Good versus the Best
I wasted a lot of time doing good stuff when I need to focus on the things that God has called me to do.
jordon reflects on his life after being diagnosed with diabetes and a heart event.
he also mentions how his son was a great motivation. i remember then when i was diagnosed with diabetes 8 years ago, my little girl (now there are three) had the same effect on me.
Thursday, June 30, 2005
Good versus the Best
The Purpose of Live8
Bob Geldof and his fellow campaigners are more ambitious now. The Irish rock singer's expletive-peppered appeals for money have been replaced by a call to "tilt the world on its axis" in favor of the poor.
The campaign's initial focus is the summit of leaders from the powerful G8 countries in Scotland next week.
As part of the broader Make Poverty History coalition of aid agencies, churches and other groups, Live 8 has three key demands for the G8 leaders -- double aid to Africa, cut African countries' debts and make trade fairer.
Posted by Stephen at 6/30/2005 08:21:00 AM
" 'One of my other favorite quotes is, "Those who are sick are in need of a doctor." And the sad thing is we're all sick. It's part and parcel of the human condition, and it's especially part and parcel of living in the United States in the 21st century. We're all sick. We're all deeply unhappy, disconnected, unwell people. We need each other, and we need God. And if God made the universe and if God made us and if God made the world, it just makes sense to invite God into our lives and ask Him, "You made me - what should I be doing?" '
Adele excerpts Relevant's interview with Moby.
Posted by Stephen at 6/30/2005 07:53:00 AM
since beth and i have gotten involved in one.org, verses that i had never noticed before are now jumping out at me from the text - these just from Proverbs:
- ...happy is he who is gracious to the poor
Proverbs 14:21b (all quotes New American Standard Bible)
- He (who oppresses the poor taunts his Maker,
But he who is gracious to the needy honors Him.
- He who is gracious to a poor man lends to the LORD,
And He will repay him for his good deed.
- He who is generous will be blessed,
For he gives some of his food to the poor.
- He who increases his wealth by interest and usury
Gathers it for him who is gracious to the poor.
- He who gives to the poor will never want,
But he who shuts his eyes will have many curses.
Posted by Stephen at 6/30/2005 06:43:00 AM
Wednesday, June 29, 2005
Only the soles of her feet were unbruised. Multiple gashes split Meili's scalp; an eye socket was fractured in 21 places. She could not breathe on her own, lost most of her blood and had severe brain damage.
Doctors doubted the 28-year-old investment banker would survive. One even told her parents, "It might be better for all if Trisha died."
But she didn't die....
Sixteen years later, this same woman drew a standing ovation after a polished speech on recovering from trauma. She spoke at the American Psychiatric Association meeting in Atlanta last month. She'll also address the American Psychological Association in August in Washington, D.C.
Meili didn't just survive; she thrived and grew.We ran a great story this morning on the cover of the Life Section about Trisha Meili who is known as the "Central Park Jogger."
I was riveted to the story because it echos a concept that's been helpful to me for years (and I've also blogged about) : psychological hardiness. As I mention in my earlier blarticle, the term was coined (or at least popularized) by Drs. Salvatore R Maddi (who's also quoted in our Meili article) and Deborah M. Koshaba.
The article also mentions "the growing 'positive psychology'" movement that's been connected to University of Pennsylvania psychologist Martin EP Seligman. emergesque had earlier summarized his wonderful book Learned Optimism as part of the In the Foxhole series.
The USA TODAY article bullets 5 keys to creating resilience:
- A "can-do" optimism and goal setting
- A "present" emphasis
- Willingess to accept help
- Spirituality and life-changing growth
- I am the Central Park Jogger: A Story of Hope and Possibility by Trisha Melli
- The Resilience Factor by Karen Reivich and Andrew Shatte
- Resilience at Work: How to Succeed No Matter What Life Throws At You by Salvatore R Maddi and Deborah M Koshaba
- The Resiliency Advantage by Al Siebert
Philippians 4) and it's been helpful to me personally.
Posted by Stephen at 6/29/2005 09:05:00 AM
The Heart of Theology
Is not the central vocation of each theologian or pastor or anyone else who wants to be called Christian to be a "follower of Jesus"? Is not practice the ground-level vocation of each of us?
Scot McKnight, Karl A. Olsson Professor in Religious Studies at North Park University, addressing "the practitioner lobby."
I'll suggest that Scot underlines an important point. We've suggested elsewhere that evangelicalism as a whole has inordinately emphasized the value of mere propositions with a spiritual formation philosophy of information transfer.
But denying the absolute necessity of information is an over-reaction. Scot speaks to such an over-reaction. Lexical symbols are only symbols but God has given them to us to point to transpropositionalities. We should be grateful for these gifts.
Theologians are called to peer more deeply through these gateways to truth and then to call us alongside. We should celebrate them - and thank God for them - while at the same time diligently seeking to incarnate the truth to which they point us.
The heart of our respective vocations is always the same but the colors are different.
