Sep 1 2005

Study on the American Emerging Church

I met Aaron Flores when I was in Lynchburg presenting at the Internet Evangelism conference. He’s a sharp young guy that has somewhat of a ministry to vloggers (via his vlog) and pastors a church in California. His graduate research was a study on the emerging church.

AN EXPLORATION OF THE EMERGING CHURCH IN THE UNITED STATES: THE MISSIOLOGICAL INTENT AND POTENTIAL IMPLICATIONS FOR THE FUTURE [PDF]

He has some additional notes on his post.

ABSTRACT
As churches in the United States navigate the culture of the 21st Century they are increasingly inquisitive of their own identity in a postmodern context. Through what is known as the “emerging church,� the significance of existing as a new kind of church in a postmodern reality has surfaced. This study focused on an exploration of the features of the emerging church in the United States, particularly its values, characteristics, and mindset, and in order to develop a comprehension of its missiological intent in relation to culture, the related literature concentrated on comprehending the following concerns: Is there a definition for the emerging church; are there similarities and contrasts regarding the values, characteristics, and mindset in the emerging church; how does the emerging church express its ecclesial identity and missiological intent in relation to culture; and what are the conclusions and implications for the future? The research methodology sought to comprehend how the emerging church in the United States exemplified values, mission, and descriptives.


Aug 8 2005

Christianitees

This site linked to the GodPod so I went to see what a Christian clothing blog looks like… it looks like Kubrick 😉

Honestly though, I’m conflicted here. I normally try to stay away from Christian clothing, finding most of it cliche, poorly designed, or worst of all – copying some current trend… like the iPod ads. Apparently clothing designers who server the author of creativity… don’t have much? That’s not say there aren’t some well designed Christian T-shirts.

I own a Love shirt – it’s simple, direct and not cheesy IMHO. I’m not sure wearing it does anything, but I like it. I also own a shirt that says “Loser” on the front and has John 12:15 on the back. I purchased it to support an urban ministry that teaches youth business skills. I wear it from time to time and get more response from Christians than non Christians.

Am I a hypocrite? A discerning wearer? Too critical? I don’t know, but some of those T-shirts send a chill down my spine (in a bad way)…

Believers’ wear christian clothing blog

World Magazine Blog Discussion on the topic: Selling the gospel

Update: This is the 666th post on my blog. Eeerie! ;-|


Jul 16 2005

The Emerging Church featured on PBS- Religion and Ethics

My favorite quote:

TONY JONES (National Coordinator, Emergent): Is it more sloppy than what a systematic theology professor does, sitting in his tenured chair typing up a book on the doctrine of the atonement? Yeah, it’s messier than that! But that’s, I think, theology as it works itself out in the lives of human beings who are kind of scratching and clawing their way to try to follow Jesus on a daily basis. It’s a messy endeavor, and I embrace that messiness.

The Emerging Church, Part One

The Emerging Church, Part Two


May 28 2005

Finding God in the Garden




Dirty hands

Originally uploaded by codini.

Recently bluer (my church) just finished a series of messages exploring “An Emerging God.” It was an attempt to remind ourselves that God is everywhere, and in everything, we just need eyes to see him… ears to hear him… and hearts to feel him.

I spent the day gardening with my mom. We planted her two flowers gardens, some climbing flowers in the front, and some tomato plants on the deck. Check out the pictures.

I carefully prepared the holes for the plants, removing weeds and stones. Then I removed the flowers from their flimsy plastic pots- being sure to loosen them first, then unbound the roots so they would spread and grow. Then I would fill in the dirt around the roots and smooth it all out. Then I sat back and looked at my work, and imagined what the plant would look like as it grew and flourished.

And then it hit me… this is what God did with my life.

At one time, I thought I had it all figured out. There was no God, we were all a cosmic coincidence, and my home theater system was something worth large amounts of time and money.

I had no idea I was sitting in a flimsy plastic pot, root bound…

Then God came in and (via the holy spirit) opened my mind to the larger scope of life, love, the universe and everything…

I was not a cosmic accident, I was a beloved son and my home theater system was a minor, minor detail.

Carefully and lovingly, God loosened me up, removed me from my pot, unbound my roots and planted me in His Garden… so I could grow and flourish.

Of course it was a messy process (that continues to this day) but you can’t plant flowers without getting your hands dirty… and in the end… it’s worth it.

Mom, if you ever read this: thanks for reminding me who the real master gardener is. Luv ya.


May 24 2005

What is the Gospel?

Humanly speaking, it is possible to understand the Sermon on the Mount in a thousand different ways. But Jesus knows only one possibility: simple surrender and obedience – not intrepreting or applying it, but doing and obeying it. That is the only way to hear his words. He does not mean for us to discuss it as an ideal. He really means for us to get on with it.

–Dietrich Bonhoeffer

Dan preached a great message calling bluer to act on our beliefs. It was convicting (I’ve passed my share of homeless while rushing to church).

Give it a listen: Dan Lukas- What is the Gospel?


Apr 24 2005

Vagabond

vag·a·bond (văg’É™-bÅ�nd’)
n.

1. A person without a permanent home who moves from place to place.
2. A vagrant; a tramp.
3. A wanderer; a rover.

adj.

1. Of, relating to, or characteristic of a wanderer; nomadic.
2. Aimless; drifting.
3. Irregular in course or behavior; unpredictable.

vagabond

adjective

Leading the life of a person without a fixed domicile; moving from place to place: itinerant, nomadic, peripatetic, vagrant.

I’m supposed to be packing, but instead I’m blogging. Perhaps when I’m done, I will have a renewed vigor to pack… perhaps not.

So I’m moving again. I tend to move a lot, almost yearly. It’s a hassle and a lot of work, but I really do enjoy it.

Where I’ve lived in my 26 years:
Childhood
Portage WI
Portage WI (new house)
Adulthood
Saint Louis Park MN
Eden Prairie MN
Saint Louis Park MN
Crystal MN
Saint Louis Park MN
Minneapolis MN (as of 5/30/05)

I seem to like Saint Louis Park, MN, perhaps I’ll move back here in a year 😉

The funny thing is, moving is a bit of a spiritual experience for me… it reminds me that this earth is not my home, the I was created to walk in the Garden with my God in cool of the day.

Taking stock of all I own, placing it into small boxes and toting it across town is a humbling experience- I really have very little (yet I have so much compared to most of the world). What I mean is, I have lots of stuff – TVs (3), Computers (2), Video Game Systems (too many), furniture, dishes, a cat, etc.

In the end though, I simply have stuff. Stuff is not permanent- it will all, rot, decompose or fade away some day (except the Styrofoam…) as will I.

Now this is the place where most Christians would launch into some Gospel message about how you can be sure of where you go when you die. I am not that kind of Christian. I believe I will go to be with God when I die… I’m not sure what that will look like or feel like, and some days I’m not sure of even that.

You see, my faith is not about a ticket to an eternal paradise, my faith is based on living a transformed life in this time, right now, and if I get to heaven, great. If I rot in the ground, at least I lived my life for something someone (Jesus) who cares about me.

So… those are my spiritual moving thoughts. Now I have to decide if I will continue packing, or head to a friends house for dinner and Extreme Home Makeover. Hmmm…