Posts Tagged ‘Emerging Church’

1.  Barack Obama is now a pop culture icon.  Presenting Barocky the Movie.

Oh yeah, I’m inspired.  I’m actually enjoying watching Clinton and Obama bludgeon each other.

HT: Amanda Carpenter

For a must see video on Obama (with serious content) go here.  HT: Eric via e-mail.

2.  What a waste of tuition – Randolph College in Virginia made a class trip to a Nevada brothel.  Exactly what are they supposed to learn?

HT: Kevin McCullough

3.  Oh yes, a pick on Obama post…. David C. Innes, Assistant Professor of Politics at King’s College in New York City blogged – “Obama, All Too Human

Several things were striking about Wednesday night’s debate in Pennsylvania. The two candidates drove home the point that we have either known for a long time (Hillary) or are coming increasingly to see (Obama) that they are both liars, i.e. ordinary politicians. At one point Obama was saying something disingenuous, and the viewers could hear Hillary burst out with a laugh off screen. That was all she needed to say.

Read the rest.

4.  Want to get Nancy Pelosi out of Congress?  Then support Cindy Sheehan.  I understand Kevin’s logic, but the thought of supporting Sheehan made me vomit in my mouth a little.

5. More Obama pile on…. sorry, I. CAN’T. HELP. MYSELF.  My favorite cartoon is below.


6.  Random cute puppy picture

I had to break up the political thing somehow.  He kind of looks like a big rat doesn’t he?

HT: Way Cool Pictures

7.  Steve has an interesting take on the FLDS ranch raid in Texas.  We need to think about the slippery slope this raid may have legally

FYI: I am glad the raid occurred (because I do believe abuse was going on), but I think Steve brings up a very good point.   What about due process?  Where is the person who made the phone call?

8.  Why being a “follower of Jesus” is not enough.  Stephen Murray thinks so.

When I probe behind the phrase on so many blogs…I discover something that is rather disturbing. It is disturbing by its omissions rather than by what it affirms. Usually these posts speak about Christ’s calls to uplift the poor, look after the marginalized, love one’s enemies, turn the other cheek etc. etc. And at this point I’m loving it and rejoicing in the supreme moral vision of our Lord Jesus that extends to so many of our current issues in this broken world… 

But step back and take a closer look – what’s missing? When I step back what I don’t often see is a cross, I don’t see nail pierced hands, I don’t see a thorn scraped brow. Ultimately I don’t see the glorious substitution of Christ in my place whereby I can truly call myself a follower of Jesus – because he has purchased me with his very own blood. Rather I see an ethical Jesus, a Jesus who knows right from wrong but has no way to deal with a problem that stretches so much deeper than right or wrong behaviour. I see a moral first century Rabbi inspiring people to be more moral – and it’s deeply disturbing.

9.  This is a conference I wish I was able to attend.  Good news though!  All of the main sessions of Together for the Gospel 2008 can be downloaded for free.  You can go here to hear sessions by Ligon Duncan, Thabiti Anyabwile, John MacArthur, Mark Dever, R.C. Sproul, Albert Mohler, John Piper, and C.J. Mahaney.

The message (right click link and choose “save target as”) by Thabiti Anyabwile, the senior pastor of First Baptist Church of Grand Cayman on “Bearing the Image: Identity, Work of Christ and the Church” was especially powerful.

10.  Douglas Neiswonger reconciles 2 Peter 3:3-9 with the doctrine of election.

11.  Britain’s Got Talent had a 13-year old sing who had an amazing voice.

His voice won’t stay like that for long… my voice started cracking when I was in 7th grade, but it should still very, very good.

12.  Video of a Hamas leader saying,  “President Carter’s visit gives us increased legitimacy…”  Yeah, that is exactly what we want a terrorist group to feel.  Thanks Jimmy!

13.  The Book of Hope is a charity that helps bring the Gospel to people throughout the world.  When I was a youth pastor we did this for a Jr./Sr. High School down the street – every kid in that school received a booklet of the Life of Christ.

A second video featuring their ministry in Poland.

We should also be involved in compassion projects as well like Blood Water Mission, World Vision, Compassion International, etc.  I would think this would be a great project for Vacation Bible Schools though.

