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Written on March 19th, 2007 by Shawn Anthony

So, a quick update is in order. I say ‘quick’ because this week is going to be overflowing with action and excitement. I’m off and running as soon as this post is published. Seriously, I’m not sure there is a more action packed life than that of the theologist (credit for ‘theologist’ goes to Titanic super guru J. Cameron).

First of all, I redesigned/rebooted lofitribe, obviously. I grew tired of the one column approach, and prefer this bigger design. It’s a simple design; part of my Sublunary Series (I like earthy, man). It is called “MUDD!” A few off the top of my head changes: the numbered, inline asides are gone, two columns, TLA ads. I like the design. I am happy. Please do let me know if you see any breaks. Thanks.

REBOOT UPDATE 1: Yes, IE6 is a tad challenged. There are sidebar issues with the new design in IE6. IE7 acts cranky too. I’ll make the fixes when I get too it. I do hate IE.

REBOOT UPDATE 2: IE 7 is rendering smoothly now … all clear IE7! I can’t say the same for IE6 yet. The sidebar is a bit borked. Worse than that, I’m now running Vista and have zero access to IE6. So, I’m not sure how to work it out. Also, I may be changing the header graphic … it’s a bit much, I think. Stay tuned!

Secondly, I personally heard one of those tired but oh-so familiar negative stereotypes re: the Emerging Church yesterday. It actually came from the pulpit of my beloved home church. Bob Lenz, a semi-well known national youth communicator made a quick stop in Lancaster to sing, dance, and save a few souls before moving on to his next scheduled locale. He speaks at school assembly programs, parent programs and conferences. I think he’s a great guy, from what I know of him. I am not, however, a fan of this ’swoop in and swoop out’ sort of evangelism. But I digress … So, during the morning sermon yesterday, from out of nowhere, this guy says (very accurate paraphrase) “The Emerging church is O.K., I mean they are doing some good things, but they tell me I can not talk about hell.” He then held his Bible up in the air and said it (the Bible) was enough for him … or something to the effect. There is so much wrong with this statement, I’m not sure where to begin. So, let’s just summarize: 1.) Who told him he could not speak re: Hell? No one tells him what he can say or not say, I’m sure. Well, no one except for the high schools, who he obviously listens to, in spite of the Bible, for the sake of the Gospel message itself. So, why can’t he extend to others this same wise methodology? 2.) A few within the Emerging Conversation may have gone too far and tossed out hell, but that does not mean everyone in the Conversation has tossed Hell/Sin! Thinking as much would be similar to a consequent branding of the whole Brethren in Christ Church as non-Anabaptist as a result of a chance encounter with a few who have given up on non-violent solutions to social conflicts. Stereotypes are bad. 3.) I’m part of this Emerging Conversation and I take Sin and Hell very, very seriously. So, I really don’t appreciate being stereotyped so poorly. More than that, I don’t appreciate such poor handling of what I strongly believe to be a seriously necessary ecclesial movement - the Emerging/Emergent Church. So, I have to challenge Bob Lenz on this point. I think he is pushing a stereotype. I was offered a chance to meet with him this week, but can not. So, if you read this Bob, feel free to exchange some thoughts and ideas. I wish you well.

Finally, Jonny Baker is visiting Lancaster Theological Seminary this week! This is really cool. He will be joining our community for an adventure in alternative/creative worship. Here are the official details: Swander Lecture and Workshop » Thursday to Saturday, March 22-24, 2007 » Jonny Baker, London, England » “Faithful Improvisation: Worship and Mission in Post-modern Times.”

Schedule of Swander Lecture and Workshop Events:

Thursday: Faithful Improvisation 11:00 a.m. Santee Chapel & Worship 2.0 1:15 p.m - 3:15 p.m. Hafer Center.

Friday: Adventures in Alternative Worship 10:00 a.m. - 3:00 p.m. Hempfield United Methodist Church 3050 Marietta Pike Lancaster, PA 17601. Note: Lunch will be $10, reservations for this event must be made in advance, through the seminary (717-290-8758).

2 Responses to “A Design Reboot, Punching Stereotype, and Jonny Baker”

  1. Hell is a great thing. What could be better than anticipation of eternal torture for those who don’t see things our way? OF COURSE we’re too polite to say so! It’s God’s judgment, after all, not ours!

    And hell is obviously a must in the general scheme of things for any benign Entity and supremely moral Being.

    Maybe that’s why the US now sanctions torture. We have our most Christian prez EVER. He’s just asking himself what Jesus would do to the bad guys. Not that we, as mere mortals, can hope to duplicate the conditons of real hell, but doing our best - making hell on earth a part of life as we know it, blessed by the state - I think it’s as close as we can hope to come.

    So, yeah, actually, I’m one of those who’d toss hell. Must mean I’m going to hell. I could work up more fear about this and be scared into hell-belief (fear is a great basis for belief, incidentally, really valid and trustworthy) if only I could manage to square the existence of God with the existence of hell.

    Theologians talk about “the problem of evil” - why would an all-good, all powerful Being allow for its existence? It poses lots of problems; the debate’s been going on forever.

    The problem of hell is the same problem on steroids…

    Paul Martin

  2. Wow! You really have a seriously literal concept of Hell going on there, Paul. Too, I’m not sure what the President has to do with any of this, or bad political maneuvering as regards torture for that matter. You seem to be throwing jabs at anything and everything! Would you care to be more succinct? I mean you have tossed Hell, by your own admission, but have you also tossed the idea of Sin and evil too? It sounds like it, but I’m not sure how to read/interpret flailing. At any rate, thanks for your thoughts!

    Shawn Anthony

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