America's Next Top Pastor
We offer pithy pontifications by the pint-full, and the best brain-food this side of Blogsford. There's no cover charge, and it's all you can eat/drink (although we strongly encourage moderation). Like any other pub, we always appreciate a good tip.
Lead us, Evolution, lead us
That is, if the botanist for example, finding himself galvanized by the efficiency and symmetry of the life forms he is scrutinizing, continues to press the question implicit in notions like efficiency and symmetry, he is going to find himself reaching for such words as "beauty" and "pleasure" and "awe", and at this point he is going to need poetry, at least if he wants language to chart these latter developments in his study. It is not that poetry or the poetic imagination uncovers some arcane significance in things that a cloddish scientific analysis cannot hope to see: rather we may say that the poetic imagination wants to speak with a language that charts how we mortals see these phenomena, the thing implicit in poetry all along being that there is perhaps no truer way to speak of the phenomena.
Many popular misconceptions of Christian faith make the mistake at this point of trying to fit Christian faith into a residual Deist framework. They depict a distant and austere God suddenly deciding to do something after all, and so sending his own Son to teach us how to escape our sphere and go and live in God’s instead…
David Lodge in the Art of Fiction, a collection of essays on various aspects of British and American fiction, writes, “However one defines it, the beginning of a novel is a threshold, separating the real world we inhabit from the world the novelist has imagined. It should therefore, as the phrase goes, ‘draw us in’” (4-5).
As I sit at my desk contemplating this quote, I can think of three beginnings that completely captivated me:
Estragon: (giving up again). “Nothing to be done.”
From Waiting for Godot by Samuel Beckett
“Call me Ishmael.”
From Moby Dick by Herman Melville
“Ours is essentially a tragic age, so we refuse to take it tragically.”
From Lady Chatterley's Lover by D.H. Lawrence
Can you think of any?Read more
"In times of war or uncertainty there is a special breed of warrior ready to answer our Nation's call; a common man with uncommon desire to succeed. Forged by adversity, he stands alongside America's finest special operations forces to serve his country and the American people, and to protect their way of life. I am that man.
My Trident is a symbol of honor and heritage. Bestowed upon me by the heroes who have gone before, it embodies the trust of those whom I have sworn to protect. By wearing the Trident, I accept the responsibility of my chosen profession and way of life. It is a privilege that I must earn every day.
My loyalty to Country and Team is beyond reproach. I humbly serve as a guardian to my fellow Americans, always ready to defend those who are unable to defend themselves. I do not advertise the nature of my work, nor seek recognition for my actions. I voluntarily accept the inherent hazards of my profession, placing the welfare and security of others before my own.
I serve with honor on and off the battlefield. The ability to control my emotions and my actions, regardless of circumstance, sets me apart from other men. Uncompromising integrity is my standard. My character and honor are steadfast. My word is my bond.
We expect to lead and be led. In the absence of orders I will take charge, lead my teammates, and accomplish the mission. I lead by example in all situations.
I will never quit. I persevere and thrive on adversity. My Nation expects me to be physically harder and mentally stronger than my enemies. If knocked down, I will get back up, every time. I will draw on every remaining ounce of strength to protect my teammates and to accomplish the mission. I am never out of the fight.
We demand discipline. We expect innovation. The lives of my teammates and the success of the mission depend on me — my technical skill, tactical proficiency, and attention to detail. My training is never complete.
We train for war and fight to win. I stand ready to bring the full spectrum of combat power to bear in order to achieve my mission and the goals established by my country. The execution of my duties will be swift and violent when required, yet guided by the very principles I serve to defend.
Brave men have fought and died building the proud tradition and feared reputation that I am bound to uphold. In the worst of conditions, the legacy of my teammates steadies my resolve and silently guides my every deed. I will not fail."Read more
On the sixth day, after God had created the world and the first Adam, he beheld the man and the world, and saw that it was very good. This was indeed a very good Friday. And on the seventh day, God rested. Tragically, what followed on the eighth day was the rebellion of Adam and the consequent marring of that very good creation. And death entered the world.
Let’s now fast-forward to the week which we have just celebrated, Holy Week. The sixth day came, and on Good Friday, Pontius Pilate ironically voiced the words of God as he announced to the people, “Behold the man.” Jesus, the second Adam, and very God himself, completed His work. And on the seventh day, He rested in the grave. But the eighth day, the high holy day of universal history, had the opposite effect the first eighth day. The New Adam defeated death, and new life entered the world. New Creation had come, and just as had God walked in the cool of the morning in the garden on the eighth day of the first creation, so Mary Magdalene while visiting the tomb on the eighth was startled to find God himself walking in the garden in the cool of the morning on the eighth day, and she mistook him for a gardener.
New Creation has come, and we have new life through the Second Adam, God with us, Jesus.
11If we sowed spiritual things in you, is it too much if we reap material things from you?...14In the same way, the Lord commanded that those who proclaim the gospel should get their living by the gospel. - 1 Cor 9
We were not idle when we were with you, 8nor did we eat anyone's food without paying for it. On the contrary, we worked night and day, laboring and toiling so that we would not be a burden to any of you. 9We did this, not because we do not have the right to such help, but in order to make ourselves a model for you to follow. 10For even when we were with you, we gave you this rule: "If a man will not work, he shall not eat. - 2 Thes. 3
and because he was a tentmaker as they were, he stayed and worked with them. 4Every Sabbath he reasoned in the synagogue, trying to persuade Jews and Greeks - Acts 18
I am convinced that the concept of covenant has been misunderstood by Christians, at least by many of the people in the circles in which I run. I have heard people variously say things like, "God made the covenant with Israel and God wont break his oath even if we break ours." Such statements have been used to justify a great deal of things regarding national
We, as Christians, need to stop thinking either that we are God's JV squad that got put on the field while He teaches his starters a lesson; or that Israel is defined in any other way than as those people who follow God through His chosen Messiah.
For those who disagree, I give two pieces of information:
31"Behold, days are coming," declares the LORD, "when I will make a new covenant with the house of Israel and with the house of Judah, 32not like the covenant which I made with their fathers in the day I took them by the hand to bring them out of the land of Egypt, My covenant which they broke, although I was a husband to them," declares the LORD. 33"But this is the covenant which I will make with the house of
after those days," declares the LORD, Israel
Second: a blog by a NT scholar talking about covenants, how they operate in the OT, and the nature of the covenant the God made with Israel.
Another question that arises is this: What happens to this church when these kids lose interest in skating? I personally skated in Jr. High and High School, but I have since left that hobby, and picked up and dropped many other fads over the years. Is this church destined to be a transient church, which only has a limited amount of time to disciple young people? What type of impact on the culture will this church have, or will it be forced to constantly follow the culture wherever it leads?
It really seems like this church is doing the reverse of “being all things to all people” and instead being one thing to one people. And what if this formula were used in other recreational “cultures?” For example, I love college football. How do you create a church for people who love college football? Would it be appropriate for me to invite a bunch of guys over to eat nachos and drink beer in front of my TV on Saturday morning as a form of corporate worship?