Auld Land Syne

Happy New Year, all! I might blog here in a bit more earnest this year, but mostly I’m Blogging 140 Characters at a Time on non-emerging-missional stuff. But I haven’t forgotten about it, and all o’ yinz. Oh, no… I wanted to say Happy New Year an’ all that. But who could say it better than the Red Hot Chili Pipers putting Robbie Burns’ words to music? (Sorry, you’ll have to insert your own lyrics, but you do know them, right?)

Oh yeah… and happy Eighth Day of Christmas, too. (Hint: Got Milk?)

Six Flippin’ Years???

Advent I Seems hard to believe, like it’s been forever but also like it was only a year or two ago at most. Yet six years ago today was my first post here at Subversive Influence. It’s not the six years of blogging that seems so unbelievable (particularly given my lack of consistency over the past year), but the events that precipitated it and the changes in our lives since that time. It was just over six years ago when the pastor I’d been working with for ten years on a in the church I’d been part of for sixteen showed up on my doorstep shortly after I’d gotten home from church one Sunday morning and gotten my kids some lunch. I stepped out onto my driveway to speak with him while he had his wife and kids sitting in the van, and he proceeded to blow a gasket, not only yelling at me and telling me my contributions were no longer welcome, but throwing some of my own vulnerabilities in my face and asking how I dared critique anything they were doing when they were serving? I’d say it was the beginning of the end, except the beginning had really come some years before that, creeping up on us unawares. Instead, this was the proverbial straw that did the camel in.

Missing the Heart of Missional?

evangecube-its-missional.jpg Okay, so it’s not shampoo, but I wanted to point this out and then forgot about it when I was posting yesterday’s update. Maybe it’s a mental block because I also celebrated my birthday during my recent blog convalescence (or whatever that was). And one of my gifts was an EvangeCube.

No, really.

It was. And when you stop laughing, I’ll have to tell you that I was… well, speechless. Doesn’t happen a lot, but there it was, me with nothing to say. Totally dumbfounded. Had it been intended as a gag gift, I’d have known better how to react. Alas…

July Update from Brother Maynard

calendar-diary.jpg I know, it’s overdue. Long overdue. This blog seems to have disintegrated into one of those that has an irregular stream of posts saying, “Sorry I haven’t posted more, but I will soon, I promise.” But I don’t believe in those posts – and maybe I don’t really believe in apologies for not blogging. Sorry to disappoint you. ;^)

Remiss, but with Excuse

Joel Osteen / Tim Allen I feel I’ve let everyone down today, and must apologize for being so late in posting anything. People have begun second-guessing what I post on this anniversary, and the last week or so I’ve just been so busy that I didn’t manage to get a post together until now. I’ve been giving advice to Joel Osteen about his plans for a new video venue. We’ve been looking at the new holographic technology, but there’s a great concern that the hologram won’t be able to credibly shake people’s hands after the message. As a result, we’ve been negotiating with Tim Allen’s people about having Mr. Allen stand in for Joel at the new venue. We’ve reached an agreement on the hair dye, but Mr. Allen is balking at Joel’s demand for a wee bit of surgical tweaking of the nose. Will try to keep you posted. These show-biz types can be pretty demanding, so negotiations have been no picnic, let me tell you.

How is God at Work Outside the Church… If At All?

russian-church-afar.jpg I’m a week behind in the series now, but I hope to catch up. I really do have good intentions. Anyway, last week in the Missional Prelude series, the gang was talking about how God is at work outside of the church. As is the pattern, Ed Stetzer opened things up on Monday with the question: “How and Why is God at Work Outside the Church?” He then started namedropping, opening with “J.C. Hoekendijk,” who some may remember has been discussed in a prior series. Ed writes, “For Hoekendijk, the concept of shalom (a Hebrew word meaning peace, completeness, and welfare) was a more all-inclusive notion than salvation…. Salvation was broadened and, in some ways, redefined.”

Salvation in a Prologue to Missional Discussions

jesus-peace.jpg Ed Stetzer suggests that we can avoid the trouble that shipwrecked the missio dei movement in part “by going back and looking at the roots of the missional movement and having a robust theological discussion that heightens our awareness of the issues at hand.”

To this end, our synchro-series turns its attention first to the intersection of missiology and soteriology. One might expect this relationship to be “a given,” but perhaps for just this reason it bears a slightly closer inspection. In his intro-post on Monday, Ed notes that “some consider the transmission of salvation as a physical process” (sacramentalist) while “[o]thers think that salvation is transferred by moral action[, where] salvation is not so much something to be acquired by some individual or organization and conveyed to others, as it is something created by shifting the state of affairs.” Thirdly, he writes, “Evangelical theologies have generally represented a third idea: salvation is a work of grace, accomplished by Christ, and received by faith alone. In the meritorious sense, the recipient is passive.”

Prologue to Missional Discussions

oed.jpg Seems a little odd to be writing a prologue after all this time, doesn’t it? Well, there’s a back-story, as may be inferred by those who may have noticed posts at other blogs with this same title. I’ve written a lot about the meaning of missional, its distinctives, and what it means to be missional — besides innumerable casual mentions on this blog. I finally drafted a missional series index that lists the posts I did during my major series (2007) defining the concepts inherent in the term as well as the nine-post series I did (2008) summarizing the missional synchroblog when more than 50 bloggers participated in hashing out what it means to be missional. With a couple of other miscellaneous posts thrown in, this is a total of 25 posts just from me. That’s a lot of words, and some may wonder why I’m doing this once again. No, it’s not because I skipped it last year and am overdue, but it’s for two major reasons.