3.31.2006

Exorcisem?

Check out CNN’s, blog post looking at modern exorcism, entitled Casting the Devil out of Tulsa.

The comments are particularly interesting, though I doubt representative of the entire population, just because it’s the people that know what they think and feel passionately about their perspective that bother to comment.

The following are pretty representative of what most of the comments were like.

I know by personal experience that demons possess humans. My ex-husband, a Baptist minister was Satan himself. No, I am not kidding. He was evil, wicked,violent,and very abusive. His face would distort and his voice change into something very demonic. It was terrifying!!!!!! I believe that Bob Larsen's ministry is real and not a fabricated show. God bless him.

One person's legitimate religious practice IS another's spiritual vaudeville. As a dedicated agnostic (no, that's not an oxymoron), I think what it all comes down to is that our beliefs have the power to influence the way we perceive the world, so if you believe, then that practice is legit -- for you. I think one of the biggest problems in our world right now is religious zealotry, both here in America and abroad. So I think tolerance is the key. I personally think this stuff is weird as hell, but I'd still be fascinated to witness it and to talk to someone about it!

Thorought all four of the Gospels, Jesus cast out demons, (ex: see: Luke 4: 33-37, Luke 8:26-39, Luke 9:37-39: and because of sin, the devil infiltrates the thoughts that lead to actions-of believers and non-believers alike..By faith we inherit the ability to become His disciples and walk as He did,thus the ability to facilitate and cast out demons in His name is real..

I Say it's bull !!!!!!!!!!!! I am as anti religion as you can get, so where are the demons that are looking to inhabit a person. I and many like me would be the perfect host. But then again we wouldn't be any news for the fakes who claim to expell the demons, My belief; we as Americans are trying so hard to be noticed that we are willing to make complete fools of ourselves, if you have any doubts just watch TV with all these reality shows, I hate to say it but the average person just doesn't act that way but for a little cash or popularity they will humiliate themselves, I guess it won't be long until theres a exorcism reality show, who'll be the first contestant for the grand prize. I guess that will qualify for some sort of disability from the Gov't.

3.29.2006

Keep the main thing the main thing.

Excerpts from Matthew chapter 5. (The Message)

You're blessed when you're content with just who you are--no more, no less. That's the moment you find yourselves proud owners of everything that can't be bought.

If you enter your place of worship and, about to make an offering, you suddenly remember a grudge a friend has against you, abandon your offering, leave immediately, go to this friend and make things right. Then and only then, come back and work things out with God.

You only make things worse when you lay down a smoke screen of pious talk, saying, “I'll pray for you,” and never doing it, or saying, "God be with you,” and not meaning it. You don't make your words true by embellishing them with religious lace. In making your speech sound more religious, it becomes less true.

If someone drags you into court and sues for the shirt off your back, giftwrap your best coat and make a present of it. And if someone takes unfair advantage of you, use the occasion to practice the servant life. No more tit-for-tat stuff. Live generously.

You're familiar with the old written law, "Love your friend,” and its unwritten companion, "Hate your enemy.” I'm challenging that. I'm telling you to love your enemies. Let them bring out the best in you, not the worst.

In a word, what I'm saying is, Grow up. You're kingdom subjects. Now live like it. Live out your God-created identity. Live generously and graciously toward others, the way God lives toward you.

Consider the Christian Evangelical sub-culture.
Do we replace Hollywood's celebrities with Christian ones?
Do we love our enemies (i.e. Senators Hillary Clinton and Edward Kennedy, or the neighbor who goes to the other church who you don't talk to anymore).
Do we talk a good line in our small groups and Bible studies, knowing it's only a half truth?
How many lawsuits are Christians and churches caught up in?
Are we generous, or are we as concerned with retirement and a new car as the next guy?
And what constitutes being generous anyway? Is Starbucks and eating out (these are just examples of what you spend your money on) acceptable, given the needs of the world, the poor, and those ravaged by war?

We spend an inordinate amount of time in seminary trying to understand the deep and intricate things of God, while simultaniously we don't do what is direct and simple (intellectually speaking), because of course, it's not so simple to live it out. (Believe me, I know.)

3.26.2006

Relativism, Power, and the Need for a Standard

So I like to think of myself as being fairly postmodern, fairly relativistic, but at the end of the day, from a technical philosophical perspective, I am definitely not a relativist or postmodern. Yet at the same time, I abhor the certainty of modernity, something the evangelical church of the 20th century loves.

So I’m kind of in a no-man’s land. Ironically, it’s one of the foundations of many conservative positions, the depravity of humanity, that helps put me in this place. I mean think about, if we are all horribly evil people, entirely dependent on the grace of God, why would we be certain of much of anything?

