Monday, October 31, 2005

Tragic News: Kyle Lake

The Associated Press has just reported that University Baptist Church pastor and Relevant Author Kyle Lake, 33, was electrocuted today when he reached for a microphone while conducting a baptism.

I first got to know Kyle in September, 2001 and he was a part of the faithmaps community for a while. He leaves behind his wife Jen, a five year old daughter, Avery, and three year old twin boys - Sutton and Jude. Please pray for them, for Kyle's friends, and for the church.

In the picture, Kyle is on the far left.

updated links on kyle

Image and info from the The Baptist Standard: University Baptist Church pastors, (left to right), Kyle Lake, senior pastor; Ben Dudley, community pastor, and David Crowder, music and arts pastor; lead worship. (Photo by Duane A. Laverty/Waco Tribune-Herald)

Sunday, October 30, 2005

Refreshing Comments on Christian Disagreement

You are reading viewpoints of different church leaders in emerging churches. You will see differences, as that is the point of this book as we discuss each others differences. So I assume we will discuss and even challenge one another in our responses. But this is not fisticuffs fighting. This is more like a fun pillow fight, you could say. I’m not sure grown men have pillow fights and I think Doug Pagitt with his long arms would wipe most of us out with a swing of his pillow, but I think you understand what I mean. I have seen and read ugly, bitter cut down ranting on blogs and in other books. This book will not have that. Something for the reader to know, is that we are all friends in this book. I have spent time with each person writing in this book. I have been to two of their homes, and stayed overnight a few times at one. I respect tremendously each person contributing in this book and writing opinions in this format is difficult, because it is only words, not facial expressions, no cup of coffee or a pint of Guinness is on the table as we chat theology here. So, it is hard to write and then do counter-points, as we do have different beliefs. But I approach this with great humility and wish this was more of a roundtable discussion. I am certain if I was to ask the other writers, they too would prefer that – as we are not in combat here, we are expressing our own theological journeys and ideas. That is important to know, as some people like to see fights and some people are so opinionated that their hearts come across as puffy and arrogant as we are talking about holy, mysterious things here and we should tread lightly and prayerfully.

Dan Kimball from a forthcoming book he's developing with
that will be edited by Robert Webber.

image from stock.xchng

Saturday, October 29, 2005

trolling for podcasts

i scored a nano for my birthday (which is actually Monday - yes, i was born on Halloween) from my fantastic wife and i'm trolling for podcasts. suggestions?

(holiday birthdays run in the family:

data, data, data

found a good resource on denominational data:

the american religious data archive

funded by the lilly endowment

ht to thinkchristian.

image from stock.xchng

Friday, October 28, 2005

Can Evangelicalism Return to its Social Justice Roots?

For months [Rick Warren] has alluded in general terms to an immense volunteer effort called the PEACE plan, aimed at transforming 400,000 churches in 47 nations into centers to nurse, feed and educate the poor and even turn them into entrepreneurs. Its details remain unknown, but its Rwandan element seems to have outrun the rest. Warren says he was "looking for a small country where we could actually work on a national model," and Kagame, impressed by The Purpose-Driven Life, volunteered Rwanda in March. In July Warren and 48 other American Evangelicals, who have backgrounds in areas like health, education, micro-enterprises and justice, held intensive planning meetings with Rwandan Cabinet ministers, governors, clergy and entrepreneurs. One dinner was attended by a third of the Rwandan Parliament. Says Scott Moreau, a professor of missiology at Wheaton College in Illinois: "I've never heard of this level of cooperation in the last 100 years between any megachurch, mission agency or even a denomination and a national government" (hyperlinks mine)

Time Magazine recently ran an article called Warren of Rwanda where they reported Rick Warren’s recent July meetings with a number of Rwandan leaders.

In a recent Wall Street Journal article, Boston College professor Alan Wolfe, the Director of The Boisi Center for Religion and American Public Life, wrote of Rick Warren,

Historians are likely to pinpoint Mr. Warren's trip to Rwanda as the moment when conservative evangelical Protestantism made questions of social justice central to its concerns. …Rick Warren could have become satisfied with his national success and ignored problems abroad. Instead he has chosen to make issues of global poverty central to his ministry and for that he deserves his identification by Time magazine as one of the most important evangelicals in America.

(ht to Steve Bush on the Generous Orthodoxy ThinkTank blog)

While appreciative, Wolfe is hardly triumphant of Warren’s effort, going on the express a concern that Warren’s Protestant Evangelicalism might itself precipitate strive in this predominantly Catholic country. And while also recognizing Warren’s sincerity, Wolfe is also worried that the Purpose-Driven life approach may be simplistic in this context.

Christianity Today also recently ran a cover story on Warren's efforts in Rwanda.

I can't help but feel positively about this return of Evangelicalism to the type of social justice activism it displayed at its birth in the 18th century (Whitfield founding orphanages in America, etc). I believe good things will come from this.

- the PEACE Plan Site

Thursday, October 27, 2005

How to Know When You're Not a Leader

1. You're waiting on a bigger staff and more money to accomplish your vision.
2. You think you need to be in charge to have influence.
3. You're content.
4. You tend to foster division instead of generating a helpful dialogue.
5. You think you need to say something to be heard.
6. You find it easier to blame others for your circumstances than to take responsibility for solutions.
7. It's been some time since you said, "I messed up."
8. You're driven by the task instead of the relationships and the vision.
9. Your dreams are so small, people think they can be achieved.
10. No one is following you.

from tony morgan

ht to steve mckoy and others

image from stock.xchng

Wednesday, October 26, 2005

Anne Rice and Jesus

Throughout history - from the DaVinci Code and the work of Walker
Percy or Flannery O'Connor, back through Pilgrim's Progress and the
Divine Comedy to the parables of Jesus -- fictional narratives have
been important ways for authors and readers to explore matters of
ultimate concern. Anne Rice here places herself in this rich
tradition. Yes, this portrayal of Jesus will engender controversy -
but it will also convey a sense of the political, social, and
religious milieu into which Jesus came, which will in turn shed new
light on the meaning of his teaching, life, and passion. Highly

Brian McLaren

"I promised that from now on I would write only for the Lord."

Anne Rice

A couple of weeks ago, some friends of mine and I were in BWI Airport getting ready to fly to Atlanta for the Catalyst Conference and I was intrigued when I saw someone reading an Anne Rice book called Christ the Lord - Out of Egypt. I remember vaguely feeling that it wouldn't be a book I'd want to read.

Then I saw a newspaper article about Rice's forthcoming historical novel treating Jesus' childhood and realized that the man I saw was reading a pre-publication copy. Newsweek recently ran a piece chronicling Rice's return to the Catholicism and Gene Edward Veith has mentioned her recent change of direction on this site.

Looks like my first instinct was incorrect!