Tuesday, January 31, 2006
Leadership Blog: Out of Ur: The Blessing of Blogs: Is the New Media Good for the Church?: "I’m hardly an expert on blogging. My own ministry has been critiqued once or twice by bloggers, and my experiences with their postings have largely led me to ignore them. When Out of Ur ran a controversial story about a good friend of mine this fall, I read and contributed to the responses with interest for several weeks. That is the sum total of my experience with blogs. But it’s enough for me to raise some questions. If Marshall McLuhan was even partly right that “the medium is the message,” then what message does the medium of blogging send?"
To read more, click here...
Monday, January 30, 2006
Thursday, January 26, 2006
"Since posting Brian McLaren’s commentary about homosexuality we’ve had difficulty keeping pace with the responses being written. Reading through the comments reveals why homosexuality is known as a “wedge issue” in our culture. Our readers appear divided between heralding McLaren as a prophet, and condemning him as a heretic. Below is one response we received by a blogger named Jeff who disagrees with McLaren’s suggested five year moratorium on making pronouncements about homosexuality. But unlike many other critics, Jeff also writes about his very personal engagement with this issue."
Read more here...
Tuesday, January 24, 2006
Out of Ur: Brian McLaren on the Homosexual Question: Finding a Pastoral Response:
"The couple approached me immediately after the service. This was their first time visiting, and they really enjoyed the service, they said, but they had one question. You can guess what the question was about: not transubstantiation, not speaking in tongues, not inerrancy or eschatology, but where our church stood on homosexuality.
That 'still, small voice' told me not to answer. Instead I asked, 'Can you tell me why that question is important to you?' 'It's a long story,' he said with a laugh."
Click here for more...
Sunday, January 22, 2006
"They're big and broad, with enough room for an entire football team to climb on them and get comfortable. No wonder the Pittsburgh Steelers put the AFC Championship Game on Ben Roethlisberger's shoulders and let it ride.
All the way to Detroit.
Historically speaking, home field is a great thing to have in the NFL playoffs. But I'll take a hot quarterback every time.
In truth, Roethlisberger isn't just hot these days. He's a river of molten lava (or steel, if you will), unstoppable and flowing in the direction of next month's Super Bowl, in the city they call Motown..."
Click here to read more.
Closer to home, the Steelers won! I think that they have also just won another fan. I have read on some other blogs that it is quite common for some the seminarians at Trinity to pick up an affection for the hometown team and after watching them through this season, I must admit that I've fallen for them. I love the cohesiveness of the team and how they seem to be led by great, hardworking men. Also their loyalty to their head coach despite the fact that they had not done as well in the past tells me that it is a team that respects stability. Not the quick fix or immediate results. Kind of reminds me a little bit of the Liverpool way of doing things!
You can read all about the game here...
Saturday, January 21, 2006
Firstly, it is the Liverpool-Man U derby at Old Trafford. It is one of the largest rivalries in English football because Liverpool were the dominant team of the 80's and Man U of the 90's. It is a big game for bragging rights and should be a good fight. It is even more significant since they are currently 3rd and 2nd in the league table and the winner will gain a foothold on 2nd place and may continue to have a glimmer of hope of catching runaway leaders, Chelsea.
But in truth right now, context is king... Being in Pittsburgh it is hard not to catch the Black and Gold fever. We were in town yesterday and there were street vendors everywhere selling Steeler paraphernalia. Every other person were wearing Steeler colors. And today I saw many cars decorated with the now omnipresent cry "Here we go, Steelers."
Just a little background for my friends in non-American situations: this is playoff season for the American Football League. The Steelers meet the Denver Broncos tomorrow in Denver to decided the American Football Conference championship. It is the first time that a 6th seeded team (out of 6) has made it to the conference championships. The Steelers are the ones who are rated the underdogs for this game. The winner then proceeds to the Superbowl to meet the champions of the National Football Conference.
Anyways, being deep in Steeler country has made me discover how football (of the American variety) mad the people of this city and region are. There was a T-shirt that I saw on one of the vendor's tables that sums it up best. It said, "In Pittsburgh, Steeler football is a religion."
So I will be sacking out on the couch tomorrow, watching two massive games...
Wednesday, January 18, 2006
I dare say that it was probably one of the influences that has caused me to pursue the path that I now tread.
NOTE: Christianity Today online has a great article ("The Rest of the Story") which tells a little of the backstory and also some of the fruit of martyrs' seed sown in the jungles decades ago!
I've been reviewing my notes in preparation for an exam I need to take for a class I did last week. One of the things that our professor, Rod Whitacre said has really caused me to sit up and take notice. He was talking about the works of the apostle John who really focused on the love of God in the incarnation of Jesus. Touching on the wrath of God and how it relates to God's love (which many people continue to have difficulty reconciling), he said that “God’s wrath is His love exercised towards that which corrupts and destroys those whom He loves.”
What this essentially means is that the wrath of God is not something like the manifestation of a two-faced caricature that flips his personality in an arbitrary manner. Or worse still, a progression of development from the Old Testament God to the New Testament one. It is really all linked to the fact that “God is love.” What changed was the coming of Christ. As John said, “the Word became flesh and dwelt among us.” (Jn 1:14)
So where does that leave us? What Rod said was this: “When we hold onto our sin (i.e. by not repenting), we are holding onto to something that experiences his wrath (and is targeted for destruction).” Generally not a good idea!
Tuesday, January 17, 2006
Pennsylvania celebrated Ben Franklin's 300th birthday today. He was a true renaissance man who had a hand in the history of my host nation.
Only grouse I have about him is the now infamous quote which appeared in his Poor Richard's Almanac (1733-1758):
God helps those who help themselvesA more accurate way to look at it would have been: "God helps those who cannot help themselves," or better yet "God saves those who cannot save themselves!"
For those in other lands not following the Sports news too closely, both of the teams I supported WON!
Liverpool beat Spurs 1-0 and that was expected.
What was not expected was the Steelers' victory over the No. 1 ranked team in the AFC (and probably the NFL), the Indianapolis Colts! It was a real roller-coaster ride, which had all the best drama you would expect of a playoff game! That coupled with truly appalling officiating made for a game that was incredibly satisfying to watch. On another note, it's interesting to see how the use of technology to aid referees never really eliminates human error. It is rare that a governing body of a sport overrules one of their own officials!
Saturday, January 14, 2006
It sort of reminds me of the passion of Liverpool fans. I was almost sure that I was going to root for the Steelers this weekend, but then came across this article about the Colts head coach Tony Dungee. He is such a class act. His wife and in-laws are from the church we have been attending here and I have heard from people who know him about his tremendous witness and character. I guess that I'll just have divided loyalties...
On the other hand, I have no such problems with the game later on between Liverpool and Spurs. There's no doubt in my mind who will win at Anfield (Sorry, Boon!)
They are still unbeaten, but are no longer on their winning streak having drawn their last game against Bolton. So they only managed to equal their record of 11 consecutive wins in top league in England!