Tuesday, February 19, 2008
The following is a manifesto I put together of perhaps a more conducive posture towards engaging Scripture.
Saturday, February 16, 2008
The arms and backrest can hold 80 paperbacks, and the chair hides secret compartments for journal, reading glasses, bookmarks, pencils, a pencil sharpener and a notebook (all included with the chair) and adds and a wheel for easy mobility...
Okay, I confess...
I have a 'thing' for books...
I love them...
I love reading them...
I love collecting them...
...Therefore, I have to say,
This is simply the coolist!
If only I were a carpenter...
Thursday, February 14, 2008
Recently I saw a video that got me thinking about how all too often the Church is one of those buildings that can easily be driven past without second thought as to what really happens in there... Without any mysterious wonder of the divine presence invading our earthly and temporal space with the power to transform humanity...
The origin of the Church was saturated with a deep sense of community and oneness. In part, it was these attributes that throughout history have arrested the attention of the known world.
I can envision a people, who authentically express their Christian Spirituality in the context of community that is saturated with such a mysterious presence that the world will wonder as to what is going on and how long has this been happening...
This community of people, known as the Church, will simply be something worth stopping to look at...
"His intent was that now,
through the church,
the manifold wisdom of God should be made known
to the rulers and authorities in the heavenly realms,
according to his eternal purpose that
he accomplished in Christ Jesus our Lord."
Wednesday, February 13, 2008
lived expressions of Jesus –
Such a concept will
of learning Jesus.
And, learning Jesus
is ultimately impossible
outside of community.
The Process of Communal Learning
Christian Spirituality has been shaped by the biblical narrative, the development of the canon of Scripture, its creeds, God’s direct interactions with people throughout history, movements, cultures, various expressions and liturgies implemented through the ages and the myriad of experiences of those who have given their lives to the pursuit of Christ and His ways. As such, each member of the community comes with a story to share and something to deposit. Likewise, each should be postured in such humility to learn, be challenged and transformed by the stories of others.
The following is not necessarily commentary on a particular church, rather reflections regarding the Church at large and the ensuing thoughts and questions that I'm now wrestling through...
- How might our modern church communities and worship services look, if there was space for organic community interactions, stories and improvisational input?
- When was the last time a question was actually raised during a Sunday morning sermon? Do we believe that each person really “has a hymn, or a word of instruction, a revelation, a tongue or an interpretation” to be integrated into our gatherings?
- If Sunday morning is when most communities of faith gather, how much “community” is actually being experienced and expressed?
- How much learning from one another is transpiring?
- Could the gap between pulpit and pew, clergy and laity, and void of community interactions actually be serving to debilitate personal expressions of Christ-likeness by community members, thus creating a breach between what is confessed with the mouth and what is demonstrated with one’s life? (Note: I don't necessarily perceive the aforementioned gap to be intentionally erected by those in the pulpit or pew, rather more of an aftermath and residual ethos and culture still lingering from the systemic church structures forged during the Age of Enlightenment and into the Modern Era.)
- How churches of the Western world respond to these questions and others may very well serve to connect us to the sustaining power of our past, propelling us into the present-future with authentic relevance and power or render us paralyzed and detached from the rich traditions found in the biblical narrative and the history of the Church.
 Luke Timothy Johnson, Living Jesus, (New York: HaperCollins, 2000), 46.
 John Ortberg, Everybody’s Normal Till You Get to Know Them, (Grand Rapids: Zondervan, 2003), 35-36.
 Genesis 2:18.
 Ibid., Living Jesus, 23.
 Ibid., Living Jesus, 28.
 1 Corinthians 14:26.
Tuesday, February 12, 2008
…and yet, the more he asks (the more the patience wanes), and everything within me wants to give the ‘patent - dead-end’ answer that will give me some reprieve…. (horrible I know!)
The operative word there was “wants”…. There are those moments where I restrain that urge and dive into the spiral of questions with him, trying to discover something new…. Trying to inspire hunger for learning…. and the awe of discovery…. and the open-endedness of life - so that “we” keep searching together….
The last thing I want is to cripple any of these things with my selfish-had-enough-of-the-questions-here’s-my- lousy-dead-end-answer!
The problem is how to remain an artist
once he grows up.”
Thursday, February 07, 2008
Such a reality is only available by faith in the Life of Christ, His Death and Resurrection. Luke Timothy Johnson, in his book Living Jesus: Learning the Heart of the Gospel, expends a great deal of ink working through the various implications of Jesus’ resurrection. Many would wonder why Johnson would labor to the extent that he does in defining the various parameters of Jesus’ resurrection and the necessity of our adhere to that as an actual reality. Yet, it seems his labor isn’t entirely in vain, since according to pollster George Barna, sixty-three percent of “Christians” do not believe Jesus is the Son of God. Moreover, an astounding fifty-one percent of “Christians” do not believe Jesus rose from the dead.
True Christian Spirituality is “joining with God” in the ever day ordinariness of life, while living in the actuality of the Spirit’s Presence indwelling, guiding, filling and empowering. An appropriate understanding of Christian Spirituality emerges out of an understanding that it can not be transcended and actualized in and of our own selves and endeavors of personal striving; rather it is a gift to be appropriated through faith in Christ and the ongoing dependence upon and presence of the Holy Spirit.
The question(s) then arise: Is my life a visual demonstration of one indwelt, empowered and in-lived by the Spirit of God, incarnating the very essence of who He is, or has it been reduced to a series of doctrinal creed of mental consent void of any ongoing and authentic interchange with the everyday ordinariness of my life...?
 With-God is a phrase frequently to describe an authentic, organic, intentional and relational interaction with God through Jesus. This phrase is frequently utilized in the writings of Dallas Willard and Richard Foster.
 Luke Timothy Johnson, Living Jesus, 4. “Do we think he is dead or alive?”
 Ibid., Living Jesus, 13.
 2 Corinthians 5:17.
 Genesis 2:17 and Ephesians chapter 2.
 Ibid., Living Jesus, 19.
 Ibid., Living Jesus, 38-44.
Wednesday, February 06, 2008
The question then becomes, who is our comprehensive understanding of the Story of Scripture, His-Story that has unfolded through the ages since the conception of the Church, and exactly what story do we find ourselves a part of…?
 Leslie Newbigin, The Gospel in a Pluralist Society, Grand Rapids: Wm. B. Eerdmans
Publishing Company, 1989, 15.
 Craig G. Bartholomew, Out of Egypt: Biblical Theology and Biblical Interpretation,
Zondervan, 2004, 145.
 Robert Webber, The Divine Embrace: Recovering the Passionate Spiritual Life, Grand
Rapids: Baker Books, 2006, 110.
 Stevens & Green, Living the Story, ix.
 Ibid, Living the Story, ix.