Tuesday, March 27, 2007

journey as destination

More on How (Not) to Speak of God, by Pete Rollins...from Chapter 1:
...those involved in the conversation acknowledge that Christianity involves a process of journeying and becoming. There is a shared understanding that being a Christian always involves becoming a Christian...faith embraces journey as a type of destination.

This speaks to me of our modern obsession with convincing people to:
close the deal
pray the prayer
cross the line
make a decision...

We put great emphasis on getting people to take an action that changes their status from lost to saved, non-Christian to Christian, condemned to forgiven, pagan to believer...but we are rarely as concerned with the journey.

I'm all for helping people choose to follow Jesus (it is part of my job!) But the challenging part, and I think the crucial part, is encouraging people on the journey they began by choosing Jesus. The decision or prayer is only the first step. It's really the easiest step. The journey that follows is incredible, frustrating, joyful, painful, frightening, mysterious, and adventurous.

Along similar lines, found this great article, "Jesus and the Sinner's Prayer" in Christianity Today by David Gushee. Got me thinking about Jesus' teaching when it comes to following Him; and how it's often different than the answers we give. He rarely gives the same answer twice; yet we have tried to come up with simple universal answers of what it means to follow him--the four spiritual laws, sinners prayer, etc.

Gushee says:
If Jesus is to be believed, inheriting eternal life involves a comprehensive divine assessment at every step along our journey, not just at its inception.
I want to be a pastor who, first of all, takes my journey seriously--constantly seeking and learning and interacting with Jesus; and second, is available to help others on that journey, not as a teacher, but as an encourager and fellow traveler.

Saturday, March 24, 2007

must read--Pete Rollins

just started reading How (Not) To Speak of God by Pete Rollins. After only one chapter it is already having major impact. Rollins is able to articulate perfectly a lot of thoughts I've wrestled with but haven't been able to put into words. I'm going to comment on the book as I read; but obviously I will quote bits and pieces. I strongly urge you to read the book yourself!

Part 1 Intro:

The argument is made that naming God is never really naming God but only naming our understanding of God. To take our ideas of the divine and hold them as if they correspond to the reality of God is thus to construct a conceptual idol built from the materials of our mind.

Wow. Much of the criticism of emergent has been that we don't hold firm enough to certain, absolute, infallible beliefs. The above quote tells me that holding our interpretations too tightly is a form of idolatry. I do believe in the Bible; but my beliefs, anyone's beliefs, are never exactly what the Bible says, but our understandings and interpretations of what the Bible says. That doesn't mean we can't learn from or follow the Bible, but it does mean we ought to be careful about arrogantly thinking that we have the one and only right reading...

Rollins goes on to contrast the Greek-influenced idea of orthodoxy as right belief with the "more Hebraic and mystical notion of the orthodox Christian as one who believes in the right way--that is , believing in a loving, sacrificial and Christlike manner."

That sure makes sense to me.

Wednesday, March 07, 2007

my childish wish

ok, I'm a big kid. I admit it. Last month Ashley got a pair of heelys. First I thought, "I wish they had these when I was a kid." Then I wondered if they made them big enough for me. I was jealous. of my 11-year-old daughter.

Well, I just found out they DO make them big enough for me. So I've added a wish list to my blog. I rarely ask for anything; and I'm not at all materialistic. But I have a birthday in May and this is the only thing I'm asking for! (is my wife reading this?) You can find them HERE.

Laugh if you will, but it could be a great opportunity to bond with my daughter and her friends. or break my neck. Either way, it's an adventure!