Posted by Stephen at 6/29/2005 07:00:00 AM
Tuesday, June 28, 2005
Posted by Stephen at 6/28/2005 07:29:00 PM
A Historic Moment
It's just one of those moments. You know, you have the French and the Germans agreeing with the British. That already is extraordinary in these times, believe me, in Europe. The French, you know, have their colonial past in Africa, and they see themselves as an interface and are ready to step up to .7 percent GDP commitment by 2011. The British .7 commitment. And, you know, the United States is down at about .17, .2 is within sight. But really to get serious about this, the United States has to get up to .3, .4, .5.
Bono on Meet the Press (transcript, scroll down below the Rumsfield dialogue)
Posted by Stephen at 6/28/2005 09:16:00 AM
Broadening its Coverage: The NY Times
He also said that he endorsed the internal committees recommendation "that we cover religion more extensively.... This is important to us not because we want to appease believers or pander to conservatives, but because good journalism entails understanding more than just the neighborhood you grew up in."
NY Times Executive Editor Bill Keller - in a memo to NY Times Staff about expanding its perspective "beyond our predominantly urban, culturally liberal orientation, to cover the full range of our national conversation."
Posted by Stephen at 6/28/2005 08:31:00 AM
Larry Norman's Farewell Concert
"As far as I can tell, this is the last time I'll be able to play in America," Norman, known as the Father of Christian Rock, told the crowd, an enthusiastic and eclectic mix of all ages and styles of appearance.
CT covers what might be Larry's last US Concert.
Posted by Stephen at 6/28/2005 08:22:00 AM
RELIGION & ETHICS NEWSWEEKLY EXPLORES THE EMERGING CHURCH MOVEMENT
Washington, D.C., June 27, 2005 - RELIGION & ETHICS NEWSWEEKLY, the award-winning newsmagazine program hosted by Bob Abernethy and produced by Thirteen/WNET, will present a special series on a new movement in Protestant Christianity -- "The Emerging Church" -- to be included in programs distributed Friday July 8 and July 15 to PBS stations nationwide at 5 p.m. ET (check local listings)
In this two-part report, correspondent Kim Lawton examines how some evangelical and mainline Protestants are rethinking Christianity for a new generation. In conversations conducted largely through "blogs," leaders of the emerging church movement argue that old models and categories are no longer effective. They are developing new theologies and new forms of worship, often blending elements from different traditions -- and eras -- of Christianity. Some are generating controversy for urging a radical re-examination of conventional understandings of the faith.
In the first report, Lawton explores the diverse ways the emerging church movement is taking shape at the local level, profiling a congregation in Minneapolis that uses couches and recliners instead of pews, and going behind-the scenes at experimental worship sessions that blend contemporary technology with ancient religious practices. Lawton also talks with leaders of the movement about how they are reassessing what it means to follow Jesus in today's culture, and hears from one critic who says that some parts of the movement are threatening traditional Christianity.
In the conclusion, Lawton conducts an extended interview with Brian McLaren, named by Time magazine earlier this year as one of the 25 most influential evangelicals in America. McLaren, whose writings have played a key role in emerging church conversations, advocates a "generous orthodoxy" that is "post-conservative and post-liberal." He also raises provocative questions about traditional teachings on subjects such as hell and the afterlife.link
ht to john o'keefe
Posted by Stephen at 6/28/2005 08:15:00 AM
Monday, June 27, 2005
Emergent Village: Who are you Organizing?
I believe that the recent flurry of questions about the direction and identity of Emergent precipitated by its deciding to set forth a National Coordinator could result in the significant strengthening of the organization and put it in a better position to serve the emerging church. Tim Bednar asks the question that Jim Collins suggests is the most important question an organization can ask itself: What difference would it make to the world if we did not exist?
Posted by Stephen at 6/27/2005 06:58:00 AM
Sunday, June 26, 2005
Alan Roxburgh on the Emerging Church
In April, the Allelon Foundation co-sponsored a consultation on leadership formation for the emergent church with the Fuller Center for Intercultural Ministry. Some forty practitioners and reflectors were invited to the three-day conversation from across the United States and Canada, as well as from the United Kingdom, Australia and New Zealand.
Andrew Jones alerts us to this recent report by the respected Alan Roxburgh and Andrew also provides us with a response.
Posted by Stephen at 6/26/2005 08:15:00 AM
Saturday, June 25, 2005
the hard times ec cohort
Some guys came up from Charlotte to the DC area to attend one of the The Worship in the Spirit of Justice events on Darfur in the District tomorrow and we met up today at the Hard Times Cafe in College Park (Suburban MD).
In attendance were (from left to right):
So many memes - here are some that were addressed:
- beth began to bring us up to speed on Jeffrey Sach's new book The End of Poverty. (See a helpful excerpt here). we tried to get everyone to pitch in to cough up $340,000 to feed one village for a year but no takers (yet).
- the emerging church
- should the emergent change its name?
