Wednesday, February 18, 2004

I am moving

Please make note that I am moving to moveable type. I will still be that cute sweet little anapapist that you have come to know and love. I will just be at this new address Please update me in your blog roll and address book. 

Wednesday, February 11, 2004

E=MC2 Or Heisenberg meets the Emergent movement;

I have been reading so much on the emergent stuff lately. The latest one was exceptional and got me thinking. There seems to be so much angst concerning the lack of cohesiveness and definition regarding the Emergent movement, if I may call it that. There is a much angst with regards to the post-modern definition or lack there of. I find this to be a non issue. If you would indulge me. Werner Heisenberg in 1927 wrote this, "The more precisely the positions determined, the less precisely the momentum is known in this instant, and vice versa." This is commonly called the Uncertainty-Principle. Basically you can't know the position of an entity and also know its velocity. As it applies to defining emergent stuff it goes like this. The more one tries to pin a definition to this thing the more squirrelley it gets. This is the case not because it is indefinable but because it lack homogeneity. The emergent stuff is always contextual. Who am I to say that the Southern Baptists can't be emergent because they just change the order of music and add candles?

The other issue that keeps coming up is the thought that most emergent types hate the church or are reactionary. That may be true for some but not all and to restrict this broad movement to minutiae. What might be happening for some, not all, is a reaction. A reaction to the overindulgences of the "me" generation. It is a reaction against the church we have recieved. It is an attempt to generate a new paradigm for the new move that God is doing.

Would you indulge me one more time?

What if, and I got this thought stream from Stan Grenz, the move that is going on today was similar to the beginning stages of teh Protestant Reformation and its subsequent evolutions.

The Magesterial reformers were different, Zwingli, Calvin, and Luther had different issues, there was no uniformity but there was commonality.

"The sixteenth century protestants were in agreement that the medieval Roman Catholic tradition had corrupted the Christian faith and so made the reformation of the church necessary. Although they were united in what they were against, when it came to the task of setting forth a positive agenda they were fragmented. Consequently, they struggled without success to achieve a unified movement. In a similar manner, postmodern thinkers are united not by agreement about a particular constructive agenda but by their shared belief that the modern project is inadequate and their shared commitment to the task of developing new paradigms for intellectual pursuit."

Stan Grenz, Beyond Foundationalism.

Indulge me one more time please. The issue that has been raised that some emergent types is that they have no ties to history or a tradition. That just makes them good evangelicals. the emergnet types I know and interact with have a deep desire to know their history. Don't nullify the whole because some have a bug up their butt. The a-historical impulse just means that they are being true to the evangleical protestant impulse. 

Tuesday, February 10, 2004

The wrong questions?

One of the dangerous things about bouncing around from blog to blog is that you get acontextual snipets of thought. My firend James calls it pornographic I don't disagree. But one thing that I have seen is that I think the question are you Emerging or not is the wrong question. Can one be modern and emerging YES. Since there is no universal criteria to adjudicate a definition of postmodernism how can we say I am pomo or modern? The question or at least the starting place for my inquiry is not are you this or that but what undergirds your position. Let me explain, the epistemological issue is the question that needs to be addressed. For many people the issue is foundationalism or non-foundationalism. Our epistemic starting point is seemingly a non-issue. Our non-reflective position and a-critical nature drive the issue. There are several discussions going on go here for a good discussion but still perhaps not the right questions. Check out this site for another view point. Dave's post is called "is the emerging church a movement?" This post is quite good and raises some good points.

This is an excellent post called "emerging church and cognitive dissonance" by neurotribe this guy rocks.

There are several other things going on in the blogsphere. Some people are reading a book that is several years out of date and is not even a good book to read regarding Stan Grenz's thoughts on post modernism. Grenz writes this book with a foudationalist bent. A much better book is Beyond Foundationalism By Stan Grenz and John Franke. My hope is that once they are finished with a Primer by Grenz they will read this fine book to see how Grenz has changed. We must frame the issue differently and we will get different answers.

In "clarification" dated 1-24-04 alan creech illuminates several of the issues.

The problems that foundationalism gives us go unaddressed. It is my hope to start us down the road to ask different questions. 

Wednesday, February 04, 2004

Black History Month day two:

"The erstwhile sanction by the church of slavery, racial segregation, war, and economic exploitation is testimony to the fact that the church has hearkened more to the authority of the world than to the authority of God. Called to be the moral guardian of the community, the church at times has preserved that which is immoral and unethical. Called to combat social evils, it has remained silent behind stained glass windows. Called to lead men on the highway of brotherhood and to summon them to rise above the narrow confines of race and class, it has enunciated and practiced racial exclusiveness."

