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.

The Scary Other, Or If You Are Not For Me You Are Against Me

Yesterday, Alan commented on my recent post on “Risking the Ethics of Critique.” He did not understand why someone of John Piper’s stature would feel the need to engage Alan Hirsch and Michael Frost so negatively after reading only a paragraph of a referenced book. Maybe, he wrote, it had to do with Piper seeing himself at the headwaters of the Reformed stream and he needed to keep conflicting influences away. Gatekeeping? Could be. Certainty requires me to know the mind of John Piper. Not happening.

But, it appears some know the mind of God better than others. The result is a stridency about his or her position that they frame all others as “scary.” In Piper’s post in question, the “scary other” is euphemistically referred to as, “false to the gospel.” Any good conservative knows false to the gospel could well be short-hand for false teacher – and so scary. What will Piper say of McKnight after reading a paragraph of his new book, The King Jesus Gospel?

My tribe often has high-profile figures who convey that sentiment to others. I recently read a post by John Stackhouse who evidently is aiming at a bit of controversy. Notifying his readers that a book to which he contributed was forthcoming he vetted those who dared to read further.

The book, The Spectrum of Evangelicalism, is one of those “four view” styled books. Out of the gate, Stackhouse admits the writers are far from representative of the diversity found among Evangelicals. Read More

The Excluded Middle, the Ignored Edge, and The Battle for the Empire in the SBC

The Ring of Fire just gave us a tectonic shift punishing Japan with a devastating 8.9 magnitude earthquake. Tsunami waves washed over acres of land, destroying property and killing people. There will no doubt be someone with an Internet connection firing up the keyboard to announce that Japan suffered judgement for ancestor worship, or some social ill. (Paragraph 7) Quickly the suffering and pain will be marginalized as the train wreck of such wretched projections make the rounds on the Interwebs.

Meanwhile, the SBC is stirred again. What is new. Not much. Bill J. Leonard’s “prophetic” prediction for the SBC seems more and more likely despite all attempts to avoid the icebergs. Tucked away in his 1991 book, God’s Last and Only Hope, is the conjecture the Southern Baptist Convention will splinter. Because he was considered on the “wrong side,” his prognostication has largely been ignored.

Andrew Jones (a.k.a. tallskinnykiwi) recently weighed in on the Rob Bell kerfuffle. As I was pointed to the recent stir in the SBC blogosphere, where young pastors are urged to say what high profile pastors think, I could not help but think of a paragraph from Jones’ piece,

There is a power struggle going on that ventures beyond doctrinal categories and theological correctness. It’s a battle for the empire! Read More