- emergent's appointing a national coordinator
- ethnocentricity, both western/n.american, ecclesiological, theological, and racial
- Stanley Hauerwas
- The Billy Graham Association
- how the declining cost of information changes society and shakes up denominational structures
- cornel west
- franklin graham
- billy graham
- billy graham's last crusade
- the sad state of faithmaps.org but the hopeful plans for its future envigoration
- WEB Dubois
- samaritans purse
- rick warren
- the sad state of evangelical worship music
- Martin Luther King
- Grace Community Church
- Cedar Ridge Community Church
- Warehouse 242
- Bill Hybels
- Willow Creek Community Church
Posted by Stephen at 6/25/2005 02:16:00 PM
tagged with the book meme thing
brad hightower just tagged me. i'm a bibliomaniac so I love this. here goes:
1. total number of books I own or have owned:
- we own around 1100 books.
2. last book I bought:
- i'll cheat and say last book I acquired. one of the 'mappers, Matt Oskvarek, gave me The Ragamuffin Gospel as a gift while we breakfasted last Sat. (Thanks Matt!)
3. last book I read:
I think it was David McCullough's wonderful John Adams. (I'm looking forward to diving into 1776 and am now reading Willard Sterne Randall's George Washington: A Life).
4. five books that mean a lot to me:
- The Bible
- The Seven Habits of Highly Effective People by Stephen Covey
This simple self-help book literally changed my life and I find it to be consistent with many biblical themes.
- Till We Have Faces by CS Lewis
I have read and reread this book, unique in Lewis' corpus. Maybe the best thing I've ever read on narcissism.
- Inside Out by Larry Crabb
Cheating again a little bit. I actually had the chance to study under Larry when I was getting my Masters and this book summarizes his CORE class. This book, along with some other factors, precipitated what I consider to be a miraculous life change in my life in the mid-80's the extent of which it's difficult for me to overemphasize (I know this sounds over the top but it was over the top).
- The Leadership Challenge by Kouzes and Posner
Perhaps the best book I've ever read on Leadership. I'll cheat again and add Collins and Porras Built to Last as one of the best books I've ever read on healthy orgs.
Nothing stands out.
6. five people I plan to tag.
Posted by Stephen at 6/25/2005 08:50:00 AM
Friday, June 24, 2005
On What do George Clooney and Pat Robertson Agree?
From the one.org press release:
Be sure to catch George Clooney and Pat Robertson tonight at 11:35pm/10:35pm Central on ABC's "Nightline". No matter who you vote for, whether you go to a church or mosque, or if you live in Hollywood or the Heartland, millions of us agree that as ONE we can reach across divides of politics, religion and music and do something extraordinary, together.
ht to azotus.
Posted by Stephen at 6/24/2005 05:08:00 PM
For Conflicted Emergers: Keeping the Peace
Since May of 2001, the 350 or so faithmappers (though many lurk, have moved on to other email addresses, have forgotten they've subscribed, etc) have posted 41,513 emails to our community discussion group (averaging ab 845 a month). Though our community has had some tense moments, one reason it has worked as well as it has is that one of our primary requirements for participation: mutual respect. We suggest that's helpful in other contexts as well! Here's the note that's sent out monthly to underline this need:
The faithmaps discussion group is not a church, but church happens here.
We have a pretty wide spectrum on this list from those who do not believe in God at all but like to talk to us folks that do to a number of us who not only passionately believe in the existence of the Judeo-Christian God but also believe that He has spoken and that reliably in Scripture. We are a public list and anyone is welcome to join as long as they understand what we're about and the parameters of our discussion (like any discussion list). We've been compared to Francis Schaeffer's L'Abri: faithmaps.org and the discussion group find their foundation in evangelicalism, but all from any ideological orientation are welcome to participate. We seek to advance God's kingdom thru such interactions.
So I'll typically put my moderator hat on only when I think we are about to
stray significantly off discussion of
"tools for navigating theology, leadership, discipleship and church
life in postmodernity"
or when I see a breakdown of respect.
**conflict and respect**
Our discussions here are sometimes quite spirited, but collegial. We occasionally disagree or explore a topic from various viewpoints but generally we do so with mutual respect. We believe much learning occurs through such interchanges.
But I'll step in if - and this is very important - I perceive that anyone is dealing with someone else disrespectfully. We have a great community here and it would be sad to see it disintegrate into potshot land or a place of mere rhetorical positioning and grandstanding.
I also am not anxious to see us bogged down into debate on any one issue or especially emotive issues that are debated endlessly and with great verve on other lists (homosexuality, abortion, etc).
In the past on very rare occasions, I have stepped in when it seemed to me that discussion on any one topic on which there was disagreement debilitated to what I call "little motorcycle circles in the sand." Most of the time this is not an issue because most folks realize that a point can come where further discussion is counterproductive. But the desire to have the last word, or perhaps a passionate commitment to one's point of view, or other motives can subject all the 'mappers to endless reams of fruitless discussion, so I may choose to interdict or redirect such a thread.
