Archive for May, 2005

Which is it?

Tuesday, May 31st, 2005

  Journey 
  Originally uploaded by Zoomlens.

"Some journeys we choose to go on; some journeys choose us."
Walking the Bible, 35)

Notable Thoughts cont.

Monday, May 30th, 2005

"If the sort of research program represented by post-liberalism has
a real future as a communal enterprise of the church, it is more likely
to be carried on by evangelicals than anyone else.
(Quoted on page 143 in footnote 63)

Watch the movie Contact again

"The Gospel is… a truth widely held, but a truth greatly reduced.
It is a truth that has been flattened, trivialized, and rendered
inane…that means the gospel may have been twisted, pressed,
tailored,a nd gerrymandered until it is comfortable with technological
reason that leaves us unbothered, and with idealogy that leaves us with
uncriticized absolutes."
(Walter Brueggmann quoted, Generous Orthodoxy, 145-146)

Great long quote on what the role of preaching really is from Brueggmann on 146.

"Exactly what does breed insanity is reason. Poets do not go mad; but chess players do."
(Chesterton quoted, Generous Orthodoxy, 147)

"We must, therefore, never, underestimate our power to be wrong when
talking about God, when thinking about God, when imagining God –
whether in prose or in poetry."
(Generous Orthodoxy, 153)

"Language can be a window through which one glimpses God, but never a box in which God can be contained."
(Generous Orthodoxy, 154)

"Christianity has two lungs. One is Western, meaning rational and
philosophical, and the other is Eastern, meaning mystical and
otherworldly. Both are needed for proper breathing."
(Quoted, Generous Orthodoxy, 156)

Notable Thoughts from Generous Orthodoxy

Monday, May 30th, 2005

"Maybe it’s not right to tell these people (seekers) there is room for them in most Christian circles – because there’s not. If that thought breaks your heart, you should read this book."
(Generous Orthodoxy, 40)

"After studying church history I can see why people believe in hell. I just can’t figure out why all Christians don’t go there. The more one respects Jesus, the more one must be brokenhearted, embarrassed and furious, or some combination thereof when one considers what we Christians have done with Jesus… Has he become (I shudder to ask this) less our Lord and more our Mascot?"
(Generous Orthodoxy, 80)

"Meanwhile, for me, in the U.S. – now the undisputed superpower in the world – I feel surrounded by Christians who very much life the idea of an American God and a middle-class Republican Jesus, first and foremost concerned about our National Security and Our Way of Life."
(Generous Orthodoxy, 82)

"Doesn’t the very important of my personal salvation pose a kind of temptation – to want heaven more that I want good: to want escape from hell more than I want true reconciliation  to God or my nieghbors… Although I believe in Jesus as my personal savior, I am not a Christian for that reason. I am a Christian because I believe that Jesus is the Savior of the whole world."
(Generous Orthodoxy, 100)

"Remember, in a pluralistic world, a religion is valued based on the benefits it brings to its nonadherents."
(Generous Orthodoxy, 111)

What about heaven and hell? Is everybody in? McClaren’s response on page 112-113

"We protestants have come darn near to selling indulgences ourselves." Ouch!
(Generous Orthodoxy, 127)

"Maybe there is a place that is beyond the current polarization, a place that is both orthodox and generous."
(Generous Orthodoxy, 143)

A third way…

Monday, May 30th, 2005

The questions continue… What exactly did you receive from your trip to the Emergent Convention in Nashville. Someone from our staff finally asked the question that had probably been on many of their minds because of my inability to elaborate on the experience. She finally said, "Did yall go to any of the convention while you were in Nashville?" Putting myself in her shoes, I probably would have asked the same question.

So for my friends and coworkers who are looking for the commodified product of the experience, here it is… I feel alive and fresh in my faith in a way I haven’t felt since I was 15 years old really studying the bible for the first time. It is a sense that is beyond explanation but is fueled by the Emergent communities incredible radical idea that perhaps there is a third way to understand God, Church, Humanity, Scripture and Truth that is beyond our black vs. white, liberal vs. conservative, republican vs. democrat, and so forth. The Emergent community is seeking to creat the Independent party of the global theological community. For some reason, until now, no one had even thought of such of thing Why do I feel alive? Why do I feel fresh? Because with the advent of the third way, I can sense the chains and bondage that we have created in our understanding of God through our us. vs them mentality have a chance to be broken.

