Reflecting on Q Conference – Session 2 – Post 3

Environmentalist, Bill McKibben – “More vs. Better”

He wrote the book The End of Nature which is considered an important contribution in this discussion and now considered ahead of its time. He has a new book Deep Economy is out now – took time and lived off the fruit of local farm.

His first argument was from science:

– “How can we have grown large enough as a species to affect the planet?”

– “Science went to work on that issue.”

– We dramatically underestimated the pace of our growth

– The earth is more finely balanced then we thought …

– There were 275 parts/million of CO2 in atmosphere before the Industrial Revolution.

– We now have 385 parts/million of CO2 in atmosphere after the IR.  And we need to get it down to 350 parts/million of CO2 immediately. He said James Hansen, “greatest climatologist in the world”, endorsed this.

In his second point entitled, “Argument from Hebrew Bible”, he said:

 “4% of world population (us) produces 25% of CO2 …

– “We are not the good samaritan, we’re not even the levite.  We’re the suv driver that backs up to run over the pediastrian.”

            – “We are not loving our neighbors, we are drowning our neighbors” – (what a line).

He endorsed the Evangelical Climate Document and urged everyone to check out which is an effort to build first global grassroots, open sourced plan to reduce CO2 in the atmosphere.  It’s a great site, they talk about the Q Conference and there’s a ton of stats and other necessary info. Also, 350 calls for a rise of artists, all types of speakers, and peaceful protests.

When I say he “pleaded”, I don’t want to make him out to sound whiney.  He wasn’t at all.  I would tell you he was more angry.  I was happy to see Q have him.

This is something I need to work on.  I have been and have been making some progress but I survey my lifestyle and am convicted.  I’ll probably blog more about this later but I wanted to post something today and wanted to get these names and sites out.

Elderly lady risks being ex-communicated for not tithing.

Well, this church is not messing around.  I am not a violent person but if this pastor sent me this letter to me and my church, he’d end up beaten up behind the pulpit by the offering plates themselves (we got the nice brass ones too, they would do some damage). 

Found this on the relevant magazine site and thought this was funny … and sad … but pretty funny in the “this is why some churches and pastors are dumb” sense.  I hope this church gets a new pastor and a better leadership but until then, may God give her grace and may the news of this bring conviction to those who need it.

“A church member of Victory Time Full Gospel Church on Anniston Drive, received a letter from her pastor stating she would lose her church membership if she did not pay her tithes within the next thirty days … more”.

It’s a short article but the comments are pretty long.  Couldn’t read all of them but this was a welcomed diversion from all my church history reading.  But on a side note, it was interesting to observe all the people who wanted to set everybody straight, gets pretty intense (but we’ve seen much worse).  My take is that even this is part of the church.


Q Conference Post 2 – Jon Tyson session

The first speaker of the Q Conference was church planter, Jon Tyson.  Born and raised in Australia, he was the young adult pastor in a mega-church in Orlando and a couple of years ago started Origins Church in Manhattan. 

I’ve met Jon a couple of times (even brought my youth group to see him, and yeah, I know, our kids are so lucky, I mean blessed, to have a guy like me taking them to a guy like Jon.)  and really appreciate his humility.  He speaks with a lot of wisdom and brings great ideas and insights to his audience whether it be on Sunday mornings or to a group of fellow leaders at a gathering like this.

Here are a couple things he said that got me thinking:

“We have incredible fruit in our churches on an individual level but there is little cultural fruit”

       So true.  The success of our churches have been on that individual level.  We all know people who have radically changed their lives through the power of the Gospel and through the discipleship and encouragement of their local church.  What we haven’t heard nearly as much are the stories of churches that have had similar impacts on their communities.

       Thus the long-term causality has been the minimal effect the church has had on the culture.  We’ve retreated from it, been told it was evil or worldly.  For a long time, the church was only a refuge and not an agent of transformation and now many of them are becoming monuments.

“There needs to be a return of the city

                        Return where cultures are created.

                        We have a mandate – we’ve been commissioned … (gospel)

                        Accept our responsibility – Christ did this like spiritual acupuncture, he took those moments                         and points …           

                       Engage the world …“

       Jon and later fellow NYC pastor Tim Keller, called for a return to the “city”.  This was more then an anti-suburban cheer but was more of a vision-casting of the hope and need of a city.  I’ve always loved many parts the city, (and I enjoy certain parts of the burbs too.  Who knows what is in store for us? But back to Tyson and Keller.) but the idea was to be a part of the city.  To see it for it’s potential, to see it’s not only worth saving, but worth loving.  They didn’t say this, but all the emphasis that we put on the burbs, maybe we can be as faithful in the city (or attempt to be). 

       We read things like this and we react because the cities do not have the best public schools, have more crime, polluted, crowded and expensive.  But we all know that at the end of the day, generally speaking, we live where we want to live.  We don’t want to live in the city.  I found myself convicted on this yet again.