Failure to respond to moderator notes dealing with these matters subjects violators to having their posts moderated (posts coming directly to me for approval) or even to being banned from the group. Further, in an effort to stop serial violators, any faithmaps participant who has been addressed with moderator's notes in the past are subject to *immediate* moderation (all their emails will come to me for approval) or even being banned.
I will always strive to act in fairness to both supposed violators and the group in my best judgment.
When other differences of opinion come up, our discussions should drive to either
agreement - humble people of integrity are
susceptible to being enlightened by others!,
synthesis - in my experience, successful resolution often ends here,
or a *civil* agreement to disagree.
If you've reached a point in discussion where it seem fruitless to continue or you find it difficult to discuss a topic further without debilitating into unwarranted disrespect or sarcasm, perhaps it's time to withdraw from that particular discussion thread and/or opt for the third option listed above.
And my mentioning synthesis does *not* imply that I believe that there are no instances of genuine thesis/antithesis where one party is right and one party is wrong.
There is no reason disagreement and disrespect must always coincide. I strongly feel that we must not absolutize others down to the one thing on which they disagree with us. But I also see that folks often have a tendency to incorrectly and/or prematurely analyze disagreements down to thesis/antithesis without giving sufficient diligence to seeking either an understanding of our opposite or a third option.
Posted by Stephen at 6/24/2005 07:47:00 AM
Thursday, June 23, 2005
"Emergent is not the Emerging Church"
Just found this Jason Clark offering from a few months ago. I wouldn't put it exactly that way because it sounds too much like the Emergent versus the Emerging Church meme that Tony Jones rightfully wishes to avoid (though Jason doesn't intend that), but I think Jason's comments are worth considering.
Posted by Stephen at 6/23/2005 01:37:00 PM
An Intriguing Question
Bob Hyatt asks: Should Emergent change it's name?
An organization changing its name must always be considered very carefully and can be quite expensive. But I think it's a good thing for emergent to at least consider following the lead of the Emergent-UK in considering a name change.
This would work to eliminate the current confusion of the emergent organization and the emerging church of which it is an important part. (Note Zondervan's recent commendable decision to change DA Carson's recent title from "Becoming Conversant with Emergent" to "Becoming Conversant with the Emerging Church"). It could free up emergent to work as a servant organization to the larger group and eliminate the concerns of those who feel that they are trying to control the conversation (I do not, by the way, believe that they are trying to totally dominate the conversation).
Posted by Stephen at 6/23/2005 12:34:00 PM
Wednesday, June 22, 2005
Report from the Emergent Summit - Part 3 of 4
This is why I, for one, reject the dichotomies of “big ‘E’” vs. “small ‘e’” or even “Emergent” vs. “emerging church” – at this point, these are not helpful differentiations and already show the nascent signs of in-fighting. Let’s table these debates for a couple years, OK?
Tony Jones posts the third report in a series.
I thoroughly agree that we should not dichotomize Emergent and the emerging church. However, I do believe it's helpful for clarity's sake to differentiate the formal organization from the informal conversation. Emergent is a subset (albeit a justifiably significant subset) of the emerging church.
See also the comments of John O'Keefe.
Posted by Stephen at 6/22/2005 12:10:00 AM
Tuesday, June 21, 2005
Chris Seay on the Southern Baptists
Chris said that we (SBC) are known as people of dogma, not beauty. We have lost our sense of beauty in truth by making it merely propositions.
Steve McCoy reports on Chris Seay's talk at the Southern Baptist Convention's Annual Meeting.
Posted by Stephen at 6/21/2005 08:06:00 AM
Monday, June 20, 2005
Tony Jones Responds to the "Emergent is Institutionalizing!" Controversy
Posted by Stephen at 6/20/2005 12:02:00 AM
Sunday, June 19, 2005
Graham in New York City
His body racked by age and infirmities, Billy Graham will depend heavily on the Holy Spirit to endure his speaking schedule for the New York City crusade later this month. The 86-year-old evangelist is determined not to let even hearing loss, prostate cancer, and Parkinson's disease stop him from delivering the gospel message of salvation through Jesus Christ.
Christianity Today runs a nice piece reviewing Graham's relationship with civil rights, fundamentalism and Reinhold Niebuhr.
CT also mentions this rare NY Times interview of Graham.
Also see this tribute by Bono on Billy Graham.
Posted by Stephen at 6/19/2005 12:06:00 AM
Saturday, June 18, 2005
- Mike's decision began with a comment he made to my earlier post, Facts Every Christian Should Know.
- The earlier part of this conversation is detailed with Toward a Faithful Justice/Mercy-Oriented Transpropositionality
- And Mike rendered the denouement with his Split Personality II.
Posted by Stephen at 6/18/2005 10:20:00 AM
Friday, June 17, 2005
Emergent: Toward a Partial Deinstitutionalization
Emergent has announced today that they've decided to change Tony Jones' title from National Director to National Coordinator.