HT: Compassion in Politics

14.  You know we all need to learn to say what we mean.  I am still learning this lesson with my kids.  HT: High Calling Blogs

15.  What were they thinking?

I don’t think they really gave this much thought.  While I don’t care for IRS rules on the type of speech that comes out of churches.  I must say out of all the crummy church signs that I’ve seen.  This takes the cake.

HT: Kevin Tracy and Crummy Church Signs.

16.  CNN hires a conservative as a political contributor.  I’m looking out the window for the flying pigs.  I live in Iowa after all.  You never know.

HT: Jenn Sierra

17.  Seth Barnes & I had e-mailed a couple times back and forth.  He shared a story of mine in a post about fathers exasperating their children… something I’ve been known to do.  He also has a great post on “how to repent to your children.”

18.  Dan Kimball blogs about how we need to be engaged in social justice concerns… our good works, but we can not forget eternity and our commission to share the Gospel in words, which he says is often where the emerging church goes wrong.

What I am wondering about, is how do we avoid patterns of the past when the church jumps strongly in the realm of focusing on the gospel’s impact for this earth and in this life – but slowly neglects teaching and reminding people of the gospel’s impact about the reality of eternal heaven and eternal hell in the life to come after we die?

19.  Sign me up!  Oh wait… too late.  The Archdiocese of New York has launched a marketing campaign (“The World Needs Heroes”) to address the decreasing number of young men who enter priesthood. They have also advertised during Knicks games too. 

FYI: The above ad is fake, but hey it could be effective.  HT: Mike Anderson

20.  Is there a connection between the movie Cloverfield and the Emergent Church?  Craig Detweiler seems to think so.

If you hate Cloverfield (or don’t even know what it is), then you probably loathe emerging Christians. If you like Cloverfield, you’re likely to dig the emergent conversation. Both deliver on their grand promises in a novel way (that is decidedly not for everybody). But why does the film (and the emergent folks) inspire such antipathy? Why can’t we appreciate the next generation’s re-imagination of tired clichés?

Read the rest.

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Sorry for the lapse in posting.  With my new responsibility of being interim pastor at Grace Evangelical Free Church in Indianola, IA, my work with Serve Our Youth Network and just being a dad and husband I’ve been behind in reading my blog subscriptions and news feeds, so that is why I missed a week.

1.  Jeremy Taylor, a teacher at Sioux City North High School, is running against incumbent Democrat Represenative Wes Whitead to represent Sioux City in House District 1.  He recently gave a great speech at the Woodbury County Republican Convention.  Watch below.

Part I: 7 minutes, 32 seconds

Part II: 6 minutes, 1 second

I hope that he wins, and more people like him win to stop the craziness that is going on in the Iowa House before our state goes completely bankrupt both morally and fiscally.

HT: Matt Riesetter

2.  The Barna Research Group has a new study out on Marriage and Divorce that finds marriage is norm among adults with only 22% having never been married.  They also found, however, that divorce is widespread and has lost most of its stigma.

3.  Wayne Larson on Worldview, Antithesis and Where We Get It All Wrong.  He brings up some interesting points.

4.  Great April Fool’s prank from Neil Cavuto.  HT: Matt Proctor

5.  Condy Rice – McCain’s VP pick?  That would be interesting.  I think it would be a strong pick for him, but would rather see somebody with more domestic experience.

6.  The picture below made me laugh out loud.  Anybody else feel the same?


HT: Jeff @ Smart Pastor 

7.  Also a good link I found from Jeff @ Smart Pastor.  Ten Worst Ever Life Verses.  Dang, I’m going to have to change mine.  Guys, perhaps reciting #7 to your wife wouldn’t be such a bad thing.  I mean it is scripture after all!

10. Hezekiah 13:7
“Ye that dwelleth in his name, observe the news of the Lord.”

9. Hosea 4:14
“I will not punish your daughters when they turn to prostitution, nor your daughters-in-law when they commit adultery, because the men themselves consort with harlots and sacrifice with shrine prostitutes—a people without understanding will come to ruin!”

8. Judges 4:21
“But Jael, Heber’s wife, picked up a tent peg and a hammer and went quietly to him while he lay fast asleep, exhausted. She drove the peg through his temple into the ground, and he died.”

7. Song of Songs 7:7-8a
“Your stature is like that of the palm, and your breasts like clusters of fruit. I said, ‘I will climb the palm tree; I will take hold of its fruit.'”

6. Psalm 137:8-9
“O Daughter of Babylon, doomed to destruction, happy is he who repays you for what you have done to us—he who seizes your infants and dashes them against the rocks.”

