Discipleship Scribbles, Part Two

monastery_courtyard.jpg Yesterday I wrote a post on Discipleship Shortcuts based on a scrawled note on a 3×5 card from about a month ago. I enjoyed writing that post and the comments that have been appended to it, so I got to wondering what else I might have jotted down and forgotten about. No promises of profundity, mind you. And lo and behold, a bit of rooting around on my desks produces a “bulletin” from St. Benedict’s Table for April 20, 2008, 5th Sunday of Easter. When I say “bulletin,” I mean a simple double-sided 8½x11 sheet of paper with song lyrics and a few community notices on it. Sometimes I take them home for things I’ve written down, sometimes for the song lyrics, and sometimes to remind me of an upcoming event. The one from last Sunday evening said at the bottom of the second side, “The incense we’ll be using for the next while comes from the Monastery of St. John the Theologian on Patmos, Greece.” I’ve never thought about where the incense came from before, and wouldn’t care for it if they listed the Winnipeg store where you could buy it, but this time I appreciated knowing. Of course, it smells even better when you know. I mean, St. John, my favorite. (Jamie Howison & family just returned from a trip that included Greece, so I don’t think this will be a normal thing from now on.)

Discipleship Shortcuts

jesus_preaching_temple.jpg Sometimes I’ll jot down notes and ideas on a 3×5 card or a scrap of paper. The paper eventually finds its way into a pile on my desk, and someday, sometimes, I’ll retrieve it, or find it by chance. The trick then is to remember what I was thinking about when I wrote the note and how it’s relevant — or if it still is. The note I found today was about discipleship, and I wrote it about a month ago while I was thinking about the pilgrimages people had been making to places like Lakeland, Florida… and to Pensacola before that, and to Toronto before that, and… well, you get the idea. People flock to stuff like this, to get a blessing, to hear the “latest word,” or to get some kind of healing.

My Week in Review

nonimmunitaecclesias.jpg Update 7-Oct-08: If you’re arriving via the link from Kelly “Beefcake” Hughes’ weekly email update, welcome. And just so you know, cat blogging is *not* the norm around here. Poke around and see for yourself.

The sign in the photo reads “Non gode l’immunita ecclesias,” which means, “Does not enjoy ecclesiastical immunity.” The sign removed a church’s right to offer asylum. The image just struck me though… the phrase “ecclesiastical immunity” hit me in a very different way when I discovered it mid-week with the photo, and I wanted to do something with it but didn’t know what. So which of us is immune, or can do whatever we want by virtue of our position in the church? Sadly, there are those who feel they are entitled, and who act that way even if they wouldn’t come right out and say it in those terms. These are the type who take God’s name in vain, which is what clicked for me at the end of the week.

The New Testament’s Use of the Old Testament

Three Views on the New Testament Use of the Old Testament (Counterpoints: Bible and Theology) Scot McKnight’s The Blue Parakeet: Rethinking How You Read the Bible will be out soon, and reviews are beginning to appear online. I haven’t seen a copy, but the reviews are all good and it promises to be a good resource. Obviously the way in which one approaches the Bible will colour what we exegete from it, but the exegesis can be effected by how we understand that the Bible views itself.

The subject has come up here before, mostly in the context of how the Old and New Testaments relate to one another. Zondervan will soon be publishing Three Views on the New Testament Use of the Old Testament (Counterpoints: Bible and Theology), and as part of the prelude to the book’s release they have developed an online quiz on the subject. You can see my results and take the quiz below. I took it twice and didn’t get quite the same answer…

The Tetragrammaton

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Scot McKnight noted the other day that according to an article in Christianity Today, the Vatican has decided to remove the word Yahweh from liturgy — or at least its pronunciation.

“In recent years the practice has crept in of pronouncing the God of Israel’s proper name,” said a June letter from the Vatican. “As an expression of the infinite greatness and majesty of God, it was held to be unpronounceable and hence was replaced during the reading of sacred Scripture by means of the use of an alternate name: Adonai, which means ‘Lord.'” In August, U.S. bishops were directed to remove Yahweh from songs and prayers.

HoMY 67: Wonderful Grace of Jesus

haldor_lillenas.jpg Continuing along with Then Sings My Soul: The Hymns of My Youth (I’m not out of hymns quite yet), we come to a selection written and composed by Haldor Lillenas in 1918. I have to say it’s pretty upbeat for church in 1918, perhaps it was scandalous at the time. Its bouncy tempo and echoes make it fun to sing, and Lillenas cautioned in his autobiography against distorting the words of the hymn by performing it at too rapid a tempo.

3 Leadership Lessons from John 3

popeye.jpg I’ve actually been meaning to post this for quite some time now, but I’ve been reminded of it again and am finally getting around to it. I have in my 20-year-old NIV Study Bible on page 1599 a 3″x4″ Post-it Note affixed overtop of the notes on the bottom of the page. It contains three bullet-points referring to a text on that page, with a few brief notes about each one. The note represents advice at-the-ready that I could share with a group for anywhere from 5 minutes perhaps up to full sermon length. It always seemed a good idea to have something at the ready, and it is a bit of advice that I shared with leaders and leaders-in-training and people in ministry training or prophetic ministry. And now here it is on the blog. I say there are three lessons, but really it’s a single lesson in three points, designed to remind us who we are and put us in our place.

Come to the Table! — Who, Me?

howison_cometothetable_cover.jpg I read Jamie Howison’s new book, Come to the Table on the weekend — or part of the weekend, as it’s only 76 pages. It actually began as a paper exploring the basis for the practice of “open table” at St. Benedict’s Table. Open table refers to the practice of serving communion to people who present themselves to receive the elements, regardless whether or not they have been baptized. Now, this is not a very Anglican thing to do, since strictly speaking, traditionally those who expect to receive communion should have been baptized and confirmed. None of this is really an issue in evangelical circles, but in others I understand it’s pretty much grounds for scandal. Indeed, “from my evangelical days, baptism is not viewed as inherently for regeneration,” so the question seems a little farfetched to some, but with a bit of thought to the subject, one realizes that the communion table has actually been the dividing line between many a denomination or church group.