A friend of mine asked me what I thought of Emergent moves toward institutionalization. I told him that I see it as amoral - neither good or bad. It totally depends on how they leverage the structure. I think DePree strikes the right balance here.
Posted by Stephen at 6/17/2005 04:03:00 PM
A Review of DA Carson's Becoming Conversant with the Emerging Church
jordon lets us know about Fuller's Assistant Professor of Church in Contemporary Culture's, Ryan Bolger, review of Carson's new critique on the ec.
Posted by Stephen at 6/17/2005 08:06:00 AM
Thursday, June 16, 2005
What's your Theological Worldview?
You scored as Evangelical Holiness/Wesleyan.
You are an evangelical in the Wesleyan tradition. You believe that God's grace enables you to choose to believe in him, even though you yourself are totally depraved. The gift of the Holy Spirit gives you assurance of your salvation, and he also enables you to live the life of obedience to which God has called us. You are influenced heavly by John Wesley and the Methodists.
This is a fun test created by sivin kit. ht to jason.
UPDATE: My bad - I'm informed that this test was created by Steven Harris. My apologies to all!
Posted by Stephen at 6/16/2005 08:05:00 AM
10 Questions for Brian McLaren
On the political side, research defines the Evangelical church as 45% religious right, 45% moderate or mainstream, and 10% progressive. The interesting thing is that the 45% in the middle never, ever speak against the 45% who are the most conservative. So let’s say I'm over in the 10% progressive side. An awful lot of ink and energy gets spent on the danger of somebody like me is, but nobody ever talks about what's the danger of Jerry Falwell, or what’s the danger of James Dobson or the danger of Pat Robertson and the enormous power they have — not only the power with huge amounts of money and power with huge influence on the media, but also power in a sense to brand Christianity.
Terry Heaton interviews Brian.
ht to jordon.
Posted by Stephen at 6/16/2005 12:14:00 AM
Should we Differentiate "Emergent" and "the Emerging Church?"
I'm not really trying to be provocative by asking. But with the appointment of its first National Director, the organization Emergent takes a step towards institutionalization (I use the term with no pejoration). I see some people using the term "emergent" generically, but I'm wondering if we should. The leaders of Emergent themselves have said:
...we have repeatedly affirmed, contrary to what some have said, that there is no single theologian or spokesperson for the emergent conversation. We each speak for ourselves and are not official representatives of anyone else, nor do we necessarily endorse everything said or written by one another. We have repeatedly defined emergent as a conversation and friendship, and neither implies unanimity – nor even necessarily consensus – of opinion.
What do you think?
Posted by Stephen at 6/16/2005 12:08:00 AM
Wednesday, June 15, 2005
Evangelicals, Social Action and Political Involvement
Many evangelical Christians got involved in politics because of a single issue: abortion.
But in recent years, without much notice, conservative Christians also have helped force the State Department to place a higher priority on battling religious persecution, set the stage for a cease-fire in Sudan, enact legislation aimed at reducing prison rape in the USA and push for more funds to fight AIDS in Africa.
The latest examples: debt relief and global warming. Conservative Christians were among those who pushed for an accord reached in London on Saturday by major industrial nations to cancel at least $40 billion of debt owed by the world's poorest nations to international aid organizations. And the National Association of Evangelicals and other conservative Christian groups are putting their clout behind efforts to limit the "greenhouse gas" emissions linked to global climate change.
"Christian right's alliances bend political spectrum" - USA TODAY lead story today
Posted by Stephen at 6/15/2005 08:21:00 AM
Tuesday, June 14, 2005
Emergent Appoints Tony Jones as National Director
Emergent today announced the appointment of Tony Jones as its first National Director. The group, which describes itself as “a growing, generative friendship,” has been increasing in both size and positive influence within the North American Church and, increasingly, the Church around the globe. Jones said, “I wholeheartedly believe Emergent will play a catalytic and generative role in the life of the American Church for years to come.” The appointment of Jones is recognition of the need for coordination of the vast volunteer efforts of Emergent. Jones's role will become progressively more full-time. He will commence this role October 1, 2005 and move completely into the role by June 1, 2006.
Emergent announcement on US blog. The announcement is in Part 1 of 4 Reports from the recent Emergent leadership's Summit.
Posted by Stephen at 6/14/2005 01:48:00 PM
Toward a Faithful Justice/Mercy-Oriented Transpropositionality Balance is a word I have a lot of trouble with. Sometimes balance is called for. And other times balance is the excuse we offer for not doing the thing we should. In his kind and thoughtful response to my comment, Steve Knight speaks of moving the conversation forward. There are days when I want to do that, and then there are days when I feel like flipping over some tables. (When it came to issues that seemed to be at the heart of his vision for the Kingdom of God, Jesus apparently sucked at balance too, so I figure I'm in good company.) So, back to the original point: I have two blogs. Here's the thing - blogs are all pull and no push. If I don't feel like reading one, I don't, and there's nothing the writer of that blog can do. If I talk about Justice & Mercy issues on this blog as much as I want to, I risk losing the very people I'm trying to reach. So, I have 3Click, because we must talk about the subject, and more importantly, do something about it. And periodically I write a post and put it on both. Right now I don't know what else to do.
emergesque readers have no doubt noticed a recent trend toward posts that emphasize poverty issues. This trend has precipitated some comment here and elsewhere.