5. 1 Samuel 4:18
“When he mentioned the ark of God, Eli fell over backwards from his seat by the side of the gate; and his neck was broken and he died, for he was an old man, and heavy.”

4. Matthew 1:9
“And Ozias begat Joatham; and Joatham begat Achaz; and Achaz begat Ezekias”

3. Acts 5:9
“How could you agree to test the Spirit of the Lord? Look! The feet of the men who buried your husband are at the door, and they will carry you out also.”

2. Leviticus 18:19
“Do not approach a woman to have sexual relations during the uncleanness of her monthly period.”

1. Ezekiel 23:20
“There she lusted after her lovers, whose genitals were like those of donkeys and whose emission was like that of horses.”

8.  Having been a spectator (and sometimes victim) of congregationalism run-amuck as a form of church governance, I appreciated this post by Greg Gilbert over at the 9 Marks blog.

9.  The unchurched prefer cathedrals over contemporary church designs according to a LifeWay survey.  Interesting, exactly the opposite of what I would have thought.  HT: Sam Rainer

10.  Greg Stier on the James 2 faith-works dilemma.  My take is that works don’t save, but saving faith will have works as fruit or the evidence so to speak of legitimate faith.  That is a rather simplified summary of my interpretation of James 2.

What good is it, my brothers, if someone says he has faith but does not have works? Can that faith save him?  If a brother or sister is poorly clothed and lacking in daily food, and one of you says to them, “Go in peace, be warmed and filled,” without giving them the things needed for the body, what good is that?  So also faith by itself, if it does not have works, is dead.

But someone will say, “You have faith and I have works.” Show me your faith apart from your works, and I will show you my faith by my works.  You believe that God is one; you do well. Even the demons believe—and shudder!  Do you want to be shown, you foolish person, that faith apart from works is useless?  Was not Abraham our father justified by works when he offered up his son Isaac on the altar?  You see that faith was active along with his works, and faith was completed by his works; and the Scripture was fulfilled that says, “Abraham believed God, and it was counted to him as righteousness”—and he was called a friend of God.  You see that a person is justified by works and not by faith alone.  And in the same way was not also Rahab the prostitute justified by works when she received the messengers and sent them out by another way?  For as the body apart from the spirit is dead, so also faith apart from works is dead, (James 2:14-26, ESV).

11. MTV survey on teens and social activism.  Pretty interesting.  HT: Kurt Johnston

12.  Adopt a Terrorist for Jesus

That’s what the new Web-based ministry Adopt a Terrorist for Prayer (ATFP) is urging Christians to do. Though ATFP agrees the government must fight terrorism militarily, it also believes the real war will be won in the spiritual realm. “Visitors can find a terrorist to pray for, as well as see how many others are praying for them,” said ATFP founder Thomas Bruce. “ It’s all about connecting these prayer warriors to each other to see how others are praying, to encourage each other, to spread the word, and fight this War on Terrorism in a powerful and spiritual way.” (From the Ministry Report Newsletter).

HT: Monday Morning Insight

13.  Also the first ever Amish emerging church – Solomon’s Barn.  I kid you not.

14.  Randy Alcorn does a monthly book giveaway, this month it is his book, Heaven.

15.  Christopher Wesley has a series of blog posts over at the Purpose Driven Youth Ministry Community Blog entitled “Good to Great Youth Ministry” based on learnings from Jim Collins book, Good to Great.  Here is a link to the first post.

16.  Andrew Jackson on how Christians can engage in politics without losing their soul.  He offers 10 biblical guidelines for how to do this.

17.  Senator Barack Obama’s outreach efforts to evangelicals has been sabotaged by his former pastor (and I would also say a number of his policy positions).  But it would seem his belief in liberation theology is hurting him.

Barack Obama’s church, Trinity United Church of Christ in Chicago, is dedicated to Black Liberation Theology and income redistribution. This liberal theology goes hand-in-hand with the liberal politics which Obama espouses. Obama’s faith is heavily based in the social gospel, meaning an emphasis is placed on the humanitarian example of Jesus. Humanity’s need for a savior to pay the debt due because of sin, which is satisfied by Christ’s death and resurrection, is relegated to the sidelines.

