Showing posts from 2005

Civil War reading

I used my Christmas break to read some newer US Civil War (CW) books. I started this hobby of CW reading when a new friend of mine started to initiate a conversation with something along the lines of, "You don't believe the South rebelled to portect slavery do you? No. It was about States rights." So I've been a reader ever since. Everything I read convinces me it was about States Rights, that is the right ot keep slaves and deprive them of rights and privileges that whites had. At the time of the CW Mississippi's population was half African American, but most were property and even if they weren't slaves they couldn't vote to determine that state's constitutional right to own people like themselves. Not that Northern states allowed African Americans to vote either, but abolitionist whites could campaign on their behalf without threat of violence in retaliation.

So I read two good books over this little Christmas break. Unfortunately, they weren't …

Subversive Can Openers

Pharaoh's trick

I’ve been reading The Heavenly Man, a biography of the Chinese house church leader Brother Yun. He says,

I taught that the church should not give in to Pharaoh’s trick, when he tried to convince Moses and Aaron to leave their women and children behind while the men went to worship the Lord (see Exodus 10:10-11). I encouraged the leaders to include their families in their ministry for the Lord, and even to take their sposes and children along with them if possible…The leader of that house church network, however,  disagreed with me. When I finished speaking he privately rebuked me, “Yun, I can’t believe you’ve used your opportunity to teach such a message. Are you trying to destroy my leaders?” Not surprisingly, many of the marriages and families of the leaders from that group are in complete disarray. Many appear to be “successful” in their ministries while ther families are falling apart. For all the strengths possessed by China’s house churches, this area is one of its weakest points…

Viola on Five Fold Ministry

Andrew Jones provides a link to a document on house church writer Bob Viola on Five Fold Ministry.

Notes on Houses that Change the World

Some notes about Simson’s book, Houses that Change the World. Some are good, some aren’t.
Worth Pondering
phrases like ”let us now have a time of worship” or ”let us now go into worship” meaning that all have to stand to sing some songs, might be less helpful than they sound, because they are a simple misnomer. ”It is important to note that the New Testament never mentions worship as the very the reason for Christians to come together - they come for mutual encouragement and edifying each other (1 Cor 14:26; Hebr. 10:24-25), but focuses more on the how, and not on the when and where of worship”, says Peter Ignatius of Christian Fellowship in Madras. The New Testament never refers to a meeting of the church as a worship service. Worship, in short, is not so much what we do but how we do it; not so much what we say or sing, but how we are a living sacrifice. (134)
Housechurches have the ability to shift the main emphasis from public religious behavior to the semi-privacy of homes. (135)


Not your typical Vineyard Church

This story Not your typical Vineyard Church is pretty cool. Make sure you click through some of this church's links like this one, where they write, "Vineyard Central is, in reality, a collection of home churches."

A discipling Mentality

From Simson’s book, Houses that Change the World p. 133,
let them function                give them functions
believe in them                make them believe in you
delegate authority                require submission
partner with Gods plan for them      make them part of your plans
invest in them                use them
love them and say so           love the task more than people
give them what you have           take what they have
discuss with them                preach at them
spend freely time with them           require appointments
give them the keys now           hold back until you retire
serve them                let them serve you
praise them                accept their praise graciously
transfer masterhood to them           demonstrate masterhood to them
We need to recapture discipling as the heartbeat of the Great Commission, and live this out in our ministries and churches.

The Desire For A Sex Change

This isn't my desire. I just finished the short policy statement from a British group called the Evangelical Alliance Policy Thingy, titledTranssexuality. The waters are murky in the deep end. I think the Commission would agree with the statement quoted here: "McHugh concluded that 'to provide a surgical alteration to the body of these unfortunate people was to collaborate with a mental disorder rather than to treat it.'"

A brief book review of the book I just read.


"'table-fellowshipcannot be described simply as festive celebration and acceptance.'"

are we wolves among lambs?

Wolfgang Simson writes in his book, Houses that Changed the World,Jesus sent us as lambs amongst the wolves, not as wolves amongst the lambs. This means that there are lessons to learn from the lambs who have been amongst the wolves. That also means, that it is difficult, if not impossible, to preach the message of redemption from a position of power. More and more Christians are realizing today that there is power in weakness, strength in humbleness, and a powerful mission agency is a contradiction of terms.

