Tuesday, February 28, 2006

you must see this video

pls trust me.

"why i'm post-emergent"

It finally had to happen I guess. I’ve just felt to often that the values I embraced for living the faith and I thought I saw in the emergent conversation have not materialized in reality. So I finally have to admit (not that anyone cares) I’m post emergent. Why? Here are five reasons.

  1. The conversation still looks to much like the old conversation, white, male and academic. The dominant culture still dominates.
  2. The values behind the conversation aren’t readily expressed in actions. No generous orthopraxis to go with the generous orthodoxy. (see my previous post)
  3. The lexicon of the white European theological framework which still dominates. There is very little inclusion of black theologians and the theological framework of people of color. People of color seem to be included in the conversation only if they are willing to use this language and framework. It seems we all need to read NT Wright in order to have any credibility.
  4. Talk, talk and more talk. My experience is we love to talk about this stuff but other than retro worship stuff we don’t get around to acting on it. Even so talk about diversity has never come to the fore. I want to be the church and act like the church not just talk like the church.
  5. Ultimately its about relationships and I have made some good ones which go beyond the whole emergent (non movement) thing. So I’ll go about the spiritual practice of reconciliation through relationships with my brothers and sisters and leave emergent tag to others.

andre daley explains.

it was #5 that i resonated with the most. i think we all long for the transpropositional. Now, for me, that's something I've gotten out of the emerging church conversation. But I also realize it's totally possible to talk about being transpo more than actually being transpo!

ht to jordon.

Monday, February 27, 2006

Sunday, February 26, 2006

Tim Keller in the New York Times

Within a year of its founding in 1989, however, Redeemer had grown from 50 people to more than 400. By the end of 1992, the church had swelled to more than 1,000 people. Since then, it has continued to grow steadily, all while renting space in several locations.

Sept. 11 proved to be a defining moment for the church. On the Sunday after the terrorist attack, more than 5,000 people showed up. So many people packed the church's Sunday morning service that Dr. Keller called another service on the spot, and 700 people came back to attend. While attendance returned to normal in other churches after several weeks, Redeemer kept attracting about 800 more people a week than it had drawn before the attack.

"For the next five years, I would talk to people about when they joined the church, and they said right after 9/11," Dr. Keller said.

link (free registration required)

I think he first hit my radar screen in talking to Steve Knight at the Hard Times Emerging Church Cohort and DJ Chuang, also @ the Hard Times, is faithful to mention Keller's exploits on his blog and has a useful page on him. A few weeks ago, I started pulling down some of the talks DJ points to and have been throwing them on my Nano. I like the guy.

ht to Justin Taylor

Don Miller and John MacMurray's To Own a Dragon, Reflections on Growing up Without a Father

Miller's publicist sent me a review copy of this book and my wife has been inhaling it the last two days. She comments:

I loved Don Miller's "To Own a Dragon, Reflections on Growing up Without a Father." Although it's written for men, I was laughing so hard, my husband kept telling me, "Be quiet, you're going to wake the girls!" Thoughtful and
honest, Miller details his insecurities and foibles with poignancy, and says to the rest of us perhaps the most "Christian" thing we can say to one another: "You're not alone."

Saturday, February 25, 2006

Witherington, Grudem and the ESV

Wayne Grudem posts comments in response to Witherington's earlier post (now deleted) on the origin of the ESV.

I should also comment that after receiving feedback and information, Witherington moderated his earlier comments.

Grudem's comments are interesting in and of themselves in terms of giving a history of the ESV.

ht to Justin Taylor

The entire conversation is also interesting because it once again shows how the fast interaction available through blogs allows for a healthy self-correction mechanism in theological and ecclesial conversation. Humility is, however, the toggle on whether such conversations are salutary or detrimental. I do suggest that the toggle is not the medium itself (some have depreciated the medium because such conversations can and often do go negative) but the character of those participating. See earlier posts do blogs democratize knowledge - pt 1 and pt 2 and my response to Doug Pagitt's recent decision to stop using blogs to share and discuss ideas.

Sunday, February 12, 2006

further evidence of the declining cost of information...

...on the church.

A Southern Baptist Convention Pastor emails Andrew Jones how blogging is disrupting (helpfully or not) denominational proceedings (now covered by Christianity Today) that normally would receive scant attention.

The internet and blogging make information broadcast and interaction less expensive. This changes institutional and societal structures.