Mike Todd commented here,
First, there are those who are into the justice and mercy stuff but don't share our interest in faith issues. ... Sadly, there is a flip side to this coin. There are those who love to talk about faith issues who don't give a rip about justice and mercy.
Mac also commented here that he's noticed that when he speaks to justice/mercy issues in connection with his leadership of the one campaign in san francisco, that he "needed to create some distance because of the "baggage" so many have regarding Christian faith."
On waving and drowning, Mike posted more thoughts on this perceived dichotomy.
I'm a newbie to all of this - I'm currently in major learning mode - , but Mike's got the credentials to speak to this with some authority. Steve Knight had respectfully complained:
I'm really surprised (and saddened in a way) to read Mike's comments here. I see Mike -- the Executive Director of Linwood House Ministries (formerly Global Action Canada) -- as a major voice in Canada on issues of justice.
He may be really savvy to separate his thoughts on faith from his thoughts on justice (because, as he states, the audience remains somewhat split on the two topics), but I don't see how that helps move the conversation forward. We ought to all be working vigilantly to bring these two worlds together, as they should be.
This afternoon as Beth and I were driving home, I commented that it may be that the new focus ('cause it doesn't seem like it's just a new thing to Beth and me, but that a number of new folks are joining the conversation) may be reflective of a movement of God (!). I honestly don't know.
But one thing I do know: We do have to seque to a faithful transpropositionality on this issue.
I heard Brian McLaren once say that postmodernity isn't anti-modernity but assumes and builds on modernity. That may be a bit triumphal, but I think it's a worthy goal even if not an objective description. But let me speak with a similar idealogical hope: when the propositions of the term "transpropositional" are considered to be the propositions of Christian revelation, the most transpropositional approach to justice and mercy issues will exceed mere faithful talk and encompass faithful action. Biblical information will meet Christian conviction to bear the fruit of missional execution.
Some will go to Africa.
Some will pull out a checkbook, or click a PayPal box.
Some will befriend someone who lives on $.35 a day.
Some will write books.
Some will write their congressman.
The conversation must continue and improve in quality; but our activity must not stay at the level of conversation.
Balance is a word I have a lot of trouble with. Sometimes balance is called for. And other times balance is the excuse we offer for not doing the thing we should. In his kind and thoughtful response to my comment, Steve Knight speaks of moving the conversation forward. There are days when I want to do that, and then there are days when I feel like flipping over some tables. (When it came to issues that seemed to be at the heart of his vision for the Kingdom of God, Jesus apparently sucked at balance too, so I figure I'm in good company.)
So, back to the original point: I have two blogs. Here's the thing - blogs are all pull and no push. If I don't feel like reading one, I don't, and there's nothing the writer of that blog can do. If I talk about Justice & Mercy issues on this blog as much as I want to, I risk losing the very people I'm trying to reach. So, I have 3Click, because we must talk about the subject, and more importantly, do something about it. And periodically I write a post and put it on both. Right now I don't know what else to do.
Posted by Stephen at 6/14/2005 08:28:00 AM
Monday, June 13, 2005
Posted by Stephen at 6/13/2005 08:51:00 PM
Pink Floyd Returns
"Like most people I want to do everything I can to persuade the G8 leaders to make huge commitments to the relief of poverty and increased aid to the third world. It's crazy that America gives such a paltry percentage of its GNP to the starving nations. Any squabbles Roger and the band have had in the past are so petty in this context, and if re-forming for this concert will help focus attention then it's got to be worthwhile."
David Gilmore on Pinkfloyd.com.
I could say that the reason I'm posting this is because they're going to play @ Live 8, but my primary motivation is just that they're going to play at all! Wow!!!
Posted by Stephen at 6/13/2005 12:00:00 AM
Sunday, June 12, 2005
pls pray for jordon cooper
jordon has been a thoughtleader and friend for many of us. recently he found out that he might have diabetes and tests confirmed that he did. today he requests prayer for some pain that he's having and several days of lack of sleep. as you think of jordon, pls mention him to God.
Posted by Stephen at 6/12/2005 07:48:00 PM
Leadership is like Making Love
Good leadership is like good lovemaking. Sure we can take a class or
two on it and we can learn to do it better, but if we do, haven't we
missed the point. I don't make love in order to develop a skill or
proficiency at it. It is a spontaneous expression of my relationship.
It is not an end in itself, but a means to another end - the sharing
of myself with another.
Leadership is the same. I can improve my leadership skills in a class
or with practice but never to brag to others that I am a good leader.