The lambs he refers too are the growing churches in oppressed lands such as China, Ethiopia, Russia, Vietnam, Sudan, and Cuba.

Continuationism and Cessationism - An Interview with Dr. Wayne Grudem

I'm linking to Part 2 but Part 1 is good too. I like this statement by Grudem, "Another widely-respected British Evangelical leader fifteen years ago said to me that the battle between cessationists and non-cessationists in England is over. The cessationists have lost. Or the charismatics have won. I'm not sure exactly what he said but it was something like that. And that's the case, I think, in almost the entire world outside the United States."

The Wife Beaters

This is a warning to people like me who can't resist doctrinal pugilism.

Neighborhood Fellowships

I don’t know if anyone has already developed this idea into a full fledged para-church ministry with a paid staff, solicitation campaigns, and Statements of Faith. Both books on home church that I read or am reading emphasize an apostolic beginning to a home church. That is a high hurdle of a concept for me. What if you just want to fellowship with your neighbors and break bread with each other and pray for each other and your neighborhood? What if it doesn’t matter what they do on their Sunday mornings? What if you want to have your neighbors over for the purpose of glorifying our Father, for seeking the arrival of our Father’s kingdom and the doing of His will in your neighborhood as it is in heaven, for asking for His provision together, for seeking and granting forgiveness and encouragement? But what if it is church building/denomination/affiliation independent? What if it is hospitality dependent? And Holy Spirit dependent? What if it gathered around a substantial meal that inclu…

Children in House Churches

been reading a book online by Wolfgang Simson of Dawn Ministries. His book is called Houses that Change the World which can be found halfway down the page on Dawn Ministry'sResource Centre
This is from p. 70
Children and Housechurches
Since housechurches are spiritual families, children are a natural and important part of the housechurch, just as they are a source of constant joy - and embarrassment - in a natural family. Children are needed to humble us with their questions, break up our endless ”adult” discussions, bring us constantly down to earth from our pious clouds, and act as natural evangelists and bridgebuilders. They also help us to prove the fruits of the spirit - patience, for example -, and will serve as heaven-sent spies to spot any trace of religious superstition and hypocrisy in us in an instant. Children have a ministry which is at least as important to us as we as adults have a ministry to them. They are, in short, as important to housechurches as they are to fam…

Iranian Martyr

When Christmas falls on Sunday redux

Ben Witherington comments at theJesus Creed � When Christmas falls on Sunday. Scot has an analytical commentary to conclude "so what if churches scale back on Sunday?"

Dan Edelen draws the same conclusion.

Both are used to Christmas Eve services anyway. And this might be the issue. If everyone is sued to the Christmas service being on the Eve's night 6 out of 7 years, why change it for the 7th year.

Pearl Harbor Raid, 7 December 1941

Another unprovoked attack in our country's history that resulted in a war with a tremendous loss of life and limb. Its amazing that the Chinese can't seem to remember what we did for them. If the US hadn't intervened, China would have become Japan at large. China was Japan's version of Manifest Destiny. If none of these things mean much to you, get a book out of your library on the Pacific Theater of WW2. Unfortunately, my local library isn't helping me remember which ones I've read lately.

Reflections of a Winter Barefoot Runner

Barefoot Rick is in his 3rd winter of barefoot running. This is my first. It snowed last night. But I got out there at lunch time, 34F. I tried to keep my bare feet on the blacktop of the road and off the wet stuff. Got a couple miles in. Got my 2nd ever piece of glass in my heel. The first time it happened, this summer, I stopped and flicked it out real easy. This time, my feet were numb so I didn't notice it until I got back in the locker room. It was worked in a little bit. Came out in the shower though.
I never did a marathon this year. I realized I needed to learn how to run barefoot before I trained to run a marathon barefoot. Maybe next year.

that is not my blog: Is Everyone Set?

that is not my blog: Is Everyone Set?: "Anyway, we’ve been dialoguing for the past few weeks (The J-Man doesn’t “teach students,” he “dialogues with colleagues”) about all the latest cutting-edge missional approaches, and I must admit that I’ve been struggling with the new relational inculturation methodologies—mostly with how to spell them, but also with how to mine them for good conversation-starters for the heathen I meet at Starbucks. (“Is that a pentagram on your forehead? Did you know that there are technically five gospels, if you include Q?”)"

