Search results for: The Ex-Reverend

Maybe I Need a Tent

When Tommie worked the late shift at Starbucks a few years ago we thought Pepper Spray was a good idea. You never know who might lurk in the parking lot after close. We would talk about actions to take in the event a stranger decided to become an unwanted passenger. We did not think it a good idea for her to use her pepper spray on customers who had worn out their welcome. Occasionally they may need to call the police who would come and invite the customers to leave. We were certain they would not be inclined to use pepper spray on someone sitting in one of the comfortable chairs if the customer refused to leave. Sounds reasonable, eh?.

Cultural illustrations may be evocative for pastor/preachers. But, they may also become a quagmire when opinions about high profile events have already been formed. Any nuanced reference runs the risk of leading the hearer to resist any or all implications. Sometimes it is difficult to hear beyond our pre-formed opinions.

For instance, the recent pepper spray incident prompted a terse reaction from my friend The Ex-Reverend. Read More

Baptists Inherently Fractured? Noll Thinks So

I have Baptists on the brain. Three current events form the nexus for my current state of mind. First, my friend The Ex-Reverend sent me a link to Mark Noll’s piece in Books & Culture, “So You’re a Baptist – What might that mean?” Second, I am attending the Annual Meeting of the Baptist General Convention of Oklahoma (last night and today). Third, I will be attending the New Baptist Covenant 2 Regional meeting at St. John’s Missionary Baptist Church on Thursday and Friday. I am speaking at a session in the afternoon on Friday. Major Jemison is the pastor and what a preacher he is.

So there you have it, Baptist on the brain. The three reasons come together in an interesting way. Yesterday during a panel discussion at the annual BGCO Pastor’s Conference, panelists responded to a question wondering if there was need to evaluate ecclesial methods. Now, for those of you not Baptist, and maybe not even interested in things sectarian and Christian, we Baptists tend to chapter and verse our methodologies. Don’t believe me? Many use the Bible in support of multi-site congregations. Others fail to read the text the same way. It is certainly not a prescription. If I find it questionable for its consequences for community, that is my opinion. I won’t tell J.D. Greear he is wrong on the subject. And, I expect he will not tell me I am wrong. Though . . . . Read More

The Gospels Are Not Appetizers – Weekly Video

Living Jesus’ Way is impossible. And, maybe that is the point. Limited to our own understanding and the way we think the world works could not possibly open up space for us to love our enemies. After all were we to possess our own drones, we would take out our own enemies with precision and sterility.

Appealing to our inherent waffling we identify with the Apostle Paul in Romans 7. Despite its various interpreters it is clear he addresses the human proclivity to set aside what may be better for what is not so good. And, we may look square in the face of what would be detrimental and embrace it as if we could somehow skirt the consequences.

Combine the impossibility of Jesus’ way of denial and our penchant for an appeal to our frailty, it is little wonder we do not spend much time with Jesus in the Gospels. N.T. Wright was asked what he would tell his children knowing he would be leaving them in death. “What would you want them to know?” (See the video in the right sidebar or below.)

In short Wright said he would encourage his children not to treat the Gospels as appetizers on the way to the “meat” of the New Testament in Paul and Peter. Read the Gospels. Read Jesus. Read More

Weekly Video – David Bazan, “Hard to Be”

We work really hard to manage our lives. Often we find ourselves worn out by managing to live in spite of our nagging passions that run afoul of the Way of Jesus. Dallas Willard suggests we have lived under the weight of “the Gospel of Sin Management.” Our aim is always to be a little better today than we were yesterday. We construct our own set of “laws” to help us manage our behavior. More often than not we end up violating our own codes.

What would happen if we would engage the hard work of living the life of Jesus in our own life? In other words, what would happen if we intended to be different people. We would recognize the hard work it is. My friend the Ex-Reverend has a short-hand for this goal, “Don’t be a douche.” Most would find this an objectionable way of putting it. But, if we realize that our behaviors often can come off as objectionable maybe we would work to reconstitute our way of being around the life of Jesus.

David Bazan captures the reality – It is hard to be human. Our ways are often less than human. I am still thinking about the Epistle text from this past Sunday. The subversive move Paul calls us to is to love one another. Read More