Tony Jones turned 40??

I have a great appreciation for Tony Jones as he was helpful in my understanding of several important matters.  Among them, theology, ministry, humility, and the gospel.  (You thought I was going to say postmodernism or emergent.  No, no, think outside the box, friends).  Check out his books, especially his new one, The New Christians.  Also check out his blogat  Happy Birthday Tony. . 

Westminster suspends Enns – lame.

I have not yet read this book, looks like I will now though.   But being here at Biblical Sem., where Pete adjuncts, I have received a good bit of background on this story.  Come on now, Westminster, let’s keep up with the reformed tradition and have an open mind.  But this is part of the problem with too many in the reformed tradition.  They have found it all and from my vantage point they’re understanding of theology has already arrived. This is lame (Links to Christianity Today report).Here’s some of it:

  “Two of the hottest issues in evangelical theology right now are the New Testament’s use of the Old Testament and evangelical textual criticism. Peter Enns’s 2005 book, Inspiration and Incarnation: Evangelicals and the Problem of the Old Testament, aimed to pose difficult questions about the human aspects of Scripture. It received both praise and criticism from noted evangelical scholars.


And it made things difficult for Enns at his school, Philadelphia’s Westminster Theological Seminary. A battle over whether the book undermined or contradicted the Westminster Confession of Faith has been raging for some time now, and apparently came to a head Wednesday at the meeting of the school’s board, which decided to suspend Enns.” 

Erwin McManus – Imagination in Ministry

To all who appreciate Erwin McManus, it’s not often that he makes it to this coast (or if it is, I never know).  On April 9, 2008, Bethel Seminary of the East is bringing in what’s called,  “Imagination in Ministry” to the Grace Point Church, in Newtown, PA.   Costs $28.Here’s the link

What I am giving up for post-Lent

I gave up coffee for Lent and alcohol during Holy Week.

In addition, I read through the gospels during Lent and made an effort to reflect during my quiet times on how I can live more missionally.

Now, Lent is over.  Coffee is in my mug and I’ve enjoyed a beer or two since and I am reflecting on these fasts. 

 Never will I forget the pastor who gave up cursing for Lent.  If you know me, this is one of my favorite stories.  I remember him yelling at me for something trivial and cursing in the heat of the moment.  As he was calming down, he got reagitated and yelled at me for upsetting him to the point that made him break his Lenten vow (which had been broken several times by then).  I being, frustrated and now confused, retorted by stating that I didn’t understand the purpose of his vow in the first place.  What did it mean? Was he going to drop the F-bomb on Easter Sunday.  Imagine him saying at the Easter Service, “The Lord Has Risen!  F — yeah!”

Then there are the vows that give up something they don’t really love.  The idea is to sacrifice something important to you.  So it’s in that spirit, that I have compiled a list of things that I am going to give up post-Lent. 

I will continue to not watch the 700 Club.

I will continue to not watch American Idol. 

I will roll my eyes every time I hear the names Joel Osteen, Benny Hinn, Joyce Meyer, and John Hagee.

I will suppress my gag-reflex when I hear the name Pat Robertson. 

Go to the YS CORE

Hey youth workers,

In case youth speciatlies has not found you, I highly recommend the YS Core Training Day.  Our youth leaders enjoyed going last year and were excited about the new theme this year.  It’s called “Generation Change” and it is obviously seeking mission, justice, and your ministry.Budget money well spent if you follow up with the purpose of it.  Besides, you know how it goes, you announce to your youth leaders that you need to be more missional, there’s yawning, protests, accusations that you’re not fun.  Let the YS guy say it, they’ll love it, you’re still lame but your ministry is better.  Win-win.  Seriously, sometimes people need to hear the right thing from a different source.     

Info here.





Doug Pagitt is letting you download 3 chapters from his new book A Christianity Worth Believing.  While there, you should download some of the podcasts he has available.  Doug is one of the good guys so enjoy. Click here. 

What are you thinking, Sony?


It’s almost like Apple has staff on the boards of Sony.

I can hear it now, “Why don’t we charge people $50 more to not get stuff they don’t want?”  “Brilliant!” 


Maybe they got a guy at Microsoft’s table too. “Why don’t we take XP and make it worse!  Brilliant!”


The blogosphere is buzzing today with contempt for Sony, which just outlined its Fresh Start program and immediately ran into a buzzsaw of criticism for its plan to charge $49.99 for the privilege of getting a crapware-free PC. The echo chamber at Techmeme is working overtime, led by Engadget: “Sony has the nerve to offer a $50 ‘Fresh Start’ option, which ’scrubs’ the machine clean before shipping it your way.” My colleague Adrian Kingsley-Hughes has a typical reaction:

To get a craplet-free Vaio TZ2000 I’d have to pay Sony an extra $50 just to remove all the junk software that it installed on the system that I don’t want in the first place?” 


Here’s the link.



Truth is, I have a fantastic Sony LCD through a friend who works at Sony.   I hope he gets promotions and raises but I can’t help but laugh of how they try to innovate.  They make great products but have terrible ideas.  They’re like the church but much cooler.

N.T. Wright on Resurrection

N. T. Wright on Resurrection


At the National Pastors Conference in San Diego,’s Brian Lowery got to interview N. T. Wright about his latest book—Surprised by Hope: Rethinking Heaven, the Resurrection, and the Mission of the Church—and how it relates to preaching. Since we are all in the midst of the Easter journey, his words are timely, challenging, and above all else, hopeful.  




Can Hitler be considered a leader?

In seminary we are answering an assigned question via blackboard on whether or not Hitler could be considered a leader.

Guilty of some shock-value here is some my first post:


My spidey-sense suspects an ambush from Dave (the professor), but going with the conventional definition) of a leader, Hitler would qualify.   I grew up on comic books so I feel I have an advantage here.  When a character attained some kind of super-power he/she had a choice to become either a hero or villain.  (Watch the first Spiderman and memorize his hero creed, “With great power comes great responsibility.”)

But I see our conventional definition of ‘leader’ as an amoral one.  And we need to rely on adjectives to describe the leadership. 

In fact, I would like to take it a step further and suggest that Hitler was an exceptional leader.  Not in terms of morality, of course, but in terms of influence.  Consider this:  he takes such an evil idea, promotes it by propaganda justified by a booming economy, has soldiers (and citizens) perform and justify terrible acts against their natural human conscience, all because he ordered them too and it takes the most powerful armies on the planet to stop him from taking over Europe.  This is exceptional leadership.

Yes, he preyed on the greed, selfishness, and fears of his followers.  Indeed he was a liar, manipulator and monster but he was leading many for his cause. 

We as pastors get frustrated that we can barely move people in the right direction for the best of reasons they not already agree with but claim is the most important cause of all!  I find myself a embarrassed after thinking about this. 




"What Makes a Church Missional" by J. Todd Billings

Our seminary cohort as this running joke regarding the word, “missional”.  

Of course we love the idea of being missional, but know that it’s entirely overused and afraid this buzz word becoming another cliche like seeker-sensitive, purpose-driven, etc.  All  good ideas that had their value (and eventual shortcomings) by the way.


For those interested in the idea of missional church, here’s a decent article that was posted on the Christianity Today website.


“Some use missional to describe a church that rejects treating the gospel like a commodity for spiritual consumers; others frame it as a strategy for marketing the church and stimulating church growth. Some see the missional church as a refocusing on God’s action in the world rather than obsessing over individuals’ needs; others see it as an opportunity to “meet people where they are” and reinvent the church for postmodern culture.”


link here