Dec. 25th is on Sunday this year

So some churches are scaling back or even closing to let staff have the day off. At Get Religion the reaction to this news is Put Christmas back in the church. Ben Witherington is on fire over this. He writes, "What we are dealing with here are churches whose priorities are so askew that they somehow think it is more important for the church to serve the wants of the physical family than the other way around. This is a far cry from the pattern of the original disciples of Jesus who were seen leaving homes, relatives, jobs to come and follow Jesus. What kind of message does it send to our culture when churches close on one of its highest holy days? That it is o.k. to stay home and do one's own thing even on Jesus' birthday?" I guess it all depends on what following Jesus really means. If it doesn't mean woshipping him together as a family and giving gifts like he did but instead means having to dress up and drive and deal with parking and weather instead of Sabbat…

new HP movie

A Christian women's apologetic blog that i respect has a short Harry Potter movie review with a thumbs up.

House Church Sub-cultures

Present Testimony Ministry is a "simple church" church planting ministry. He notes some important sub-cultures that form among House churches...

The Glorified Bible Study.

The Special Interest Group.

The Personality Cult.

The Bless-Me-Club.

The Socially Amorphous Party.

The Disgruntled Malcontent Society.

The Unwritten Liturgy Driven Church.

Its a negative article. He has more articles on his site that i haven't read yet. I did read his book, Rethinking the Wineskin. It had really great stuff, but was very weak when trying to reconcile Biblically defined church offices/titles/ leadership with everyone being led by the Holy Spirit. He came close to denying the former to retain the latter. I see this in a lot of emergent church ecclesiastical experimentation. One method endorsed by many is situational leadership. We have all had bad experiences with bad leaders. But the New Testament is written by leaders with instruction to leaders with titles and expectations. Unfo…

an emergent level head award

to Andrew Jones, TallSkinnyKiwi: Hammett on Emerging Church 4.1. Keep up the good work Andrew. I think I will tie this post and a couple others together then draw some conclusions.

what is this worth?

My blog is worth $564.54.
How much is your blog worth?

Turtles Can Fly

This movie is so haunting, I'm unable to express myself in response to it. It was disturbing for the right reasons. How can a movie about children in war not be disturbing. So I linked to Netflix member reviews. I hope you watch it. However, I'm also wondering which Christian charity works among Iraqi Kurd refugees? I'd like to help.

The Treasure Principle

Read this great little book by Randy Alcorn today. He runsEternal Perspective Ministries. I just started teaching a class on money management at church last night, and of course God is letting me know how little I know. But Randy has a bunch of great links I want to reproduce here.

The Good Steward

Generous Giving

Sound Mind Investing


Needs Met

Revolutionary Churches

It's a phrase floated in the comments at Andrew Jones blog entry Emerging Church Hammering 1.0 in response to his discussion of an ETS paper. See another review at the A-Team blog. Andrew likes the term Barnanian, as a concept that is bigger than "emergent" but includes "emergent." Home churchers comment. Lots of criticism of traditional church start up costs. Money seemingloy poured down the drain for a church plant in France is an example given; six missionaries, several years, a congregation that can't support itself.

Who Really Needs Church? Coping with the Death of Ecclesiology.

Leadership Blog: Out of Ur: Who Really Needs Church? Coping with the Death of Ecclesiology. The commenters at Leadership Today's blog sound like potential or actual house churchers. Why are they the predominant commenters?

The Alchemist's Tale by John Granger

The Alchemist's Tale by John Granger is a good read on the symbolism behind Harry Potter. "John Granger is an Orthodox reader and the author of The Hidden Key to Harry Potter (Zossima Press). His address at the Nimbus 2003 symposium on Harry Potter, held in Orlando in July, was voted best paper by the participants."
I think his orthodox viewpoint helps understand HP. He concludes his paper thus..."The great irony in the objections that Rowling’s books undermine or violate the tenets of the Christian faith is that her books offer initiation, not into the occult, but into the symbolist worldview of revealed faiths (and sacramental religions specifically) and the dominant symbols and doctrines of traditional Christianity. Ignorance of alchemy and the larger traditions of English literature—not to mention the Christian understanding of the relations of faith and secular culture—has caused many to turn away a great help, perhaps providential, in the trouble and struggle …

Harry Potter Resources and Theories

La Shawn Barber’s Corner � Harry Potter Resources and Theories
I confess, I enjoyed the books and ths speculation of what happened in book 6 at this blog. Make sure you read the comments too.


