Friday, February 23, 2007
Wednesday, February 21, 2007
D. A. Carson's Becoming Conversant with the Emerging Church has been sitting on my side bar as a "Current Read" almost as long as I've actually been reading it. So after finally breezing through the last chapter and a half, I figure I'll give my two cents, which is as much stock as most of my readers give to what I have to say.
Becoming Conversant above all is an extremely accessible book that gives a fair, yet biased, analysis of the Emerging Church and many of the main proponents of the Emerging Church. Carson steps through, as complete as he can, what the emerging church is, how they view current cultural trends and how they respond to those trends, before he gives his own analysis of their response and his own critique of where the emerging types have gone awry. As Carson admits, it is a difficult task to evaluate the emergents, because of the vast breadth that the term covers, just as postmodernism is as much a blanket term that encompasses both hard- and soft- postmoderns, who are very distinct in their epistemology.
In his most practical chapter, Carson takes a look at Brian McLaren's book A Generous Orthodoxy and to a lesser extent The Lost Message of Jesus, by Steve Chalke. Very un-generously, Carson takes apart McLaren's book, not in one fell swoop, but slowly and carefully like a surgeon, drawing out the many inconsistencies in McLaren's theology. The best, and briefest, example of this would be McLaren calling himself a Calvinist, but then takes apart the TULIP acronym and places his own meaning behind the letters, which has nothing to do with historical Calvinism. Even if you disagree completely with Calvinism, you can see the inconsistencies this brings.
So do we rely on our own experiences or on the truth of Scripture? Carson answers in this way:
Carson has put out an introductory book that is useful for anyone still trying to get a grasp of what postmodernism and the emerging church are all about. Further it rightly critiques many of their inconsistencies, while also acknowledging some of the contributions they bring-- but you have to search for those acknowledgments.
Tuesday, February 20, 2007
The gym is a part of North Park and it's only a couple of months old, so all the equipment is brand new and the treadmills still work. Plus they have about 5 flat-panels in front of the equipment with everything from the Food Network-- my personal favorite-- to VH1-- which I've decided has the dirtiest programming allowed on television. And if you're down in the weight room, you have to deal with 103.5 KISS FM being blasted at volumes to make the most hearing impaired ask you to turn it down. I typically have my iPod with me loaded up with great music; right now it's The Killers, Franz Ferdinand, and David Gray. But because I download more podcasts than a college students does keg stands, I typically listen to the latest sermon from Mark Driscoll, Matt Chandler, or John Piper.
As you've probably already gathered, there is a stark contrast between what I have going on in my headphones and what is out there for the rest to hear. This became very clear to me as I was listening to Piper's latest sermon series on marriage. Right now he has about 4 sermons the beauty of marriage drawn up by God and how it mirrors Christ and the Church. How Jesus laid down his life for her and what that means today. As he was expounding on this great truth, when leaking in from the speakers came smack that, all on the floor, smack that, give me some more, smack that, till you get sore, smack that, o-o-o-o-oh.
As Christians, how different is our picture of sex and relationships than what the world has to offer? Immensely different. We are called to live in such a way that honors God, not ourselves. Ultimate fulfillment will not come in smacking it, but knowing that God has designed marriage to be the ultimate reflection of the relationship between Christ and his bride. This deep intimate knowledge, where we are not ashamed of who we are or how we look before one another, but we know the forgiveness that Christ has laid out for us on the cross and how that brings about forgiveness and understanding in our marriages.
Saturday, February 17, 2007
Friday, February 16, 2007
Tuesday, February 13, 2007
I caught this on Ryan Crawley's blog. Great photos as well.
John Piper on pastoral influence.
I was talking to my friend Emily while I was in Colorado last week and we were talking about what is different about pastors than the rest of the congregation and how do we keep them from falling like Haggard, especially when we're fallen too. The difference lies in our boundaries and our accountability. We need to have stricter lines drawn than those of the world. Anyone that knows me knows I have a television, so I don't restrict myself as much as Piper does, but we need to be well aware of what we are letting into our minds.