HT: Politics and Christianity

18.  Foxfier on the death of Charleton Heston.  Not only do two of his movies rank as some of my all time favorites (Ben Hur and the Ten Commandments), but also his work in conservative circles.  Foxfier included a quote from “Winning the Culture War” in her blog that I’ll share here as well.

Who will defend the core value of academia, if you supposed soldiers of free thought and expression lay down your arms and plead, “Don’t shoot me.”

If you talk about race, it does not make you a racist.

If you see distinctions between the genders, it does not make you sexist.

If you think critically about a denomination, it does not make you anti-religion.

If you accept but don’t celebrate homosexuality, it does not make you a homophobe.

Don’t let America’s universities continue to serve as incubators for this rampant epidemic of new McCarthyism.

But what can you do? How can anyone prevail against such pervasive social subjugation? The answer’s been here all along.

I learned it 36 years ago, on the steps of the Lincoln Memorial in Washington D.C., standing with Dr. Martin Luther King and two hundred thousand people.

You simply … disobey.

Peaceably, yes. Respectfully, of course. Nonviolently, absolutely.

But when told how to think or what to say or how to behave, we don’t. We disobey social protocol that stifles and stigmatizes personal freedom.

I learned the awesome power of disobedience from Dr. King . . . who learned it from Gandhi, and Thoreau, and Jesus, and every other great man who led those in the right against those with the might.

Disobedience is in our DNA. We feel innate kinship with that disobedient spirit that tossed tea into Boston Harbor, that sent Thoreau to jail, that refused to sit in the back of the bus, that protested a war in Vietnam.

In that same spirit, I am asking you to disavow cultural correctness with massive disobedience of rogue authority, social directives and onerous laws that weaken personal freedom.

But be careful … it hurts. Disobedience demands that you put yourself at risk. Dr. King stood on lots of balconies.

19.  Awesome quote.  When I first watched Amazing Grace I didn’t catch this, but Jemila Kwon over at Quirky Grace highlighted a quote given by Barbara, who is the woman who encourages William Wilberforce not to give up on his dream of seeing slavery abolished in Great Britain.

When they stop being afraid, their compassion will return.

20.  Something that leaders don’t often like to do, but I think is vital in order to listen to a variety of viewpoints and have a plurality of feedback: encourage disagreement.  Listen to opposing viewpoints.  This isn’t saying that we should promote disunity.  We need to be charitable toward one another, but I have far too often see a “group think” mentality occur when everybody thinks alike.  Poor decisions are made when we lapse into that.  We should seek to gather not “yes people” around us, but also those who will also challenge our thinking and push us beyond our comfort zone.

HT: High Calling Blogs

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1.  Sweet photo, not doctored – read the story.

HT: Stephanie 

2.  House Democrats obviously don’t give a rip about our National Security.

HT: Stix

3.  Conservative herald William F. Buckley, Jr. dies at the age of 82 on Wednesday in his study… probably skewering liberal thought, I’m sure.  See Chicago Tribune coverage with video of White House reaction.  In related news, Christian Rock pioneer, Larry Norman died at the age of 60 on Sunday

4.  A likely unwanted endorsement awarded to Senator Barack Obama, Louis Farrakhan, leader of the Chicago-based Nation of Islam, endorsed him at their recent convention.

Speaking to thousands of members of the Nation of Islam at their annual convention Sunday in Chicago, Minister Louis Farrakhan praised presidential candidate Sen. Barack Obama as the only hope for healing the nation’s racial divisions.

Farrakhan, 74, the longtime leader of the Nation of Islam, said the war in Iraq, the nation’s faltering economy and the increased number of natural disasters were signs of “a nation in peril.” He said those problems provide the broader context for Obama’s rise.

“We are witnessing the phenomenal rise of a man of color in a country that has persecuted us because of our color,” Farrakhan told the crowd of nearly 20,000 gathered at McCormick Place.

Source: Chicago Tribune

5.  Mark Driscoll ditches the “emerging” label for Jesus.  Last Sunday he preached on the emerging church:

Within a more complicated context is a diverse range of Christian churches.

There are the fundamentalist Christians. For this group, Driscoll says everything goes into a “closed hand.” Not only does doctrine remain strict, which Driscoll agrees with, but so does the methodology which remains inflexible, rigid, outdated and “no fun.”

Then there are the liberals. They say they’re open with the methodology and the worship style and how to love people, but they’re also open about doctrine.

