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...]

The Gluttony of Busyness

I've been too busy to post here recently. I've been too busy for a lot of things. And that should tell me something... A paradox has emerged in this new millennium: people have enhanced quality of life, but at the same time they are adding to their stress levels by taking on more than they have resources to handle. It's as though their eyes were bigger than their stomachs. - David Allen, Getting Things Done It's more than likely that you've heard a message, read a book, or done some … [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...]

Quoting God by Randy Woodley

Ok, I first need to admit to you, this is not my first time at the rodeo. I’ve been around unorganized Christianity for a while. I was involved in some of the early Jesus people movements, several Christian communities and some wildly charismatic churches and “non-denominational denominations.” I was even a student, and later a chauffer, at Jim Bakker’s PTL Club (pre-prison conviction days). Believe me, I have heard some pretty crazy things attributed to God in the past. For example, … [Read more...]

Emergence and Indie Rock

Listening to Sirius XMU at work provoked the following thoughts about about Indie Rock and Emergence: Pre-mainstream. Both have touched upon the edges of society who are looking for a different expression. I find it ironic that the old mainstream Mainline churches are far more open to emergence than Evangelicals at large who have become the new mainstream. The common way of doing faith or doing music doesn't work for emergents or indie rockers. They're looking for a more relevant form. Self … [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...]

daily bread…it’s a frightening diet

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If I hear this once more, " man shall not live on bread alone but by every word that proceeds from the mouth of the Lord "...I'm going to gag because I know what you mean. I don't read the Bible enough. I think too much. That scripture does show up in the Old Testament, I would give reference to where it's found, but I'm sure you already know, and...will tell me. But it makes  me think of Jesus trial in the wilderness. Upon rising out of the waters of the Jordan, and God's spirit … [Read more...]

Personal Confession Re: “Occupy” Movement

History will tell if the Occupy Movement spurs any sort of actual change in America. I line up on some the issues of societal justice that the movement desires. I also disagree with some things. Here is something I do believe: The wealthy have a unique responsibility. The wealthiest of the wealthy – the top 1% - even more so. My friend Wess Stafford says this: "The opposite of poverty isn’t wealth. The opposite of poverty is enough.” He's probably right. I don’t have any … [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...]

unsettling dream

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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...]

Deconstructing Caesar (Salad)

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My wife Pam and I spend New Years Eve with our friends Bob Scott and Sharon Linnea.  Bob’s hobby is gourmet cooking and this year, like previous ones, did not disappoint.  One of the seven or eight (I lost count) courses of the evening was a Caesar salad deconstruction.  I was unfamiliar with deconstruction in regard to food.  Basically, a deconstructed dish is one that takes foods that are normally combined, changes their forms and puts them on the plate in a different way.  In this … [Read more...]


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