Monday, October 30, 2006

Scot McKnight on His Experience @ Westminster Theological Seminary

"I think it is only honest to say that a few faculty, who have written against emerging/emergent, protested the event by not attending the sessions — at least so I was told. Sadly, I think — why? Because they are the ones with whom I would have most especially enjoyed conversation, and the ones who perhaps could have learned from the discussions."

- all his reflections

On Multi-Site Churches

Leadership Network asked me to work with them to put together a piece designed to help church leaders who are considering going multi-site, which has just been published

Some have commented that the emerging church phenomenon is partly a response to the megachurch movement. As a consequence, doubtless the megachurch to multi-site church shift that's currently happening in over 1000 churches in North America will not be viewed favorably by some in the emerging church conversation.

I see the expansion of the multi-site church as spiritually agnostic. It intrinsically isn't a good thing or a bad thing. The value of the growth of the multi-site movement toggles on the mission, health, and motivation of the individual churches doing the expansion. It's easy for me to see how an individual pastor's decision to move his church to multi-site might primarily be an expression of his desire to establish his own dominion on earth. On the other hand, the move to multi-site could be a more efficient means for a healthy, dynamic, life-changing church to extend its kingdom-impacting reach.

I lump local church setup, megachurch, and multi-site church organizations all under the same category: they are means of increasing efficiency. I see the local church, the megachurch, and multi-site churches as potential contexts for spiritual stuff. The building of buildings, the setting up of organizational connections between disparate locations, the hiring of staff, etc. - none of those things are the spiritual stuff. They are part of the context within which spiritual events - expressions of love and worship - may or may not occur. (I'm not suggesting that the hammering of a nail can't be a similar expression). The value of the local church, the megachurch, and the multi-site church is contingent on the maturity, passion, giftedness, and motivation of those who set them up. Mature leaders realize that local church, megachurch, and multi-site church organizations are tools for kingdom impact.

And some of these multi-site churches are doing great things. One such church I interviewed sent $1 million dollars last year to Waveland, MS after Katrina hit. When I was interviewing them, Israel and Hezbollah in Lebanon were at war. This same church was preparing relief teams to go to both Lebanon and Israel.

The kingdom work of a house church with 14 members is not to be depreciated. But neither is the kingdom work of a far larger organization.

I've expanded on some of these thoughts in the Next-Wave article When the Church is its Own Worst Enemy.

Sunday, October 29, 2006

Scot McKnight on the Emerging Church @ Westminster Theological Seminary

Scot has released the transcript of his talk on the emerging church that he gave Westminster Theological Seminary at their recent Emerging Church Forum. It's now posted on Mark Traphegan's site.

The audio of Scot's talk can be found here (though the recording cuts off the end of Scot's lecture).

Saturday, October 28, 2006

Audio of Scot McKnight on the Emerging Church @ Westminster Theological Seminary

courtesy of Gideon Teo here.

ht: Andrew Jones

as a public service: firefox 2 and opening bookmarks in new tabs

The old extensions didn't work in the new firefox 2 but I finally found this. No more right keying on bookmarks to open them in new tabs!

Once downloaded, you have to open the file from within firefox (file-open) and then it will install.

Great Resources for New Testament Study

See this wonderful page by Roy Ciampa, who is Associate Professor of New Testament at Gordon-Conwell Seminary.

Among the many helpful listings are:

ht: justin taylor

Friday, October 27, 2006

scot mcknight @ westminster

Andrew Jones has pulled in all the blogosphere comment.

charlie wear suggests it's time to become post-emerging

from the publisher of Next-Wave, which Andrew Jones says is "possibly the greatest emerging church online publication ever."

"Of course, it is now time to relabel this thing that God is inspiring, this thing that God is doing through those he has called to minister to their younger non-baby boomer peers. It is no longer "emerging" because it has "emerged." We can see it now, for sure. Why in some ways, it has become copyrighted, trademarked and branded! Critics are making a living from criticizing it. Publishers are making money by publishing about it. "

we've commented before on the post-emerging church here and, briefly, here.

Thursday, October 26, 2006

The History of the Middle East... 90 seconds.

A great find by Michael Kruse

just entertainment: heroes

Beth and I have been totally enjoying Heroes. It's about several individuals who come to realize that they have different kind of superpowers. It's definitely comic bookesque but not unintelligent. And it's also a bit like Lost in that it's teasing out the larger story - not sure exactly what's going on.

