Saturday, September 25, 2010

My Current Top 5

Top 5 "Church-ish" Podcasts I am listening to.

5.Origins  One I just started following but really digging it so far

4.Neue  Some interesting guests discuss church conferences, trends etc. don't always agree but to keep it balanced

3. Relevant  Following this one for a while. Good indie music and funny commentary

2. Emergent UK Resources Specifically the kingdom sessions with Dallas Willard and Todd Hunter.  Not updated but I could listen to them over and over and learn something new every time

1. Status  Following this one for a while, relevant topics, powerful messages, almost makes me want to move to Orlando

Saturday, September 18, 2010

warranties guarantees and eternity

So I bought an used car a little bit ago, and now I am getting the warranty offers in the mail on a regular basis.  I'm sorry if it is your job to sell these, but please stop sending them to me, I am not getting one. I don't know why but I feel a little guilty in my defiance, but I can't help thinking, why would I buy a car that I think is going to break down. I don't know, but there must be somthing important that I am missing, because some of the first things people ask you when you tell them you got a new/used car are.... 1. What color is it? 2. What year is it? 3. Does it come with a warranty?

So for some reason this got me thinking of some of my church experiences and how it makes me cringe when I hear speakers or evangelists say something to the affect of  "do you know for sure where you are going to be when you die?" This statement is usually followed by a tragic story of some young person getting t-boned by a semi and then of course the altar call ensues...

So why do we need guarantee's? Well with car buying I would say most people want a warranty or guarantee because they don't want to end up with a lemon and with all the costs that go along with that. The fact is that most car manufacturers don't stand behind their products and that in turn leads us to distrust them or at least what they are selling. We aren't sure that what we are buying is as promised so we want the guarantee...I would suggest the same is true for Christianity. Those who need to be assured that they will be in heaven when they die don't fully trust what is being sold to them...or they don't trust the One who stands behind it. If I really trust that Christ will do what he thinks is best for me, (whether that is heaven or a couple thousand years on a prison planet in some distant solar system) than I won't need to worry whether I am "in" or "out". So please don't ask me if I want to buy a warranty and please, please don't ask me if I am sure I will be in heaven when I die....the only thing that I am sure of is; that if Jesus is who he said he was (and I believe He is), than I can trust Him to do with me as He pleases.

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

What's to debate?

Christopher Hitchens, an atheist and polemicist VS David Berlinski self-described “secular Jew and an agnostic.”....and the debate is??

Sunday, September 5, 2010

Saturday, September 4, 2010

Some thoughts on the Great Commission

I have been doing a little thinking about the Great Commission lately. In the great commission Jesus tells us because he has been given all authority , he is now going to give us some. He wants us to go and make apprentices (of Jesus) of all people groups by immersing them in the trinitarian reality of God and to teach them to do everything he said to do. The difference between making apprentices and "getting people saved" is stark and I have been doing a lot of thinking about that too, but the part that struck me today was the "baptize them in the name of the Father, Son and Holy Spirit."

Sunday, August 29, 2010

Rethinking the message

I had an interesting conversation with a deacon from our church. We were talking about the declining membership at our church and some of the reasons for this. One of things that  almost never comes up in this conversation is the idea of message . Maybe we need to ask ourselves "does the message we preach naturally lead people to become disciples of Jesus Christ?" Or does the message we preach lead people to become consumers of religious goods and services? (including the death and resurrection of Jesus)...

Some of the ways that our gospel is different from the Gospel, Jesus preached

Jesus said "repent for the Kingdom of heaven is at hand."

We say "recognize that you are a sinner."

Jesus said "go to all nations and teach them to do everything I have taught you"

We say, "there's nothing you can do to be saved"

We say "Jesus died on the cross so you wouldn't have to"

 Jesus says "take up your cross follow me"

We say "trust Jesus so you can go to heaven when you die."

Jesus says "those who trust me will never die"

We say "eternal life is living in heaven with God forever."

Jesus says "eternal life is interactive relationship with Jesus Christ now"

Our gospel is ...Jesus died for your sins so you can go to heaven when you die

Jesus' gospel was the availability of the kingdom of God to anyone through confidence in Jesus Christ.

Colossians 1:13,14
13 For he has rescued us from the kingdom of darkness and transferred us into the Kingdom of his dear Son,
14 who purchased our freedom[a] and forgave our sins.

Monday, July 6, 2009

An interesting take on creating an environment of free-will within the structure of a "story".

For those who don't know, Tad Williams is a rather prolific fantasy/fiction writer who has no particular expertise in philosophy as far as I know. In this clip he is discussing the creation of a MMORPG (massively multi player online role-playing game) out of one his four book series-Otherland. At the end of this interview he makes some really interesting statements about the challenges in creating an environment where free will can be exercised within the context of a larger story. He points out the fact that if story line is too linear the gamer will feel coerced and the subsequent game play experience will be rather boring, but he also notes that if the story is too broad and the parameters are too wide the game experience will tend to be shallow and without much purpose and meaning.

When I watched this I couldn't help but make the connection between the juxtaposition that Tad mentioned in his creating virtual worlds and the ways that God has also created reality in such a way that we are able to live within a larger story while exercising our own somewhat limited free will. This God-given desire to create, opens a window (albeit a small one) into what lies behind the creation of our own reality. Todd Hunter also has some interesting ideas about living in the right story.

Original Interview Is Here