Month: August 2009

Friday Photo(s)

Wednesday evening we enjoyed a fantastic light show in the sky. Here is one of the shots taken with the new lens. Click on the “Read More” for a few more images and a larger version of this one.

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Religion-Less or Religion-Full, Thoughts from the Edge

We often hear much about religion and its either healthy or un-healthy impact on our culture. I saw where a conversation between one of the New Atheists and a Christian apologist had been put in print. The central question concerned whether or not Christianity was good for our world. The manner in which Christians have chosen to live out their faith sometimes gives cause for some to suggest we need a “religion without religion.” That is if religion means people assume an arrogance rather than service the we need a religion without religion. The mashup of texts for this week offer a way to consider what may be considered Relgion-Full. That is religion that is full of the way of Jesus rather than void of the way of Jesus. Leave your thoughts in the comments.

No Objectivists – Through a Glass Dimly

My friend David Dunbar, President of Biblical Seminary, offered an article in his recent edition of his Missional Journal. I could not help but think Dave offered a way of describing the missional turn as a turn to root theology in the mission of God. Rather than use missional language to describe in new idioms what we have always done. It called to my mind Graham Ward’s essay that opens The Postmodern God. Ward distinguishes between a postmodern theology and a postmodern theology. Without re-hashing Ward’s contention, I found the description Dave offered to resonate with the tethering of theology to the missio dei in the same way Ward seems to ground the postmodern in theology. Here is Dave’s article.

“Through a Glass Darkly”

With these words St. Paul (1 Cor. 13:12) contrasts the limitations of our present spiritual vision and understanding with the fullness of knowledge that will be ours at the return of the Lord.  This metaphor may be helpful as we consider the last of Biblical Seminary’s theological convictions.

The Necessity of Cultural Engagement

We are committed to ongoing engagement with culture and the world for the sake of our witness to the gospel, and to continual learning from Christians in other cultural settings.[1]

There are three points I want to make about this statement:  1) culture as the context for mission, 2) culture as a way of seeing, and 3) the need for cross-cultural learning.

1.    Culture as context

By “culture” we refer to the traditional ways of thinking, speaking, and acting that characterize a particular group of people. In our highly mobile Western world, we must think of culture not as a single entity but as a complex interplay of contrasting and even competing ways by which different groups construe their world.

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Emily is spot on …

I mentioned Emily in a note last week. Today I read her move to work toward a PhD at the University of Dayton. She so nails Southern Baptist dialogue on things theological.

Often, doing theology in conservative evangelicalism (or more narrowly, in the Southern Baptist realm) is a bit like listening to yourself speak. (I hope you know what I mean. Even those who disagree strongly tend to disagree strongly about issues unique to evangelicalism, not engaging the broader Christian traditions, who also have tremendously valuable things to say.) I wanted a more ecumenical and more challenging environment to experience the highest level of my education.

Tornadoes and God or God and Tornados

Living in Tornado Alley we watch weather about as much as we watch Sooner Football. In fact if a storm blows up hours from where we live, Gary will preempt programming so the rest of the state may watch the potential calamity. We are glad for the warnings. It’s just that sometimes, the lack of night vision and distance keep us from really wanting to spend the evening listening to Val cast about in the dark chasing a storm that will never reach us.
Well, a storm reached the Twin Cities complete with tornadoes. The fact that it damaged a church caught the attention of some in the area. John Piper offered his take. Greg Boyd has responded. Marty Duren even examined the story. Talk about a perfect storm. Those aware of the differing theological frameworks these two view the world from could well create another storm.
Tornado1In 1999 what was considered the largest tornado in history at the time hit just south of our church. We are quite the churched area. That is, there are plenty of churches for a tornado to hit. Ridgecrest Baptist Church was razed. The BridgeCreek Church of Christ was not. Neither was Snow Hill, Woodland Hills, First Baptist Church, Newcastle. Not to mention the other dozen in the city limits of Tuttle. Not one time would we or could we ascribe such devastation to a particular act of judgment on that church.

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