Richard Mouw to Retire from Fuller Seminary

I can’t find it on the Fuller website yet, but here’s the announcement that was emailed to alumni last evening:

I have the highest respect for Rich Mouw, and a deep love for Fuller. This will be a tricky search process, however, since Fuller occupies a precarious spot on the Protestant landscape: centrist evangelical. It’s a bit like being a political independent these days — you’re a person without a party.

The Mars Hill Church Job Description

Here it is, from the site of the search firm running the search:

The Vanderbloemen Search Group is thrilled to partner with the leadership of Mars Hill Bible Church to find a full-time Teaching Pastor to join their community in Grandville, Michigan.

With the transition of founding pastor Rob Bell this January, Mars Hill is seeking a full-time teaching pastor to join in the ongoing mission and program of Mars Hill. This person will teach 35 – 40 weekends per year and work collaboratively with the Ministry Leadership Team. The Teaching Pastor will engage actively with the Mars Hill community and participate fully in the ministry of Mars Hill.

The Teaching Pastor will be an exceptionally compelling, creative communicator of the Scriptures in ways that eliminate hurdles to Christ all the while challenging the thinking of the community. Mars Hill embraces a conversational, expository style of teaching that embraces historical context, and careful explanation of the original languages in a style that engages questions.

West Michigan and the Grand Rapids area is known for its philanthropy, strong community values and as an ideal place to raise a family with great schools and neighborhoods with a low cost of housing and living. Additionally, with access to many arts, festivals, restaurants, area skiing and snowboarding as well as the gorgeous Lake Michigan beaches, there are many activities during all four seasons to enjoy.

via Mars Hill Bible Church | Vanderbloemen Search Group.

A Whole Podcast about Nothing

Tripp has done me a great favor by posting a new HBC podcast from AAR last year — a debate in the Open and Relational Theologies Group about the doctrine of creatio ex nihilo. It follows up on our debate of last week. I tend to think that Phil Clayton’s opening remarks are spot on: this is really about the very nature of God — but if it can be proved that creatio ex nihilo is really responsible of monarchial monotheism, misogyny, and governmental hierarchies, then I’ll abandon it.

Here’s a teaser for the podcast, and a link:

Get ready for a theological treasure chest! Here you get not one or even two theologians but SIX theologians ready to throw down theologically over Creation Out of Nothing. The audio was harvested from the Open and Relational Theologies group at the American Academy of Religion of which I am a very proud member!  This episode will include the panelists arguments for or against Creatio Ex Nihilio and later this weekend we will post the Question & Response portion of the session.  The initial panel includes:

Download their papers and listen to the podcast at: The Creatio Ex Nihilio Debate!.

Finally, let me just say that if I had to write my syllabus for next month’s DMin cohort again, I would include Keller’s Face of the Deep.

Shane Hipps Leaving Mars Hill

Shane Hipps and Rob Bell: Soon neither will be at Mars Hill

My dear friend (and camp counselee, circa 1984), Shane Hipps, announced yesterday that he will be leaving Mars Hill Bible Church in Grand Rapids, Michigan, when the Board of Elders selects a new teaching pastor. Here’s part of Shane’s announcement:

I came face to face with one of the most powerful and difficult ingredients in discovering call  — the role of limits.

In this process I kept bumping up against two limits.  First, I bumped up against the decision the Elders made.  They created a role that was very different than the one I am currently in.  I had to confront the reality of an external set of limits that had been created.  This happens all the time in life.  We confront things on the outside we wish could be different.  Choices our loved ones make, illness, and economic downturns.  The Elders made a series of choices which they believe were in the best interest of this community.  In the process I was presented with new limits.

The second and far more substantial limit was internal.  Everyone of us has an interior shape and size.  Some of that is predetermined and unchangeable like our height.  It’s just how we got made and no amount of effort can change it.  Some of that inner shape is like our weight, we can actually do something to reshape it, adjust it, change it.  It’s not easy, but it is possible if we are truly called to something.

The road at Mars Hill has been tumultuous. Many parishioners left when Love Wins came out. More left when Rob Bell departed for California. The church staff has suffered through many rounds of layoffs, the latest being last week. Now Shane is leaving and, by the looks of the comments on his blog, some congregants don’t understand why.

Rob Bell had an odd arrangement with the church: in the latter years of his tenure, he didn’t lead the staff, and he had virtually no pastoral duties other than preaching (which they call “teaching”). Shane came in under that arrangement. While I can understand the Elders’ decision to move in a more conventional direction — with a pastor who does the majority of the preaching — it seems odd that this person will report to the executive director of the church. It makes you wonder: What gifted preacher would come to Mars Hill without also being able to lead the staff?

We can only assume that the Elders know the church best, and that they think this unusual arrangement will work. Many of us will be watching to see if it does.


CLOSE | X

HIDE | X