Unanswerable questions of the week: Where did we get the idea that “service” was something you could attend? Or “church”, same question? (People! It’s just a meeting!! It takes place in a building! …these two used to bug me a lot.)
Cynical question of the week: “Church boards… isn’t that what you make coffins with, to bury people in the Church cemetery?”
I’ve been pressing along my series on defining missional, and will continue further next week, and after that I hope to start in on a short series of posts on community and managing change. The technical troubles I had early in the week have reminded me that I really need to get the site moved onto the new host (for which I’m already paying) and performance should improve. That all comes after this long labour day weekend, and after the kids are back in school — they start Wednesday. Hope everyone is enjoying the weekend…. and if you’re in a reading frame of mind — well, on to the linkage!
- Quoth the sage: Bloggers, let us link one another
- This Bible translations update is brilliant… apparently there are translations out now that are aimed specifically for conservatives and for liberals, and (good news!) there’s a forthcoming translation specifically for the emerging church. I love what they do with 1 Corinthians 13:12.
- A quote from St. Augustine of Hippo: short and to the point; cf. Proverbs 25:2.
- Sounds like they’ve found a direct correlation between heart rate and life span… You get 1 and 1/2 billion heartbeats, and then you die; the theory is illustrated across the animal kingdom, including humans.
- Brad Boydston lists the The 10 least religious countries. Anyone wishing to establish a missional community in another country should take note.
- You Might Have Missional Tendencies If . . . “You feel a greater sense of community in the parking lot than in the pews.” or “You’ve wanted to close a ‘service’ by shouting from your pew, ‘NOW WHAT?'” From the archives in this vein: You might be Missionalâ€¦
- C’mon, everyone else is linking it: Mother Teresa’s Crisis of Faith. Very interesting from the article:
And yet “the question is, Who determined the abandonment she experienced?” says Dr. Richard Gottlieb, a teacher at the New York Psychoanalytic Society & Institute who has written about the church and who was provided a copy of the book by TIME. “Could she have imposed it on herself?” Psychologists have long recognized that people of a certain personality type are conflicted about their high achievement and find ways to punish themselves.
I remember some preacher one time saying, “If God seems far away, guess who moved?” or something like that. Somehow, this seems like cold comfort to those experiencing an agonizing silence. Still, Teresa must have seen purpose in silence, as she wrote in a letter to Malcolm Muggeridge in 1970, “Your longing for God is so deep and yet He keeps Himself away from you. He must be forcing Himself to do so — because he loves you so much — the personal love Christ has for you is infinite — The Small difficulty you have re His Church is finite — Overcome the finite with the infinite.” I talked about silence on Monday in the Prayer Syncro-Blog.
- I think I want one of almost everything listed on the Renaissance Art Leather Journals site, but can’t bring myself to pay the price for any of it! Handsome stuff though. Maybe a Moleskine cover someday…
- Jordon Cooper on Simplicity: out of the park!
- It’s unfortunate to see the Without Walls Founders Divorcing, but I was happy to realize I’m just out of touch enough with American prosperity televangelism that I didn’t know who they were. All I can say is that given the extent of their business interests, that’s one heck of a part-time salary they’ve had. It is too much for me, however, to resist a few salient quotes from the article:
“They were like my heroes. I really love them,” he said. “But I’m also a little pissed off. I didn’t help them build their dream to have them throw it all away.”
An Australian-born businessman, Clarke said he’s given hundreds of thousands of dollars to the church since it was founded by the Whites in 1991 as the South Tampa Christian Center.
He partially blamed the couple’s breakup on their devotion to preaching a prosperity message, exhorting followers to give more money to the church in order to be blessed with greater wealth.
“Too many ministries have become big business. That message is desecrating the church today,” said Clarke, adding that he was disturbed to learn that with revenues at $40 million last year, the church was $22 million in debt.
“That’s just not right.”
Doreen Fawkes, a former business administrator at Without Walls, said she hates to see any marriage end, but she’s not surprised by the announcement.
“They grew at an unbelievable speed. It became less about God and more about self-promotion,” she said, but the congregation needs to understand it’s not just about the Whites.
“The people are the church,” she said. “And the presence of God is the glue that holds them together. I pray the people will see that and carry on.”
Is that an alarm clock going off in the background? Let’s see, snooze button, snooze button…
- The meme that keeps on giving. You know the one. Not the same format, but every one of the sentiments in in a single blog comment which a bit tangential to the actual post… but well worth the read — and it’s been canonized by Bill.
- David Hayward’s Brutal Beaters should get you wondering — perhaps you aren’t who you thought you were in the parable of the Good Samaritan. (Great image with the post.) The closing paragraph has some pretty harsh words for the church, which need no further comment from me. David, when they want to stone you like they did the prophets before you, I’ll still be your friend.
- No new posters this week? Did I link to Bob’s set already?
- Allelon is hosting an open kind of gathering in October to discuss the formation of a “missional order,” something perhaps along the lines of “The Rule of St. Benedict.” In addition to Al Roxburgh’s thoughts on the order, anyone wanting to pounce on the word “rule” should read Bob’s (unrelated?) post on a Missional Order. And by the way, one of my favorite “blog theme-verses” would have to be Bob‘s: “Am I so short of madmen that you have to bring this fellow here to carry on like this in front of me?” – I Sam 21:15a NIV.
- Can scientists make your soul fly away? Neuroscientists induce out-of-body experiences in the lab… with tips on how to do it yourself at home (sorta). Weird tricks with the brain, which are in a way more common than we realize: “It may even take a mild sort of out-of-hand illusion to use a computer mouse or trackpad—the cursor becomes a proxy for your hand or fingertip.”
- Simpsonized yet? Dr. Gerry Bowler’s paper, God and The Simpsons: The Spirituality of Springfield, suggests the Springfieldian view of religion in America may be more accurate than any other you get on television… and it has lots of great Simpsons quotes, to boot. The paper was the subject matter for a theology pub that I missed on Tuesday evening. Wonder if they served Duff Beer? Apparently there are some actual Duff beers available… the English version sounds interesting — Duff is Gaelic for dark.
- Earlier in the week I participated in a Syncro-Blog on prayer with more than 40 participants. The whole gang is listed by Cindy Bryan, with quotes for each; alternatively, Erin lists them by author and by title.
- Throwing things off on God: “Christianese.”
- Tim Keller on the Church and the Kingdom of God
Well, dang! My unfinished reading and potential linking list suddenly got a whole lot shorter…. I just lost the browser window that had about 20 tabs open for this express purpose. I “set things aside” in browser tabs when they look interesting as I go through my reader, then I mark them as read. I don’t even remember what they all were. Oh well, I had too much to read anyway — hope there was nothing good in there! (Actually, I know there was, but can’t remember what. Dang.) I guess that’s enough anyway.