Read this story today. I love stuff like this. God bless the Freegans, every one of them.

House Church - The New Testament Model?

Alot of what I'm reading at house church advocate sites make a big deal about how the 1st century church did it. I haven't seen a discussion on whether this is descriptive or prescriptive. I think its descriptive. I think there are abundant reasons to consider Simple Churches but Biblical command isn't one of them.

TallSkinnyKiwi: House Churches

I don't want Andrew Jones' title House Churches Have No *** Appeal on my blog to attract anything weird or get me categorized in some WebSpider's pornography grouping, so I censored his title.

Anyway, I'm starting to learn that my proposal for the post-emerging church doesn't look a whole lot different from a regional/monthly gathering of home/simple/organic/micro church. So I'm researching it on the web.

Places I am reading or about to read so far include
CMA not the Christian Missionary Alliance
NT Restoration Foundation
and Christian Home Church Network
There is also an Amazon book list called House Church: Essential Books for the Movement
If my readers have any feedback for me on these links and these orgs let me know. Thanks. If there are more links i should know about tell me in the comments where they are and why i should know about them and i'll move them up into a new post.

Moreland v. Franke on Non-Foundationalism

The A-Team Blog: Moreland v. Franke on Non-Foundationalism. This is stuff for big brains, but the ramifications throughout the church affects all sized brains.

An Old Model for the Post-Emerging Church part 4

An Old Model for the Post-Emerging Church Part 4

Let me make a leap in this discussion regarding authenticity. Since I’m so philosophically unsophisticated, I’m not quite getting the philosophical rejection of Foundationalism and the embrace of the post-mod metanarrative contamination by the story teller blah-blah-blah. So if I want to be part of an authentic Christian community I’m not sure how far it can progress if the authenticity of God’s letter to us is in doubt. In Nehemiah 8 the Levites who assisted Ezra made the Law of God clear and gave meaning so the people could understand what was being read, v.8. A well led small group makes progress with some meandering yet doesn’t drive off the cliff theologically. The small group leader, shepherd, facilitator trusts the Holy Spirit to guide his people, and embraces the Priesthood of all believers, yet always remains on guard for wolves who come to destroy and angels of light who will bring apostasy. To rip Paul out of context, anything…

An Old Model for the Post-Emerging Church Part 3

An Old Model for the Post-Emerging Church part 3

So how does this tie into the emerging church? I think this model addresses the legitimate concerns without letting go of “that which we have received” (1 Cor. 15:3) nor calling into question the “elementary truths of God’s word all over again.” (Heb. 5:12)

What issues are legitimate?

Community: Hopefully, this is obvious in the Nehemiah 8 model. But as I’ve complained in very early blog posts, I’m concerned with the health of a church that is mono-generational. It’s ironic that a group can point fingers at a mono-cultural church yet not notice their narrow age range. So cultural elitism needs to be avoided both ethnically as well as generationally. Multiculturalism isn’t realistically achievable in every location,  but multi-generational is in any location. I found this church in Australia…
There is CHAOS CHURCH “(kid friendly church) sunday mornings @ 11:00-ish glen and ruth's place” which I want to believe includes the kids in the s…

An Old Model for the Post-Emerging Church part 2

Thanks to Anonymous for telling me about his or her church. It sounds really cool. I’m more than welcome to hear all the bad things about this idea. Please feel free to anonymously post. I hope Anonymous returns with a website for their church. One concern I see with that church is its size limit.

An appealing aspect to me about the “retreat format church” is its scalability. This can “feel” the same with 10 people or a thousand, which was at least the crowd size Ezra was dealing with. No matter how big the crowd, its still you, a dozen others, including a trained table facilitator and the Pastor. Hopefully, new facilitators are being trained to prevent burnout of the others and to provide for growth. I think the expectations on facilitators could be high. Would they be able to care for people at their table in the following week by prayer, calls and visitation? Can a mid-week meeting between Sr. Pastor and facilitators/elders/deacons provide sufficient interaction and encouragement an…

Thank You Veterans

This is a short history of Veterans Day. President Wilson started it in 1919, a year after the Treaty of Versailles finally concluded WWI. I'm currently reading The First World War by John Keegan. I've read alot on the US Civil War and WWII and I figured I needed to close the gap. I was shocked at how similar WWI tactics and weapons were to the Civil War. Then again it's shocking how far they advanced in 4 years.
Thank you Veterans.

