Rather than the usual riddles and one-liners with which I normally open these Saturday posts, let’s go with a story…
It seems there was a Jewish father concerned about his son. The son was about a year away from his Bar Mitzvah but was sorely lacking in his knowledge of the faith. To remedy the situation, he sent his son to Israel to experience his heritage. A year later the young man returned home.
“Father, thank you for sending me to the land of our Fathers,” the son said. “It was wonderful and enlightening, however, I must confess that while in Israel I converted to Christianity.”
“Oi vey!” replied the father. “What have I done?!” So, in the tradition of the patriarchs, he went to his friend to seek his advice and solace. “It is amazing that you should come to me,” stated his friend. “I too sent my son to Israel, and he returned a Christian.”
So, in the tradition of the patriarchs, they went to the Rabbi. “It is amazing that you should come to me,” stated the Rabbi. “I too sent my son to Israel, and he returned a Christian. What is happening to our sons? Brothers, we must take this to the Lord.”
They began to wail and pour out their hearts to the Almighty. As they prayed, the clouds above opened and a mighty voice came from heaven. “Amazing that you should come to Me,” the voice said. “I, too, sent My Son to Israel…”
Well. If you’re quite finished groaning, let’s move on to the linkage now, shall we?
- Brant Hansen reveals Where God Lives. Don’t miss it.
- It seems to me that if you are a leader who doesn’t read, you may be the blind leading the naive. I know people who have trouble reading, but if they’re leaders, you can still see them try — they may read less, but they will tend to read more selectively. I criticized someone once for not reading and being almost proud of it, despite his keen desire to be a leader. Not long after that, he told me he took my words to heart and showed me the book he’d picked up: a compendium of quotations by other leaders. Not quite grasping the concept. Anyway, the JollyBlogger says Reading is the Trait of Leaders and offers two quotes, first from John Mark Reynolds: “Reading is the trait of leaders. Why? Arguments cannot be made in any other way over time.” Next, he quotes Hugh Hewitt, “If you read, you lead.”
- Marko notices that laying on hands is Stuff Christians Like… and there are five types you don’t want praying for you: The Tickler, The Kung Fu Gripper, The Lingerer, Sir Sweaty McSweaterton, and The Awkwarder.
- Like Andrew, I don’t really get Guns and the American Church… it was sadly amusing when the bank gave away a gun with a new account in a movie (It can’t be true, can it? Can it???), but now a church in Oklahoma plans to give away an $800 semiautomatic assault rifle at a youth rally. Why does the word “insipid” spring to mind? Seeking explanation, Andrew links up a PDF, “The Scottish and English Religious Roots of the American Right to Arms: Buchanan, Rutherford, Locke, Sidney, and the Duty to Overthrow Tyranny” by David B. Kopel
- Tom Sine: Joining the Anabaptist conspirators: Activists found in four streams: emerging, missional, mosaic, monastic. HT: Andrew (TSK) Jones
- Bill Kinnon has more on The Missional Long View
- iMonk: Recommendation and Review: Leaving Church by Barbara Brown Taylor I haven’t read Leaving Church: A Memoir of Faith, but the title is so good… reminds me of something I keep saying, that a crisis of ecclesiology is not a crisis of faith. (But leave it unaddressed, and the two could run together.)
- Can anything good come from Saskatchewan? (Besides Corner Gas, I mean) Two words: Bete Noir. Who knew?
- Walter Rauschenbusch:
Theology needs periodical rejuvenation. Its greatest danger is not mutilation but senility. It is strong and vital when it expresses in large reasonings what youthful religion feels and thinks. When people have to be indoctrinated laboriously in order to understand theology at all, it becomes a dead burden. The dogmas and theological ideas of the early Church were those ideas which at the time were needed to hold the Church together, to rally its forces, and to give it victorious energy against antagonistic powers. Today many of those ideas are without present significance. Our reverence for them is a kind of ancestor worship. To hold laboriously to a religious belief which does not hold us, is an attenuated form of asceticism; we chastise and starve our intellect to sanctify it by holy beliefs.
(Rauschenbusch is considered the “father” of the social concern movement and was an inspiration for Harry Lehotsky, whom I’ve mentioned before.)
- Robert Farrar Capon discusses the fruit of the spirit and the yoke of Christ, with Greek translation on the fly. And then there’s Capon on the Church
- Controversial worship practices… the choir and the organ
- Where are all the sages?
- Walter Brueggemann in The Prophetic Imagination:
The prophet engages in future fantasy. The prophet does not ask if the vision can be implemented… The imagination must come before the implementation. Our culture is competent to implement almost anything and to imagine almost nothing… Every totalitarian regime is frightened of the artist. It is the vocation of the prophet to keep alive the ministry of imagination, to keep conjuring and proposing alternative futures.
- Billy Graham on TEDTalks — paired up with Woody Allen interviewing Billy Graham
- Attractional v. Missional (chart)
- “When we take bread, bless it, break it, and give it with the words ‘This is the Body of Christ,’ we express our commitment to make our lives conform to the life of Christ. We too want to live as people chosen, blessed, and broken, and thus become food for the world.” — Henri Nouwen Makeesha has more…
- Spirituality for All the Wrong Reasons: Eugene Peterson talks about lies and illusions that destroy the church
I think relevance is a crock. I don’t think people care a whole lot about what kind of music you have or how you shape the service. They want a place where God is taken seriously, where they’re taken seriously, where there is no manipulation of their emotions or their consumer needs.
Why did we get captured by this advertising, publicity mindset? I think it’s destroying our church.
Good interview. HT: Simon Carey Holt.
- Tim Ferriss: “Escaping the Amish,” Part 1 and Part 2
- If you haven’t read this far, I need to read 21 Ways to Make Your Blog or Website Sticky. If you’re still here, either it’s just dumb luck on my part or you’re the tenacious type that remains overly optimistic that I’m going to say something good before I sign off this post.
- Jason Clark hits a post-charismatic theme, sort of.
- Hjalmarson on Sine: Missional, Emerging, Monastic: A Traveler’s Guide, followed by Traveler’s Guide II
Here endeth the linkage. Tuneth thou in next Saturday for more. -eth.
Oh, and by the way — I’ve been blogging in abstentia since the 17th. Didn’t even miss me, did ya? I’m back at the keyboard again on Monday. I wonder what I’ll write about? Maybe there’s something to comment upon in the 1400-odd posts stacked up, unread, in my news reader. Summer can be like that sometimes.