The character we enjoy this most is a Japanese guy named Hiro who learns that he can bend time and space. He's completely hilarious and this is the fulfillment of a fantasy for him because he's a total comic book geek. And he doesn't yet speak a word of English (though last week we learned that he will).

There's also a je ne sais quoi ab the show that I can't quite put my finger on. If I read above, for example, on someone's blog, I'm not at all sure I would rush and watch an episode. I guess what I'm saying is that the only way to know for sure if you'll like it is to give it a try. If you want to catch up on the show, you can download episodes here (not sure if it's all of them or not).

In other TV, we also love Battlestar Galactica (simply awesome and nothing like the 70's series). I'm a big Sorkin fan but the bloom is coming off the rose for me for Studio 60. Loved the first episode but it's been downhill from there.

Wednesday, October 25, 2006

Walking with Grief

Steve Taylor provides us an excerpt of some writing by George McDonald in the book Celtic Prayer:

"Do not hurry
As you walk with grief
It does not help the journey

Walk slowly
Pausing often
Do not hurry
As you walk with grief

Be gentle with the other
Who walks with grief
If it is you
Be gentle with yourself
Swiftly forgive
Walk slowly
Pausing often

Take time, be gentle
as you walk with grief"

Tuesday, October 24, 2006

The Works of Jonathan Edwards Online

Yale is making the works of Jonathan Edwards available online and searchable. They write:

"The Works of Jonathan Edwards Online is the critical digital source for Jonathan Edwards texts on the web. Drawing heavily on the fifty-plus years of editorial work done by the Works of Jonathan Edwards project at Yale University, the Works of Jonathan Edwards Online will digitally publish manuscripts and edited versions of all of the 100,000 pages that Jonathan Edwards produced in his lifetime. Editorially tagged and fully searchable by chronology, theme, and scripture, as well as full text, the Works of Jonathan Edwards Online offers an expertly guided research experience in the papers of Jonathan Edwards. Please register today to use the Works of Jonathan Edwards Online."

Reformation 21 lets us know the current status of the project:

"The Works of Jonathan Edwards Online presently contains all of the Miscellanies (Edwards' private theological notebooks) and some two hundred sermons, many of which have never been published."

- The Works of Jonathan Edwards Online

Monday, October 23, 2006

The Amish say, "Thank you."

"Every Monday for more than 30 years, the Die Botschaft newspaper has gone into the mailboxes of Amish subscribers nationwide.

Filled with letters from correspondents across the country, the weekly publication prints information from the Amish, for the Amish.

This week's (Oct. 16) issue, though, is an exception. The front page of Die Botschaft reaches out to the English--non-Amish--world.

"Thank You," reads the simple headline at the top of the page. "


"It has never happened before. Never. This is very unusual," said the paper's editor, Elam Lapp, when asked when Die Botschaft last printed information aimed at the non-Amish community."

- Religious News Service link on BeliefNet

alan hirsch has...

...started blogging!

alan and mike frost wrote The Shaping of Things to Come.

Sunday, October 22, 2006

books on the atonement

readers, what books do you recommend on the atonement? I'm looking for books that treat and honor penal substitution while incorporating learnings from the other theories?


Saturday, October 21, 2006

keeping up with comments

Back in the early days of emerging church conversation, a lot of the talk was in email discussion groups, like yahoogroups. Nowadays, it seems that most of it occurs in blogs.

When dj chuang and I had lunch some days ago, I was complaining to him about blogger's lack of comment notification and let him know I was considering moving to Wordpress. There's a great Wordpress hack (if it's not this one, it's like it) that lets commentors opt into automatic emails whenever a comment is added to a blogpost on which they've commented. Scot McKnight has this installed at Jesus Creed.

dj helpfully turned me on to cocomment, and I spent some time this morning playing with it. It's pretty cool but not everything that I'd like. It let's the person who signs up be easily notified whenever someone comments on posts on which they've commented, but it doesn't let blog owners in blogger offer this to readers. Each reader would have to sign up for cocomment themselves to take advantage of it.

I registered and while I can't offer this service to my readers, at least I can keep up with all the discussion on blogposts on which I've commented without having to revisit a blog to check and see if there's been any additional conversation. I can either go to a special cocomment page or - even better - my page has an rss feed and I can track all my comments using bloglines (my aggregator of choice).