An Old Model for the Post-Emerging Church part 1

I am just hoping that I'm the first to coin the phrase "post-emerging church."

The model that many churches employ is a lecturer/class format. This is the format often seen in the Gospels and Acts by Jesus, Sermon on the Mount, and Peter, post-Holy Spirit fall, and Paul, when that poor boy fell asleep and fell out the window. However there were other formats that they employed. Jesus and Paul were recognized as teachers, we don't know how, and were invited by the synogogue rulers to give a reading and share with the congregation. Always they received immediate and sometimes violent feedback from those locations. Dialogue seems to have been normal rather than monologue. No doubt conversation between teacher and students occurs in Pedagogical churches today but I'm sure is inversely proportional to the teacher/student ratio. All of us have been in classrooms with more than 30 students and less than 10 and have appreciated the difference. Sometimes we want the anony…

57 channels of church and nuthin's on

Certainly, the emerging church crowd brings legitimate issues to the table. The issues however aren't necessarily new, but the solutions haven't been necessarily satisfactory for those seeking new ways to do church. Unfortunately, as any reader of this blog will know, some of the proposed solutions, in my opinion, not only are lacking but can be downright spiritually dangerous. But who is doing it well? If people are producing eternal fruit under different formats then many are doing it well. I have no problem with all the different channels or flavors of church.
My blend starts with the one I grew up in the
Plymouth Brethren continues into my college exerience at UConn, where I grew spiritually under the influence of Intervarsity ) and the one I chose after graduation, a Vineyard which is charismatic and is now a Calvary Chapel where I am an elder and enjoy sitting under a verse by verse exposition through the entire Bible. I teach classes there and am currently facilitating a…

There hasn't been a commercial this good

in the history of mankind.

injured bad

Against Multi-tasking

Doug Groothius writes an essay Against Multi-tasking, a topic that has been in my brain lately. Although I live in a cable and aerieal and dish TV free home and i don't even get the newspaper anymore, i do have a high speed computer connection, but fortunately, only 1 computer that i share with my wife. Even with this minimal distractions i still struggle to force myself to interact with my wife and children instead of reading a book. I'm a dreadful introvert. All these devices may be protective for introverts but insulting to extroverts. Is Doug Groothius a frustrated extrovert? I don't know. I doubt it. Not that the church is an example of a different life, as we all sit and sing the same words and quietly listen to the same speaker, that still isn't necessarily community. You get more community at a sports event where you hug strangers next to you and become fast friends because of the shallowest of affinities. I am not saying that we need church to become more lik…

Against Harriet Miers for the High Court

Culture Watch: Thoughts of a Constructive Curmudgeon, Doug Groothius's blog is a great read and worth your perusal. I'm linking to this because I share his concerns about Meier's. It seems like W. is about to repeat the mistake of dad. An additional concern of mine is the age of the woman. She's too old to have lasting influence.

You don't have to be gay

What an excellent book. A series of letters from one ex-gay man to his gay friend. I'm still in the middle of it but it is so compassionate and hopeful.
You Don't Have to Be Gay: Hope and Freedom for Males Struggling With Homosexuality or for Those Who Know of Someone Who Is by Jeff Konrad

What theologian do i identify with?

You scored as Martin Luther. The daddy of the Reformation. You are opposed to any Catholic ideas of works-salvation and see the scriptures as being primarily authoritative.

Martin Luther80%Karl Barth73%Jonathan Edwards67%Charles Finney60%John Calvin40%Anselm33%Augustine33%J�rgen Moltmann27%Friedrich Schleiermacher27%Paul Tillich0%
Which theologian are you?
created with

Observations on the post-Katrina Gulf

David Langness is quoted at Informed Content,
Katrina displaced probably a million people; 144 square miles of New Orleans (the city is about 200 square miles total) are under a toxic brew of foul water, sewage, oil, gas, lead, PCBs, carcasses both human and animal, etc. I saw thousands upon thousands of poor people set adrift; America’s most vibrant city stilled and stinking; alligators feasting on the dead; flooded, evacuated hospitals; the complete destruction of hundreds of thousands of homes. The television and newspaper photos are nowhere near sufficient to convey the scope and magnitude of the destruction

There is an abundance of newspaper clippings worth reading at Prometheus6 .