We have a chance to reimagine (I am not sure that is a word, but I love it!) those principles we hold as strong convictions and those questions and doubts that have loomed at the backdoor of our faith structure for yeas! And here is the great joy of the third way… We can join together in community, pull out convictions and our doubts without worry that the "them" that we have so often feared will smash us. It’s time to seek the third way! I am sick and tired of labeling others and having to label myself. From now on, I simply want to be a follower of Jesus. Is that possible? For the first time in a long time, I think it just might be…

Orthopraxy

Saturday, May 28th, 2005

"Many orthodoxies have always and everywhere assumed that orthodoxy and orthopraxy could and should be separated, so that one could at least be proud of getting an A in orthodoxy even when one earned a D in orthopraxy. In fact, one could even get into a good graduate school based on high orthodoxy grades alone. In that traditional setting, orthodoxy could be articulated and debated by scholars or oficials who had little responsibility to actually live by or live out the orthodoxy they defended. Defenders of orthodoxy were seen more like referees than basketball players; nobody cared if they could pass, dribble, or shoot, as long as they could blow a whistle and name an infraction in their black and white striped shirts" (A Generous Orthodoxy, 30-31)

A great read

Saturday, May 28th, 2005

Today I finished reading Chap Clark’s book, Hurt, which I highly recommend to any who works with young people whether it be teachers, pastors, coaches, etc… It is incredibly revealing and a great challenge to some of our traditional views of adolescents. Chap is a professor of youth, family, and culture at Fuller Theological Seminary but this book is not just for the church. In fact, how his findings have implications for church ministry are filed away in the appendix. Our staff is reading this book, and we are recommending it to all our parents. If you work with students, you need this book!

Great article on Emergent

Saturday, May 28th, 2005

It’s a few months old, but a great article on the Emerging Church… Speaks to your question Alan… Wave of the future or passing fancy? Also, discover who has played a big part in the development of Rob Bell’s theology and practice of church.

Click here for the article.

A fresh start…

Friday, May 27th, 2005

And so I begin my journey again into the world of blogging…

Several months ago, I spent a great deal of time setting up my typepad site in order to begin my blogging journey and in the process of changing jobs and all the work necessary for a somewhat smooth transition, I stopped. For months, I have felt myself being drawn back to this task, and I cannot explain why. I really don’t think anybody reads this. I don’t publicize to people, "Hey read my blog!" But for some reason, I need to write. And so here I am… hoping to work out the chaotic ramblings of my soul…

Last night I attended a worship service and got to hear a good friend preach for the first time. Last week I would have said that everything was fine, but after recently attending the Emergent Convention, I found myself disturbed by the experience. (Yes Alan, I am beginning to understand your twisted mind!) The tone, content and delivery was too aggressive for me and lacked a sense of compassion. In preparing, the messenger seemed to more interested in sharing "right thinking" (orthodoxy) rather than inspiring "holy conferencing." And what was most disturbing was that I could very easily see me doing the same thing. YIKES! Not in terms of tone or style, but content and motivation.

What really drove this point home for me was my lunch conversation with another dear friend of mine. I took him out to lunch as an apology for missing a previous lunch appointment with him. I was horrified by the fact that I stood him up, something I swear I never do! But his reason for wanting to meet with me was to rebuke me, which frankly, was a surprise. He rebuked me for my arrogance. For my ignorance. For my lack of compassion. For my tone. For all the things that horrified me in the message I heard that same night. And today, I thank God for a friend like Kevin who had the courage to say to my heart what I really needed to hear.

This community thing is really working on me. So many people asked me how the convention was, and what I got out of it. I couldn’t answer them. I received so much, but lack clarity to verbalize what exactly it is.  I am still working through it. And so, I will continue to write. And I pray God will continue to bless me with friends and mentors to help me along the way.