       Cultures are created in the city.  That line alone is a lot to think about.



He called for the need to create “a holistic theology relevant to our time”.

– Not sure I can put these thoughts into words yet.  I find myself nodding ‘amen’ but that’s all I got so far.  Yes, things need to change.

Brian McLaren – Everything Must Change – Only $20!

I am still going.  Registered and promoting.  Anyone want to carpool from North Jersey?

Brian McLaren has announced that the Bronx/New York City stop on the Everything Must Change Tour, May 2-3, is being underwritten by Trinity Church in Greenwich, Connecticut, so people will now be able to attend for $20, which covers refreshments, lunch, and some other expenses. (People who already pre-registered at the normal rate will be reimbursed on site.)

If you’re in the NYC area, or if you want to plan a quick trip, learn more and register online now.


Packing AIDS Care Kits

At the Q Conference, we were invited to pack a care kit for AIDS relief workers.  It was pretty cool to pack a box of supplies that would be used in this capacity.

Someone had donated hundreds of these kits to World Vision with the intent of Conference attendees to pack them, include notes and raise awareness for the project. Churches can take part and it’s something that I plan on introducing to ours in the fall.

Here’s the link.

On the road with Tony Jones and Trucker Frank.

For all you people reading Tony Jones’ New Christians, he just put the first of six youtube episode/interviews with the beloved Trucker Frank. 

An enjoyable 9.30 minutes.


Reflecting on the Q Conference

I was fortunate enough to attend the Q Conference in NYC put on by Gabe Lyons’ (co-author of UnChristian) Ferni Project.  Truth be told, I was really impressed.  The theme was Culture.Future.Church.Gospel.

Seemed very balanced to me.  Chuck Colson and Jim Wallis were both speakers, need I say more?  Some of the speakers were Tim Keller, Andy Crouch (who was friggin awesome), Os Guiness, Shane Hipps (the second coolest guy named Shane) and a bunch of others.

Sitting in round tables in Gotham Hall in Herald Square (in between Time Square and Madison Square Garden), they put a lot of thought into this.  For instance, each speaker was only given 18 minutes to give one big point.  There was a countdown clock left of the speaker.  No joke.  It helped keep everyone’s attention.  

There were “3 Minute” missional shorts to create awareness of projects, films, and causes.  There were talk-backs with the speakers, an AIDS Care assembly kit (where you actually pack the kit with supplies) and some music like The Fray who played some old and new tunes. 

Gabe Lyons is my latest hero.  (Yeah, he’s a fellow Liberty grad.  We’re not all lame you know).  I hope to highlight some of the speakers’ points as I bring a blog post once each month.  So, yeah, maybe you should just register for next year.  It will be in Austin next year April 27-29. Here is the link.


Props to Apex Community Church

A while ago, I posted that Cedarville College was lame for uninviting Shane Claiborne. Apex Community Church in Dayton had invited him so the disappointed Cedarville students could hear him.  Thought it was cool that they posted the audio on their site.  If I am ever exiled to live on Ohio, I’d worship here. 

reflecting on a Multi-Faceted Gospel

One book I thought I would have read by now is Scot McKnight’s A Community Called Atonement and this CT article entitled, “A Multi-Faceted Gospel” reminded me that I need to read it soon.

Here are some exerts:

“…Plurality does not equal pluralism. The ancient creeds, echoing 1 Corinthians 15, say that for our sake Jesus was crucified, buried, and on the third day rose again. God’s people have been reflecting on these declarations ever since. We will never exhaust their implications, whether expressed as “God loves you and has a wonderful plan for your life,” or “I once was lost, but now am found.”

(this one is my favorite) – “Evangelicals needn’t be afraid of new approaches to the gospel—the church has been coming up with them for centuries. We managed to get through 1,900 years of Christian history without the Four Spiritual Laws and the bridge diagram. The formula of “accepting Jesus as your personal Lord and Savior” is also fairly recent. And what worked in the post–World War II context might not be appropriate in the early 21st century. Many people today have different questions, assumptions, and concerns.”

“Hence, we need variety and creativity in our gospel witness. A chorus of voices from N. T. Wright and Dallas Willard to Allen Wakabayashi and Brian McLaren calls us to rediscover the kingdom of God. Scot McKnight tells a story about the restoration of cracked eikons (image-bearers). ”


For full article, click here

Tony Jones coming to Princeton

In an email from blogger, Adam Cleveland:

Cohort Guest: the National Coordinator of Emergent Village, Tony Jones / April 29
Our next cohort meeting will be on April 29th, from 8-10pm, at TGI Friday’s in Princeton (directions here). Tony Jones, the National Coordinator for Emergent, will be in town for the Institute of Youth Ministry at Princeton Seminary. He’ll be joining us for the cohort to discuss the “state of Emergent” and to share with us about his new book, “The New Christians.” You won’t want to miss the chance to connect with Tony.