and history to the profoundest laws of atomic physics or even of pure mahtematics and logic, is a man-made fabric which impinges on experience only along the edges. Or, to change the figure, total science is like a field of force whose boundaries are experience. A conflict with experience at the periphery occasions re-adujustment in the interior of the field.

Finally, Murphy writes…

…beliefs that are useful for justifying other claims will always turn out to be indubitable, and in fact will be found to be dependent upon the structure they are intended to justify… What finally brought empiricist foundationalism to an end was the recognition that scientific facts are “theory laden.”

All quotes taken from Murphy, pp. 85-91.

How do you see the church?

Sunday, September 23rd, 2007

I ran across this quote from Rob Bell who was recently asked what it was like to be a part of one the “hottest” churches in America. Here is Rob’s reply.

I don’t even know what that means. I know there’s a woman in the second row in the second service that has cancer for the third time. I know there’s a single mom named Erin who needs a place to live. I know this guy who just got custody of his kids and he’s trying to figure out how to be a single dad. So to me a Church is real people trying to figure it out.

Rob’s sentiment here reminds me of a message that our Senior Pastor shared a few weeks ago with our staff and entire congregation. In it, he shared with the congregation the way he sees the church. He talked about people fighting cancer, families struggling with divorce, individuals struggling with addictions… You get the idea. I thought it was a powerful reminder to our church that our pews are filled with “real people trying to figure it out.”

Get your tickets

Thursday, September 6th, 2007


Last night I bought our tickets to see Rob Bell at Nokia Theatre in Grand Prairie, mid-November. There seem to be great seats still available. We pulled down 4 up close. Click here for more info. on this year’s tour.

Proceeds benefit Turame microfinance project.

Catching Up…

Wednesday, March 14th, 2007

So far I’ve had a pretty fruitful Spring break. I’ve had a chance to catch my breath and look ahead at what I have coming up in the next three months. The calendar is filling up pretty fast for me which is making me a bit anxious, but I am really excited about participating in several of these upcoming activities including, “The National Conversation on the Emerging Church” in April (Austin, Texas) and the Generation X|Y Gathering for UMC church practitioners (Fayetteville, Ark). I hope everyone else is having a good break, and taking some time to breathe in life.

Crafting Community

Wednesday, February 28th, 2007

I really like reading Bob Hyatt’s blog. Bob is a new church start pastor in Portland, Oregon. So, I enjoy reading his thoughts first and foremost because I think a church plant might be something I would consider in the future. More importantly, though, I keep up with Bob because he is so transparent about the struggles we all deal with in ministry. Like most people, I really appreciate knowing that someone else is working through many of the same emotions that I deal with on a regular basis. One of his latest post, Pressure, is a great example of Bob sharing something that really hit home with me as well… I recommend checking out the entire post, but I want to highlight one section where he says:

“We had a real (over) emphasis on the actual gathering. I honestly thought at the time that if we had a cool gathering, a great community would be formed around it. I now know that the opposite is true- gather a good community and the time you gather as a whole community will largely take care of itself, flowing out of the goodness of the community itself.”

As I’ve processed through the development of our Mosaic community, I’ve really experienced some of these same feelings, i.e… the pressure to craft a great community experience at (sometimes) the expense of developing community. The problem is developing community takes time, energy, resources, and most importantly, it takes the investment of all of those who seek to participate in the community. Finding time in my own schedule, much less inspiring everyone else to do so, is enough of an issue to make this community development project extremely difficult. Of course, the irony is that for most of us, we’d exchange a great gathering for the experience of being a part of a real community.

So, maybe I’ve got it backwards… Maybe I’m investing myself in the wrong way. I appreciate Bob’s honesty because it invites me to ask myself questions that I probably wouldn’t have the courage to do otherwise…