Tuesday, November 25, 2014

All Lives Matter - Reflections on a tragedy in Missouri

      As a white male, I have been reluctant to weigh in on this whole Ferguson situation. Its not that I don't have an opinion or two, its just that right now, most in my circles are only wanting to hear one side of this issue. It seems that if you are a white male, you just don't understand what is going on in Ferguson, Missouri. In fact, you just can't understand the struggle of other less privileged people at all, so just be quiet. OK, well only if your opinion goes against the oppressed minority, if you want to support the liberal narrative, then by all means, blog and Facebook, and Twitter away.

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Simple Church: Unity Within Diversity - COMING SOON!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

     What do you get when you ask 24 different authors to contribute to a book about church? Well, a book by 24 authors, that's what. But hopefully this is a little more than just a bunch of different people talking about church. The goal of this book is to provide a diversity of voices, all from various places on their own faith journeys, and meld them into one positive, affirming book about how we do this community called church.
      I have to admit, when I was asked to contribute a chapter to this work, I felt a little overwhelmed. I have known some of the other authors and have read many of their books, articles and blog posts for years. I never considered myself to be on the same level as a writer or spiritual leader. I am however, extraordinarily grateful to have been invited and to have been able to contribute to this work. I cannot say how important this book will become to the transformational (or emergent, or simple) church, but I can say that helping to write it and reading the other contributors has been incredibly uplifting to me. Here is a brief excerpt from the chapter that I contributed:

What do we know about Jesus’ outward appearance and what people saw when they looked at Him?
       We can draw a clue from one of my favorite stories in the Bible, found in John 8. The religious leaders bring a woman to Jesus who was caught in the very act of adultery. They demand that He give the righteous condemnation she deserves. Instead, Jesus says, “Go ahead, you who have never sinned throw stones at her.” This crowd, which was ready to carry out the death sentence on the woman, departs until only Jesus and the woman are left. Then Jesus asks the woman, “Where are those who accuse you and would condemn you?” The woman looks at Jesus and says there is no one.
     The Pharisees expected Jesus to condemn this woman. He would have been completely just to do so; however, when she looks at Jesus, she already knows that there is no one left to condemn her. Jesus confirms this and says that He does not condemn her either, but she already knew it, just from looking at Him. Oh that people could come into our churches, regardless of their lifestyle or sin condition, and we could ask them that same question, “Where are those who would condemn you?” Then we would know that people see in us the same love and acceptance that Jesus displayed.

If you love the Church of Christ, but are not necessarily in love with how we "do Church" in the traditional institutional churches, then you need to read this book. 24 different viewpoints, not on what the church is doing wrong, but on what it can be doing right.

You can pre-order you copy here:
Simple Church: Unity Within Diversity

Shooting Stars: Of Scandal, Abuse, Restoration, and Systematic Failures(November Synchroblog)

       Like many in the evangelical, post-evangelical community, i watched the drama of Mars Hill and Mark Driscoll with at least some interest. You see, Mark Driscoll was a bit of an enigma, and his rise to popularity and prestige could not escape the notice of those of us who had spent our lives involves in evangelicalism. The fact that Driscoll could be part of the emerging church movement in one moment and then be part of founding the ultra conservative evangelical Gospel Coalition also spoke to his ability to cater to whatever group he felt would be most beneficial to his aspirations.