Thursday, February 23, 2006

Emergent Leadership

I've recently decided to do some reading on Leadership. Admittedly, this is not something I was intitally very excited about (personality flaw, I guess), and I really just can't get into John Maxwell type stuff (no disrespect intended toward Mr. Maxwell). However, I have been reading a book called Leadership Wisdom From Unlikely Voices by Dave Fleming. So far, I have really enjoyed this book. Here's a powerful quote I ran across this morning:

"The emergent leader is grounded in journey and can then inspire others to see the journey and enter it as well. As we shall soon see, it even goes beyond individual inspiration to include an inspiration that challenges the community to see the possibilities of the collective. It's inspiration that creates energy for the task. If all leaders do is monitor tasks, it creates deflation and an existential hopelessness that pervades far too many communities."

I really like this idea. We are on a Journey and inviting people to come with us. Fleming notes earlier in the chapter that everyone knows the tasks need to be accomplished. They are however more likely to actually involve themselves if they view them as a part of the journey or Way as opposed to simply things that have to be done.

Wednesday, February 22, 2006

Post Restorationist Radio Episode 4

The 4th episode of PRR is up. In this episode, Phil and I discuss the idea of salvation. Give it a listen and let us know what you think.

Thursday, February 16, 2006

Teaching to question?

The overriding perception of Christian teachers (preachers, youth ministers, etc.) is that they are to give answers. To be fair, the Bible does present answers as being important (i.e. 1 Pet. 3:15). However, I wonder if we should be doing a better job of teaching people to question. I'm not talking about groundless, belligerent questions that have no respect for God. I'm suggesting that we teach people to ask better questions. I'm suggesting that we teach people to approach the Bible looking not just for answers, but for questions as well. It seems to me that the Bible wasn't intended to give easy answers. Rather, it seems to beg questions...questions that make you think. Scripture seems to want to be digested slowly. Instead of instant comfort it seems to want to stir troubling questions...questions that take time to process...questions that change you at the core of your being.

Wednesday, February 15, 2006

Episode 3

Post Restorationist Radio Episode 3 is up. Click on the red button in this post or the PRR button on the left sidebar to visit the site. In this episode, Phil and I discuss the idea of "fellowship". We also get into congretational autonomy a little. Give it a listen and let us know what you think.

P.S. I'll do a real post tomorrow. Been busy this week. Winterfest is this weekend.

Thursday, February 09, 2006

Podcast Mania

The new episode of Post-Restorationist Radio is up. In this one (our second), Phil and I discuss ideas like community and congretational membership. We would love for you to subscribe and give us feedback.

Also, I am starting another podcast where I'm going to post some of the lessons I present at different places. This first one is the first lesson in a series I'm currently teaching called "Join The Revolution".

So now, it's time for the Matrix-style question. Red or Blue? Click Red for Post-Restorationist Radio. Click Blue for "Join The Revolution".

Tuesday, February 07, 2006

Random Quiz Results (so you'll know where I really stand)

What is my Theological Worldview?

You scored as Emergent/Postmodern. You are Emergent/Postmodern in your theology. You feel alienated from older forms of church, you don't think they connect to modern culture very well. No one knows the whole truth about God, and we have much to learn from each other, and so learning takes place in dialogue. Evangelism should take place in relationships rather than through crusades and altar-calls. People are interested in spirituality and want to ask questions, so the church should help them to do this.



Neo orthodox


Evangelical Holiness/Wesleyan


Roman Catholic




Classical Liberal


Reformed Evangelical




Modern Liberal


What's your theological worldview?
created with

Which Theologian am I (most like)?

You scored as Jurgen Moltmann. The problem of evil is central to your thought, and only a crucified God can show that God is not indifferent to human suffering. Christian discipleship means identifying with suffering but also anticipating the new creation of all things that God will bring about.

Jurgen Moltmann




John Calvin


Friedrich Schleiermacher


Martin Luther




Charles Finney


Karl Barth


Paul Tillich


Jonathan Edwards


Which theologian are you?
created with

Am I a heretic?

You scored as Chalcedon compliant. You are Chalcedon compliant. Congratulations, you're not a heretic. You believe that Jesus is truly God and truly man and like us in every respect, apart from sin. Officially approved in 451.



