Franke Installation Post 2 – Tim Keel – "Leadership, the Local Church and the Crisis of Imagination"

Tim is a very gifted-communicator who has great energy and comes across very likeable.  And so, many are surprised to discover that he is part of the emergent conversation.  Seriously, a needed message on imagination .  Here are the rough notes if interested.

Tim Keel – “Leadership, the Local Church and the Crisis of Imagination”

The most significant crisis that we may be facing is the Crisis of imagination.

imagination – the faculty or action of forming new ideas.

images or concepts not present to the senses.

you have the ability to see something that is not yet there.

Imagination is critical to leadership – especially if we are going to go some place we have never been. 

unfortunately our well has run dry.

Our leadership imagination has been domesticated (has been “tamed” as defined by the audience)

Maybe we have domesticated the Holy spirit which is the source of imagination.

However is it possible to domesticate the HS?

So is the Spirit still in the building?

Our modern enlightenment epistemology – 

truth and knowledge is always universal

leaders who are deeply imbedded in their context

they are seeing a God acting out in their place

we do not believe that God is active where we work and live – THUS we must go and find out where He is.

American pragmatism – (ministry titillation) – 2nd cousin to modern epistemology

Christian Century uses Jacob’s Well

Email of a person at “emerging” worship conference

Thomas merton passage

Jesus prayer of unity is an impossible …

Whenever we disagree with each other, we break fellowship

Bc in the west the worst sin is heresy

in the east churches, the worst sin is schism, breaking away.

in the absence of diversity we also lose imagination and create isolation.

imagination requires engagement

imagination requires hope

in place of modern commitments, many of us are understanding context, narrative

then we discover patterns of connectivity 

Joy, partnership to a different future.

Franke Installation Post 1 – Scot McKnight – "The Bible and Missional Listening"

I’m at the “Missional Christianity … Church Beyond Boundaries” Conference at Biblical Seminary. It will conclude with John Franke being installed as the Lester and Kay Clemens Professorship in Missional Theology. (Since my friends and have referred to it as the Franke installation, and they’re here and generally the only ones who read this blog, I’ll probably refer to it as the Franke Installation. If you are reading this and do not fall into the sentence, you are now not confused, right?)

Scot McKnight gave the first Plenary Session and here are my rough notes from it. (I’m practicing my live-blogging skills for the emergent conference, which by the way, Tim Keel is in the house).

Scot McKnight – “The Bible and Missional Listening”

Franke is on the cutting edge of doing theology from a missional perspective.

Illustration – Art school piece – like the artist – who says something deep from within the soul and so we gaze upon the text.

The Bible is God’s story.

Look, see, respond

A Model called authority

Too many stop short by asking how can I understand and what method do I use

The Drama of Doctrine – Kevin VanHoozer …

these are not good enough questions

(Scot) grew up with a fundamentalist perspective

these are the words that lead to a framing story: god revelation inerrancy, authority submission revealed himself in the bible to make sure they got it right … and so I believe the bible is true formula of words

fosters a relationship to the bible that demand submission.

focusing on the subject matter is not enough

A Model Called Relationship

instead one that leads to a missional dance.

1. Distinguishes God from the Bible the person and the paper are not the same. missing the difference of God and the Bible is like reading Jonah and wondering how long human beings living inside whales the book is about Jonah and God not Jonah and the whale God speaks to us in words but is more

2. It is a written communication to us in the form of words God is not the Bible to make the Bible into God is idolatrous Francis Schaeffer – He is there and is not silent

3. to listen to God the person, speak in the Bible and engage God as we listen wiki stories – the ongoing story … divinely guided so their wiki stories tell God’s stories

4. relational approach believes we enter into the discussion the Bible has and the Church has had with it.

If we learn read the Bible with generation, it’s more like sitting down at the table with 3 generations, we are enriched with deeper understanding of family relational way is reading in community we are in search of more then paper difference between paper and person god gave the bible not so we can know it, but so that we can know the bible through it.

framing scripture relationally is necessary.

These words give us the story we find ourselves in.

story of college student talking about his youth pastor’s view of the Bible what good is errancy if you don’t do what it says and if I’m doing the will of God am I not justifying my view of believing in inspiration,

revelation, inerrancy describes our view of the Bible but talking about it is not enough.