I'd actually rather stick with blogger, so I'm hoping that blogger beta will add this functionality, or that I'll find a blogger hack that will let me offer this as a service to my readers.

If anyone has any suggestions as to the easiest way for me to enable my readers to opt into getting email notifications of future comments to blogposts on which they comment, I'd love to hear them.

i'm very late but...

...I just saw that carla et al have sort of shut down emergent no.

While Carla and I didn't necessarily always agree, what I do like about her is that I think she sincerely yearns for the truth.

Thursday, October 19, 2006

slice of laodicea shuts down comments

Ingrid writes:

"As of today, Slice has become a non-interactive news and commentary blog. We deeply appreciate those Slice readers who have added intelligent and helpful comments to the body of Christ in the past, but due to the abuse of the comment section and its becoming a source of divisiveness and further confusion in the church, we have decided to permanently remove the sound and fury and get back to our main focus. We at Slice view what we do as a ministry, not a hobby. Our desire is to put forth information, sermons, articles and devotionals that will strengthen the body of Christ in our Laodicean times and warn about the encroaching error as well. We are not here to please people or to give a platform for the opinons of others. We're accountable before God for our own stands on critical issues and we are now limiting the site to those views. Anyone desiring to discuss a post or an issue privately with a Slice contributor can do so by email. If you want a public forum for your views, you can start up your own blog very easily. Thank you, Slice readers, for caring about truth in an hour when some groups are even debating its existence. Forward in Christ!"

- link

ht: charlie wear, who also reports he's had to get more involved in Next-Wave comments.

Wednesday, October 18, 2006

evangelicals for darfur

" We come to you from across the evangelical spectrum. We beseech you to act on your faith and do the right thing by leading the world to stop the genocide affecting "the least of these" in Darfur. To date, more than 400,000 people have been killed. 2.5 million displaced. Countless more have been raped, maimed, and tortured: Men, women, and children created in God's image, innocents all. Ending the atrocities will require your personal leadership in supporting the deployment of a strong U.N. peacekeeping force and multilateral economic sanctions. While we often disagree on matters of politics, we are united in the belief that your intervention can make the critical difference in Darfur. We join together now to urge you, in the words of Proverbs 24:11-12, to "rescue those being led away to death." We pledge to do everything we can to rally support in both Congress and the U.N. to support your leadership in ending the horror in Darfur. "

- we ran this ad today, as did many others.

- evangelicals for darfur

an australian-united states conversation on the emerging church... now available in audio format on the new forge wa website.

this conversation features:

I had commented on this conversation earlier.

This conversation is valuable in terms of how it provides insight into different emerging church streams within the international conversation.

ht: andrew hamilton

Tuesday, October 17, 2006

looking for great sermons online

who do you like to listen to and from where do you download their messages? Please respond in comments and serve all emergesque readers!


a bono encounter

My friend Dave Cowan had the chance to recently meet Bono. Read about it here.

I first met Dave Cowan and Clay Carver a few years ago here in the Baltimore area right when they started Soul Horizon, a multi-site church here.

I got to see bono some time ago when we interviewed him in our offices, but I've never met him. go dave.

- a great rolling stone interview with bono

Monday, October 16, 2006

The NY Times on Technorati

"While rates of blog-reading are relatively comparable in major European countries and the United States — roughly one-quarter of the population looks at blogs at least once a week in America, Britain and France — blogs based in the United States remain more influential, according to the survey."

- 55 Million Blogs, and Now a Service to Track Them

ht: Michael W Kruse

Most of the readers of emergesque probably use Technorati more for meme-tracking.

Sunday, October 15, 2006

if you're looking for online resources for bible study...

...and, specifically, word studies, look no further than the comments on this Scot McKnight post.

Friday, October 13, 2006

kudos to beth

I'm married to a wonderful woman. On Sat 7 October 2006, Beth biked 100 miles in a Nor'Easter in the Seagull Century. She was riding with Team in Training to raise money for leukemia and lymphoma cancer research. Team in Training raised over $800,000 for cancer research in this event.

The girls and I met Beth @ Assateague Island, 60 miles into her trek (pics). Beth wore ribbons to represent cancer victims - white ribbons represented those who've passed (including Beth's dad when she was 12 and then her step-dad when she was 17) and purple for those who have beaten cancer (including my first cousin, Robert Thompson and my aunt, Peggy Edwards).

