9 Reasons NOT to Plant a Church in 2012

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"Church planting is the most effective form of evangelism under heaven" said C.Peter Wagner. I know he said that. I was there. I was a young [and good looking] Fuller Seminary student sitting in his classroom when he said it. It was a welcomed idea, proven scientifically more effective than trying to expand older church structures. Back then, there was little argument against it and the idea was embraced by mission societies and church denominations who played it out in their strategies all … [Read more...]

Here a Zealot, There a Fanatic, Everywhere an Extremist!

"Things fall apart, the center does not hold…” W.B. Yeats, “The Second Coming” 1919 Ninety-three years ago in January 1919, Yeats published “The Second Coming” in the aftermath of the war to end all wars and the Spanish Influenza pandemic, two events that destroyed millions of lives and the hope of progress which the 20th century had promised. Now in January 2012 we can look back at Yeats’ classic poetic idiom with a deeper and more profound appreciation for its prophetic … [Read more...]

These Are My Moon Rocks, Broken for You

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Take a look at this picture of astronaut Pete Conrad, handling moon rocks collected on his Apollo 12 lunar mission.  This is the same wise-cracking fighter jock who had Playboy centerfold photos hidden in the checklist strapped to his wrist as he explored the lunar surface.  Perhaps it’s just my imagination, but when I look in his eyes I see almost a sense of humility and awe.  It is as if he is saying, “Do you believe I get to do this?  Man, I have the greatest gig in the … [Read more...]

Emerging Kataphatic

Many emerging Christians have been influenced by deconstructionist postmodernism. Profoundly iconoclastic, deconstructionism challenges any attempt to form universal theologies or fathom God’s nature. God remains a deep mystery, beyond any human articulation whether in text, tradition, liturgy, or symbol. God is a deep and dazzling darkness whose incomprehensibility inspires silence and humility. Yet, mystics and believers have also spoken of God as accessible, embodied, and intimate in … [Read more...]

Hi Villagers, As many of you know, EV is a partnering sponsor for a great event in May called Children, Youth and a New Kind of Christianity, which will gather leaders, ministers, volunteers, parents, and students to spark conversations about youth and children. We will talk about innovative practices, critical issues, and controversial topics like violence, racism, interfaith dialogue, and sexuality. Even better, YOU have the ability to participate in a direct way. Share your ideas … [Read more...]

The Social Media Gospel and new kinds of communities

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As a reader of the this blog, you are already attuned to social media. You know what it means not only to communicate, but to converse.  You know what it means not only to tell but to invite. You know what it means not only to post but to share. But not everyone is, and that is ok. Some of us get into new ways of being even without knowing it is happening. As the co-owner of Social Phonics - a company helping people learn the language of new media - I am struck at our one-day boot camps … [Read more...]

The 11th Day of Christmas…A Prophetic Vision of Peace

The wolf shall live with the lamb, the leopard shall lie down with the kid, the calf and the lion and the fatling together, and a little child shall lead them. -- Isaiah 11:6 Maybe I should have known, but it occurred to me a few years ago that the Christmas decoration Pete Peterson made with a lion and a lamb and the word PEACE might be obscure for some folks. Many people, Christians and otherwise, recognize the guy with the red suit. Folk know to expect greenery, garlands and bows. … [Read more...]

Theology and Toddler Talk

These days, I’m pondering the nature of theological reflection in light of my interactions with my sixteen month old grandson. Every day he learns more words and repeats his favorite words over and over again. In the spirit of liturgical language and congregational litanies, he repeats the words “monkey,” “moon,” “star,” “car,” “truck,” and “clock” as many as hundred times a day. I am sure that some of his repetition, especially in the first few minutes of the day, … [Read more...]

Ring Out The Old

No American in his or her right mind would walk into this new year without some trepidation. Election years are alwasy raucous, not to mention tenuous; but 2012 promises to out-do even some of the best of them. Christendom is dead. May it ever and always remain so. Few things have burdened me more over my many years than the tendency, up until fairly recently, of some of my fellow Christians to claim one political position or another as the absolute will of God. The one thing worse than … [Read more...]

New Years Resolutions

With the New Year upon us, it is the time for New Years resolutions.  These have become sort of a joke in our society for the propensity for being dropped in a few months or weeks or days. However this does not stop the marketing machine in America.  You can expect to get an assortment of opportunities for gym memberships or dietary supplements in the next week (I have already gotten several) with specials such as waived entrance fees and discounts for signing up for a whole year, etc.  We … [Read more...]


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