Alan Jacobs – theology of reading hermeneutics of love

•1. Written words are written communication to one person to another

• 2. The proper relationship of a Christian is to listen to that person’s words.

Words are personal exchanges not scribbles on paper.

This is why we care what others say o Because words are part of our experiences, who we respond to them matters. o Books and authors are to be treated as neighbors we need to get better at listening (If you need to know, read blogs) Listen to the bible. The Bible is filled with folks not acting saintly.

Augustinian conclusions if you are doing good works you are reading the Bible aright if you are not doing good works you are not reading the Bible aright then change

Recapping Our Service Project Weekend – Post V

 On Sunday we worshipped at the Well in Feasterville (again with Evan’s group).  When  we were in between churches, my wife and I would worship there.  I have a great deal  of respect for Todd and Gary (the pastors) and loved the community and vision of The  Well. 

Generally, Todd and Gary take turns preaching.  This Sunday was an exception however.  A woman gave the message!  (I hear you gasping).  I had to laugh because in school we just read Community 101.  Gilbert Bilezakian would have been so proud.  Frankly, she did very well although she wasn’t very dynamic  (not a criticism).  Her sermon had fantastic content, out of Ephesians 1, and she quoted Dallas Willard.  I can’t complain and regarding a woman preacher – so far, I haven’t heard any complaints from my church!  We’ll see but certainly the best woman I heard preach since … hmmm …. trying to remember the last time I heard a woman say something from the platform that wasn’t a song or an announcement … wait, wait, … got it – “missionary moment”.   Hmmm …


Recapping our Sr. High Service Project Weekend – Post IV

That evening, we went to Bethel Church in Philly to hear Shane Clairborne.  Our students connected with a lot of what he had to say. Still waiting for them to digest it all bc I am eager in hearing their thoughts and reactions.

To say that you can’t agree with everything Shane says is about as obvious as saying that I breathe oxygen.  No one should agree with everything any moral says.  That said, I personally have a great respect for Shane’s ideas and it keeps growing.   One day, I may summon the courage to express my personal differences and questions I have with some of Shane’s ideas.  But if you asked me, should we live more like Joel Osteen or Shane then I’d throw out my hair gel, smash my LCD, give my possessions and my teeth to the poor so that no part of me would have mistaken for any influence coming from Lakewood.  (Don’t be offended, this is hyperbole.  If you are legalistic, you may have misunderstood some of our best passages of Scripture, you walking gravestone).  

So where was I?  Oh, it was good.  I took notes and plan on sharing more later.

One last thing, I’d like to express my admiration to Bethel Church for taking the heat from those I would call “narrow-minded”.  It takes some courage for a conservative senior pastor of a conservative church to bring on a guy like Shane who isn’t as conservative (although I’m not real sure that “liberal” is an appropriate term for him).  Lastly, at the church (which was converted from a movie theater) had a little book-store area and among the 30 or so books was Brian McLaren’s, Everything Must Change.  I was encouraged by Bethel.


Recapping our Service Project Weekend Post III

Saturday morning we served at the Sunday Breakfast Rescue Mission in center city Philadelphia with Evan’s students at Great Valley Pres.  (Back in August, Evan and a several students from his church joined us on our trip to New Orleans).

At this mission, some students helped cook the good, distribute to the homeless, while others were cleaning up the foot pantry room, organizing shelves and still while others were loading their truck with the stuff that they needed to clear out.   Not a lot to say aside from it was a good experiencing reminding us of several important matters.  

Recapping our Service Project Weekend Post II

This year we went wanted to go to Philly for a number of reasons.  But before we set out to the place allegedly referred to “The City of Brotherly Love”, we did a worship service at the Good Shepherd Mission in Paterson, NJ we on Friday night.  Our new Jr. High Youth Pastor, also named Tim (we have heard all the jokes) led worship, a student gave a reading and one of our shy freshmen girls summoned the courage to share what the Lord was doing in her life.  I preached a sermon on unity that was an extension out of what we’ve been speaking about in youth group.  Our unity must flow within us as a youth group and beyond us throughout the Body and outside the Body.  Following our time of worship we spent a couple hours afterwards hanging out with the men there listening to their stories and enjoing each other’s presence.  


