About the Author
Husband to Patty. Daddy to Kimberly and Tommie. Grandpa Doc to Cohen, Max, Fox, and Marlee. Pastor to Snow Hill Baptist Church. Graduate of Oklahoma Baptist University and Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary. Reading. Photography. Golf. Colorado. Jeeping. Friend. The views and opinions expressed here are my own and should not be construed as representing the corporate views of the church I pastor.

The Search to Belong …

Joe Meyers may have written one of those books that could arguably change our understanding of relationship, especially with regards to the Church. You’ll find a link in my book list to the left.

Joe took some thoughts on architecture written a number of years ago and offers some incredible insights into the ways people connect in space. He suggests there are four spaces in which people belong – Public, Social, Personal and Intimate.

We often convey to someone they could enjoy an “intimate” relationship with God. Meyer’s definition for intimate – “naked and unashamed.” Relationally that means you have a willingness to honest about who you are before God. Not many of us really want an intimate relationship with God. We want a personal God but not an intimate God. We want to keep God at just the right distance so I don’t have to change too much. For that matter not many of us want an inimate relationship with anyone. We are too fearful of what they might think or say about us.

How would this play into our expressions of hospitality? We have expectations of people that may be unrealistic. Think about it. Tell me what you think.

Message and method …

Debate goes on around the issue of the gospel and whether or not the message changes or just the methods change. In fact, a recent book was published where different authors presented their opinions on the matter and responded to each other as well. The subject is worth consideration. I will make some comments along the way …

One thing is for sure, we must be the church differently today than we were in the 1950’s. The height of the SBC statistically came after World War 2 in the 1950’s. I shared a conversation this afternoon in which the subject came up. One important point was made. In the 1950’s the church viewed itself as people serving it. We gave away social ministry to the Federal government. Today we decry the abuse and neglect fostered under that system. We now must come to rediscovering the church is the church for the glory of God and the sake/blessing of the world. The Church will need to capture a self-understanding which is characterized by serving its famlies and the community in which it is located not looking to be served …

more to come.

Mudhouse Sabbath …

I recently finished reading Mudhouse Sabbath by Lauren Winner. The book takes a look at eleven Jewish practices. Laurene explores these habits through the lens of one who practiced them as an Orthodox Jew and now seeks to integrate their significance into her journey with Jesus. The book holds a dual significance for the reader. First, one gains an appreciation for spiritual practices found in the Old Testament. Often we who follow Jesus summarily dismiss some of the things found in the Torah – Law – as having been superceded by grace. Yet, some of these practices understood through the lens Winner exposes us to cause us to consider the value of Old Testament practices as having import for today.

Second, the book serves as a great inspiration to study the Christian faith from its “whole” perspective. Rather than view ourselves as New Testament Christians – it would be better we view ourselves as the people of the God of the Bible – Yahweh! Instead of relegating the Old Testament to scant significance, we uncover beautiful gems exposing the wonderful work of God’s grace in redemption history.

I encourage you to get it and read it. You may find yourself longing to practice the significance of Sabbath in fresh new ways in hopes of intentionally encountering the presence of God without distractions of a normal day. Let me know what you think!

Bible reading …

A few years ago I picked up a copy of The Message by Eugene Peterson. It first came out in the New Testament and then some sections of the Old Testament were added. Once complete, you could purchase the entire Bible. Many found it uncomfortable to use as they were accumstomed to verse markings; a feature added in modern times. Others found it difficult to adjust to reading familiar passages with new expressions.

The Message has been “remixed.” This time you will find verse markers. The formal title for the work is, “The Message//Remix: The Bible in Contemporary Language.” In the introduction you will find these comments,

Accurate, But Readable.
The Message was paraphrased over a period of ten years from the Bible’s original languages (Greek and Hebrew). The idea of The Message isn’t to water down the Bible, making it easier to digest. The idea is to make it readable – to put those ancient words that their users spoke and wrote every day into words that you speak and write every day. (p.10)

The key word here is paraphrase; a process of taking words and putting them in “idioms” or expressions found in conversations today. There are a variety of translations and paraphrases available. Read from them all. They help get a sense of the “original” language underlying the translation. Remember, there were translations before the King James and as long as language evolves, there will be more.

Interesting reading …

I recently picked up a book titled, Six Questions of Socrates: A Modern-Day Journey of Discovery through World Philosophy, by Christopher Phillips. The intrigue resulted from the description, “he begins with “What is virtue?” in the remains of an ancient marketplace in Athens and moves on to a Navajo reservation in the Southwest, where it turns out that the Navajo conception of virtue, hozho, includes a sense of order and harmony with the natural world both similar to and distinct from the conceptin of the ancient Greeks.”

In college I wrote a paper on the “cardinal virtues.” I found it interesting that two cultures continents apart might share similar views on virtue. Will let you know how it comes out. I already find it interesting the dominant means for decision making we find today stem from the practices of the ancient Greeks.

The point of engagement comes in our talking about what it means to follow Christ and how that looks in what we do interacting with our world. I wonder if I will find that we don’t always necessarily follow Jesus in the way we make decision but instead follow a utilitarian pragmatism where the end justifies the means regardless if the means requires us to shade the truth a bit.

Huge implications for who we say we follow.