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Archive for October, 2005

Refreshing Comments on Christian Disagreement

You are reading viewpoints of different church leaders in emerging churches. You will see differences, as that is the point of this book as we discuss each others differences. So I assume we will discuss and even challenge one another in our responses. But this is not fisticuffs fighting. This is more like a fun pillow fight, you could say. I’m not sure grown men have pillow fights and I think Doug Pagitt with his long arms would wipe most of us out with a swing of his pillow, but I think you understand what I mean. I have seen and read ugly, bitter cut down ranting on blogs and in other books. This book will not have that. Something for the reader to know, is that we are all friends in this book. I have spent time with each person writing in this book. I have been to two of their homes, and stayed overnight a few times at one. I respect tremendously each person contributing in this book and writing opinions in this format is difficult, because it is only words, not facial expressions, no cup of coffee or a pint of Guinness is on the table as we chat theology here. So, it is hard to write and then do counter-points, as we do have different beliefs. But I approach this with great humility and wish this was more of a roundtable discussion. I am certain if I was to ask the other writers, they too would prefer that – as we are not in combat here, we are expressing our own theological journeys and ideas. That is important to know, as some people like to see fights and some people are so opinionated that their hearts come across as puffy and arrogant as we are talking about holy, mysterious things here and we should tread lightly and prayerfully.

Dan Kimball from a forthcoming book he’s developing with

that will be edited by Robert Webber.

image from stock.xchng

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Refreshing Comments on Christian Disagreement

You are reading viewpoints of different church leaders in emerging churches. You will see differences, as that is the point of this book as we discuss each others differences. So I assume we will discuss and even challenge one another in our responses. But this is not fisticuffs fighting. This is more like a fun pillow fight, you could say. I’m not sure grown men have pillow fights and I think Doug Pagitt with his long arms would wipe most of us out with a swing of his pillow, but I think you understand what I mean. I have seen and read ugly, bitter cut down ranting on blogs and in other books. This book will not have that. Something for the reader to know, is that we are all friends in this book. I have spent time with each person writing in this book. I have been to two of their homes, and stayed overnight a few times at one. I respect tremendously each person contributing in this book and writing opinions in this format is difficult, because it is only words, not facial expressions, no cup of coffee or a pint of Guinness is on the table as we chat theology here. So, it is hard to write and then do counter-points, as we do have different beliefs. But I approach this with great humility and wish this was more of a roundtable discussion. I am certain if I was to ask the other writers, they too would prefer that – as we are not in combat here, we are expressing our own theological journeys and ideas. That is important to know, as some people like to see fights and some people are so opinionated that their hearts come across as puffy and arrogant as we are talking about holy, mysterious things here and we should tread lightly and prayerfully.

Dan Kimball from a forthcoming book he’s developing with

that will be edited by Robert Webber.

image from stock.xchng

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trolling for podcasts

i scored a nano for my birthday (which is actually Monday – yes, i was born on Halloween) from my fantastic wife and i’m trolling for podcasts. suggestions?

(holiday birthdays run in the family:

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data, data, data

found a good resource on denominational data:

the american religious data archive

funded by the lilly endowment

ht to thinkchristian.

image from stock.xchng

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trolling for podcasts

i scored a nano for my birthday (which is actually Monday – yes, i was born on Halloween) from my fantastic wife and i’m trolling for podcasts. suggestions?

(holiday birthdays run in the family:

Read Full Post »


data, data, data

found a good resource on denominational data:

the american religious data archive

funded by the lilly endowment

ht to thinkchristian.

image from stock.xchng

Read Full Post »

Can Evangelicalism Return to its Social Justice Roots?

For months [Rick Warren] has alluded in general terms to an immense volunteer effort called the PEACE plan, aimed at transforming 400,000 churches in 47 nations into centers to nurse, feed and educate the poor and even turn them into entrepreneurs. Its details remain unknown, but its Rwandan element seems to have outrun the rest. Warren says he was “looking for a small country where we could actually work on a national model,” and Kagame, impressed by The Purpose-Driven Life, volunteered Rwanda in March. In July Warren and 48 other American Evangelicals, who have backgrounds in areas like health, education, micro-enterprises and justice, held intensive planning meetings with Rwandan Cabinet ministers, governors, clergy and entrepreneurs. One dinner was attended by a third of the Rwandan Parliament. Says Scott Moreau, a professor of missiology at Wheaton College in Illinois: “I’ve never heard of this level of cooperation in the last 100 years between any megachurch, mission agency or even a denomination and a national government” (hyperlinks mine)

Time Magazine recently ran an article called Warren of Rwanda where they reported Rick Warren’s recent July meetings with a number of Rwandan leaders.

In a recent Wall Street Journal article, Boston College professor Alan Wolfe, the Director of The Boisi Center for Religion and American Public Life, wrote of Rick Warren,

Historians are likely to pinpoint Mr. Warren’s trip to Rwanda as the moment when conservative evangelical Protestantism made questions of social justice central to its concerns. …Rick Warren could have become satisfied with his national success and ignored problems abroad. Instead he has chosen to make issues of global poverty central to his ministry and for that he deserves his identification by Time magazine as one of the most important evangelicals in America.

(ht to Steve Bush on the Generous Orthodoxy ThinkTank blog)

While appreciative, Wolfe is hardly triumphant of Warren’s effort, going on the express a concern that Warren’s Protestant Evangelicalism might itself precipitate strive in this predominantly Catholic country. And while also recognizing Warren’s sincerity, Wolfe is also worried that the Purpose-Driven life approach may be simplistic in this context.

Christianity Today also recently ran a cover story on Warren’s efforts in Rwanda.

I can’t help but feel positively about this return of Evangelicalism to the type of social justice activism it displayed at its birth in the 18th century (Whitfield founding orphanages in America, etc). I believe good things will come from this.

– the PEACE Plan Site

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