cableconnectors.jpg You may have guessed when I start compiling my “random acts of linkage” posts: Saturday morning. I future-post the entry on Friday night at bedtime and forget about it. I don’t get to sit and read every Saturday morning when I arise, but when I do, as now, I start my “Random Acts” post for the coming week… so this time, I’m reading and typing away on Saturday morning, but the Saturday before you read these words, not the same Saturday as you read them. As you skim through the list looking for something, anything of interest, you’ll be scanning my footprints in the ether over the past week, which as I said is also the upcoming week as I type these words. I don’t know yet which words you’ll read that I typed the Friday night before you read them, nor what those words will be. I tend to jumble the order around sometimes, occasionally putting a really good one at the top, or not. Sometimes if there are items that relate, I put them next to each other, so they aren’t chronological… but I’ll be typing away at this post all week long and when I’m done compiling, you’ll read it, and we’ll start all over again. Kinda neat to think about, in a way.

  1. Blog launches & relaunches this past week:
    • Julie Clawson is behind the new Emerging Parents blog — and high-time, I say. You know it’s sad when I’m the host of a lot of the conversation about emerging praxis with children. (Don’t follow me, I’m lost too.) If I can say it without being too overtly sexist, guys, you need to hang there and not leave it all defaulting to the emerging  chicks  moms. Hmm. Maybe I’ll say more about that, stay tuned.
    • Also high-time: Reformergent, which is about “the interaction between Reformed theology and the Emerging church movement.” I understand this not to be intended as a ringside-themed blog, so I’m subscribing. Should be interesting — and pay attention, he has both Doug Pagitt and Mark Driscoll in the blogroll. This, like the emerging-charismatic conversation, is a topic that needs some helpful voices pitching in. one of the early posts explains the why very well.
    • Jamie Arpin-Ricci starts a new blogging chapter at A Living Alternative, which means we won’t be calling him the “Emergent Voyeur” anymore. He took a bit of a break from blogging, but evidently he isn’t very good at not blogging. Writers are like that (I know a little bit about that).
    • Not to be outdone, Tony Jones picked up and moved his blog as well.
  2. Can’t believe I missed this important gathering, which sounds like it was a lot of fun, and spiritually rich, too. Maybe next year.
  3. I love parables, zen koans, prophetic puzzles, and things of that nature. Paul Soupiset write a fine one: The Parable of the Bronze-Sink. For him it speaks to certain people in a specific situation… but I think it has wider appeal, for him who has ears to hear.
  4. God in the Wasteland: The Reality of Truth in a World of Fading Dreams Brad Andrews reviews David Wells’ God in the Wasteland: The Reality of Truth in a World of Fading Dreams, a sequel to a formidable work that’s been sitting on my shelf for several years, No Place for Truth or Whatever Happened to Evangelical Theology?. This one looks interesting — Andrews writes, “though he rebukes much of Evangelicalism in his book, in the end, he develops what he sees as a beginning for the reconstitution of the evangelical faith.” In other words, although it addresses the postmodern milieu, on the surface at least, it doesn’t sound like a broad critique of the emerging church and its “capitulation” to post-modernity. Instead, Wells seems to address a lot of what we’re talking about — consumerist church, megachurches, and the giving over of evangelicalism of itself to modernity. Although I certainly don’t expect it to be an apologetic for the emerging church, from what I read here, the book could be an important one for many evangelicals to begin to think about some of what we’ve been saying for some time now. More worthwhile than MacArthur’s Truth War, by the reports, which suggests the latter begins with a wrong definition and builds on it. Somehow, I’m not surprised.
  5. Go on and subscribe to the RSS feed for ASBO Jesus. I can’t be linking half the comic strips every week. But okay — on genuine worship and on the Kingdom of God. Now, these aren’t funny so much as insightful, thought-provoking, and clothed in “I’m-not-the-only-one!” reassurance. Okay, two more, on whose fault is it and an unfortunate equation.
  6. Men and Loneliness: do men have a harder time starting and cultivating new friendships? The importance of “third places” and a recommendation for a missional response.
  7. Ron Cole on legalism: I fought the law…and the law won; he gets to quoting Thomas Merton, who says, “Legalism in practice makes law and discipline more important than love itself. For the legalist, law is more worthy of love than the persons for whose benefit the law was instituted.” Oh, my.
  8. Formula 1 fans will appreciate this television commercial for Mercedes with Fernando Alonso, Lewis Hamilton, and a special guest star. People talk about baseball, hockey, and football on their emerging/missional church blogs, so I figure one of us needs to make mention of a good sport.
  9. Hamo’s fourteen Essential Components of a Missionary Community. You can say “missional” if you want to.
  10. Missional in the ‘burbs: Will Samson’s Ten Ideas for Living Intentionally in the Suburbs (very practical) and Neil Cole via David Fitch on Being Missional in the Burbs.
  11. Fresh on my bookshelf this past week:

