Friday, December 31, 2004
Thursday, December 30, 2004
Brian McLaren on Emergent as a Movement
If you have been following the conversation in the Emergent as a Society thread you may have already read this. However, Brian McLaren suggested the following thoughts which I think are helpful, and it was difficult to post them yesterday in anything other than comments, so here they are more formally....
Will Sampson posts Brian McLaren's thoughts on Emergent as a Movement.
Posted by Stephen at 12/30/2004 12:11:00 AM
Wednesday, December 29, 2004
Tsunami in South Asia
The Washington Post has a continually updated interactive map that shows the growing death toll by country.
Yahoo News has an aggregation page pulling news related to this disaster from a variety of sources.
MSNBC has a page that links to various agencies to which concerned individuals can turn in order to help survivors. For other help pages, see
Posted by Stephen at 12/29/2004 06:02:00 PM
The New Perspective on Paul (NPP) and NT Wright
Over the holidays I read an intriguing article - The Attractions of the New Perspective on Paul (link has been corrected) by J Ligon Duncan - critical of the NPP in general and NT Wright in specific.
There is so much enthusiastic support for the thinking of NT Wright within emerging church circles that in a bid to avoid a giddy triumphalism we do well to listen carefully to dissenting voices. I need to read more in this space, but I thought that Duncan brought up some intriguing cautions.
After reading the article, I asked Dr. Duncan if he would recommend any books or articles released since he wrote the article. He suggested (among others)
- Perspectives Old and New on Paul: The "Lutheran" Paul and His Critics by Stephen Westerholm
- Justification and the New Perspectives on Paul by Guy Prentiss Waters
And, of course, more pro-NPP material can be found at the NT Wright Page.
Posted by Stephen at 12/29/2004 08:08:00 AM
Saturday, December 25, 2004
Posted by Stephen at 12/25/2004 01:49:00 PM
The Famous Christmas Truce of WWII
The words drifted across the frozen battlefield: 'Stille Nacht. Heilige Nacht. Alles Schlaft, einsam wacht'. To the ears of the British troops peering over their trench, the lyrics may have been unfamiliar but the haunting tune was unmistakable. After the last note a lone German infantryman appeared holding a small tree glowing with light. 'Merry Christmas. We not shoot, you not shoot.'
It was just after dawn on a bitingly cold Christmas Day in 1914, 90 years ago on Saturday, and one of the most extraordinary incidents of the Great War was about to unfold.
Posted by Stephen at 12/25/2004 09:10:00 AM
Friday, December 24, 2004
Do we Ever Stop Emerging?
In response to Tony Jones Worship Leader Sidebar, Chris Gonzalez asks:
The spirit of Emergent reminds me of the spirit that launched Restoration Movement - and that is precisely what bothers me. It was supposed to be a movement that was post-denominational, although they didn't use "post" so much in the 1800's. However, after a terrific movement got started with so many questions, challenges to the existing abuses of authority structures, and a desire to just be Christians, it degraded into a denomination when they answered all those questions, developed their own authority structures, and forged a certain kind of way to be Christian. After that they just spent their time making sure then next generation knew the answers to questions that generation had never asked. Their goal was met (so they thought) which was to restore the New Testament church. When they restored it (they answered all of their questions), they were good to go.
Their kids were not so good to go. I hope Emergent never quits emerging. When emergent becomes emerged, we're in big trouble. And there are lots of forces inside and outside of emergent that would like to see it emerge, and be done with it already.
If emergent ever arrives it will fail. Arriving is something that makes sense if time stops.
Posted by Stephen at 12/24/2004 08:41:00 PM
Thursday, December 23, 2004
Wednesday, December 22, 2004
Tuesday, December 21, 2004
Addiction to the Proposition
...sometimes we look to be in relationship with people simply so we can get the to assent to our "propositions." In the sense of a small group bible study, we state that our goal is spiritual maturity and determine maturity is based on how much we know. Our idea is that knowledge equals maturity in relationship with God. The reality is intellectual assent does not guarantee a deeper relationship with God becuase it is precisely that, a relationship; it is not a pop quiz that must be passed. We will learn more, we will know more but the knowing is a result of a growing relationship not whether or not we can pass the quiz.
todd littleton is on the money here. While propositions are necessary, they are not enough for spiritual transformation or for leadership development. A bible study is not to be considered successful only on the criterion of information exchange.
lately i've been very dissatisfied with my own degree of spiritual maturity. please understand i'm not being modest. i've written a lot here about how much the abiding meme has been helpful to me. yesterday, i realized that it's jesus himself that i need to get excited about, not the concept of abiding in jesus. i believe this may be why i haven't really gotten down to the depth yet of what it means to abide in jesus.
this past sunday during morning service i journaled as the pastor spoke, interacting with what he was saying. i wrote down that propositions are windows to the object of our faith. faith is the bridge that takes us from proposition to transproposition. transproposition, of course, is the object of our faith.
that's a long-winded way of my saying simply that I need Him. i need to realize He is with me, that He is my savior, my provider, and my Lord. all three realities are important.
I need Him.
