Monthly Archives: August 2008

So I ordered Mark Batterson’s “Wild Goose Chase”

I received an Amazon gift cert last year, and have been waiting for the right book to use it with. Normally, I pick up used narrow market theology texts for pennies on the dollar, but the WIld Goose Chase sure looks to be something well worth buying new, especially with a few other things going on.

In the past couple weeks, there has been a real mass of book reviews on the Wild Goose Chase, an amazing example of viral promotion, which I will share with author friends. Having read close to 20 reviews, I had a pretty good feel that this book would be good. Then add in the free chapter available, and the decision was made.

One super cool review was on MMI, what I found especially cool was the discussion on the theology of the text. Some very good comments were made, both pro and con… Its not a hard core theological text, and some liberties with scriptural interpreation were made, at least as alleged by one commentator, and the resulting discussion proved very fruitful. Not only as concerns the text, but also Biblical interpretation.

Yet another factor was Fr Keefe’s homily where he talked about Jesus sending out the 12, and when a call is presented, how we should respond. It tied in very much to “no longer walking away when God opens the door”, ie, when the door is opened, God will provide. The waiting game until everything is they way “we want” is not how God works, and that He provides. That really resonanted with Mark Batterson’s description of the cages we put ourselved in.

In addition, the books discussion of being dangerous for Christ was pretty applicable. Prior to my resignation, falling into a status quo modus operandi was always a concern. Stepping out, and starting online interactive ministry, is scary. Opening up small groups for recovery over a range of non-mainstream topics takes me out of my comfort zone as well. Yet God doesn’t call us to a place of safety and status quo, but to reach out to to the world. It is going to be in an interesting time for sure.

Lastly, one of the super cool things I saw in the blog carnival reviews, was that the books were always passed on to others. I actually have a fellow in mind, and if he has not yet read this… he will be getting it next. If he has, I’ll run a blog comment contest such as others have done.

will |u| be a disciple?: It was only a matter of time

will |u| be a disciple?: It was only a matter of time.

Ouch… this indeed would be something worthy of protesting ie like what AFA does, but unlike their political stuff, this is portraying a false Gospel, talk about damaging to the kingdom. ARGH….

Unlike the whole fuss over  the Bibles Buried Secrets, where we dont have video clips yet.

So sad, very very sad.

I did a little googling and found a review from the program “Make me a Muslim” and it appears they took issue with that program just as we do with this one. A vast number of parallels for sure.

The Message depends on the messenger???? Whats up with that?

In the past week or two, some pretty visible inidividuals have fallen from grace. I wont go into what the issues are, or who they were, as thats really a secondary concern. A bigger issue I think is that the tendency to tie in the message with the messenger… When such happens, the message gets compromised in a huge way, and secondly, it elevates leaders to a spot where they ought not to be.

First, the message, if aligned with the scriptures will stand on its own. It does not need a dynamic leader, a cool presentation, cool music etc. Certainly all of those things can be very helpful, but they really are secondary. The compromised message occurs, not by the message in and of itself, but by diminishing its relevance based upon the messengers actions.  There is a tendency to do the toss the baby out with the bathwater deal, if the messenger hoses up, and all messengers sooner or later are going to hose up. Some obviously much more than others. The message however can and should stand on its own, provided of course that it is backed with scripture.

This errant dependency has a very long history associated with it, going all the way back to Moses, and yet God used him. Saul persecuted Christians, yet God chose him to reach out… Imagine the trepidation when Paul came to preach, as his reputation no doubt long preceded him. Yet, it is God’s word which was presented,it can and does stand alone.  I think the message tie in with the messenger is human nature, likely going back to the whole original sin deal. In other words, pretty much anything which can be used to diminish God’s word will be used by the enemy. In this case though, its the recievers of the word who share the responsibility of proper discernment. Both in verifying the message does align with scripture, but also that if it does, it is of God, and the messengers actions or lack there of should have no effect on the message.

The second issue, is the proverbial sphere of perfection that seems to propagate leadership, putting them in spots where they ought not to be. A number of things are wrong with such a scenario, ranging from pride, to overconfidence in righteousness,   to the inability of one another to bear one anothers burdens,  to sheeple, who do not question and verify  the message to see whether it is true, and what it has to say.

None of this is meant to diminish Pauls admonitions to Timothy as concerns a leader. Those are all things to strive for, and errors in such are a very serious matter indeed. Yet this issue also transcends way beyond the leader to the average Joe, and that average Joe guy best be prepared to take on responsibility, and let the Holy Spirit guide him, rather than putting a ton of his trust in a fallable leader. Non of us our righteous, all of us fall short, but God is there. We need to base our faith upon His word, not upon some leader guy, no matter how eloguent, dynamic, or righteous, as a fall at some point is going to occur, and if that shakes our foundations… then maybe the leader guy didnt go such a great job afterall. Not so much his falling from grace, but from not teaching the responsibiliy of discernment and listening to the Holy Spirit. And that also applies to those new in faith… stumbling by message messenger errancy is one thing, stumbling via  hosed up or totally lacking discipleship is much worse. And for those very new in the faith, this is where the community must take on a role… discipleship is not Baptize and forget,  the community of faith must be there to uplift and disciple one another. It is a major major deal.

Mr. Locke’s Classroom » Giving Jesus the Bird

Mr. Locke’s Classroom » Giving Jesus the Bird

Mr Locke blogs about a missed opportunity, when a fellow drove up and asked where a prayer meeting was, and then finding non, asked Mr Locke to pray, where upon he didnt really have time, but he did sort of, and ending up nicely walking away. Such a situation no doubt has happed to all of us, multiple times in my case (see blog subtitle). There are a couple things to look at, first, the other guy, and then the me part.

Looking at the other guy….

Wow, to probably make a special trip to pray, finding no prayer meeting, and then finding Mr Locke didnt have time, no doubt hurt… perhaps quite a lot. The fellow likely drove off, and prayed as he drove, or maybe went to a special place and prayed. God heard him. Since Mr Locked blogged about it, chances are a ton of other folks prayed online for this other guy too, much more so than he would likely have met in a prayer meeting. It likely doesnt help calm Mr Lockes heartache, but it does seem that God has these amazing ways of dealing with our failures and working them for good.

Focusing on the ‘me’ part.

Um yeh… well gosh, how many times have I have done something similiar. It always ends up coming back to an argh type deal usually after just a few minutes have passed, and its no longer possible, and it hurts.

In some ways, Peter’s denail comes to mind… and the 3 times it occurred. It would be easy to retreat after such bad behavior, yet, I remind myself of Peter, and he went forth with even more vigor. In some ways, such situations serve as hard core wakeup calls.

What I find happening, is I resolve not to do the same thing again, and surprisingly, I find that I dont… its like being whacked upside the head leaving a huge scar, resulting in major behaviorial changes. The problem being… the same situations dont repeat very often, and I end up making the similar stupid mistakes, although when situation does repeat… see the blog subtitle.

On both…

Yep, it really does impact both parties, God’s children, as well as God’s servant, thus I dont think it incorrect to look at the other guy, or the me part exclusively. The difficult ones, are when it really does come down to a timing/resource issue. Something has to give, and that returns back to the 99 vs 1 thing again. How many times can you let down the 99 for the 1, before getting in a jam from a worldly pov. Scripture doesnt address this though, the focus is on the one… Jesus words are so very hard to hear.