    I can’t imagine I’ll be able to read all of this very quickly, but you can see what I’m interested in from the titles… spirituality, writing, and in general, slowing down to the point where good literature and a mindfully spiritual life can take root. Lately I’ve been reading Frances Mayes’ Under the Tuscan Sun (the sequel is mentioned above; it’s not like the movie) so I guess I’ve got a passing interest in Tuscany going on as well ;^)

  12. Bob Robinson says that Josh McDowell is doing “Relational Apologetics” and is anything but a modern — and he’s quoting the man himself, who says “I’m Sick of McLaren and Bell Putting Me in the Modernist Camp.”.
  13. Stephen Shields has a set of Harry Potter links to thought and discussion. I’ve started watching the movies now.
  14. On McLaren’s Everything Must Change: Bob Carlton continues; Scot McKnight continues with review/discussions of the book; both of these are good installments in their respective series.
  15. From Matt Stone: Knights Templar Exhonorated By Secret Vatican Archives, on a BBC story concerning a Vatican book on Templars’ demise. Turns out the Knights Templar weren’t heretics after all, according to the Vatican. More knee-jerk books to flood the shelves soon?
  16. Tim Samoff reviews A Community Called Atonement: “probably one of the most important Christian books to be published in this theological generation.”
  17. “Miles to go,” says Ben Witherington riffing on the article, “Tenured bigots,” which says 53% of professors in the American Association of University Professors (AAUP) have an unfavorable view of evangelicals. Only 9% contra “Neo-evangelical Christians.”
  18. A BusinessPundit guest post offers a really good riff on leadership, which is not mere crowd control. It would probably be too pointed to forward this to some people directly, but on the other hand, some of those will probably agree with the article and carry on in crowd-control mode, calling it leadership.
  19. Dan Kimball: “Don’t Close Your Mind – Be a Theologian” — which I feel compelled to link because I love The West Wing so much… great TV show, and Kimball includes a clip. I tend to disagree with what he leaves you with at the end, the sense that you need to be able to answer the questions that President Bartlett asks. With this, I partly disagree, though you should know how to search them out, which is the essence of his sermon. Having an answer at the ready for every argument is a modern idea that never did work all that well. Think “Relational Apologetics”, perhaps?
  20. Free Audio Book: October only, The Life of David Brainerd (HT: Steve McCoy)
  21. There’s a whole new “life stage”, The Odyssey Years (use this login; HT: Margie) I wonder if there will be a Coen brothers movie? Bob Carlton discusses.
  22. Rebuild the Wall Pickin\' on U2, Vol. 2 Pickin\' on U2: A Bluegrass Tribute via Mike Bishop: Pickin’ on U2. Yup. Bluegrass U2. Inspired by Luther Wright & the Wrongs’ Rebuild the Wall, maybe? I’ve got that one, and yes, those are hay bales. “All in all, it’s just another…” bluegrass cover.
  23. the evangelical movement needs reform” — hey, I’m just agreeing with someone else’s assessment, at least by this summary, but it cleanly nails a big problem in three bullet points. And they all start with “A” …how evangelical… Darryl Dash also explores whether evangelicals are anti-intellectual. Thinking back not far enough, a quip comes to mind: “It take four years to get the university into a Christian, and the next forty years to get it out.” I’d say yes, anti-intellectual. Check.
  24. “Christian wine” — Grapes of Galilee, or GoG. Excuse me while I GAG.
  25. Coming up in a couple of weeks in Victoria BC, Ron Cole plugs an event that seems connected with a Facebook event… “Telling the Truth: A Forum on the Arts and the Worshipping Church.” I don’t know much about the event, but it looks good — and I can vouch for the keynote speakers.

I’m going to cut it off there and drop the rest into next week’s summary… because I can, and this is enough for one week. ;^) Don’t forget to come back tomorrow, I’ve got a really good hymn to add to my series, a good one for the week ahead.

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