Mostly pictures here.

Church blog. Sovereing Grace Fellowship in Slidell, La.

Yikes- Tony Campolo - Open Theism in Action

I got spammed

so i had to add a layer of complexity to comments. sorry.

The Kingdom of God, by Christopher D Marshall

A Journey of Friendship and Reconciliation along the Meridian Line and Beyond - The Lifeline Expedition - Healing the past, transforming the future.

Homes for Katrina Victims


It’s been hard to blog about anything after this devastating hurricane Katrina. I’m a little shell-shocked, even though I live in Connecticut. Last night I was able to make a contribution, monetarily, through the Samaritan’s Purse website. One of the guys I have coffee with every morning heard somewhere from someone a proposal that we who have homes could take in all these displaced people. I really like that idea. Logistics are a big problem, but maybe churches can connect and facilitate this.

Adult stem cell treatments

Biblical Theology: More Emergent

Jim West, perhaps the Web's biggest Zwingli aficionado, has a short critique of the EC worth weighing.

What Can Miserable Christians Sing?

Biblical Hebrew and Greek Resources

This is the best Greek and Hebrew vocab driller I've seen. It's flash based so I can do at work on my PC and at home on my Mac. God is good to me.

POVERTY - What does the Bible say about the poor? - ChristianAnswers.Net

Free Creation Science Videos

Free Creation Science Videos is a great source of Young Earth video presentations.

Luke 4 and the Kingdom of God

Luke 4 and the Kingdom of God

NASB Luke 4:16 And He came to Nazareth, where He had been brought up; and as was His custom, He entered the synagogue on the Sabbath, and stood up to read. 17 And the book of the prophet Isaiah was handed to Him. And He opened the book and found the place where it was written,
20And He closed the book, gave it back to the attendant and sat down; and the eyes of all in the synagogue were fixed on Him. 21 And He began to say to them, "Today this Scripture has been fulfilled in your hearing."

Jesus describes his mission to his hometown synagogue members. Curiously, He doesn’t finish the rest of the chapter, although I’m sure it echoes in the minds of the hearers. Here is the re…

A letter to my young gay friend

My Christian friend is young and gay. I'm trying to encourage him....

first of all, your confession doesn't end our relationship. don't believe the stereotype of Christians who carry signs reading "God hates fags."

second of all, you aren't my first Christian friend
who's dealt with this.

third of all, when i was in high school, while i was
dating a girl, i was overcome with a thing for men. i
experienced it for months. i had a crush on my social
studies teacher for months. he was a fitness stud. but
somehow it passed. sexuality can be fluid for some
people, and the tide can turn.

fourth of all, you've got friends at church who will
walk with you through this stuff. did you know J-
knows more gay people than you do and has seen many of
them leave that lifestyle and walk in victory with
Jesus? when he got saved tons of his friends who were
getting saved too were gay. he walked with them
through their stuff as he walked through his stuff. so
in summary, come hang out …

Little Johnny Hugo

I think you should listen to Anthony Chapman's band,Little Johnny Hugo. There's a few songs you can download here.

How the kingdom of God intersects with the kingdom of darkness

Isaiah 58 (NIV)
5 Is this the kind of fast I have chosen,
only a day for a man to humble himself?
Is it only for bowing one's head like a reed
and for lying on sackcloth and ashes?
Is that what you call a fast,
a day acceptable to the LORD ?

6 "Is not this the kind of fasting I have chosen:
to loose the chains of injustice
and untie the cords of the yoke,
to set the oppressed free
and break every yoke?

7 Is it not to share your food with the hungry
and to provide the poor wanderer with shelter—
when you see the naked, to clothe him,
and not to turn away from your own flesh and blood?

8 Then your light will break forth like the dawn,
and your healing will quickly appear;
then your righteousness [a] will go before you,
and the glory of the LORD will be your rear guard.

9 Then you will call, and the LORD will answer;
you will cry for help, and he will sa…

Mary’s Magnificat and the Kingdom of God

Scott McKnight (SM) at Jesus Creed suggested I write my own takes on several of these Luke passages that indicate the Kingdom of God. His series can be found in his July 2005 archives.
He starts off his series with this
Today's post begins where we need to begin: with The Magnificat of Mary (Luke 1:46-55). Not only does it provide a plausible context for Jesus -- his mother's faith and vision (I sketch this in Jesus Creed, chp. 9), but it sets out the themes that will become consistent for Jesus.