MLK Jr. The Strength to love 

Tuesday, February 03, 2004

In Honor of a Man I will meet someday

"....Well, I don't know what will happen now. We've got some difficult days ahead. But it doesn't matter with me now. Because I've been to the mountaintop. And I don't mind. Like anybody, I would like to live a long life. Longevity has its place. But I'm not concerned with that now. I just want to do God's will. And He's allowed me to go up to the mountain. And I've looked over. And I've seen the promised land. I may not get there with you. But I want you to know tonight, that we, as a people will get to the promised land. And I'm happy tonight. I'm not worried about anything. I'm not fearing any man. Mine eyes have seen the glory of the coming of the Lord.

Martin Luther King jr. April 3, 1968, He was assassinated the next day.

It is Black History month. Learn all you can.

There is much that we as "emerging" leaders and youngsters could learn from this man. We have cut ourselves off form our heritage he embraced his. He knew his history we don't know who we are. Let us learn. 

In over my head

Most of the time I find myself in way to deep. This blog is the perfect example. I am not a gifted writer, in fact my grammar sucks. So I have been shamed into not writing for a few days. I have had to think about what I should do. I am by nature not a person of originality. I am more of a person who links things together. I make connections at deep levels and hopefully empower people to be better than me, which is not really that hard. One thing that has been evident to me over the last few days is that is that I have stuff to give. So to those who feel I don't say much and ramble I will be back again and again.

Lessons in Leadership.

It was 1984 I was stuggling with wrestling season. In the day I was one lean mean fighting bench warmer. I was never able to get the moves correct fast enough to win, so I never wrestled in a match, I wrestled for 11 years. I never won one match even in practice. His name was Kurt Pritts, he was my friend since kindergarten. He was one of those people for which athletics came easy. We were the same age, it was our junior year, and this was his second year of wrestling. I would show up early to practice and stay late. In the off seaon I would run cross county and lift weights 5 hours a day. It was always my year, yet never was. By this time, for all you good evangelicals, I had been a Christian for 5 years. I had read the gosple of Luke several times over by this time in my life. I had tried to embody although I had no idea what I was doing most of the time.

It is time to get back to wrestling and Kurt now. There was one thing I could do and that was "see" what had to be done although I was never "smart" enough to get it done myself. I would help the other guys be better. One day I was set to wrestle Kurt to see who would wrestle in the upcoming tournament. My other friend Gary told me not to show Kurt any moves. I thought well that was just stupid, of course I would help Kurt. Kurt beat me, with the very move I showed him and in fact helped him master. He took third in the tournament.

Now what does all this story have to do with leadership? And what does the narrative of someone not good enough to get off the bench have to do with being a leader.

It was never about me, I would like to tell you that I was some how profound in all of this I was not. I stumbled along and only in retrospect did I see that God was structuring my character in such a way that I find myself to this day willing to let someone else be better than me. To this day I see pastoral leadership as a gifting where I am called to empower someone else to take my "job". You see I am just not that good of a man, I am not fishing for encouragement here. I have a rather healthy self-esteem. I am always made better by those I surround myself with.
I see leadership as a cruciform pattern. The more like Jesus we become, the more people will misunderstand us and the better leaders we will be. My friend Gary never got why I helped Kurt, even after he beat me. It was already becoming part of who I was, how could I be anything else? I could have hoarded my talent and probably won but the team would not have been as strong. I could have imposed my will and coerced my way but in the end I would have lost more than a wrestling match. As honorary captain I could have had Kurt wrestle someone else and then wrestle me after he was really tired. But then what kind of leader would I have been?

And Jesus removed the his outer garment and wrapped it around his waist and then washed there feet. If leadership is about YOU then get out and go do something else.


Wednesday, January 28, 2004

Leaving for something Different

Well the discussion on women in leadership is getting going. We must be careful to just say that this is a non-issue because we have become so enlightened. It is an issue for at least 50% of the world, i.e. women. I think part of the issue is that we are asking the wrong questions. Perhaps a better question would be something like this. How can a leadership paradigm be created where women are allowed to exercise their gifting without them having to be like men. Like men I mean this, scrounging for the front and driven by ego.

Part of our issue is language. It is my assumption that most people think of language in a very monolithic way. Language serves one purpose only the early positivist movement has still impacted us today. Language merely points to something. The ostensive use is not the only one. Language describes and later Wittgenstein leads us to the place where we see that meaning is a function. Language is also a moral issue. How we frame a discussion is a moral issue. Think about it! My buddy James turned me on to this line of thinking. When we think about the poor what images come to mind and how do we describe poor people? Dirty, etc, etc. How do we think of women, sexual partners? equals?????? Our first principle will begin our line of discussion and will determine our position. We never enter an argument tabula rasa.

I hope we can move to a place where we can be more constructive.