I would no sooner brag that I am a good lovemaker because the very act
of declaring such destroys the purpose for which I engage in the
practice. It isn't about me but about her. I don't lead to be a good
leader so if I stand up and tell others what a good leader I am, then
I have destroyed the very thing that would make me a good leader. It
isn't about me. It is about bringing others to excel beyond their
Rick Presley, one of the faithmappers in a current discussion, comments on the nature of leadership and whether some evangelicals are showing an unwarranted triumphalism when it comes to the efficacy of "good leadership skills."
Posted by Stephen at 6/12/2005 12:01:00 AM
Saturday, June 11, 2005
Breaking News: G8 Agrees to Write off $40,000,000,000 Worth of Poor Nation Debt
The world's richest countries agreed Saturday on a historic deal to write off more than $40 billion of debt owed by the poorest nations. The debt relief package backed by finance ministers from the Group of Eight industrialized nations is part of a British-led effort to lift Africa out of poverty.
Posted by Stephen at 6/11/2005 07:30:00 PM
Ken Taylor Joins the Ages
CT announces that the author of The Living Bible died yesterday @ 88.
Today, there are zillions of translations and Study Bibles. But in 1971 when the full Living Bible, a paraphrase of the Scriptures, was published, there were relatively few. I find a multiplicity of Bible versions helpful in that sometimes variant phrasing will give you a different nuance - or even interpretation - of a passage. Surely Taylor did us all some good, though some criticized.
Posted by Stephen at 6/11/2005 12:59:00 PM
Brad Pitt, Diane Sawyer, One.org, and 2.7 Billion Hungry People
Since the "Primetime Live" broadcast, more than 120,000 people have gone online to sign a petition urging President Bush to pledge an additional 1 percent of the U.S. budget to humanitarian assistance and to prod fellow world leaders to follow suit, according to organizers of the One Campaign.
"It was a huge surge from weeks prior," One Campaign spokeswoman Jenny Volanakis told Reuters on Friday. "The increase (in petitioners) was so dramatic that they are able to directly attribute it to" Pitt's TV appearance.
She said the anti-poverty effort has collected more than 900,000 e-mail registrations since the campaign was launched in April.
Posted by Stephen at 6/11/2005 07:40:00 AM
Friday, June 10, 2005
money, money, money
3 billion people live on less than 2 bucks a day.
According to a new report, just over 8 million people worldwide control $31 TRILLION in assets. In other words, one-tenth of one percent of the world’s population controls one-quarter of the world’s assets.Jim Gilliam points us to Capgemini 's World Wealth Report.
Posted by Stephen at 6/10/2005 02:28:00 PM
Thursday, June 09, 2005
Wednesday, June 08, 2005
Facts Every Christian Should Know
- Every 3 seconds a child dies from disease.
- Every 7 seconds a child dies from hunger.
- 11 million kids under 5 die every year from malnutrition.
- Poverty kills 20,000 every day.
- There are 6.4 billion people in the world.
- The "developed world," of which the US is a part, comprises less than 1 billion people.
- 1.2 billion people attempt to live on less than $1 a day.
I know that the LORD secures justice for the poor
and upholds the cause of the needy.
Psalm 140:12 (all passages NIV)
The righteous care about justice for the poor,
but the wicked have no such concern.
Speak up for those who cannot speak for themselves,
for the rights of all who are destitute.
Speak up and judge fairly;
defend the rights of the poor and needy.
31"When the Son of Man comes in his glory, and all the angels with him, he will sit on his throne in heavenly glory. 32All the nations will be gathered before him, and he will separate the people one from another as a shepherd separates the sheep from the goats. 33He will put the sheep on his right and the goats on his left.
34"Then the King will say to those on his right, 'Come, you who are blessed by my Father; take your inheritance, the kingdom prepared for you since the creation of the world. 35For I was hungry and you gave me something to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink, I was a stranger and you invited me in, 36I needed clothes and you clothed me, I was sick and you looked after me, I was in prison and you came to visit me.'
37"Then the righteous will answer him, 'Lord, when did we see you hungry and feed you, or thirsty and give you something to drink? 38When did we see you a stranger and invite you in, or needing clothes and clothe you? 39When did we see you sick or in prison and go to visit you?'
40"The King will reply, 'I tell you the truth, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers of mine, you did for me.'
41"Then he will say to those on his left, 'Depart from me, you who are cursed, into the eternal fire prepared for the devil and his angels. 42For I was hungry and you gave me nothing to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me nothing to drink, 43I was a stranger and you did not invite me in, I needed clothes and you did not clothe me, I was sick and in prison and you did not look after me.'
44"They also will answer, 'Lord, when did we see you hungry or thirsty or a stranger or needing clothes or sick or in prison, and did not help you?'
45"He will reply, 'I tell you the truth, whatever you did not do for one of the least of these, you did not do for me.'
46"Then they will go away to eternal punishment, but the righteous to eternal life."
Posted by Stephen at 6/08/2005 11:11:00 AM
Africa gets more Help
from the US and Great Britain. But Blair's advocacy did not find its fullest fruit with President Bush.
