Education & Learning

New Addition to The Edge of the Inside – Guest Religion Observer, “The Ex-Reverend”

Pew. Barna. Lifeway Research.  These are just a few of the places we rely on for surveys related to life and faith in the United States. Once the findings of those respective surveys are made public many begin to attach meaning to the results.

For instance, for some years now we have been told young people are growing disinterested in religion. Yet, one of the most recent surveys conducted revealed a great deal of curiosity among young people when it concerns religion. The nuance in the findings is that these same young people tend to eschew simple answers to complex issues. In others words, “No pablum please.”

The problem comes in the “digest.” You know, the “cut to the chase” meaning of these surveys. We pastor types often feel as though we do not have time to sift and analyze. We look to “religion observers.” Martin E. Marty offers regular reflections on religion via “Sightings”¬†and is one such religion observer. Al Mohler, President of The Southern Seminary, is another religion observer. Often referred to as a “culture-warrior,” Mohler regularly reflects on matters of life and faith on his website.

A new feature here at The Edge of the Inside will offer observations on religion in the form of re-posts by The Ex-Reverend. Why The Ex-Reverend? Read More

Soularize 10 Years Later – Glad for Friends

The beginning of “the edge of the inside” dates back more than ten years ago. Back then the first iteration of this website was on Blogger under the name, Just Todd.

It would take some time to tell the story, but participating in a seminar led by Grant Lovejoy on narrative communication at Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary led to my introduction to Walsh and Middleton’s, Truth Is Stranger Than It Used to Be. The event was the now no longer, Scholar’s In Ministry Week. Those with graduate degrees were invited for extended times of learning and interaction.

A few years later I took an online course with Grant titled Chronological Bible Storying and was introduced to N.T. Wright’s, The New Testament and the People of God. There were other texts, but this one is worth noting.

Eager to continue learning, I responded to an invitation to participate in a new learning community. Spencer Burke, who founded, extended the invitation. One of the learning opportunities was to attend and participate in Soularize held in Minneapolis in 2002. Read More

Public Libraries and Tax Cuts – Curious Intersections

Last week I noted I would be voting for the proposed plan to bring a public library to the City of Tuttle. For the third time, the attempt failed. I am hoping the efforts continue. One of these days we hope there will be a public library in Tuttle.

During a conversation last week a friend and I were wondering just what brought the third defeat. Was it a matter of location? Would people have voted for the measure had the proposed location been centered in another part of the City? Maybe somewhere more near Highway 37 and Highway 4? Who knows. Was it a matter of funding? Would people have voted for the measure had there been no request for a 1/2 cent sales tax designated for the project? Maybe the issue was the Tuttle Public School District patrons did not want their property taxes to increase to suppor the Library. Who knows. Read More

I Am Voting “Yes” – Tuttle Library Question

Voting is now done by secret ballot. Only if a person declares their own action publicly will anyone know how a vote is cast. Today, I am voting for the Tuttle Library. The advantages to our community with the vote for Tuttle to participate in the Pioneer Library System outstrips what meager increases come in ad valorem and local sales taxes. If a family would choose not to eat two meals out over the course of the year it would likely cover the cost increase. Add in the commitment of the City of Tuttle to make space for a library in the soon to be built City Hall and what is left is for the citizens of Tuttle and the patrons in the Tuttle School District to add their “Yes” vote.

Unfortunately this is not the first vote for a library in Tuttle. But, it can be the first “Yes” vote.

Click the “Read More” for the “Fact Sheet” distributed by the Friends of the Tuttle Library.

Read More

Dynamics of Healthy Missional Community – Biblical Seminary

About the time I think I am ready to write a book, I read what I was thinking already published. Call me slow. Maybe it is the temptation to delay finality on a subject. After all, learning is an ongoing experience in spite of references to “terminal degrees.” On education and degrees, Biblical Theological Seminary will be offering the course, Dynamics of Healthy Missional Community (syllabus pdf) beginning January 3, 2010. Yours truly, yes me, will be leading this online learning experience. The course is part of Biblical’s Master’s degree in Missional Church Planting.

Certainly the scope of the course would take in any person interested in exploring dynamics of healthy community from the standpoint of a Christian faith community – existing or a planned church start.

Are you considering church planting? Consider Biblical Seminary. Are you interested in the shape of Christian community? Consider Dynamics of Healthy Missional Community.