Recapping our Service Project Weekend Post I

Sr. High Service Project Weekend was a good thing. I hesitate to use phrases like “great success” because of what that sort of language implies to me but it went very well. I really believe in the purpose of this weekend and look forward to doing more. Prior to my arrival at this church, each quarter the youth group went to some kind of camp which is fine and all but it seemed a little overplayed to me. Add that we have been trying to do service projects for the longest time but getting students to commit to the calendar was a difficult thing especially since we have weak culture of service. So as we have been trying to create a missional culture, we’ve also combined the idea of getting out of the area and doing service projects.

Last year we did various things in the New York City area like cleaned off the shelves at a soup kitchen in Harlem, helped with a children’s Halloween alternate activity at a church in Queens (while promoting the church’s health clinic!), put on a worship service at a Jewish nursing home (we told them we were Christians) and the Good Shepherd Home in Paterson.  This year we changed it up a bit.  So, here are some posts and thoughts.

Monday Brief

Highlight of the week:

Definitely our Sr. High Service Project Weekend. I really believe in the purpose of this weekend and look forward to doing more. Will blog about this more but this year we did a worship service at the Good Shepherd Mission in Paterson, NJ then spent a couple hours afterwards hanging out with the men there. Served at the Sunday Breakfast Rescue Mission in center city Philadelphia with Evan’s students at Great Valley Pres. That evening went Bethel Church in Philly to hear Shane Clairborne. The kids connected with a lot of what he said. Still waiting for them to digest it all bc I am eager in hearing their thoughts and reactions. Sunday, we worshipped at the Well in Feasterville (where Todd Hiestand and Gary Alloway serve at) then went and at cheeseteaks (at Pats because they let me order in Arabic).

Book(s) I’m reading (and not reading): Rediscovering Paul for the emergent conference. Which I literally read 2 pages since last week. Read the Relational Way and finished up Community 101. This week I hope to read 2 more pages of Rediscovering Paul.

Podcasts I’m digging: Relevant Podcast as always. Fermi Project with Christopher Silber (on screenwriting) and for the first time listened to two fantasy football podcasts. A complete waste of time since both my teams sucked this week. Fortunately, one of my opponents must listen also because his team sucked a little worse. Something(s) that blew my mind: Came to the realization that I might as well run for Vice President one day too. Looks like anyone can do it.

Ministry update: Needing to get the ministry calendar ready.

What I am procrastinating on:  The ministry calendar.  My basement.  Need to get a new desk for my workspace.  Need to clean the area before getting the desk – Argh.



The 10 Commandments of blogging from Tall Skinny Kiwi (who got it from…)

You may have seen it before but I enjoyed reading it again.  

This is from Tall Skinny Kiwi‘s blog:


The 10 Commandments of Blogging: 
You shall not put your blog before your integrity. 
You shall not make an idol of your blog. 
You shall not misuse your screen name by using your anonymity to sin. 
Remember the Sabbath day by taking one day off a week from your blog. 
Honour your fellow-bloggers above yourselves and do not give undue significance to their mistakes. 

click here to see his other 5 and the remainder of the post.

At the Princeton Seminary Library

Earlier this week I was at the Princeton Seminary Library.  Although I was never a student, this has become a special place for me.  I served at a church for 5+ years in the Philly suburbs and Princeton was about 20 miles away.  Because my wife and I had different days off and I had a need to get out of the house, I’d spend the day at the library and at Small World Coffee.  I later resigned that church and took a break in ministry to focus on finding a position that would be a better fit and a time of healing and renewal.  (Don’t read that assuming that I was not pursuing God’s will, but you’d have to know me to understand how I use that type of language but I digress).  As I was looking for our next ministry, I spent even more time at PTS library.  I especially loved the periodical room and all the various places to study.   Between its size and not being a student there and therefore not knowing anyone, I ended up reading a lot.


Not an exciting post but it was a good day for me to be back there.  These days I use the Starbucks, Borders, and the libraries at Nyack Bible College and at Alliance Seminary.  It’s not the same but it’s different season and it’s been a good one.