That begin said,
The Bush administration has tripled aid to Africa to $3.2 billion in 2004 and promised several billion more annually through the "Millennium Challenge" account, though that money has yet to be delivered. The president has also pledged almost $3 billion in annual AIDS relief, most of which will go to Africa.
Posted by Stephen at 6/08/2005 07:55:00 AM
Tuesday, June 07, 2005
Bono as Activist
Said Santorum: "He knows the importance of 302b allocations," the arcane congressional terminology that refers to amount of money the appropriations committee doles out to each department and agency.AP releases a nice piece on Bono's political activism.
Posted by Stephen at 6/07/2005 03:57:00 PM
Monday, June 06, 2005
Sunday, June 05, 2005
Christianity Today Editorializes on Darfur
"They killed my 3-year-old son right in front of my eyes," one father from West Darfur said. Since last fall, women have reported more than 500 rapes. Three women said five militiamen beat and raped them last August. The women said, "After they abused us, they told us that now we would have Arab babies. And, if they would find any [more] women, they would rape them again to change the color of their children."
Along the Sudan-Uganda border, the Lord's Resistance Army attacks with impunity. Once again, women are the targets. In mid-March, rebels assaulted three women gathering firewood and cut off their ears, lips, and breasts. The attackers often abduct children to serve in their army. Captured children, mostly Christian, are trained to kill. They often go through a perverted baptism-like ritual supposedly making them immune to the penetration of bullets.
Just saw this.
Posted by Stephen at 6/05/2005 04:08:00 PM
Rick Warren and Poverty Saddleback's network of 2,600 small groups is starting the movement as each one adopts a village where it will seek to implement the P.E.A.C.E. Plan. The congregation has been testing the plan over the past 18 months as 4,500 church members have been involved in pilot projects. The official rollout of The P.E.A.C.E. Plan will begin this October, when Pastor Rick Warren will mobilize the Saddleback Church congregation’s small groups to focus on 85 countries around the world. One of those countries will be the small country of Rwanda in eastern Africa, where a million people were killed in a 100-day genocide in 1994. A recent visit to the country convinced Warren that Rwanda had the right qualities for what he called "the first model of national cooperation" between churches, the government, and major businesses.
Warren mentions Saddleback's Peace Plan in the letter that he sent out earlier encouraging folks to participate in the one.org campaign. Rick announced this plan on 17 April 2005 during Saddleback's 25th anniversary celebration (with over 30,000 folks in attendance) at Angel Stadium in Anaheim. Warren commented:
Billions of people suffer each day from problems so big no government can solve them. The only thing big enough to solve the problems of spiritual emptiness, selfish leadership, poverty, disease, and ignorance is the network of millions of churches all around the world.
From the Purpose Driven Life article on the announcement:
P.E.A.C.E. is an acronym that stands for "Plant churches, Equip servant leaders, Assist the poor, Care for the sick, and Educate the next generation," Warren said. The emphasis calls for church-based small groups to adopt villages where spiritual emptiness, selfish leadership, poverty, disease, and ignorance keep people from experiencing the kind of life God wants them to have, he said.
Warren then introduced [Rwandan] President Paul Kagame as a "wonderful Christian leader" who has demonstrated his trustworthiness in rebuilding the country.
You can find out more about what Saddleback is doing to prepare for this initiative and more about what's envisioned in this Peace Plan here. You can also view a Saddleback internal powerpoint that they apparently used when launching their internal development process. Saddleback is apparently planning on launching this formally in October of this year.
Saddleback's network of 2,600 small groups is starting the movement as each one adopts a village where it will seek to implement the P.E.A.C.E. Plan. The congregation has been testing the plan over the past 18 months as 4,500 church members have been involved in pilot projects.
The official rollout of The P.E.A.C.E. Plan will begin this October, when Pastor Rick Warren will mobilize the Saddleback Church congregation’s small groups to focus on 85 countries around the world. One of those countries will be the small country of Rwanda in eastern Africa, where a million people were killed in a 100-day genocide in 1994. A recent visit to the country convinced Warren that Rwanda had the right qualities for what he called "the first model of national cooperation" between churches, the government, and major businesses.Warren said he was impressed with the spiritual depth of Rwandan church leaders who opposed the genocide and have led the people into a "spirit of hope and reconciliation." He also said he believes God wants to begin something new in a small country that the world ignores
Posted by Stephen at 6/05/2005 12:25:00 PM
The Tragedy of Darfur
The United Nations says that about 180,000 people have died in the two-year conflict in Darfur, and more than two million driven from their homes. Hunger, lack of water, and disease are increasing the numbers of deaths daily.
Cedar Ridge Community Church, where Brian McLaren pastors, and other organizations, including Sojourners, are sponsoring Worshipping in the Spirit of Justice, five Sunday gatherings at 1 PM Eastern in Washington DC "with the goal of ending the genocide in Darfur by calling on our institutions to give meaning to the words 'never again'."
CRCC's Fact Sheets on Darfur may be the fastest and best way to wrap your brain around the crisis quickly. See