You can see all of this flushed out to a greater degree by reading one of Amy’s post’s on the A-Team blog, Relativism, Power, and the Need for a Standard - Part Two, which I left a number of comments on. Check it out here.

3.24.2006

Language and Practice

Ryan and I were talking last week, now he's blogging about our conversation, (which is perfectly ok with me.) My question was, "How much of this the emerging conversation is about language, and how much about practice? I mean, when the average emerging church person goes to work, do they do anything differently than your typical Christian?" Check it out here.

3.22.2006

Damn Death

A dead man's blog.
(click here)
Lord have mercy.

Good Interview

Had a good interview this past weekend, now I’m just chilling out on spring break, working a few extra hours at work. Class starts up again next week. I’ll be taking The Ethics of Life and Death, and The Spiritual Disciplines.

3.12.2006

Salvation?

One last thing before the previous post goes into effect, check out this post on Salvation by JR Rozko. I left some comments on it that I suspect some of you regulars might appreciate.

Taking a Week Off

It is finals week starting on Monday, so I'm going to take a "fast" from blogging, and using the web for entertainment for a week. Too often, when things get busy, It's time with God that goes out the window, not blogging, or playing hearts for a moment, or whatever. I"ll be back on the 20th. See ya then.

Sex in the Seminary

A couple weeks ago there was a cool seminar on sex here at Fuller. It was called Sex in the Seminary, a take off on Sex in the City. I meant to blog about it but never got around to it. Here are a few links to other Fuller students that went and did blog about it. JR and Jucybits

A Split Infinitive?

The word processing program I use, routinely tells me I have created a sentence with a “split infinitive”. “What pray-tell is that?” I’ve always wondered. So I finally got around to looking it up. Apparently, I place myself in good company by doing so, and intend to irreverently continue the practice.

3.11.2006

Are they out of their mind?

I have my first real pastoral interview next weekend. I had three really good one’s with this church by phone, and now they are flying my wife and I out for a face-to-face with the search committee.

Three years ago I accepted the Spirit’s calling on my life to be a pastor, (prior to that I had kind of been running from it) but it is only now that this is really starting to sink in. Are they out of their mind…me…pastoring a church?

On the one hand I know I have a good skill set (which will definately need to be complimanted by others) and I'm naturally confident, but on the other hand this is pastoring, you know...lives...spirits...souls...

God have mercy on us all…me…them…all of us.

3.09.2006

Church in the NT - Notes (2)

Here are some notes from my Church in the New Testament Class. These are just thoughts for musing on. Obviously these were taken in the context of a larger conversation that you are missing out on. I really can't say more now, cause I'm studying for finals.

1. What would you do if there was only one church in your city? What if you couldn’t go down the street cause you didn’t like the way the pastor preached?

2. We don’t know how do deal with the “I” in the midst of the “we”.

3. We are historical positives, which means that we think that if we can get back to the first century, and translate that into our world, then thing will be "right".
A. Problems with this
1.Can we get back to the first century, this pure form of Christianity?
2. Just because they did something dosen't mean we necessarely should.
3.Historical models should not be normative. If they were, we would have five different theologies of the Spirit.

4. One can’t separate one's view of history from one’s view of the Bible. Hence we have to consider how we do history, and what the place of scripture is in constructing that historical enterprise.

Cubicles

So how do you feel about working in a cubicle? Want to know where it came from and where its going? Click here.

3.04.2006

Resume Blog

Just got done creating a blog specifically for my resume and related material. You can take a look at it here.

I'm graduating in June, with my last two classes following in the summer, so I'm looking to start the next stage around August 1. If you know anyone that is hiring a pastor and/or director in the Midwest, feel free to pass the resume web address along.

Passing this blog address along may not be the best thing, or it could be great. I haven't shied away from questioning the status-quo on this blog, which I'm proud of, yet I'm not sure that's my best foot to put forward when it comes to an initial interview. People will listen a lot if they trust you...which takes time. I'm trying to move past the "I just graduated from seminary and now I know everything" stereotype, even if I do live up to it half the time. That's kind of the purpose of this blog, to put my questions out there and dialog about them. Getting a job, on the other hand, is not about telling your future ministry partners all the things you think they do wrong. ; )

Sooooo, if you know someone that might be interested in discussing future ministry opportunities, pass the resume address along, not the blog address. (Though I might pass it along depending on the person I was dialoging with.)

If you have any questions for me, don't hesitate to ask.


As for what I'm looking for; pretty much anything besides youth or worship. (Yah, I know that kind of narrows the field, but you have to do what your called to.) My area of interest is in applying missional approaches to a North American context. What that might look like is totally up in the air. I feel like I could be comfortable in a variety of settings.

If you're a student and also looking for a job, don't hesitate to leave your contact info in the comments section. I'm only going to take a job that is "right", and would be happy passing on some names if it was appropriate.