Archive for March, 2008

All you have to do is click:

from Steve McCoy:

” After a decisive vote last week, I NEED YOUR VOTE AGAIN!  I need more votes than before!  Go to the Said at Southern blog, scroll down a bit and vote for Reformissionary.

Please, everyone vote!  It will result in a $50 gift certificate to Westminster Seminary Bookstore where I promise to use the money to buy copies of Keller’s The Reason for God to give away to seekers and skeptics.  A vote for me will help someone who doesn’t know Jesus to know Him for the first time.  Vote now!


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I spent some time this past weekend listening to Darrin Patrick‘s The History and Streams of the Emerging Church which I mentioned a few days ago along with a few other emerging church histories.

For what it’s worth, I thought Darrin did a great job. I didn’t particularly care for his ec taxonomy (see dj chuang’s post for a number of other emerging church categorizations), but I thought the history he provided was very helpful and I think his nomenclature of the different streams within the ec nevertheless captured at least some of the major varied nuances within the United States. He knows a number of the primary figures in the US ec story, has read extensively in this space, and has conducted a number of interviews with the key players. He told the story in a way I hadn’t quite heard it before, and I’ve been involved in this ec thing for a while, having attended or been on staff at the church Brian McLaren founded – Cedar Ridge Community Church – from 1988 until 2001. (And I’ve done a bit of writing about the emerging church myself.)

After listening to Darrin’s treatment, I started thinking of the online contributions I’ve seen over the years that do the best job describing the emerging church in North America and its various flavors. Through these articles, with a modicum of effort, someone can get a good 40,000 feet view of the emerging church on this side of the Atlantic. Though I don’t agree with everything in these treatments, I nevertheless thought it might serve some if I were to list the major ones in this post:

Emerging Church taxonomies in the US, in my opinion, largely consist of categorizations seeking to relate the emergent church portion of the emerging church conversation to the rest of the movement (for the difference between emergent and emerging church, see this post and, especially, the comments). All four of these efforts provide light in that way.

The Darrin Patrick lecture on the history of the emerging church is the first of three in a series of lectures the pastor gave at Covenant Seminary. Steve McCoy helpfully lists the other two talks here on popular terms of the emerging church and Patrick’s critique of the movement in the US.  I listened to all three talks this weekend and found them helpful and interesting.

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UPDATE: I see this post is getting an unusual amount of traffic. If you are aware of other online ec histories, please let me know in comments and I’ll add it to this post.

Steve Knight draws our attention to Jason Mitchell’s multi-part personal history of the ec conversation in the States

Jason was an important early leader in the org that would eventually morph into emergent village.

Other emerging church histories online:

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“Heres a couple of guys practicing, as far as I can see, emerging-missional ministry in a fabulously Reformed way and at the same time telling people why they are not ’emergent’. You have to see the irony of the whole thing!”

From what he’s read so far, Andrew likes the book.

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Last year’s Buzz Conference was amazing. Just the kind of big event that begs to be followed up with a bigger event.

And so in an upside down kingdom sort of way, Mark Batterson and National Community Church have decided to have a potentially much bigger event by going small.

Instead of again dominating the multiplex at DC’s historic Union Station as they do every Sunday and as they did last year for the 2007 Buzz Conference, this year NCC is planning a much more intimate affair in their modest Ebenezer’s Coffeehouse venue.

Here’s what they say:

“Less Conference. More Conversation.

Unplugged: Two days of unplugged conversations on the five greatest challenges every leader faces.

Join Mark Batterson, Lead Pastor at National Community Church, and Jud Wilhite, Senior Pastor at Central Christian Church, for an unplugged conversation about the five greatest leadership challenges that every leader faces. Receive personal coaching and practical take-home principles from two pioneering and authentic leaders. Build relationships with other ministry leaders while you process personal challenges in this intimate and relaxed setting” [some links added].

– find out more here.

I just love this.

Some time ago, I complained in A Rhythm of Learning/Planning/Executing about how we tend to rely too much on the dispersal of information at such events. I suggested that at such gatherings we should spend less time on the acquisition of new information and more time planning out the application of what we learn.

How many times have you left a great conference, exited the auditorium after a penetrating sermon, or finished a fantastic book and reflected on how mentally stimulating the material was only to find yourself bogged down in the same ol’, same ol’ just a week or two later? What difference did your learning experience make?

It seems to me that Mark, Judd, and the great folks at NCC are taking us in the right direction.

Check it out.

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Coverage and Larry Norman Sites

Andrew Jones lets us know that Larry Norman has passed away at the age of sixty.

I found Larry’s music shortly after I decided to start following Jesus and his album Only Visiting this Planet is one of my favorites. CCM Magazine called it “The Best Contemporary Christian Album of all Time.” USA TODAY comments “it’s unquestionable that Norman’s albums, including 1972’s famed Only Visiting This Planet, were enormously influential on the entirety of what would become contemporary Christian music [link added]”

Larry knew his time was coming to a close. He dictated this the day before his death:

“I feel like a prize in a box of cracker jacks with God’s hand reaching down to pick me up. I have been under medical care for months. My wounds are getting bigger. I have trouble breathing. I am ready to fly home.

My brother Charles is right, I won’t be here much longer. I can’t do anything about it. My heart is too weak. I want to say goodbye to everyone. In the past you have generously supported me with prayer and finance and we will probably still need financial help.

My plan is to be buried in a simple pine box with some flowers inside. But still it will be costly because of funeral arrangement, transportation to the gravesite, entombment, coordination, legal papers etc. However money is not really what I need, I want to say I love you.

I’d like to push back the darkness with my bravest effort. There will be a funeral posted here on the website, in case some of you want to attend. We are not sure of the date when I will die. Goodbye, farewell, we will meet again.

Goodbye, farewell, we’ll meet again
Somewhere beyond the sky.
I pray that you will stay with God
Goodbye, my friends, goodbye.


See the entire post here.

Larry, you will be missed. Thanks for all your gifts to us.

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On DA Carson

Dr. Donald Arthur Carson, a prominent evangelical scholar who currently serves as Research Professor of the New Testament at Trinity Evangelical Divinity School, is one of the most important interlocutors with the emerging church conversation.  Justin Taylor points us a brief biography of this prolific author which has been posted and written by Andreas Kostenberger, Professor of New Testament at Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary.

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