I'm so proud of her I could bust! She did a great job.

Wednesday, October 11, 2006

The History and Significance of Next Wave

A-List Emerging Church Blogger Andrew Jones pronounces that

"is possibly the greatest emerging church online publication ever."

The founder and publisher of Next-Wave - Charlie Wear - provides a brief history of the zine.

andy rowell has no regard whatsoever...

...for your spending your free time in any kind of balanced way.


Find a veritable smorgasbord of ipod food courtesy of andy here and here.

Tuesday, October 10, 2006

Next Wave: What's a faithmap?

Charlie Wear announces the October 2006 edition of Next-Wave and that Bob Hyatt is the online zine's new editor.

I had never published a piece explaining the definition of "faithmap" outside of my sites. Bob runs "What's a faithmap?" in this issue.

Monday, October 09, 2006

jason clark reviews spencer's burke's A Heretic's Guide to Eternity

"I was sent this book by the publishers, and avoided blogging on it, mainly because I usually only review books I find helpful, and I wondered what purpose reviewing is unfavorably would serve. Then I read this post on Tony Jones blog, about whether Emergent was moving beyond the orthodox, and that got me thinking about where the boundaries are for our discussions."

- full review

They've also sent me a copy and I do intend to review it. It's in the queue.

Daniel B Wallace on Inerrancy

An interesting take in inerrancy

ht: andrew jones

Sunday, October 08, 2006

"Dieu me pardonnera; c'est son metier."

bob carlton has a wonderful post that speaks to some of the admiration and amazement that I've felt in the last few days regarding the amish response to the recent horrible killing of their children.

in just one of many stories on the amish response and perspective, the ny times ran a story about how dozens of amish attended the killer's funeral.

- other stories

Saturday, October 07, 2006

the new third place and the declining cost of information

UPDATE: I had already linked to it below, but I just wanted to especially highlight that Tim Keller and Tony Jones interact with each other and Scot McKnight and others within DJ's blog in comments. Not to be missed.

as dj chuang pointed out, we had a great time at lunch yesterday. dj and i hadn't seen each other since the hard times emerging church cohort confab over a year ago.

I asked dj if he had ever heard of a blogger hack that allows you to set up the same option you see on jesus creed so that when you leave a comment, you can opt into getting emails whenever anyone else comments on the same blogpost. he said that he didn't but told me about cocomment which allows you to sign up and follow all the posts on which you comment. now while that's undeniably cool, and I might use it, I'd like to set something up on this blog that serves my readers and doesn't force them elsewhere. I'll either wait for blogger to add it or switch to WordPress (comments or alternative suggestions welcome).

this has become more important to me since I shut down the faithmaps discussion group. i finding i'm more interested in comment here and will probably pay attention to it more. And whereas in the past, there seemed to be more interest in discussion groups, nowadays folks seem to be doing more of their online discussion in blogs.

In fact - and more significantly - blogs seem to be the new third place where various ideological streams can co-mingle and interact. we've seen this recently with the somewhat amiable collision (here and here) between the new reformers and emergent precipitated by the just completed Desiring God 2006 Conference entitled Above All Earthly Powers: The Supremacy of Christ in a Postmodern World and in the even more amiable very minor collision between an emerging church reformer and a new reformer within the conference itself.

while I do have a dog in the fight (that I may post later), here i'm just commenting on the discussion itself. it's quite notable as an illustration of our new information situation:

A conference occurs and the sessions are posted quickly for all to hear. within one session, one presenter makes mildly critical comments of another (in the context of criticizing himself). this leads to much online discussion and then one the presenters emails the other to demonstrate relational unity and then the conversation is posted after permission for the world to see. controversy begun and ended in record time.

meanwhile, tony jones reveals that piper's comments on the emergent church at the conference didn't occur outside of a relational context and invites more discussion with tim keller which begins in the comments of tony's blog (with keller commenting further here).

i've heard more than one major leader complain about blogs and surely they can be maddening. anyone in the developed world with a little financial means can basically broadcast whatever they think in completely unexpurgated fashion to anyone.

but i have to say that I find all this conversation between different theological perspectives a wonderful thing. while there is absolutely no question that tony is correct to value the wider sensory bandwidth that came with his interaction with piper and would come with his desired meeting with keller, the immediacy of online interaction does not limit the conversation to the severe time, coordination, and financial constraints involved in having to be in the same room at the same time.

the bottom line is that with the lowered cost of information afforded us by blogs, discussion groups, audio downloads, etc. we can move more quickly in coming to mutual understanding. If we want to.

