Month: October 2004

Blog from the garage …

Generally Orange Couunty, CA is referred to as “sunny southern California.” The exception is when I head out for a visit. Clouds and rain Wednesday evening into Thursday. We did get some sun today – breakfast on the beach is a nice fringe when coming out to meet with the folks at Fuller Seminary.

I am writing in close proximity to the garage from what Spencer refers to as, “The Beachshack.” The wireless router is in the garage and I am at the dining table with my laptop.

Our meeting with Fuller went well and we are on track to offer our first ETREK course via Fuller in March 2005. Exciting times ahead.

I sat in on a course at Fuller last night. Barry Taylor taught the course. He offered some very interesting takes on the way Jesus is portrayed in art. Several prints from various time periods reflected that Jesus was viewed through the lens of a given cultural setting. Fascinating. We got to eat a bite before class with Barry and so got to talk a bit about theology and culture. Very good thinker.

Spencer took about an hour to discuss changes in culture and how it may affect the church’s engagement with culture to be salt and light – what it might look like and what we may need to consider. Overall a stimulating three and a half hours.

I must say, the older I get the more this time change thing affects my adaptability to new schedules. Thankfully I will get an extra hour Saturday evening as “Daylight Savings Time” will give way to “Central Standard Time” again.

Truth in strange places …

From the new television series, “Lost.” “If we can’t live together then we will die alone.”


A quote from Sunday bible study – “None of your faith is in your faith.”

Scandal …

Stephne Shields puts together some thoughts and links regarding Mark Noll’s book, The Scandal of the Evangelical Mind ten years later.

Hopeful optimism and the move from Christian pessimism …

Reading through Romans 5 in preparation for Bible Study last evening, I came to a personal conclusion I sense grows from the text. We who follow God the way Jesus shows us and the Spirit empowers us should increasingly move from a position of pessimism toward hopeful optimism. Pop-eschatology birthed in the late 19th Century, popularized by highly visible preachers from their pulpits and made into novels and movies at the end of the 20th Century press us into an inherent pessimism about the world God made and the future of people and the Kingdom of God that consequently disconnects us from any hopeful engagement except for the purpose of getting more people onto the ark. We then fail to engage our world beyond the exclusively spiritual as we compartmentalize life into the materal and physical more akin to Platonism that Christianity as practiced in and by the early church.

So, when we come to find our hope does not disappoint when that hope rests on the effective work of the Spirit of God to both infuse us with the love of God and birth in us a love for God, we exult in tribulation that works perseverance and a tested and tried character. The hope we then have effected in and to us comes as we understand “those whom he justified, them he also glorified.” The future realities have been squarely brought into the present by the effetive work of the Spirit of God so that our hope will certainly not dissapoint.

Here’s a call to move every more away from Christian pessimism to the hopeful optimism that comes from our experience of hope – firm trust in the Him who justifies the ungodly.