Life In Review or, A Pastor Moves Forward by Looking Back: A Conversation with Scott Scrivner

Five years ago the iconic Mummers Theater, also known as Stage Center, was demolished. Considered a modern architectural marvel, it served an interesting feature for the annual Oklahoma City Arts Festival for years. Then it flooded. Efforts to save the building failed. What eventually takes the now vacated space will be influenced by the experiences with the former structure.

A person’s faith journey is not much different.

Even for a pastor.

On this episode of patheological: the podcast for the Pastor-Theologian, Scott Scrivner and I talk about his recent book, Life in Review: An Interactive Guide to Deconstruct Faith Toward Hope. The product of his recent Doctor of Ministry Degree where he worked with Leonard Sweet and no doubt studied semiotics, Scott combines a work that is part memoir, community reflection and guide. The book is as visually provocative as it is in its prose. Scott is Pastor of Convergence OKC and is also a graphic designer. To say this book is a bit of convergence of those roles is itself to risk pressing the metaphor too far.

If the subtitle throws you into an apoplectic fit for its use of the D word, then think of it as the journey of the late Robert Webber who wrote that little book about his own faith journey, On the Canterbury Trail. Or, consider it akin to Karl Barth grappling with the Protestant Liberalism of his day. If that is still too far, pick up Brian Zahnd’s, Water to Wine. No matter what word one chooses, these illustrations make the case that deconstruction is not destruction but a move toward construction.

Consider this in the book’s subtitle, Faith Toward Hope. I first heard this take on Anselm on the New Persuasive Words podcast with Bill Borror and Scott Kent Jones, faith seeking hope. Whether one wants to call it epistemic humility or an acknowledgment of the limits of human reason, the aim is hope and this hope is in Jesus Christ.

Take a listen and see if you don’t find threads of your own journey, even if you use different words. You may also find additional information about the artists, the book and more here at Semper Introspiciens.

If you find the podcast helpful, share it with your friends. Share it with your pastor friends as well as folks you know involved in leadership that touches on the pastoral. Also, consider heading over to iTunes, login, search for patheological and give us a five-star rating and a kind review.

Not of This World – For Christ the King Sunday

Attention has turned to Christmas. We have yet to reach Advent. The disjointed feeling may stem from just how much we need to recognize Jesus’ Kingdom is not of this world. Maybe, that we should let Jesus deconstruct our visions of kingdom.


Christmas Kingdoms from The Work Of The People on Vimeo.

God-talk In Conflict or, When Retrospect and Prospect Collide

Few instances offered such a poignant illustration of God-talk at odds in a local Christian community of faith. The pastor listened intently at the way theology was unwittingly being discussed in terms of retrospect and prospect.

Theology done in retrospect occurs when we assign meaning to a series of events after they have occurred. We interpret events in light of an overarching concern. Should we buy this house?

Eighteen years ago our family moved to Tuttle. We lived in parsonages before responding to Snow Hill’s invitation to become pastor. We needed a house.

We planned a trip to Tuttle as the front end to a vacation with my larger family – parents and brothers. We took two days and drove hours looking at house after house. Our budget was limited. After nearly two days we were about to narrow our choices by default. We could not find anything else.

Then it happened. Read More

What About Those Scary Others Not in the Hallway? Or, There Still More to Learn

“What is a Southern Baptist doing reading Walter Brueggemann?” The email questioner was a fellow Southern Baptist pastor. From his perspective Brueggemann was not on the approved reading list for those in our tribe. I politely replied and kept reading. In my last post I was hopeful to disabuse us of the idea that those within the Christian Tradition outside our particular stream are indeed not scary whether they are identified by another denominational affiliation or at a different place than us on the idealogical spectrum from fundamentalist to liberal. Something I recently learned about C.S. Lewis may provide another illustration.

My favorite C.S. Lewis book is The Abolition of Man. Over the years I have read excerpts from Mere Christianity. Steve suggested it be our next book to read for our Theology Cafe at Snow Hill on Thursday mornings.

This past Thursday we watched The Magic Never Ends: The Life & Faith of C.S. Lewis. Christopher Mitchell, Director of the Wade Center at Wheaton College, shared with the audience, via DVD, Lewis’ reference to the variety of Christian Traditions and their interplay as living in a building with a common hallway lined with doors to various rooms. Read More