Another issue that we have is our reductionistic reading of the Scripture. If we are honest with ourselves we see within the text room to see multiple view points and positions. The text has room to support an open theism and a classical view, a complimentarian and egalitarian view. What are we to do with such a problematic text, the conservative position would have us flatten the text out and reconcile the "problems." We must stop devaluing the Scripture. We must have a wholistic view of scripture.

With that said there are more faithful readings of the text.

Those who would argue against full fledged involvement must ask better questions and persuade me that I hold the errant view.  

Tuesday, January 27, 2004

If I were to write a book on leadership what might it look like?

The Art of Nothing: Leadership in a Pomo-matrix

Chapter one: The issue is character fool.

Much has been written as of late on leadership, most of it in my opinion is reductionistic. We speak of gift recognition. We speak of casting vision. We speak of blah blah I could go on. What I want to suggest is not new. This proposal is not unique.

Part of our issue as evangelicals is that we inherited a framework that no longer fits. If we were to look at the creation account we see the Creator placing both male and female together, Oh and screw creation order that means nothing, to "rule" over. For me when I see this I see helpmate as EQUAL not subordinate. We are spending all of our time talking about this stuff when for me it is just assumed that male and female will work together. We need to stop clamoring for position and see that leadership has been limited to competency when it should be about character. Character is not a gender issue.

When we think of leader there is baggage that is attached. For that we may blame German sociologist Max Weber. John Yoder writes this in Body Politics "Weber called one kind of centralized leadership "charismatic." By this he designated the way in which, especially in a new movement, a powerful central leader can come to prominence because of some special capacity he or she has to gain the trust of many followers. Weber thereby gave to the word charisma a meaning diametrically opposite to the pastoral intention had when introducing it. Paul meant the term (which some scholars the he himself may have invented) in order to downplay the spectacular and powerful ,calling for modesty, since each such capacity or role is a gift. Weber, on the other hand, used the term to describe functions whose authority is spectacular or imposing, self-authenticating. I am not an anarchist so I believe in leadership . The leadership that I desire is one that looks like you are standing still.

As for Gift recognition I have a hard time trusting most of the evangleical world. Here is an example of what I am talking about concerning how we choose leaders. We can't even trust ourselves to put a good person in the White House. How are we supposed to recognize giftedness? We look for the strongest, big mistake. Strength is not about character. We should strive to be virtuous.

In Chatanooga McLaren shared his views after I asked him where he saw the future of the senior pastor going, hopefully by the wayside in my opinion. He stated that if you walk into a room and ask who the leader is you will know because one person will be pointed to or a leader will self-authenticate. The loudest is the leader, sorry girls for the most part that leaves you out. Do you sense a disconnect somewhere? What does any of his position have to do with character? It is not the loudest but the strongest, not strength and power as we think but strength as crucifix. That is the leader we should strive to be.

Chapter two later. I think it may be vagina envy????


Monday, January 26, 2004

check this out. The wisdom and honesty is painful.

thoughts on the trinity Leaving Munster has some stuff to say. is it time to leave an augustinian trinity behind? 

Great frickin post on a really good blog Jonny Baker, look for the post on "What Women Want, and "get beyond...", said some good great stuff that I came across while hanging at my friends' blog knowtown. He turned me on to this excellent woman Maggi Dawn. The issue of women in leadership is a no brainer. We are called to be in this with each other. We need each other. I look at my girlfriend as an example. I think she is the most thoughtful person I know. She has insights that just come easy. Watching her think is like watching a skilled craftsperson at work. For me it is like watching Lance Armstrong ride, effortless, and revolutionary. James' wife Janell has that same gift, there are others I am sure. They don't need us to give them permission to talk, they need us because no one person sees everything clearly, and we need them for the same reason.

I am playing around with questions about leadership. I am becoming more convinced than ever that we have things wrong. Leadership is thought of as a pyramid, or an inverted pyramid. This I think is still to narrow, it still leads to one person making the decisions. I seem to remember Jesus saying that only one person is Father. Is as I said above we all need each other then one person can never speak for all. All we have is A perspective, not THE perspective.

I think there is much talk on leadership going on in the blog world. Not sure how much is really good, not sure mine will be either.

My theory of leadership is called leading by doing "nothing" you will have to come back to see what will be said. 

Monday, January 19, 2004

Must read.

I have read a book at least six times in the last two years. It is a must read check it out. The book is Body Politics by John Howard Yoder. This book will challenge you. This book has changed the way I will be the church. Missio Dei is attempting to embody some of these practices. Read the book and let me know what you think.


My Adventures in missing the point.

