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Archive for the 'Sayings' Category

Written February 08th, 2007 with No Comments »

Do read David Fairchild’s 10 Marks of the Early Church. David begins by writing, “Rodney Stark and other sociologists tell us there were 10 values of early Christians that stood in stark (no pun intended) contrast to the pluralistic pagan culture of Rome. Let’s prayerfully think through these values and match them to the witness of our own churches. Do we see the city existing for us or do we see our church and our lives existing for the city?”

Written February 08th, 2007 with No Comments »

The beginning of the last semester of my M.Div program officially began yesterday. I’m happily skipping towards the bright light shinning at the end of the long hall that is vocational ministry’s formal education process. I will always be a student; a reader. I’ll soon be one freed from schedules, deadlines, and required reading lists. Finishing is good. I am almost finished. My final semester’s class schedule looks a little something like this: CH315 Consensus, Discord & Diversity; MS310 Admin, Stewardship & Evangelism; PL311 Ministerial Ethics; TH230 Christology; TH293 Anabaptist Theology; WR230 Judaism; WR238 World Religions. Also scheduled is an great independent study re: Christianity & the Visual Arts. Too, I am especially excited about the serious dialogue I’m sharing with my denomination, The Brethren in Christ Church. A lot is starting to unfold. I spent more than 2 hours with an awesome BIC church planter/coach yesterday. It was a great conversation. It’s awesome. It’s exciting.

Written February 06th, 2007 with 2 Comments »

Yep. I’m in seminary! This is rich. One would think folk at seminary would be busy working on the big metaphysical questions that have preoccupied humanity’s greatest thinkers from the beginning of time. The seminary outsider might even drive past the campus and suppose we are a group of uber-pious individuals who are tearing apart and reconstructing deep theological constructs. Well, maybe. Sometimes. More likely than not, however, we are busy doing the sort of real-life stuff that is described in this campus-wide email that was just sent out by the seminary’s awesome administrative assistant: “Professor [name removed]’s office guardian, Kermit the Frog, has disappeared. Does anyone know the whereabouts of Kermit? (No, he didn’t run off with Miss Piggy. She’s over at F&M, majoring in Drama, and we already checked with her). Seriously, [name removed]’s office door looks very lonely without Kermit and she’d like him back. Thank you! [Seminary Administrative Assistant’s Name Removed].” That’s awesome.

Written February 05th, 2007 with No Comments »

So, now, every time I hear a Tim McGraw song, I’m thinking of Taylor Swift. Heck, when I hear a Faith Hill song, I think of Tim McGraw, because he is her husband, which leads me once again to Taylor Swift. Somebody is a marketing genius.

Written February 05th, 2007 with 6 Comments »

I am so glad this is my last semester in seminary. I’m very, very sick of spending $500.00 plus dollars on text books I know I would not have purchased otherwise. I can not express in words how utterly sick I really am of this foolish practice. I have a ton of really great and extremely relevant books I want to - and could be - purchasing, but I’ll have to buy these ones … one last time. I’ll be very happy to have my M.Div in hand in a few short months, and the freedom to buy the books I actually want to read. Rant over. Thank you. No, I don’t feel better.

Written February 04th, 2007 with No Comments »

Tony Dungy just won the Super Bowl. I just listened to his interview during the Lombardi Trophy presentation. Tony continued to tell the world that the Christian walk is more important than sports. I wish I had transcripts, but he said something to the effect that the NFL World Championship title is great, but more important is his daily walk with the Lord. What an awesome message it is being proclaimed from what is without doubt the world’s biggest stage. Update: Yes! I found the quote. Dungy says, “I’m proud to represent African-American coaches, to be the first to win this. It means a lot to our country. But Lovie Smith and I not only are the first two African-American coaches (in the Super Bowl), but are Christians showing you can do it the right way.” See also: Super Bowl coaches Dungy, Smith Known for Christian Testimony.