“We’re not sure if the Bible’s God’s word, we’re not sure if Jesus is God, we’re not sure if anybody’s going to hell,” Driscoll said, referring to liberals.

Denouncing such liberalism, the Mars Hill pastor stressed, “We’re supposed to be old Bible-believing, Jesus-loving Christians. Christianity doesn’t change. Now, the way it’s expressed culturally and demonstrated does change.”

At Mars Hill, doctrine is timeless but at the same time, methodology is timely.

“We’re theologically conservative and culturally liberal,” he often says.

Source: Christian Post

6.  Strange news – a sex change inmate (in for murder) claims that the prison is violating “her” (he’s in a men’s prison) constitutional rights. How, you may ask?  By denying hair-removal treatment and access to a specialist to discuss his testosterone levels.  Heck yeah!  Why should taxpayers have to foot the bill for this?  Gimme a break!

7.  This is a disturbing first, but it is the result of diminishing a culture of life in our nation.

On a winter night in 2006, a disabled and brain damaged man named Ruben Navarro was wheeled into an operating room at a hospital here. By most accounts, Mr. Navarro, 25, was near death, and doctors hoped that he might sustain other lives by donating his kidneys and liver.

But what happened to Mr. Navarro quickly went from the potentially life-saving to what law enforcement officials say was criminal. In what transplant experts believe is the first such case in the country, prosecutors have charged the surgeon, Dr. Hootan C. Roozrokh, with prescribing excessive and improper doses of drugs, apparently in an attempt to hasten Mr. Navarro’s death to retrieve his organs sooner.

Read the rest – Source: New York Times

8.  Temperature monitors report widescale global cooling.

Twelve-month long drop in world temperatures wipes out a century of warming.

Over the past year, anecdotal evidence for a cooling planet has exploded. China has its coldest winter in 100 years. Baghdad sees its first snow in all recorded history. North America has the most snowcover in 50 years, with places like Wisconsin the highest since record-keeping began. Record levels of Antarctic sea ice, record cold in Minnesota, Texas, Florida, Mexico, Australia, Iran, Greece, South Africa, Greenland, Argentina, Chile — the list goes on and on.

No more than anecdotal evidence, to be sure. But now, that evidence has been supplanted by hard scientific fact. All four major global temperature tracking outlets (Hadley, NASA’s GISS, UAH, RSS) have released updated data. All show that over the past year, global temperatures have dropped precipitously.

Hmmm…. that’s interesting.  Somebody better check Al Gore’s temperature.

HT: Janice Dean

9. McCain vs. Obama – Fighin’ words on Wednesday.  Michelle Malkin & Kirsten Powers analyze and debate on Fox News.

HT: Hot Air

10.  Kevin McCullough says Christians do not have permission not to vote.  He follows up that article with a blog post.  I wholeheartedly agree.

11.  Evidently the Air Force thinks that banning access to blogs is a good idea.

The Air Force is tightening restrictions on which blogs its troops can read, cutting off access to just about any independent site with the word “blog” in its web address. It’s the latest move in a larger struggle within the military over the value — and hazards — of the sites. At least one senior Air Force official calls the squeeze so “utterly stupid, it makes me want to scream.”

Until recently, each major command of the Air Force had some control over what sites their troops could visit, the Air Force Times reports. Then the Air Force Network Operations Center, under the service’s new “Cyber Command,” took over.

HT: John Noonan 

12.  Louisiana GOP gives Republican voters the middle finger by giving most of their delegates to John McCain, even though Mike Huckabee won the Louisiana primary.  This is unbelievable.  I guess the state party wants to keep with the state’s reputation for corruption.

13.  Pistol Pete writes about piety and pettiness

Genuine piety can be a wonderful thing.  Piety can be true devotion to the holy and living God.  Piety can be self-less service to God’s people.  Piety can be feeding those who hunger for the Spirit and thirst for righteousness.

But what begins as piety can easily turn into pettiness when we begin to see things not as God sees them, but according to their outward form.

14.  David Hayward gives some tips on how churches and pastors can develop authenticity and transparency .  Great stuff.

15.  Awesome post on pride vs. brokenness

Sara takes the following points from a resource from Nancy Leigh DeMoss called Revive Our Hearts:

  • Proud people focus on the failures of others…broken people are overwhelmed with the sense of their OWN spiritual need.
  • Proud people have to prove that they are right…broken people are willing to yield the right to be right.
  • Proud people claim “rights” and have a demanding spirit…broken people yield their rights and have a meek spirit.
  • Proud people have a drive to be recognized and appreciated…broken people have a sense of their own unworthiness; thrilled that God would use them at all.
  • Proud people feel confident in how much they know…broken people are humbled by how very much they have to learn.