Is it a panacea of theological formulation?

Of course not, because while the conversation is easier to have, the maturity that's required for such a conversation is still very difficult to come by (which I've discussed here and here).

Our humility and character will still dictate whether or not we'll all be able to strengthen the church within our new information situation. But if those are in place, we do now have the ability to have our own perspectives adjusted, widened, or sharpened more quickly.

Friday, October 06, 2006

penal substitution: andrew jones posts an around the room...

....summarizing some of the current and recent discussion on the issue.

If you need a primer on the topic and current state of discussion, here's a good place to start with links to some of the primary folks talking about this recently.

James Sire on NT Wright's "Simply Christian"

James Sire commends and reviews the recent book by NT Wright's entitled Simply Christian.

Thursday, October 05, 2006

emergent's tony jones, john piper, and tim keller

Tony Jones reports on his recent lunch with John Piper and also responds to Tim Keller's recent comments about emergent.

ht: justin taylor

I expect that Keller will reach out to Jones for a conversation.

UPDATE (thanks to dj chuang in comments below): Tim Keller has briefly responded to Tony in comments to Tony's post above.

Summaries of the Supremacy of Christ in the Postmodern World Conference

Roger Overton does a good job at briefly summarizing the major talks of this Desiring God 2006 Conference. He also helpfully links to other summaries covered.

I'm now listening to the messages which are downloadable here.

Wednesday, October 04, 2006

piper and driscoll aren't fighting

mark driscoll posts their email exchange after piper made some critical (yet also self-depreciating) remarks at a recent Desiring God conference.

- ht: steve mccoy

andrew jones on his history with "the emerging church"

"A little more history of my love-hate relationship with what is now called “Emerging Church”. Put this account with other histories to get a fuller version of what has happened in the last two decades in the church of North America and around the Western world.

I should start by saying that what happened in USA twenty years ago was not called “emerging church” nor “missional church”. In fact, it wasn't even recognized as a movement or trend or even a 'conversation' until many years later. Here is the beginning of my history - at least from my viewpoint."

- the rest of part 1

to the best of my remembrance, andrew and i have never met, but I have seen him. Several years ago at Cedar Ridge (which Brian McLaren founded and I attended from 1988 until 2001), Andrew Jones, Brian, John Franke, and Mark Driscoll participated in a small conference. I remember a tall guy on the panel. I don't think at that time I had ever read his blog. Now, of course, Andrew's an emerging church household name. :)

Tuesday, October 03, 2006

twice in the last week, i've asked beth if she'd like to move to australia...

...with me of course!

...because i'm finding so much resonance with their flavor of emerging church.

tim keller on the future of emergent

the following is an excerpt of a justin taylor interview of
tim keller:

JT: Tim, is the emergent church going to be a footnote or a chapter in the history of the church?

TK: If you define evangelicalism in a John Stott kind of way, the seeker movement is inside evangelicalism. The emergent church is moving away from orthodoxy. In places like Yale, there is a post-liberal emphasis on the text that shows a distinction from old liberalism. This emergent group is really much like this group. Emergent will never really grow as they will not plant churches or build colleges. They may produce some writers… but that is probably about all.

JT: Is emergent growing?

TK: It is producing pundits, but not community and institutions.

- full interview captured by Paul W Martin

Not sure if keller is collapsing emergent and the emerging church into the same entity; it would seem to be that he's not as many emerging churches are new churches.

I think that all of us - irrespective of idealogical stripe - need to view keller's words as a cautionary. It is so easy to be lost in words instead of lost in Jesus. And to be lost in Jesus is to alternate between meditation and execution.

ht: jordon

Sunday, October 01, 2006

different currents in the emerging church river

I just finished reading andrew hamilton's wonderful four part blogpost series on da carson's recent visit to Baptist Theological College of Western Australia where he participated in conversations with

The entire series is worth reading and provides more than a passing glance into the emerging church situation in Australia.
According to Andrew Hamilton, the emerging church in Australia (which some there call "the emerging missional church") is somewhat different from the most famous current in the emerging church river in the United States. The article also provides more evidence that Steve Taylor is correct that to lose the distinction between the emerging church and emergent is to collapse the international discussion down to one current in the larger river.

ht: brother maynard