full disclosure: I am a happy XP user; my dad is an unhappy Vista user.
Some time ago I switched this blog from blogger to wordpress (free version). Since that time, blogger has added features I want but can’t have here and I’ve noticed that many third-party add ons that I want to use have code for blogger but not for the free version of wordpress (e.g. shelfari). I’m seriously considering switching back to blogger but I’m hesitant to jerk you all around again.
So I guess I’m asking: how bad would it be if I were to force you to change your RSS Feeders once again?
I’m reading Walter Isaacson’s wonderful recent treatment of Albert Einstein. In the very first chapter he reveals Einstein’s motivation – or at least one of them – behind the patent examiner’s desire to get a doctorate. Issacson explains that Einstein “had been repeatedly thwarted in his efforts to win an academic job or even get a doctoral degree, which he hoped might get him promoted from a third- to a second-class examiner at the patent office” (p. 1)
Einstein, one of the most brilliant scientific minds of the 20th century, hoped that he might become a second-class examiner at the patent office.
Now, I’m certain Einstein’s motivations at this juncture of his life can’t be collapsed down to his desire to get promoted, but Issacson’s comment made me wonder how often our earnest vision for our future falls far, far short of what God intends.
How often do we limit the scope of our plans to what we might be able to accomplish by the diligent application of our own efforts and strengths?
Are we looking for a new career when God wishes to use us to transform our community?
Are we just trying to figure out a way to get out of debt when the Lord wants to unleash us as a conduit for financial blessings to others?
Do we really open up our minds to the realization that our minds are insufficient to grasp what he can do through us? Paul told the Christians at Ephesus:
“Now to him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us.” (Eph 3:20,TNIV)
Do we maintain faith-flexible paradigms?
I recently posted about Todd Hunter’s new adventures and running into him at the Dallas Missional Renaissance gathering. Todd is participating in a Conversational Evangelism Conference on May 16th and 17th at Hosanna in Lakeville, MN near the Twin Cities.
Here’s what Todd has to say about the gathering:
“Preaching in large venues worked well in the 20th century. The modern world respected, demanded and loved its experts. If something went wrong with our car we expected to find an expert mechanic. If we suddenly developed a health issue, we demanded expert medical care. It was a totally normal part of life. Add to that the realities of Christendom wherein pastors, teachers and evangelists were those experts in religion, it created an atmosphere wherein seekers could feel comfortable looking up to the religious expert on the big stage. That kind of environment fit the way they sought expertise in every other facet of life.
Today it is different. Most seekers don’t want to be talked down to from a stage in one way communication. They need to talk, they need to tell their story, they need a place to unload all their fears and pre-judgments about religion, etc. This requires a conversation. It requires that we come down from stages and sit with seekers around a dinner table, letting them set the pace and direction of the conversation.
Some people fear that letting “non-Christians” talk will lead to compromise. They say “why would you let a non-Christian go on about false doctrines or wrong beliefs”. It’s not like God is surprised to hear what they are thinking! We create an environment in which they can get it out and then hear feedback from their seeking peers and the guides of the group. We are always amazed by the way the Holy Spirit works in these settings. Some seeker will say something crazy or blasphemous and another seeker will, tone him down or set forth an alternative view, etc. Over a period of ten weeks the Spirit is able to find pure gold out of the dirt and rocks sifted in the group through honest conversation.”
In addition to Todd, some of the speakers will be Dan Kimball, Mark Mittleberg, Jim Henderson and other speakers listed here. You can find the full schedule of events here and here are some of the Big Topics being addressed. Tickets can be purchased here. Future Conversational Evangelism events are planned and you can receive information about them if you sign up here.
Greg Nettle of Rivertree Christian Church, a multi-site church with locations near Cleveland and Toledo, posts some of what he learned from the just completed Missional Renaissance gathering in Dallas.