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Archive for May, 2007

“In a nutshell, John Macarthur brings the harshest criticism that has ever been delivered to the emerging church. Much harsher than I expected and blogged about some months ago. Much harsher than Don Carson, who took the time and effort to mention the positive contributions of the emerging church. Unlike Carson, Macarthur offers no positives at all. He sees the movement as heretical, an assault on the certainty of Scripture, inherently flawed, riddled with gnosticism, and equivalent to a poopslide on the garment of Christ” [some links added].

Andrew Jones responds in some detail to John MacArthur’s new book criticizing the emerging church.

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I’m formally breaking my blogfast this morning. It’s been a good thing for me to pause. Very good. In fact, it’s a bit hard to begin blogging again. There’s the desire to be completely solid before I speak here again. And I’m not. But I do feel less opaque than I did at the beginning.

When I began this fast on 26 March my primary purpose was to learn more experientially what it meant to have strength in Christ. To this end, I have primarily been focusing on the following passages during my hiatus:

One thing that I did that has been very helpful was to create an MP3 of just these passages (and a couple of others) and to create a playlist that I have listened to over and over again on my Nano, mostly while driving.

As I indicated at the beginning of my interruption, my fast was precipitated by a foxhole – one I’ve been in for nearly 4 years now.

One paradigm shifting moment came when I was at a concert that I really wasn’t enjoying very much. But because of the change of environment (I guess), suddenly I experienced a paradigm shift where more deeply in my heart I realized that God is my primary context and not my foxhole.

I realized that I need to reframe – to reorient to what was real rather than merely my perception of what was real (I’m fully aware of the fact that sentence is subject to serious postmodern deconstruction). My default setting was to focus on my foxhole circumstances as the most significant in my life. This was imbalanced. Though this has long been something I knew in my head on this particular evening it reached my heart.

That lasted a couple of days. 🙂 But it was good to touch it, to experience it, to feel it, to know that it was possible. It made it more believable and more attainable. It was and is encouraging.
I believe strength in Christ is attainable through faith and the power of the Holy Spirit. I’m not just throwing out phrases – I really do believe this.

And so in faith in Him I break this fast and choose to move forward.

I plan to add at least one more installment to the In the Foxhole series to summarize some of what I’ve learned through Psalm 39 and David Wilcox.

Thanks for reading. I write these things for two reasons: 1) to remind myself and 2) to hopefully help someone who might be in their own foxhole and needs a fresh perspective.

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Hi everyone,

We interrupt this blogfast for the following announcement for folks in Chicago.

Relevant Magazine is looking for folks to participate in a 90 minute discussion in the Oak Brook about an upcoming Bible product targeted at the emerging church. Participants will be paid $75. Click here for more info.

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One of the great early voices in the emerging church conversation, Robert Webber, has entered eternity. Below is from the Northern Seminary site:

Northern Seminary is saddened by the loss of Myers Chair of Ministry, Dr. Robert E. Webber, who died Friday, April 27 at age 73 at his home in Sawyer, Michigan, after an eight-month struggle with pancreatic cancer.

Dr. Webber’s work and witness have impacted the evangelical world by bringing worship and ministry back to their historical Christian roots as established by the early church. Because of his influence through the publication of significant works like The Complete Library of Christian Worship, his Ancient-Future Series (The Divine Embrace, Ancient-Future Time, Ancient-Future Evangelism and Ancient-Future Faith), the “Chicago Call” in 1977 and more recently “The Call to an Ancient-Evangelical Future” in 2006, the church and a generation of pastors have been encouraged to challenge old assumptions about what constitutes an effective Christian witness in today’s postmodern culture.

“Robert Webber influenced many thousands of Christian leaders through his speaking and writing,” said Dr. Charles Hambrick-Stowe, Dean of the Seminary and Professor of Christian History. “Two qualities are at the heart of his teaching ministry – authenticity and accessibility. Northern Seminary students were blessed by these qualities in the classroom, in informal conversations on and off campus, and in times of prayer. We on the faculty were constantly blessed by his wisdom, his humor, and the no-nonsense way he brought the gospel to bear on everyday circumstances. We are grateful to have enjoyed Bob’s presence among us these last seven years, which he described as the best years of his teaching career.”

Dr. Webber was born in the Congo to Baptist missionary parents, and was raised in the Philadelphia area. Webber’s educational path was denominationally diverse and unique–a BA from Bob Jones University (Greenville, NC); a BD at Reformed Episcopal Seminary; a ThM at Covenant Seminary (Presbyterian Church in America) and a ThD at Concordia Seminary (Lutheran Church-Missouri Synod).

He began his teaching career at Covenant College in 1960; Covenant Seminary in 1965; and then spent 32 years teaching at Wheaton College (Wheaton, IL) beginning in 1968 as Professor of Theology. In 1998, Webber founded the Institute for Worship Studies (now the Robert E. Webber Institute for Worship Studies) in Florida, which is a Masters and Doctorate level graduate school focused on the study of the theological, biblical, historical, sociological and missiological foundations of Christian worship. Webber retired from Wheaton in 2000 and was named Professor Emeritus upon his retirement. Also in 2000, Webber was appointed Myers Chair of Ministry at Northern Seminary and stated in his inaugural address, “Northern’s commitment to develop a new kind of seminary education to prepare men and women for ministry in a postmodern world, is visionary and compelling. It’s a great honor to be a part of this cutting-edge vision!”

Webber leaves behind a wife, Joanne, four children, John (Isabel), Alexandra (Jack), Stefany (Tom), and Jeremy (Susie), seven grandchildren, and a rich legacy of friends, colleagues and students.

A Memorial service will be held in the Chicago area at Christ Church of Oakbrook (31st and York Rd. Oakbrook 60523) on Wednesday, May 16, 2007 at 7 p.m. and at Grace Episcopal Church in Orange Park, FL on Friday, June 15 at 7 p.m., during the June session of the Institute for Worship Studies. In lieu of flowers, the family has requested that donations be made to the Robert E. Webber Center for an Ancient Evangelical Future, c/o Northern Seminary, 660 E. Butterfield Rd. Lombard, IL 60148 or the Robert E. Webber Endowment Fund at the Institute for Worship Studies, 151 Kingsley Ave. Orange Park, FL 32073.

Northern Seminary will be erecting a Memorial page on the website to honor Robert E. Webber through the thoughts, comments and memories of his friends, students and colleagues. If you would like to submit a thought or comment for this page, please go to: Webber Memorial Page Tribute.

links added

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