Posted by Stephen at 12/21/2004 06:49:00 AM
Monday, December 20, 2004
- abiding in vine
- more on transpropositionality
- do blogs democratise knowledge?
- organizational excellence and spiritual life in community
- psychological hardiness
Posted by Stephen at 12/20/2004 06:55:00 AM
Sunday, December 19, 2004
Saturday, December 18, 2004
Friday, December 17, 2004
A severe misunderstanding of transpropositionality is that it's anti-proposition or anti-information. Information is necessary but it's not enough.
Toward that end, I just learned that the Evangelical Theological Society is in the process of putting all the articles of the Journal of the Evangelical Theological Society online. They'll stay 2 years behind what's published.
On that note, let me also mention the massive Theological Library Series, where with 5 and 6 you can get 300 years of Theological Journal articles including:
Bibliotheca Sacra Journal (1934-2002)
Grace Journal (1960-73)
Grace Theological Journal (1980-91)
The Journal of the Evangelical Theological Society (1966-2002)
Master’s Seminary Journal (1990-2000)
Trinity Journal (1980-2001)
Westminster Theological Journal (1960-2002)
Emmaus Journal (1991-2001)
Michigan Theological Journal (1990-1994)
Journal of Christian Apologetics (1997-1998)
Chafer Theological Seminary Journal (1995-2002)
Conservative Theological Journal (1995-2002)
Journal of the Grace Evangelical Society (1988-2002)
Journal of Biblical Manhood and Womanhood (1995-2002)
Reformation and Revival (1992-2002)
Journal of Ministry and Theology (1997-2002)
Detroit Baptist Seminary Journal (1996-2000)
Bible and Spade (1996-2000)
This has been one of the best reference purchases I've ever made.
Posted by Stephen at 12/17/2004 08:08:00 AM
Thursday, December 16, 2004
Wednesday, December 15, 2004
Emerging Church Criticism, Part Deux
Andrew Jones sounds a helpful tone in his updated comprehensive blogpost on various sources of emerging church criticism. Reading his post and following the links will give you a good sense of the movement and its critics.
Posted by Stephen at 12/15/2004 11:37:00 AM
Tuesday, December 14, 2004
Monday, December 13, 2004
- from Matt
- Lossky, The Mystical Theology of the Orthodox Church
- Ware, The Orthodox Church [Albeit a bit dated now post cold war]
- Fedotov, G.P. A Treasury of Russian Spirituality
- from Paul Soupiset
- "Orthodox Spirituality: An Outline of the Orthodox Ascetical and Mystical Tradition" (1945)
Anonymous ("by a monk of the eastern church")
published by fellowship of saint alban and saint sergius
SBN 281 00843 4 [ss: follow url; this book is available used thru amazon.com]
- from Chris Criminger
- Timothy Ware " The Orthodox Church" (one of the best books to introduce one to the many facets of EO theology and practices as "a way of life").
- Vladimir Lossky "The Mystical Theology of the Orthodox Church" (how Christian theology is done by those outside the West and particularly challenges some western conceptions of theology whether from the Catholic or Protestant tradition).
- John D. Zizioulos "Being as Communion" (if Protestants are ever to understand the liturgical, sacramental, and eucharist understanding of the ancient church then Zizioulos is the one to read on this topic).
ROMAN CATHOLIC BOOKS
- from Solly
- Therese of Lisieux, Story of a Soul;
- JH Newman, Apologia Pro Vita Sua;
- Brother John of Taize, God of the Unexpected
- from Anonymous
- THE MASS OF THE EARLY CHRISTIANS by Mike Aquilina
- THE FATHERS OF THE CHURCH by Mike Aquilina
- FOUR WITNESSES: The Early Church In Her Own Words (Clement of Rome, Ignatius of Antioch, Justin Martyr, Irenaeus of Lyons)
- CROSSING THE TIBER: Evangelical Protestants Discover the Historical Church, by Stephen K. Ray
- from Matt
- Regula Sancti Benedicti [Rule of St. Benedict]
- Brother Lawrence, The Practice of the Presence of God
- J.N.D. Kelly, Early Christian Doctrines
- from Dave Graham
- "Rise, Let us be on our way" by John Paul II
- "Prayer" (i think that's the title...it was published circe 1997 or so)
Excellent reading and the depth this guy has is amazing.
- from Matt Oskvarek
- Called To Communion. It is written by Joseph 'Cardinal' Ratzinger, who is one of the present pope's authorities on doctrinal matters.
- from Chris Criminger
- Catherine Mowry Lacugna "God for Us" (she shows the depth and breadth of Catholic thoelogy while also being an example of the direction some Vatican 2 Catholics are going from a more moderate perspective. For example, the Catholic Church is very conservative on the women priests issue whereas Lacugna would like to see the church change on this issue).
- Avery Dulles "Models of the Church" (probably one of the best works on ecclesiology that takes the best from history and tradition and applies it to the modern church. One of the greatest challenges and needs of the modern church is to come to grips once again with ecclesiology).
- Henri de Lubac "Scripture in the Tradition" (Lubac is an old time French Catholic who sought renewal in the Catholic church by "ressourcing" Christian theology by a return to the early church fathers and the Scriptures).