Chalcedon compliant


























Are you a heretic?
created with

What kind of coffee am I?
You Are a Frappacino

At your best, you are: fun loving, sweet, and modern

At your worst, you are: childish and over indulgent

You drink coffee when: you're craving something sweet

Your caffeine addiction level: low

Monday, February 06, 2006

How I Accidentally Helped A Kid Lose His Faith

I was working at a camp one summer (several years ago) and met this kid named Steve (not his real name). Steve was still in high school and was working as a Jr. Counselor this particular week. He had been recently converted to Christianity by his girlfriend and a militantly conservative Church of Christ (if you aren't familiar with churches of Christ, then I'm using the term 'conservative' to mean something slightly different than you might naturally infer). When I say Steve was converted, that was kind of an understatement. He was going to be a preacher. The "watchdog" preacher of the congregation he attended was his personal hero. Even so, he was a nice kid and was fun to be around. He played the guitar (though not to religious songs) and had a good sense of humor. I spent a lot of time with him that week. Several times in our conversations I would lightheartedly deconstruct one of his hard core legalistic beliefs. He was bewildered that anyone could do this so easily. Still, this wasn't the deathblow. He was from Montgomery, AL and kept ranting about how liberal (again, this is "liberal" in the 'church of Christ' sense, not the theological sense) and almost evil Buddy Bell was. Buddy is the preaching minister of the Landmark Church of Christ (an innovative church of Christ) in Montgomery, and is also my cousin. Buddy's son was at camp that week. Friday when Buddy came to pick up his son, I introduced him to Steve. Buddy took him off to the side and talked to him for a long time. I found Steve afterwards and he looked like he was in pure shock. I asked how his talk went with Buddy, and he said that it wasn't at all what he expected. He couldn't get over how nice Buddy was. He couldn't get over how much Buddy loved Jesus. He found out that Buddy was actually the man that baptized his Dad in college.

A couple of months later, Steve's girlfiend broke up with him. To my knowledge, he gave up on his faith all together after that. He got kicked out of a Christian college his freshman year for dabbling in some things that he shouldn't have. I'm sure the breakup had a lot to do with it. Even so, I wonder about my role in the whole thing. Steve's faith seemed to be sort of like a game of Jenga. If you pull out too many pieces, the whole thing collapses. Everything in the faith system presented to him was equally important and non-negotiable. I have often wondered about my role in this. Should I not have engaged someone with a faith system this fragile? Should I not have done so because I was only going to be with him for a week? Would it have been the right thing to do to leave him with a legalistic and distorted view of God and faith (admitting that we all have our own distortions)? I'm not on an ego trip here. I know that I was only one factor among many, but I do wonder what I could have done differently and if it actually would have made a difference. I don't know why I'm thinking about this today. Maybe I just needed to get it off my chest.

Saturday, February 04, 2006

Get your own advance copy of McLaren's book

Brian McLaren has posted info on how you can get your own free advance copy of his forthcoming book "The Secret Message of Jesus". If my review (1, 2, 3, 4) peaked your interest, CLICK HERE

Thursday, February 02, 2006

"The Secret Message of Jesus" Appendix 1, 2 & 3 Review

Well, this is it for my review of "The Secret Message of Jesus" by Brian McLaren. I have really enjoyed reviewing it here, and I hope this has been helpful and stirred your interest. I'll post a modified version of it closer to the time that it will be actually released, and also plan on posting a MUCH shorter review on Amazon.

The book ends with 3 short appendicies. Normally I wouldn't review appendicies, but these are quite good and worth mentioning.

Appendix 1: "The Prayer of the Kingdom"
Here McLaren explores "the Lord's Prayer". He mentioned it earlier in the book, but here he gives it a more thorough treatment by breaking it down and discussing what each part of it might mean (particularly given it's historical context). This is generally an excellent treatment, and quite valuable in the discussion.

Appendix 2: "Why Didn't We Get It Sooner?"
Here, McLaren anticipates a criticism and answers it. He notes that most of the scholars and theologians he has referenced are contemporary. He then recognizes that some might wonder if what he's proposing is actually in the text or if its being read into the text. If this has always "been there", then why is it noticably absent from much of the scholarship of church history. If this is true, then why does it seem so new to most of us. McLaren offers 8 factors that help to answer exactly these questions. One may anticipate a "cop-out" here, but that certainly isn't what he delivers. McLaren's 8 factors are quite thought provoking indeed, and not easily dismissed. I think it was very wise for him to address these issues here.

Appendix 3: "Plotting Goodness"
This is McLaren's "Now what?" chapter. If you buy this stuff, what can you do with it? He simply offers some suggestions for how you might proceed. These few pages are very practical and I hope that many take him up on them.

I sincerely hope you pick this book up. It wouldn't be a bad idea to pre-order it.

Wednesday, February 01, 2006

Post-Restorationist Radio

Phil Wilson and I have started a new Podcast called "Post-Restorationist Radio". Click on the image and give it a listen. We would love for you to subscribe (it's free) and give us some feedback. Our first episode is posted. (For those not familiar with "podcasts", they are basically mp3 downloads that you can subscribe to.)

P.S. If you'd like to help us advertise, we have created a button that you can place on the sidebar of your blog (like the one you can see on mine). Click HERE for a pdf containing the html code. Use the text select tool to copy and paste it into your temlate.