Sunday, August 19, 2007

Your Own Personal Luther

This is great. Much as I wax narcoleptic at the repetitively redundant phrase, "Gospel-Driven Church," which is just as redundant as "Born-Again Christian" (is there any other kind...?), this post of new theses for the modern church is utterly, utterly priceless. I'm printing them out and putting them in our church bulletin over the next few Sundays (which is rather apropos, given that we're going through the Seven Letters to the Seven Churches)...

BTW... kudos to y'all who got the oblique reference to the seminal Depeche Mode single, in this blogpost's title, there.

Also, kudos to Mike Newnham, who I borrowed/stole this from - he posted on it first.

I say "kudos" because I haven't a clue what "HT" is supposed to mean. I've been trying to figure that out after seeing it on blog after blog after blog...

  • Here There...?

  • Hot Tuesday...?

  • High Tower...?

  • Hyper Thread...?

  • Hren and Thtimpy...?

  • Hoopie Thloopie...?

...hence, "kudos", which definition I know.

My personal favorites from the list:
10. If the entirety of your churchy desires consists of filling a seat to experience a good service, you are not a congregant in a church but a consumer at a concert.

11. What you win people with is what you win them to.
Win people with flash, spectacle, presentation, etc., and that’s what you win them to. Don’t be surprised if, like all consumers and what attracts them, they eventually get tired and move on to the next attraction. Don’t be surprised if, provided they remain, they continually request more, better, higher . . . (Mike: Boy, ain't that the truth...)

17. A church’s success should be neither entirely nor primarily measured by its attendance. Also, a church’s growth should not be entirely or primarily measured numerically. (Mike: The author qualifies this in the next thesis so that you "Church Fruitfulness Is Nickels And Noses" types who are begining to infec--er, enter the Calvary Movement don't get too bent out-of-shape...)

Good stuff. Read the post.

Wednesday, August 15, 2007

Supralapsarian Motivation

Okay... Bob Hyatt, ECM pastor and blogger, has - along with most of the rest of ECM-dom, has taken umbrage at a recent series of mock "motivational" posters poking fun at the ECM by the Team Pyro guys (who have fairly substantial problems of their own - namely, they're open, out-of-the-closet, stark raving pinko Commie Calvinists). Most of the ECM's response to Team Pyro's stuff has, quite frankly, proven their point.

One particular poster that Bob came up with in response, however, is positively priceless.

Don't that just say it all?

tee hee hee... makes me giggle...

Thursday, August 09, 2007

I like this guy...

Chris Elrod, pastor and church planter of Compass Point church, has a series of blogposts, "Confessions of a Stupid Pastor."

I like this guy.

Chris is Right.

Read this blogpost by an ECM church planter regarding the increasingly pretentious overuse in ECM circles (and Evangelicalism in general) of the wildly popular, hep-cat-yo-dog-g*money Dilbertism, "missional."

He's dead right.

The term has long since lost its meaning - much like the term "evangelical" - or even "Gospel".

True discipleship - which is not an option for men & women who name the Name of the King - demands living out what you say you believe in the highways and byways of life - which is really what the original thrust of the term "missional" was supposed to recapture (as far as I, as an ECM outsider, can tell).

Anyway, good post.

Saturday, August 04, 2007

Good article for us bivocs

This is a good article for us bivoc (or, in my case, trivoc) pastors.

Bivocs may never gain the celebrity status of some in the church - especially us microchurch pastors (I'm using that term as a tongue-in-cheek counterpoint to the whole "megachurch" thing, not in it's technical meaning which tends to be heavily related to the "house church" movement). But each is given a measure of grace for the calling to which he's called; and sometimes, those of us who don't have the external perks and ego strokes of larger, more "successful" ministries need encouragement to keep faithfully plowing the fields we've been given, as faithful stewards.

So... here you go; read the article.

You'll thank me later.

WSJ: "Till Tech Do Us Part"

This is an interesting commentary on the thorny issues facing couples in the internet age that had never really been an issue before.

Kinda good for a chuckle.

The opening paragraph sets the hook, while effectively summarizing the article, all at the same time:

Joint bank account? Check. Merging the MP3 collection? Hold on a minute. Couples are struggling with just how much to combine the digital aspects of their lives. Why spouses are bickering over shared email accounts and his-and-hers blogs.

Now, I can partly understand this, sorta. My lovely and gracious wife likes Country music. I feel rather strongly that Country is a product of the Fall. So we keep our MP3 collections... ah... quite separate.


...but I wonder how long it'll be before we see some enterprising, relevant, culturally savvy pastor teaching a hep-cat-yo-dog-g*money series on this...

Come to think of it, I wonder how long it'll take until some of the new breed of "Calvary-Lite" dudes take up the torch and start a really clever teaching series on the subject, further abandoning the verse-by-verse expositional teaching Distinctive of the Cavlary Chapel Movement...?


