Monthly Archives: February 2005

2 AM Epiphany

< %image(20050228-bible open.jpg|132|112|Bible)%> Following up on yesterday’s post regarding the incarnational character of the church that causes it to go out into the world and make disciples, I had an epiphany of sorts that kept me up until 2 am. In reflecting on what must occur while we bring the kingdom of God to our world, it hit me that reading the Bible, prayer, and theological reflection must occur while we are incarnating the love of Christ to the world.
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Do We Care?

The smoke has just barely cleared after a church leadership retreat in which we discussed the necessity of being “missionaries” to our culture and the need to make a big push into our local community. While we are in agreement to a point, I find myself asking, “Do we really know what it means to be ‘missional’ or perhaps a better word would be ‘incarnational’ in our approach to ministry?” and “What needs to change about how we do church in order to be incarnational?”
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The Songs We Love . . . And Hate

An older gentleman stopped by the office today and shortly thereafter I heard the hauntingly familiar lyrics, in all their morbid perkiness, shuffling out of a back office: “Majesty, worship his majesty!” The hair raised on my neck. My mind raced and stomach churned as I lunged for my mouse. Must . . . get . . . to . . . media . . . player . . .
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Did I Do That???

On the recommendation of a friend I read the first few chapters of Warren Wiersbe’s book, On Being a Servant of God. He has some very handy and practical insights about God and ministry. He really took me back with this quote about ministry,

“If you can explain how it happened, then God probably didn’t do it.”

Now THAT is humbling.

Jumping Into the Story

One of my favorite series of books is by Jasper Fforde. The first book, the Eyre Affair, introduces his alternate reality in which a detective by the name Thursday Next is able to jump into works of literature, rescuing the characters from kidnappers and the like. For example, in one scene Thursday jumps into Great Expectations and joins Miss Havisham as she enters Wuthering Heights to provide “rage counseling” to the characters. As Thursday goes into these great works of literature, their stories and characters suddenly become more overwhelmingly relevant and engaging than could possibly be imagined. She finds her herself simultaneously attracted to and repulsed by Heathcliffe, while feeling a mix of pity and contempt for Catherine’s husband Linton. OK, perhaps I am stretching this a bit here, but bear with me . . . What if we could attempt a similar feat in reading scripture?
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Stabbed By the Spirit

Let’s face it, we all think we’re pretty smart. We would not believe what we do unless we were convinced that it’s right. We would not go to church, read the Bible, hold certain dogmas and doctrines, etc. unless we were sure about their veracity. I like to think, read, and talk about theology, ecclesiology, Christian practice, and other topics connected with God. My views matter to me and I have invested a lot of time into them. And yet a bomb dropped on me this morning when I read Isaiah 29:13-14.
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The Power of Perspective

< %image(20050228-santa biblia.jpg|40|60|null)%>One of the books I have been reading lately is Santa Biblia: The Bible Through Hispanic Eyes by Justo Gonzalez. Though it is impossible for one author to capture the perspective of an entire culture, Gonzalez has truly opened my mind to the variety of ways possible to read the Bible based on our setting. My own reading of the Bible based in suburban, middle class America will differ significantly from an ethnic minority in America that is economically disadvantaged. While some interpretations offered by Gonzalez are hard to relate to, he has also added tremendous richness and perspective to a number of Bible stories that I have never truly understood.
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