Posted by Stephen at 12/13/2004 07:56:00 AM
Sunday, December 12, 2004
Saturday, December 11, 2004
Great Church Websites
rob williams points us to greatchurchwebsites.org where the webmaster writes:
The purpose of this site is to promote excellence in church website design by offering a "virtual gallery" of church home pages, along with other resources for church webmasters.
Posted by Stephen at 12/11/2004 09:23:00 AM
Friday, December 10, 2004
Thursday, December 09, 2004
new leadership modes
I hit the road today for Philadelphia. I'm here with some great people: Alan Roxburgh, Brian McLaren, and George Hunsberger. We are in conversation with some of the faculty and the staff of Biblical Theological Seminary about the way they are seeking to transition their Masters of Divinity from a more traditional tract to a center for emerging leadership. This is the second time we've been here. The first was last July and the time was very productive and the conversation incredibly stimulating.
tim keel lets us know ab interesting goings on @ biblical.
Posted by Stephen at 12/09/2004 09:42:00 PM
Wednesday, December 08, 2004
Resources on Emotional Intelligence
Darren Rouse posts a good list of resources in EQ.
I have found all my reading in this space to be helpful. I see it as informing the emerging church's critique of an inordinately propositionalized evangelicalism. It also speaks to the necessity of character for making good decisions.
Posted by Stephen at 12/08/2004 06:19:00 AM
Tuesday, December 07, 2004
Monday, December 06, 2004
In the School of Death
After watching my father struggle to breathe on his deathbed, I cannot believe that there are 21 irrefutable laws of anything any more.
Several years before his Alzheimer’s set in, my father told me his two regrets about the ministry: (1) that he had spent so much time at work, and so little time with us in the living room where he would die, and; (2) that he could not do it all over again.
Earl Creps shares what he's learned from the recent death of his dad.
Andrew Jones has been in this school as well lately and earl's post reminded me of some thoughts we posted some time ago.
Posted by Stephen at 12/06/2004 07:25:00 AM
Sunday, December 05, 2004
Saturday, December 04, 2004
on the label "emergent"
One could easily be "emergent" and not a participant in the life of God. Or a full participant in the hopes of God and not at all "emergent". Being emergent is not the goal. Life in harmony with God is.
Doug Pagitt has some interesting and helpful thoughts about "emergent" as a label and also speaks a bit about what was behind Emergent's original decision to use the term.
Posted by Stephen at 12/04/2004 09:57:00 AM
Friday, December 03, 2004
Three Roman Catholic Books every Protestant Should Read
Three Eastern Orthodox Books every Protestant Should Read
If you were hoping I'd tell you, my apologies. I'm actually hoping you'll tell me in comments! I promise I'll blogpost the results of this question!
Posted by Stephen at 12/03/2004 07:13:00 AM
- the current population of planet earth
- the number of babies being birthed by teenagers this year so far
- current number of deaths this year so far
- movie visitors this year so far
- lightning strikes on earth this year so far
- deaths of children under 5 this year so far
Posted by Stephen at 12/03/2004 06:30:00 AM
Thursday, December 02, 2004
Rare Peter Drucker Interview in Forbes
Peter F. Drucker was born 95 years ago today--can it be possible?--in Vienna. The universally known writer, thinker and lecturer now is nearly deaf and doesn't get around like he used to. He stopped giving media interviews about a year ago. But in late October, Drucker granted an exception to Forbes.com at the urging of Dr. Rick Warren, the founder and head of the Christian evangelical Saddleback Community Church in Lake Forest, Calif.
The Drucker-Warren relationship may surprise many readers, but it goes back two decades, to when the young minister came to Drucker for advice.
This consultation is one Drucker and Warren have engaged in twice yearly for two decades.
Rex Miller let's us know about a new Peter Drucker interview.
Posted by Stephen at 12/02/2004 07:31:00 AM
Wednesday, December 01, 2004
criticism of the emerging church
Faithful are the wounds of a friend; profuse are the kisses of an enemy.
Proverbs 27:6 (English Standard Version)
Darryl Dash has some wise things to say about the coming storm that will likely be precipitated by, among other things,
- a lead article in the number one Christian periodical,
- DA Carson's new book - Becoming Conversant with Emergent, and
- Reclaiming the Center, edited by Millard J. Erickson, Paul Kjoss Helseth and Justin Taylor. (You can read chapter one of this book here)
But the conversation does not have to be a fight; it can be a dance - a beautiful dance of thesis/antithesis working its way toward a greater grasp of truth, a more profound experience of community, and even a closer relationship with the One Who knows all truth.
This can occur when those who disagree
- remember that a gentle answer turns away wrath,
- lean toward the other rather than away,
- seek very hard to listen,
- ask non-rhetorical and genuinely curious questions,
- do the very difficult spadework of working to understand the presuppositions of the other,
- believe the best about the other rather than the worst,
- and, most importantly, be willing to provisionally consider that the other may be saying something of value - that they might even be able to correct.
If these things are done, the coming storm might yield a beautiful harvest.
Posted by Stephen at 12/01/2004 06:54:00 AM