We, my girlfriend and I, had dinner last night with two of the best people in the world. James and Janell Mills are great thinkers and I am honored to be working on a church plant with them. One thing that I keep noticing is that I am in love with the sound of my own voice. We spoke at length about church issues and why we want to do Missio Dei. Mostly the guys talked. I am struggling with trying to keep silent. Most of what I say is good but what Emily and Janell say is awsome. I find myself being paternalistic and just plain talk to much. I hope that we, mostly I, can learn how to listen better.

keep coming back as we will talk about Missio Dei in the next few weeks.


Friday, January 16, 2004

Well I knew it. Scott Barth Holden has finally arrived.

"We reject the false doctrine that the church could have permission to hand over the form
of its message and of its order to whatever it itself might wish or to the vicissitudes of the
prevailing ideological and political convictions of the day."
You are Karl Barth!
You like your freedom, and are pretty stubborn against authority! You don't
care much for other people's opinions either. You can come up with your own fun, and
often enough you have too much fun. You are pretty popular because you let people have their
way, even when you have things figured out better than them.

What theologian are you?

A creation of Henderson

I knew it. Sometimes the simple things get me.  

I have been thinking lately about church. What we are, the why and everything else. Here are some thoughts give feedback or whatever.

Church: I am coming to a place of insight lately. We are the church and we do church to gather around the word that is Christ and the written word to learn about Christ and his work of redemption that is done and yet not finished. This redemption comes from Christ the first fruits of a new creation. this new creation is lived out in practical ways in the church, in us. The practices that we embody vary. Economic Justice, Rule of Christ etc. Why do we do this? To witness to the reality of the kingdom come and yet to come. We are called to live out here, the kingdom of God.

I am wondering aloud and internally how do we model the church after a social trinity? An Augustinian view leads to a hierarchical view that I am unwilling to venture towards.

Just a few thoughts.


Wednesday, January 14, 2004

Why do we do church?the way we do

I have been haunted by this question all day. Give me your feedback let us begin to talk about this. 

Monday, January 12, 2004

Scattered thoughts:

Missio Dei had a meeting the other night. It was interesting. I am not sure what to think yet. I am reflecting deeply about some things that were said and some that were not. Emily, the love of my life, and I talked for several hours. i will keep you posted.

Got reconnected with a dear friend and good man Vaughn. Look for stuff from him in the weeks to come. I am reading an article right now by Stanley Fish. I will be posting on that this week.

I am wondering what church should look like lately. In my first post I wrote about some of my heritage. I love us, the church, and I am not sure how all of this fits together. I realize that this is slightly scattered but I need to ramble.

How is a church emerging? What makes a church faithful?


Sunday, January 04, 2004

Good to be back.

I had to work all weekend so I have been unable to post anything. My good friend James has been posting some quotes form a book that he is re-reading. Check out his site. I love this one. The maturity that is needed in the body today is, in my opinion, lacking. We have a limited and simplistic view of tradition. We think that tradition is a bad thing so we tend to minimalize it. Instead of knowing it more fully. If we truly were to know our past we would see that we have not always viewed scripture as we do today. The American Evangelical church has un-reflectively bought into a system of thought called foundationalism and christianized it. The sooner we can move away from that epistemic system the better.

Why is it that the vast majority of Christian believers remain largely unexposed to Christian learning—to historical-critical studies of the Bible, to the content and structure of the great doctrines, to two thousand years of classic works on the Christian life, to the basic disciplines of theology, biblical languages, and Christian ethics? Why do bankers, lawyers, farmers, physicians, homemakers, scientists, salespeople, managers of all sorts, people who carry out all kinds of complicated tasks in their work and home, remain at a literalist, elementary-school level in their religious understanding? How is it that high-school-age church members move easily and quickly into the complex world of computers, foreign languages, DNA, and calculus, and cannot even make a beginning in historical-critical interpretation of a single text of Scripture? How is it possible that one can attend or even teach in a Sunday school for decades and at the end of that time lack the interpretive skills of someone who has taken three or four weeks in an introductory course in the Bible at a university or seminary?

I am getting more and more excited about the EC '04 in march are you going? The lineup in excellent. I am especially looking forward to hearing the voices of the women.

See ya later.



Monday, December 29, 2003

I am seeing lots of people visit but no one is leaving me any comments please give feedback or just say hi. 

I have to stop interacting with fundies. I am constantly misunderstood. The simplistic nature was what I thought bothered me but that is not it at all. It is the closed mind, the mind unused that bothers me. I am not calling anyone stupid, most are probably smarter than me. It is that they are unwilling to interact with anybody outside of there own theological family. It is like the movie Pleasantville. Reese Witherspoon's character is in school the first day and they are talking about teh geography of main street. She asks a question "what is outside of pleasantville?" She is looked at like a leper. The teacher chuckles and says well elm street, there are only two streets. That for me is fundamentalism, there is nothing outside of these four walls that is of any redeeming value. If you do not think like Ithink you are suspect. When will we realize that on this side we only see in part???