So I chose the NASB for a more literal text to work from. And mix my comments with Scot’s.
Luke 1:46-55 (New American Standard Bible)
46And Mary said: "My soul exalts the Lord,

JU She lifts up God and gives him his rightful worship.

47And my spirit has rejoiced in God my Savior.

JU This is not only worship but adoration. She has received the greatest blessing any mother could ever receive.

SM 1. God is Savior and Lord in redeeming his people (1:46-47).

48"For He has …

Why Learn Greek

Brett on Pagitt and EC

It is worth your time to listen to two shows from Stand to Reason (free reg. required) They are the July 31st show and the August 7th show. This blog after the second show with Dan Kimball is good followup.

Incarnational Versus Attractional Mission

An Emerging Aussie's compare and contrast article. Andrew Jones, the Tall Skinny Kiwi, pointed to it today. The discussion in the comments is expecially valuable.

Jesus Creed: Kingdom of God series

You have to scroll half way down this archive to get to Scot's series on the Kingdom of God. I think that because I got to them so late, Scot isn't interested in helping me understand his approach. So I thought I'd post my comments to him here in case anyone has elucidation for me.
In his second post discussing Luke 4:16-30 I say, "...i'm trying hard to understand the KoG from this perspective that isn't mine. i've been vacationing and looked forward to reading your series on the KoG upon my return. So this is what i don't get. From the is the Lord who brings down the proud and the mighty rulers. It's the Lord who lifts up the humble. He fills the hungry but sends the rich away empty. (How is this not metaphorical-it hasn't literally happened except incidentally). And its the Lord who helps Israel. So it says nothing of his means. If it is us are we to bring down rulers and turn away the rich?
Also, I'm having a hard time se…

James MacDonald-Why I'm Not Emerging

At Walk in the Word with Dr. James MacDonaldwe get another irenic criticism. Perhaps some things are strawmen as Andrew Jones contends. I will refrain from freaking out at Andrew Jones' sarcasm since that seems to be considered by emergent defenders a major sin of emergent critics. Another emergent blogger finds the silver lining in MacDonald's thoughts.
MacDonald's gist is, hey I've got 7000 people coming to my church and I baptize 200 people a month and i didn't even have to grow a goatee...oops. He does have one. It's a short article. Is it helpful? It's very reductionist, which drives those being reduced crazy, but his subtitle is A Brief Response to the Emergent Church. He notices things other critics notice and he has more cred because he knows those leaders and likes them.

Wicca Emerging as America's Third Religion by 2012

After you read this,Christians and Pagans Agree, Wicca Emerging as America's Third Religion, go to to see the courses available. Right now they are at number 10.

An Interview with E P Sanders

An Interview with E P Sanders is extremely helpful for those who want to know how at least one of the propounders of the New Perspective on Paul, which includes N. T. Wright, views scripture. I'm shocked at his relativism and offfended by his hubris as an historian who needs to be consulted as a final authority in exegesis.

How Christians Play Golf

go to @ Large: How Christians Play Golf for a good chuckle.

The Emerging Storm by Stephen Shields

next-wave >The Emerging Storm by Stephen Shields is a mature piece by an emerger and a encouraging read.

another irenic conversation with EC

At Miscellanies on the Gospel interacts with Mclaren's PBS interview. He makes one comment that relieves me because I wasn't sure if I was the only one on the block who saw the convergence of EC with N.T.Wright. He quotes Mclaren, "I think it would be safe to say that everything we're doing with the emerging conversation is summed up in saying, 'What is the message of Jesus, and what is the message of the kingdom of God? What does that mean?'" and writes, "The last sentence is of particular importance since it reveals that, at least for McLaren who is now the chief spokesperson for the ECM, their understanding of the gospel greatly differs from the current, mainstream view. The statement itself reveals just how much the Third Quest. and the New Perspective on Paul movements have very deeply influenced the ECM's understanding of the gospel."

an EC critic and an EV critic

At Cerulean Sanctum: Nyah, Nyah, Nyah, We're Not Listening! Dan Edelen writes, "The issue as I see it is that Evangelicals are only compounding the very problems they are accused of by the EC by their constant tirade against it. It is possible to reject the doctrinal aberrations in the EC and still thoughtfully listen to its criticism of today's strain of Evangelicalism."
My question is which is worse, bad individuals with good doctrine or wonderful individuals with lousy doctrine? I think the 2nd. You can walk away from a person, but a doctrine gets in your blood.