Tuesday, February 07, 2006

Please pray for Bob Robinson

Fellow Blogger and frequent emergesque commenter Bob Robinson had emergency heart surgery Saturday night.

Tonight Scot McKnight posts:

Hi. Today is Tuesday, Feb. 7. Some of you received an update from Donna N. already today. I just talked to Linda. Please continue to pray for Bob Robinson and his family. This morning he took a turn for the worse. Linda gave me this update: Bob’s oxygen levels dropped a lot this AM and they checked him for blood clots and infections. He is back on full support of the machines because of this. His lungs are not functioning, so he is on 100 percent oxygen and has “acute respiratory distress syndrome.” The doctors are working to figure out why this is happening. Pray for wisdom and excellent judgment.

Please pray for Bob's wife Linda and their three kids too - Trey (7), Joel (5), and Kaira (5).

Sunday, February 05, 2006

"Seven Habits of Successful Emerging Discussions"

The February Next-Wave features a very helpful article by North Park University's Scot McKnight with advice on how to talk about with Emerging Church.

Wednesday, February 01, 2006

why I consider myself part of the emerging church

I'm genuinely curious why folks participate in the ec conversation. Last April when Will Sampson, Nick Ciske, Steve Knight, Aaron Flores, DJ Chuang and I made up the unofficial "emerging church track" of the Internet Evangelism in the 21st Century Conference, over dinner one night we did an around the room with the question: why are you in the emerging church?

What really struck me was that most of the answers were relational and not primarily theological or practical. Yet on further reflection I suppose that shouldn't be shocking. Though I answer that question primarily in theological and praxis terms, there's no question that I entered the conversation primarily through the influence of the man who had been my pastor since 1988.

Nevertheless, this relational connection is not the first thing that comes to mind when I'm asked such a question. My resonances with the emerging church movement are two:

  • My theology has segued from encyclopedia to outline.

    I've detailed this more in some comments I've made on the term "faithmaps" but the impression I walked away with from seminary was that we in the evangelical church pretty much had all of our theological i's dotted and doctrinal t's crossed. Through the years, I've come to the conclusion that our personal theologies are generally outlines, not exhaustive encyclopedias. There are known items in the outline but there's much that's not filled in.

  • I've come to embrace the transpropositional.

    It has been my observation that evangelicals - whether implicitly or explicitly - sometimes rely on information transfer as the omnicompetent modality of spiritual transformation. We could call this propositionalism. I've come to believe that spiritual change only occurs in the context of relationship - either vertically with God or horizontally with others or - perhaps usually - both. This is not, of course, an apropositional context, but it is a transpropositional context. There is something conveyed in a hug, a shared meal, the sharing of service experiences, the presence of another, that is not entirely capturable by lexical symbols.
Some may be disappointed to read that I have not found that my resonance with the ec has led to the overturning of any primary point of what I previously considered orthodoxy. And I also haven't found the ec conversation leading me to question any previous conclusion I had made on major points of morality. Sometimes, I have feared that for some these two types of changes are what for them is primary. I genuinely don't know if that is the case or not. Perhaps it is most accurate to say that I find myself embracing what is old in a new way.

And so this is where I resonate with the emerging church and why I participate in the ec conversation.

Again, I'm genuinely curious: If you consider yourself part of the emerging church - why?

things that happen as the cost of information declines

"Effective January 27, 2006, Western Union will discontinue all Telegram and Commercial Messaging services. We regret any inconvenience this may cause you, and we thank you for your loyal patronage. If you have any questions or concerns, please contact a customer service representative."

Western Union stops sending telegrams.

As Rex Miller, Francis McInerney, and Sean White have noted, the lowering cost of information has a disruptive effect on society. Western Society has seen this with

  • writing
  • the book
  • radio
  • tv
  • the internet

When I was in seminary, I used to contact Believers Bible Chapel in Dallas and request cassette tapes of the now late S. Lewis Johnson, a former Dallas Theological Seminary professor who was a fine teacher.

I just discovered that Believers Bible Chapel has been placing Dr. Johnson's messages and lectures on their website and I've been filling up my Nano.

First hardware changes, then software, and then - lagging far behind - is users adjustment to the new capabilities. It is still believed that those who wish to learn the church's theology need to travel to where the books are and to where the folks are that have read all the books. With new technologies, such herculean efforts are less necessary when all that is envisioned is information transfer.