Archive for March, 2006

New Gadget!

New Gadget!


I’ve been waiting and I’ve been wanting. It took several years of frantic searches to train my brain to not lose or forget my cell phone. I’m notoriously bad for losing small objects. That is usually the case until I get in to a habit of always putting specifc small objects in the same place. My keys always stay in one of two places. I’m not as disciplined with my phone but it is usually in one of two places. Mobile phones have the added feature of ringing when you call them which makes them much easier to find in your house or car. PDAs are expensive gadgets that don’t ring. They are also very annoying to carry around when you’ve already got a mobile phone. I love having a PDA but the pitfalls of carrying them around ensured that I didn’t. The answer to my woes is a phone that is also a PDA. They’ve been around for a long time but they were excessively expensive. They still are if you buy them new. I picked up a used TREO 600 with some handy accessories for a very affordable price.

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Pink Floyd Pulse 2 DVD set!

Pink Floyd Pulse 2 DVD set!


I was doing a little search for some Floyd lyrics and I noticed someting very good is coming our way in June! On June 6 the ultimate concert with be on DVD!

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Check out Digg

Check out Digg


If you liked Jordon’s old Contextless Links or his current Open thread check out Digg (mostly tech) and Bourque (politics).

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This is criminal

This is criminal


Talk about Oiler desperation and fantasy.

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Working through some inner tension

Working through some inner tension


Last night I went for a walk. I started thinking through my unease about some things. For the last 6 months or so I’ve experienced a tension with church and the whole the emerging scene. Deep down I’m not comfortable with the theological direction of the Emergent superstars. I think it all started when I read “The Story we find ourselves in.” In it Brian McLaren suggested that humanity’s decision to practice agriculture and build cities was an explanation for the fall of mankind in Genesis. I’m no young earth creationist but some of this stuff didn’t wash. If you take out the fall of mankind you really amputate the story of God trying to reconcile humanity to Himself.

I have no personal issues with Brian. I met him personally once and my impressions of him were very favorable. I guess I just disagree. I read A New Kind of Christian I thought Brian was reading my email. That book really struck a cord with me. I resonated with the questions being asked. Since then I have not connected with many of the answers put forward.

As I moved from the observer/critic role to a church planter things became clearer to me. The fuzziness lifted around theology and church practice. I don’t think there is any problem with the core understanding of Christianity that is common from the Eastern Orthodox to the charismatics. If we let the pendulum swing too far away from certainty we really put ourselves outside the scope of orthodox Christianity. We become ashamed of the gospel.

I don’t think we need to have absolute certainty on debatable issues. We do need complete confidence in Jesus. I’m afraid that in some places we’ve allowed post-modern suspicion seep in to the heart of our faith. The gospel is to be proclaimed regardless of how ridiculous it sounds. If we water it down we empty the message of its power.

However there is no reason to proclaim that which is not the gospel and I think that is where we get in to trouble. What we often proclaim is the worldview of a church subculture. We are like the people who tried to convince Gentiles they had to become Jews to follow Jesus.

In terms of church practice I think that often we know what we need to do but it is too hard or too scary.

When I was in highschool/bible school I really didn’t like doing any kind of work, especially homework. When it came to the time I had to sit down and get it done I’d find other work to do. My desk would be cluttered with stuff so I’d start clearing that up. Then it moved on to other things. It really doesn’t make sense but I found myself cleaning my room (which I rarely did) just to avoid doing homework. I ended up working even more in the end.

I think all of the activity around reforming the church is much like me cleaning my room. I could justify what I was doing. I was making a productive work environment. I needed to clean my desk. I don’t think being part of a church is that complex it is just hard. It means trusting other people with your sin and your hurts. It means responding to the needs of people around you. It means honestly studying the scriptures. It means giving up some money here and there for people that need it. It means risk for a purpose that greater than yourself. It means dealing with your issues. It means following Jesus.

I think I’ve fallen in to the temptation of trying to be somebody, a voice, a something. There is an element of vanity that has really taken a beating over the last little while. I was never as important as I thought I was. Part of all this was enhancing my custom built blogging software to better filter out referral spam and bots and I realized the thousands of hits I was getting per day weren’t people. Some other things happened that have made it harder to sit around, talk about lofty ideas and feel smart about myself. Long story short my pride has taken a bit of beating.

I was really challenged by a friend who shared in church last week. He really took the plunge and in some ways I’ve played it safe. I don’t discount a lot of what I’ve been involved in at the local level. For the last year the house church experience has been overwhelmingly positive for me. There were some things I was a part of that started well but overtime sputtered and died or never seemed to accomplish much. I’ve come out as a big believer in church and more skeptical other stuff. A Bono concert or a worship event might be a spiritual experience but spiritual experiences by themselves don’t help us work through relationship issues or deal with financial problems.

As I look forward I hope to deepen my commitment to things at the local level. If things work out a good friend may be returning to Saskatoon and we can work together on some stuff. I want to deepen my involvement in things that make a tangible difference.

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I'm having a surreal day

I’m having a surreal day


I’ve heard the following questions. Have you heard about Brian Mclaren? Do you know about the Emerging Church? Have you heard of D.A. Carson’s book on the Emerging Church?

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Phil Johnson's critique of the EC is worthwhile

Phil Johnson’s critique of the EC is worthwhile


E-No has posted Phil Johnson’s critique of the ECM. Like many others he thinks the whole movement is dangerous and has compromised the gospel but his critique has elements of honesty. He stresses very strongly the theological diversity in the movement and that Brian McLaren does not represent the the movement as a whole. He even pointed out the difference between Emergent the organization the rest of the emerging movement.

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Some people bring you up

Some people bring you up


Tonight I had a really encouraging and challenging time at house church. Kim and Barb Worthington shared about their efforts in the inner city. The conversation revolved around the personal challenges, obstacles, and abundant opportunities that exist for people willing to risk. I used to live with Kim and I’m impressed to see how he has navigated through life.

I was challenged because I’ve been thinking about this kind of work but never knew where to start. I think I haven’t been looking hard enough because it didn’t take long for Kim to find them. This guys life and faith is a challenge. The easiest thing would be to ignore it. The next easiest thing to do is to feel guilty about it for awhile and then forget it. The hard part is being honest about where I’m at and where I’m called to and difference between those two places. The truth is not everyone is called to the inner city, but they should be sure of where they are called.

Some scriptures that has profoundly impacted me are found in Luke 7:20-22 NRSV

20 When the men had come to him, they said, “John the Baptist has sent us to you to ask, “Are you the one who is to come, or are we to wait for another?’ ” 21 Jesus had just then cured many people of diseases, plagues, and evil spirits, and had given sight to many who were blind. 22 And he answered them, “Go and tell John what you have seen and heard: the blind receive their sight, the lame walk, the lepers are cleansed, the deaf hear, the dead are raised, the poor have good news brought to them.

Most of the signs of the Messiah were miraculous. One of the signs of the messiah was the poor have the good news brought to them. I think that should have profound implications for church planting, discipleship and ministry. Do we minister to the poor? Are our churches and ministries accessible to the poor?

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