16.  Principled Discovery offers some great rebuttals to some objections to home educating your children.  While she is writing in the context of objecting to a bill before the Nebraska Legislature, the objections and rebuttals are universal.  A worthy read whether you home educate or are just ignorant.

17.  Interesting post on Limited Atonement, a very difficult subject when discussing Calvinism and one that I have struggled with.

18.  The NFL now says that it is ok for churches to show the Super Bowl on big screens…  Sweet!

HT: Joshua Griffin

19.  Todd Rhoades asks a very important question – would you rather have bad breath or body odor?  I’m not sure I guess I would say bad breath because at least people wouldn’t smell me when I walk into a room.  How about you?

20.  Hilarious article by Dave Barry – “A journey into my colon — and yours

HT: Tony Jones


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1.  Chaille Brindley recently traveled to Morocco and shared some random observations about the country, as well as  a significant problem they have with their youth.  Take time to pray for Morocco today.  Chaille requests:

Please take a few minutes to pray for all the young women in Morocco that face the difficult scenario described above (see post). Pray that young people will understand the risks and be smart. Pray that the Moroccan government will allow humanitarian and aide organizations to get the permits and support to help with this often ignored problem. Please lift up the families involved that they will see their responsibility to love and support their “wayward” teens and young women. Pray that Moroccan guys will realize that they have an obligation to woman if they sleep with them. Most importantly, please pray that thousands of Moroccan youth will come to know Jesus.

2.  Warner Todd Huston discusses the serious ramifications to not handling the illegal immigration problem now.

3.  Info on Iowa Marriage Amendment – http://www.letusvoteiowa.com

HT: Matt Riesetter

4.  With Rob Bell’s NOOMA videos being extremely popular it would be wise to read some reviews by Greg Gilbert that demonstrate humility and discernment.

HT: Justin Taylor

5.  In an earlier post I linked to James MacDonald’s (the senior pastor of Harvest Bible Church outside of Chicago) post on why he isn’t emerging – part 1.  He follows up with part 2 and then final thoughts on the emerging church.

6.  Break Point Commentary by Chuck Colson on Sex Trafficking:

Tonya was only 12 when she was approached by a man as she walked down a city street. Over the next few months, his gifts and compliments impressed her—and soon, she thought she was in love.

The minute he gained Tonya’s trust, the man—who was actually a pimp—took her to another city and forced her into a nightmare world of sexual slavery. She was forced to sell her body to countless men. To keep her in line, the pimp beat her violently. He kept all the money she made—which came to a great deal because, as Tonya put it, “I looked like a baby.”

Tonya lost her childhood to this pimp. He controlled her for five years, until he was finally arrested.

Why am I talking about Tonya on Valentine’s Day? Because her trouble all started with false love and false promises that exploited a little girl’s dreams of romance.

Tonya is not the only child who becomes a victim because she is desperate for affection. Shared Hope International, which rescues girls and women from prostitution worldwide, believes there are as many as 300,000 girls just like Tonya in the United States alone. (Read the rest)

7.  What makes the humble happy?  John Piper answers here.

8.  Listen to C. Michael Patton discuss the basic principles of interpretation here (HT: Reclaiming the Mind Ministries).

9.  Over at Nuke’s News and Views – the Senator Gravitas Spendometer… if you are wondering how much an Obama administration will cost taxpayers check it out.  Pretty scary… taxpayers beware!

10.  A couple of cartoons, complements of Jungle Hut.  Thanks!

11.  Pistol Pete posts on Inspiring Pastors in TV and Movies

There is an abundance of popular entertainment that portrays clergy as, at best, buffoons and, at worse, predators.  Now and then, however, a character emerges who captures the struggles of being human while also grappling with a divine calling.  I thought it might be fun to list a few of these that have made an impact on me.

I agree with that sentiment.  Seventh Heaven when it started looked like it was going to be promising went south in a hurry.  I remember watching it on occasion how his “ministry” seemed to be more about self-help than the Gospel.  The show was just ridiculous.  I don’t know of a single pastor whose ministry or family life was like that… at least none who stayed in ministry.

