Saturday, September 27, 2008

Skye - Baby

A most sincere thanks to those of you who have emailed us asking for an update on Skye.

Yesterday as I was flying home from Phoenix, Beth met with Dr. Roger Voigt, getting a second opinion about Dr. Mathews suggestion that we remove the Deflux our dear one received in 2003 and, instead, do a surgery that will reimplant Skye's ureters.

Voigt concurred and speculated that Skye might have lost her kidney due to an obstruction precipitated by the Deflux to begin with. This was very frustrating as we did the Deflux to begin with to protect our little girls kidneys. So we are scheduled for surgery on Tuesday 7 October. I've blocked out 10/7-10/14 as no travel days for Gallup while Skye recovers. Your prayers are appreciated.

It's our hope that this is the end of Skye's kidney problems.

- this history

Wednesday, September 03, 2008

Churches in the Missional Renaissance

I just returned from a two day meeting in Dallas at Leadership Network with Reggie McNeal, Eric Swanson, DJ Chuang and church, civic, and business leaders representing ten cities.

The group is part of Leadership Network's Missional Renaissance Community which is being co-lead by Reggie and Eric. LN asked me to write up some of the learnings of the gathering for their larger constituency and other interested parties.

They've just published the first paper based on my interviews with nine of the churches participating.

Churches in the Missional Renaissance: Facilitating the Transition to a Missional Mindset

Here's an excerpt:

Some of the leaders in today’s missional churches began moving in that direction as they became increasingly uncomfortable with traditional church-centric ministry.

Greg Bouvier, executive pastor at Sheridan Lutheran Church in Lincoln, NE, explains, “Essentially we realized that we were really consumer-oriented and just helping people get their needs met. It came to feel that we were really just very focused on ourselves. I came to feel that I was doing a fair amount of good for people who already have a lot. I felt that I was providing wonderful services for people who already have a plethora of services at their fingertips. I didn’t feel that I was making their lives better because if they didn’t get what they needed from me they could probably get it from someone else. We felt that the Spirit was calling us to take the focus off of ourselves and to move it out!” Greg feels great about the switch, feeling that they are moving into a position of helping folks who wouldn’t be assisted otherwise. He says that their ministry is “really to the least of these. It warms my heart to know that I’m not just making the comfortable that much more comfortable.”
The second paper I'm working on now will benefit from the further insights of the additional ten churches we've added to the original nine.

Reggie also has a book called Missional Renaissance: Changing the Scorecard for the Church that's coming out in February 2009.

These city, business, and church leaders are truly pioneers as they seek to holistically serve the needs of their respective communities.

Tuesday, September 02, 2008

The New Media Frontier

Just received a box today of copies a new book being published at the end of September called The New Media Frontier being published by Crossway. I had been asked to contribute a chapter on the nexus of social relief/justice and new media in terms of what churches and Christians are doing.

The editors have set up a blog for the book which can be found here.

Roger Overton, one of our editors, has helpfully listed here some outlets where the book can be purchased at a discount.

Here's the full table of contents for the book and a summary:

The New Media Frontier: Blogging, Vlogging, and Podcasting for Christ
edited by John Mark N. Reynolds and Roger N. Overton

will be published by Crossway Books in September 2008.

Table of Contents:

Foreword: Hugh Hewitt (
Introduction: Roger N. Overton (

Part One: The Landscape of New Media

1) The New Media: First Thoughts -Dr. John Mark Reynolds (Scriptorium Daily)
2) The Future of New Media -Dr. John Mark Reynolds (Scriptorium Daily)
3) Three Cautions among the Cheers: The Dangers of Uncritically Embracing New Media - Matthew L. Anderson (Mere Orthodoxy Blog)
4) Beginning Bloggers Toolbox -Joe Carter (Evangelical Outpost)
5) Beginner’s Toolbox Part II: Even Newer New Media — Podcasting, Video Casting and More – Matthew Eppinette (Americans United for Life) and Terence Armentano ( )

Part Two: Engaging New Media

6) Theological Blogging -David Wayne (JollyBlogger)
7) Blog as Microwave Community – Dr. Tod Bolsinger (It Takes a Church Blog)
8.) Pastors and the
New Media -Dr. Mark D. Roberts (
9) Navigating the Evolving World of Youth Ministry in the Facebook-MySpace Generation - Rhett Smith (
10) Evangelism and Apologetics - Roger N. Overton (
11) Professors with a New Public: Academics and New Media
–Dr. Fred Sanders (Scriptorium Daily)
12) Virtual Classrooms, Real Learning
–Dr. Jason Baker (
13) Politics & Journalism -Scott Ott (

14) Blogging and Bioethics - Joe Carter (Evangelical Outpost) and Matthew Eppinette (Americans United for Life)
15) Social Justice, Social Relief and New Media -Stephen Shields (

Here’s a summary of the book:

We’d like to offer some direction for how Christians can use the new media with discernment and grace. Many of the contributors to The New Media Frontier began using new media at the encouragement of national radio host Hugh Hewitt, so we are delighted that he has provided a foreword for the project. Roger Overton presents a brief introduction to the concept of new media and why Christians should engage it with wisdom. Part One of the book addresses new media in general. Dr. John Mark Reynolds begins with a chapter examining the history of human communication in order to provide a fresh perspective on what new media really is. In the second chapter, Dr. Reynolds looks to the future of new media and stresses the urgency for Christian involvement before the opportunities vanish.

Matthew Anderson contributes our third chapter by looking at what dangers new media pose for those who uncritically dive into it. His chapter advocates the careful use of wisdom in consuming and creating digital content. With the foundation laid by these first three chapters, chapters four and five spell out exactly how consumers can become creators in the new media. Joe Carter explains how to blog in chapter four and in chapter five Matthew Eppinette and Terence Armentano explain how to podcast and vlog.

Part Two of the book looks to specific areas in which Christians can utilize new media more thoroughly and specifically. These areas include: Theology (David Wayne), Community (Tod Bolsinger), Pastoral Ministry (Mark D. Roberts), Youth Ministry (Rhett Smith), Evangelism & Apologetics (Roger N. Overton), Academics (Fred Sanders), Education (Jason Baker), Politics (Scott Ott), Bioethics (Joe Carther & Matthew Eppinette), and Social Justice (Stephen Shields).

While these brief explorations of each topic will in no way say everything that could or should be said, we do hope they can help to start a process of critical assessment so that when Christians use new media they will do so in a manner consistent with the character and quality of Christ. After finishing the book, readers should have an effective understanding of how they can advance, demonstrate, and utilize the Christian worldview through the use of new media.

Though it’s only in the beginning of development, we will have a blog dedicated to the book at We also have a Facebook group up and running. I’ll post some of the major announcements regarding the project as they happen here, but you’ll always be able to find out more through the NMF blog and Facebook group. We’ll also do some sort of tie-in with next year’s GodBlogCon, which will be September 18-19 at the Las Vegas Convention Center.