Thursday, June 28, 2007

Church Planters Needed

My week in NH has confirmed the fact that some good church planters are needed in the good ole Granite State and surrounding regions. My wife and I visited an "emerging church" Sunday morning and I put the term in quotes because I felt like I was grossly underdressed in jeans and a button down with flip flops and badly in need of a shave when I walked thru the door. Seriously, the first few families we saw would have passed dress code at NBBC. Perhaps they engage the culture, but nobody engaged us, despite the fact we were desperately in need of determining if there was a nursery for the little one. I say all this not to bash them, but out of curiosity if the average visitor would stick around, let alone an unbeliever. Not your typical ec type of atmosphere. Futhermore, the dearth of reformed theology in my home state is staggering. Though the church we visited was connected to a reformed network, the speaker dropped the ball on both election and foreknowledge - two terms that appeared explicitly in the text. I felt like crying--or cussing since it was supposedly an emerging church :-)

Bottom line: Reformed guys willing to engage the culture are needed in the Northeast--badly from what I can see. However, the culture issue may be harder than you might expect. I think with the advent of technology particularly as it lends itself to globalization, the modern culture has made it's inroads into NH. Strange, because it wasn't so back when I was a teen, growing up here. A fundy church whose culture mirrored the 50's could survive and even thrive here. Yet, the young people I've seen cruising around Concord bear great resemblence to those of VA Beach. Likewise, the stores in the Mall have caught up with the rest of the world--heck, we even have a Starbucks! Nevertheless, the older generation is still stuck in it's modern (think worldview category here) ways. New Englanders hate change. AC is still not common in the houses (New Englanders don't need it--much to my chagrin :-). Likewise, though there may be a Starbucks (notice the singular), Dunkin Donuts still controls the masses. Everybody at church was sippin a D and D coffee - no iced grande quadshot etc. to be found. The cultural divide between the older and younger generations seems more exacerbated here in Concord than most places I've seen. Nevertheless, my global exposure is limited and my time here has been short. However, I'm convinced the region needs good reformed missional church planters.

Tuesday, June 26, 2007

Another One Bites the Dust

Last Friday night, prior to leaving for NH, I finished Vanhoozer's Drama of Doctrine. Yes, I have silenced the mouths of all ye who slander least until you hit the comments section. Nevertheless, its' been quite a journey. I started back in March and I can honestly say it's been the weightiest book I've read in a loooong time. Forget the prospect of a book review from me; I'm not even going to try. Read it for yourself - it's worth it. I may post some of the most significant lessons learned in coming weeks, but that remains to be seen.

One more thought: I'd like to conduct an informal pole in the comment section. Thought it's presumptious to think there are very many people reading this still, as my blogging has been sporadic at best, google reader gives me hope. Were you more suprised that 1) I got a tattoo or 2) I finished a 400 plus page book by Vanhoozer? I figured I'd post these two dramatic (yes the pun is intended) posts back to back.

Monday, June 25, 2007

Post Tenebras Lux

Well, it's done. I figured I'd post the evidence on this blog since the readership of our family blog is decidedly more conservative. Noah wanted to be just like his Daddy...How could I say no? Incidently the artwork is courtesy of my talented cousin Gina from Mom's Tattoo Studio.

Broadcasting Live From NH

Dawn, Noah and I are in New Hampshire all week visiting family and enjoying a much needed vacation. Since I already took a "vacation" from the blogosphere last week, I thought I'd try and get a few posts up this week. We'll see how successful I am, but I definately have some crazy things to communicate.

Friday, June 15, 2007

More Driscoll Audio

I found these six lectures posted various places on the web, but first on Kevin Cawley's blog (who's background pic alone might make you want to move to Vancouver). I believe they're from the Acts 29 Bootcamp for church planters and Driscoll is addressing the Church, Gospel and Culture. I found them fascinating and insightful for a perspective on a culturally engaging approach to pastoral ministry (happy Baylor? I got around the HT :-)

Wednesday, June 13, 2007

Interview with Driscoll

Mike Corley interviews Driscoll regarding the contours of his life and ministry. Though the interviewer sounds like and employs some fundie ideology (listen for the catch phrases) overall Driscoll's responses are gracious and interesting.

(HT: Justin Taylor)

More on Bad Words and Foul Language

This time it is what you think. Much conversation has taken place in the last few years about cussing Christians, particularly in relation to the emerging church conversation. I've neglected posting links in the past, primarily because I was too lazy. However, this time I decided not to pass up the opportunity. Here's a link to some thoughts by Tall Skinny Kiwi (an EC guy himself) on Offensive Language: I Think my Mother Taught Me.

(HT: Jesus Creed)

Barth Blog Conference

Kind of a pre-conference conference (prepping the blogosphere for the upcoming conference at Princeton) you can enjoy what may very well be the first conference hosted in the blogosphere. All that and Karl Barth - interesting stuff! Read it here and add it to your google reader list.

(HT: Faith and Theology)

Thursday, June 07, 2007

The Serenity Prayer

Now that's a blog post I thought I'd never pen. I came across the full serenity prayer tonight on someone elses blog and I thought I'd post it here for several reasons: 1) I really needed it (albeit for different reasons than it's original context) 2) I never knew who wrote it 3) I never heard more than the first paragraph. I always thought the first paragraph was a bit stoic and fatalistic (not to mention cheesy). Though I've been accused of being both (or all three technically) it was still too much for me, but set in it's full (dare I say canonical) context, it definately takes on new significance (meaning?). Here it is:

God grant me the serenity
to accept the things I cannot change;
courage to change the things I can;
and wisdom to know the difference.

Living one day at a time;
Enjoying one moment at a time;
Accepting hardships as the pathway to peace;
Taking, as He did, this sinful world
as it is, not as I would have it;
Trusting that He will make all things right
if I surrender to His Will;
That I may be reasonably happy in this life
and supremely happy with Him
Forever in the next.

–Reinhold Niebuhr

Almost sounds a bit Christian Hedonistic...

(HT: iMonk)

Beale on Romans 9

If you didn't see this last week on Justin Taylor's blog, you may want to see this article on Romans 9 -- it may very well be one of the best things to come out of the '80s. Now I know after the Kostenberger debacle, I said I'd never post a link again until I'd read it; however, I think I can get away with this exception for 2 reasons: 1) Beale's a great exegete and I know his general disposition towards things reformed 2) Towards the end of the essay I read this sentence: "The results of this study lend support to the idea that there is an equal ultimacy or parallel between election and reprobation in terms of unconditionality." If that's the conclusion, the exegesis MUST be great :-)

Sunday, June 03, 2007

Just What I Need

Want to read Freakonomics or The World is Flat or any other well know bestsellers, but don't have the time? See if there's a summary on Wikisummaries, free online book summaries in the Spirit of Wikipedia. Perfect for readers like me :-)