a good article at Challies: The Death Knell for the Emergent Church Movement (I)

Community Blog: The Death Knell for the Emergent Church Movement (I) It's not that we are saying different things, its just who can say it better now.

book review rewrite

I took my boo review down. Of the 12 people who read this blog, 2 thought I was a jerk. Lesson learned, don't post the rough draft, even if only 12 people will read it. After vacation, I will write a more thorough review. I will have to spread it out over a few posts like Scot Mcknight did at Jesus Creed when he reviewed Carson's Emergent book. I apologize Allen, for the ad hominem. Please forgive me.

Summer Vacation

It's time for our family road trip. We leave tomorrow night for an all night drive to Ottawa, Ohio for a wedding this weekend. Then to Dearborn, Michigan for a day at Greenfield Village. Then we will spend a few days in Toronto, Ontario, which has a great deal called the city pass which gets us into all the tourist stuff we want to do. We hope to do a day trip down to Niagara Falls. We will spend a couple nights with friends in Montreal, Quebec. Finally, we will visit a friend in Richfield Springs, New York.
All this is my excuse for not blogging until August.

Letting Go of God

Julia Sweeney who was hilarious as Pat on Saturday Night Live years ago just wrapped up her one woman play, Leting Go of God. You need to listen to it on This American Life. It's the 2nd half of the show. I think it is fascinating outsider exegesis. And it is criticisms of Bible stories thrown out rapid fire that accumulate into the reason for her atheism. Some things are addressed by saying, "the humans in this story are responsible for their own actions," but some involve a little more time. This play was so successful the book and DVD are forthcoming. Expect her criticisms to be parroted by those not interested in Christianity. At least she read the book. Her priest wasn't too helpful though. He assured her that the stories are fictional narratives. I'm not sure how there is comfort in philosophical naturalism, other than the pride that she can face the "facts" and not flinch. Do read, do listen, do prepare.

'A Generous Orthodoxy'—Is It Orthodox? Al Mohler

Al Mohler's review came out in June but I just found it tonight.

A Place Called Vertigo Book Review:: A Generous Orthodoxy?

Here you go. A Place Called Vertigo :: A Generous Orthodoxy? I'm also working on a book review of a lesser know book. Hopefully i will get it done before I leave on vacation. The blog is offline, but the archive of this post is here.

Book review on McLaren.

While I agree that we often fight the symptoms of the disease and not the disease itself, I find McLaren's diagnosis of the disease incorrect. It is not the system; the system is another symptom. The disease is ourselves! In the previous chapter, McLaren dismissed the doctrine of "total depravity" as "depressing" (page 177). Yet Scripture is clear that the disease is our own sinfulness/depravity—e.g., Genesis 6:5; 1 Kings 8:46; Psalm 14:1-3; Ecclesiastes 7:20; Jeremiah 17:9; Mark 7:20-23; Romans 3:9-23, 7:7-25, 8:5-8; Ephesians 2:1-3; 1 John 1:8-10. Regardless of how "depressing" McLaren finds the doctrine of total depravity, the important thing is whether or not this doctrine is true! If w…

NT Wright - Justification

In case you couldn't guess, I'm not an N.T. Wright fan. Here's some links.
NT Wright - Justification useful powerpoint slides
Paul Perspective a quote farm
White on Wright via Wilson
J. Ligon Duncan

unofficial nt wright page
The Jollyblogger

Dallas Willard on truth despite post modernism

Dallas Willard summarizes the issues of the Postmodern view of truth. He writes towards the end of this article, "The second main argument against "Real truth" rests upon the widespread assumption that consciousness (language, history, culture) transforms its objects in "touching" them, so that they are never "in themselves" what we take them to be in becoming aware of them or knowing them or introducing them into language. It is useful to call this the "Midas Touch" epistemology, because of the similarity, on this account, of consciousness/language to the mythological King Midas, who turned everything he touched to gold."
Scot Mcknight isn't alone in the EC to embrace this. He writes "theology is always context-shaped because we can't avoid it." He concludes this blog entry with, "if the Fall impacts our mind, then we are bound by our conviction that our theology should be more humble and and conversational. Put…