Interesting, amusing article, nonetheless...

Friday, August 03, 2007

Pop Quiz: The Answer.

Tuesday, I asked who y'all thought a Statement of Purposes and Principles came from. The dudes over at the Wordpress mirror of this blog were basically split between #4 (an Emerging Community) and #5 (None of the Above).

Good guesses.

And the reason why I asked the pop quiz question, is because it sure does sound absolutely indistinguishable from an Emergent kind of drivel--er, that is, Statement of Purposes and Principles. I'd say, "Doctrinal Satement," but that's too bourgeoisie and consumerist to be ECMmish.


But no, those who guessed "None of the Above" are - absolutely correct.

The Statement of Purposes and Principles comes from a local Unitarian Universalist congregation.

In case you don't recognize the term "Unitarian Universalist," I give you some of the latest stuff from their website:


Mike Foster: Standing Like Schaeffer

Mike Foster, a church planter in Cincinnati with the Acts 29 network, has posted a great blogpost which is in essence an "essay report," comparing Schaeffer and Athanasius.

One quote from Foster that makes me now want to read the essay for myself...

We all could stand to take a lesson from Schaeffer. Being faithful to Christ means standing for the gospel and standing against any diminishing of that gospel. This means we might have to take issue with some or even most of the thinking of popular theologians and pastors such as Rob Bell, Doug Wilson, and N.T. Wright among others. This, of course, will get us toss aside and labeled as “picky and intolerant” by many of our peers. Nonetheless, we mustn’t be impressed and draw into the compromise of a Christianity that is often drunk on the worship of Christian celebrity.

I couldn't agree more.

Very timely, too; I was just involved in a brief discussion of "New Perspectivism" (which I am distinctly unimpressed with)... the leading light of which would be none other than N.T. Wright...

KDE 4.0 Beta Released...

You've seen the commercials:

Tragically Hip Emergent-type Dude: Hi, I'm a Mac.

Über-geek in a suit: And I'm a PC.

Emergent Mac Dude: Hey, PC, did you know that I'm way cooler-er than you and nobody likes you because you're a dweeb?


Now, I say that all tongue-in-cheek. I readily admit that the Mac platform is, and always has been, inherently superior. The kernel of the OS is UNIX; can't go wrong there. The software "just works." It's very stable. And the canard that "there's just more out there for the PC" is exactly that. Especially with the new Intel-based Macs which can run the Evil Empire's OS and software better than Wintel boxes can.

Macs are better than PCs.

If I didn't have to take out a second mortgage on my small yet tiny house to buy one, I would.

But since I can't, I can get the next best thing (which many would argue is actually the actual best thing, since it's open source - I am sympathetic to that argument). Linux is a UNIX-like OS which is also über-stable, and has the advantage of having an entire cornucopia of options for windowing managers, desktop environments, and far broader hardware support (which can also be its Achilles' Heel, given the closed-system approach of Macs, which contribute greatly to the systems' stability, but I partially digress).

The Linux distro that I use is Mandriva... but I'm likely going to be making the leap to Ubuntu shortly.

Very shortly.

In the mean time, my Bloglines feed notified me that Slashdot has announced that the KDE Group has released a beta version of their K Desktop Environment - which is my favorite (I'm no huge fan of GNOME). In many ways, I like KDE better than the MacOS interface - way better.

So, this is hugely good news for me.

It's like CHRISTmas... in August...


I don't care who you are... this is cool (see here and here).

Thursday, August 02, 2007

American Airlines has now become my bestest friend...

This is great news for road warriors - and pastors who fly to the Left Coast once a year for the annual conference/partaking of the Third Ordinance the Lord left for His Church (double-double animal style at In-n-Out).


The Phoenix Returns

The Blog Of Which We Do Not Speak is back.

Mike Newnham has his critics, and his supporters. Technically, I suppose, I don't really fall into either camp; but whatever else you think of the ministry of PP/TBOWWDNS, it did (and, apparently, will again) give many a voice and a place to be ministered to that they would otherwise not have had. Like anything else touched by man (including Calvary Chapel), it was considerably less than perfect. But amongst the sometime endless stream of (...must...not...say...bitter...) ah... perturbed venting, real ministry did take place. Just reading the comments of the likes of Ritchie, Rolph, and Fong (sounds like a '70's band) was worth the time to fire up my Bloglines feed.

As I've stated before: This is the internet. You can't silence critics easily. So it's best to learn from them - we've learned that, Mike's learned that, and we've all been bettered thereby.

I'm very interested to see how PP2.0 shapes up.

Wednesday, August 01, 2007

Position Papers

While pondering the previous Pop Quiz, take a gander at the collected Position Papers written by Calvary Chapel Costa Mesa over the years. Balanced, fair-minded, and clear.

Yet one more reason I love the Calvary Chapel movement.