You can read his list of favorites here.

12.  A warning for parents who leave their children unattended in stores.

This made me laugh out loud.

HT: Jemila Kwon

13.  David Hayward posts on “What Holds Us Together

It can only be love, mutual love, that holds a relationship or a community together. What I am trying to say is that we have to get to the place where we realize that we just can’t expect people to remain committed to each other because it is expected, or promises were made, or there is uniformity in whatever area, or that there is a common goal we’ve set for them. People, especially younger people, aren’t interested in uniformity, conformity, or forms of any kind. There must be genuine acceptance, honesty, authenticity, freedom, and love for community to work. This requires intense energy from each person, and nothing outside of themselves can be called upon to ensure the relationship will work… no authority, document, ruler, goal, vision, practice, or tradition.

14.  Of course it is vitally important to know how to become caffeinated properly.  Check out this user’s guide to getting optimally wired.  HT: Jeff at SmartPastor.com.

15.  Greg Stier shared an awesome story about a chance he had to share the love of Christ on Valentine’s Day to a young couple in a restaurant.

16.  For my fellow youth ministry colleagues who wonder how to have an effective ministry to the parents of the teenagers they serve.  At least I hope they desire that!  Tim Schmoyer presents a plan for helping parents reach their teenagers.  Worth a read.

17.  Would you support a ministry to strippers in your church?  How would you feel if your pastor presented that ministry as one of the church’s major outreach initiatives?

18.  Andrew Jackson asks Why do Pastors Preach “Relevant Messages”?

Pastors do not need to spend significant time in studying and meditating on God’s Word. Those who have specialized in “relevant” messages for numerous years, can write them with little time spent in the Bible.

Pastors often borrow (steal) a message from a fellow pastor or an internet pastor, including its title, all they have to do is polish it a little.

Pastors can talk and talk (many have the gift of gab, and hopefully get a few laughs), in the name of being relational, and say very little. Maybe quote a few Bible passages here and there. Often out of context. But what they say, once analyzed, contains little Biblical meat. Many congregations should all stand up in unison on a Sunday morning and yell, “where is the beef?”

Pastors can pick and choose topics that make many people feel good about themselves, and in so doing, simple dismiss significant portions of the Bible that might not be so positive in a Christian consumer crowd. In other words, many “relevant” messages are simply cut and paste jobs.

Pastors can simply take a popular book that is out on the Christian market (one by Bill Hybells or Rick Warren would do), and use it to provide them their title and 3 or 4 points they need for their message. Not to mention the use of the book’s stories and illustrations.

What do you think?

19.  John Samson at Reformation Theology on the Blessed Man of Psalm One.

1) He does not walk in the counsel of the ungodly – he receives wiser counsel.

2) He does not stand in the path of sinners. His company is more select – he does not fellowship with evil (2 Cor. 6:14).

3) He does not sit in the seat of the scornful – he does not listen to the scoffing and mockery of others
Positively, his delight is in the law of the Lord. This is what he thinks about. His mind is focused on scripture, day and night.

Be sure to read the whole post!

20.  Car update – I’m now the proud (?) owner of a 1999 Ford Contour.  We’ll see if this turns out to be a praise report of a prayer request.  But having this car certianly beats the snot out of having no car.

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This is one of Mark Driscoll’s earlier quotes.  To give you a proper context – what follows is not the only way he views Jesus, but providing a contrast with the theological left wing of the emerging church movement (Emergent Village).

There is a strong drift toward the hard theological left. Some emergent types want to recast Jesus as a limp-wrist hippie in a dress with a lot of product in His hair, who drank decaf and made pithy Zen statements about life while shopping for the perfect pair of shoes. In Revelation, Jesus is a prize fighter with a tattoo down His leg, a sword in His hand and the commitment to make someone BLEED. That is a guy I can worship. I cannot worship the hippie, diaper, halo Christ because I cannot worship a guy I can beat up. I fear some are becoming more cultural than Christian, and without a big Jesus who has authority and hates sin as revealed in the Bible, we will have less and less Christians and more and more confused, spiritually self-righteous blogger critics of Christianity.

What do you think?  Accurate?  Fightin’ words?  Spot on?  Is he drinking kool aid?

HT: Steve Laughlin

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Scot McKnight,  started a series on the Kingdom of God.  You can check out the first post here.  It looks like it will be an interesting study.

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