Written February 04th, 2007 with No Comments »

My pastor preached an incredibly powerful sermon this morning about Christianity and culture. It was a powerful, powerful message. I listened to it twice too, because I played a part in the 9:00 and 10:30 AM services. It was awesome. A portion of the sermon was dedicated to exhortation re: the many, many “gospels” vying for hearts and minds in this postmodern culture of ours. There is without doubt no small number of heretical alternatives to orthodox Christian doctrine, faith and practice. Most of these alternatives sometimes look & sound very much like the real thing, but diverge in subtle but spiritually detrimental ways. My pastor had a picture of Elvis Presley displaying on the two big screens in our sanctuary and quoted one of his less celebrated lyrics to make the point. The lyric was from a song titled “Devil in Disguise”. It goes a little something like this: “You look like an angel. Walk like an angel. Talk like an angel. But I got wise. You’re the devil in disguise.” I think that is a seriously relevant lyric for the 21st century, Postmodern Christian sojourner. I know it resonated with me.

Written February 03rd, 2007 with 4 Comments »

I really dig gawking at and collecting images of Jesus. I don’t think I have ever stumbled upon a Jesus image collection quite as good as the one hosted by mattstone.blogs (nevermind the site’s overarching dedication to a syncretistic sort of pluralism). I especially enjoy the Anglo Jesus image wing. If you are aware of any other collections of Jesus images, drop me a note! Visual interpretations are so interesting, no?

Written February 03rd, 2007 with 2 Comments »

Can a consumer church be transformed into a missional church? Yes, it is possible! It will take a heap of work, and more than a little help from the Holy Spirit, but it can be accomplished. A well written article published at Leadership Journal highlights the specifics relevant to a transformation of this sort. I especially took note of what the writer (Chad Hall) referred to as the “Two Distractions” that can thwart missional transformation. Hall writes: “But if being missional is the essence of being the church, why isn’t every church missional? Because many churches have turned attention to matters that distract and deter from the mission. Two main distractions often block a congregation’s missional expression.” What are these two distractions? Hall continues, “The first is self-preservation. The institution is the means to do the mission. The church serves the mission, not vice versa … The other primary distraction is church growth. When the emphasis is on bringing the world to the church, the church’s mission of going to the world can get lost.” Ponder it. See article: Missional Possible: Steps to Transform a Consumer Church into a Missional Church.

Written February 02nd, 2007 with 3 Comments »

Theology discussions at microbrews and pubs is on the rise! I have read more than a few opinions and news stories on the subject; Mark Driscoll & Mars Hill write about it; and my own seminary holds ‘theology at the pub discussions’ (see: Theology on Tap) in our city. Is theology served with a side of alcohol a good idea? Is it Biblical? Does it matter? I personally do not think alcohol or the recreational use of alcohol is inherently sinful, at least no more than is the eating of a nasty, processed, & possibly cloned fast-food chain hamburger. I won’t even mention what soda, pop, or soda-pop does to your system. Everything and anything void of moderation and spiritual discipline is a bad thing. I can attest to as much. The New Testament warns against drunkenness, and a spirit of drunkenness, not drinking. Yes, you can drink too much, or you can watch too much television. Both are detrimental to your overall spiritual well-being. You can eat way too much oatmeal & peanut-butter sandwiches, or you can foolishly down two-six packs and wake up in some parking lot. Balance is a good thing! A lack of balance is bad, obviously. Also, I would be very intentional about relieving recovering alcoholics from any pressure incurred by your advertising or pushing of theological discussions at microbrews or pubs. Peer pressure can be awful for those Christians in our midst who may not yet be where others are, as far as Christian maturity is concerned. The Apostle Paul exhorts Christians to be very intentional about brothers & sisters who are not quite as mature (1 Corinthians 8). We should do nothing that causes them to falter and/or fall. The final verdict re: theology at the microbrew or pub must be your own. It comes down to conscience. I would, however, suggest you get to building a theology of alcohol. Times seem to be calling for it! A Concluding Note: Personally, I prefer a great coffee and cafe, to alcohol and pub, but that doesn’t make one better or worse than the other, of course.