More Than Pleasantly Surprised

kinnon —  December 27, 2007 — 8 Comments

The rest of the Kinnon clan is rather slow moving this morning, as I sit here at the Furlow’s kitchen table drinking one of the worst cups of coffee I’ve ever made. It has the consistency of weak tea. (I just poured it into the sink and started a fresh pot.)

Pittsburgh is normally under five hours from Toronto…if you don’t do a lot of stopping. We left Toronto at 11am yesterday morning and rolled into the ‘burgh right around 9pm last night. We stopped a few times. (Once for four hours. Ah, the joys of Boxing Day @ Prime Outlets – I slept in the car.)

While on the road, I checked my email (I love Gmail on my Sony Ericsson mobile) to discover congratulations from a number of blogging friends. ‘Twould seem that one of the bloggers I esteem the most, Michael Spencer aka the InternetMonk, had added this humble corner of the interweb to his Top Ten blog list of ’07.

To be considered in the same blog company as Ben Witherington III, Trevin Wax, Jared Wilson, Glenn Lucke & Common Grounds Online et al is high honour indeed. And yes, I would echo, what numbers of you are thinking right now, I am not worthy.

Today is a day to hang out with friends – both Furlows and Millards – and to enjoy being in one of my favourite cities in the US. Hope you are all enjoying this Christmas season.



A television editor, writer & director since 1978. A Christian since 1982. More than a little frustrated with the Church in the West since late in the last millennium.

8 responses to More Than Pleasantly Surprised

  1. Very well deserved. Congratulations!

  2. “Bill has his finger on the pulse of what’s happening at the intersections of emerging church and traditional church, all done with an appreciation for technology. Just the right amount of attitude.”

    Wow, that’s what he said about you.

    Darryl Dash at has a post about the emerging church today and as I indicated over there, the question I keep asking, that I can’t seem to get an answer to, is – where is God at work in the emerging church, saving people? Where can I look to see evidence of that? Not where are people getting helped out and having a good time in community but where are people getting saved?

    Maybe you can help me out with that one Bill, considering you have your finger on the pulse 🙂

  3. Congrats. Of the bunch, including my old friend BW3, you are the one I’ll always read first. They all write from a more traditional perspective that is informative, but also nothing especially new. Your commentary always comes from some new place that the church will one day be. Way to go my friend.

  4. Darryl and Ed,
    Thanks for the compliments. I’m a big fan of both of your blogs (and am glad to call you both friends).

    I’m intrigued as to why you think any of us need to respond to you. You have set yourself up as judge and jury, decided the emerging church is anti-christian and are busy demanding we need to prove otherwise. We don’t. There are many brothers and sisters involved in what is loosely known as the emerging church who are actively involved in both living and sharing the gospel. There are many others who think it’s all about them. Those same breakdowns exist in all parts of the wider Christian church. Even in, I dare say, the church you attend.

    I once heard a preacher say that the only real evidence of the activity of Holy Spirit is the fruit of the Spirit. Might I recommend you investigate that, please. Your sitting in judgment is getting rather wearying, George.

  5. Just asking questions Bill. If God is doing a new thing through the emerging church, I’m just asking you to show me where. Just point me to one. Give me a link or something to an emerging church that is being used by God to bring about salvation to the lives of others and especially those on the margins.

    I see people being helped out, but not transformed and if people aren’t being transformed, set free, how would what the emerging church does be any different than any United Way agency. What is it that sets them apart?

    Anyways, Happy New Year

  6. Hey Bill, why don’t you guys make a little detour and come to Boise to say hi;-)

    George:I can’t give you a link, but I can give you a couple stories from our Missional community. We have a family that was in major crisis when they came to our church. They needed a safe place where people would love them. Their lives have been transformed, and thier daughter has a heart to reach out to her class mates.
    My husband works with teens, and although he hasn’t seen anyone get “saved”, kids lives are being changed.
    I don’t know if anyone has been “saved” because of our Missional community, but I know that God is working through us to bring change to peoples lives. Maybe this isn’t what you were talking about, but I can only speak from my context.
    It sounds to me like you have an issue with Emergent/Missional in gereral, so I don’t know if it would matter if you were given a hundred examples!
    My question to you would be this, how do you know that people aren’t being “saved” in these churches, and how do you know that people are being saved in other churches?

  7. Hi Lori,

    To answer your question first, I never read or hear leaders in the emerging/missional church on salvation and how those coming into their churches are receiving salvation.

    With respect, your response illustrates that, as it seems to indicate that you aren’t sure if people are getting saved at your Missional community.

    I would ask you, the family whose lives were transformed, how were they transformed?

    You indicate your husband works with teens and that is great. You say their lives are being changed but not saved and my question would be, how are they being changed and what is the goal of the ministry to them?

    Lori, I’m very much interested in looking at different churches to see where God is at work. To understand one’s salvation is not really that difficult. To hear the testimonies of people who have been changed by Almighty God, it becomes clear if it is real or not. Their lives must show evidence of their salvation. It must show that they have been broken over their sin, have turned from their sin and have put their trust in Jesus Christ as their Lord and Savior. The sin that used to enslave them, they now hate. The Gospel is that Jesus Christ came into the world to save sinners.

    If your missional community is all about proclaiming that truth as you reach out to folks, wonderful. If not, my question would be, as it always is, what’s the goal, what would be the point of being a church?

  8. George, I can’t go into detail about the family as I don’t have permission to give details to their life. As for the teens my husband works with, some have began to have raw dialog with him about life, God and painful wounds. Have any said the sinners prayer, and given their life to God, no, not that we know of, but they are in a safe place where they can begin to open up and get a new imagination for what God could be like, and in a safe place begin to ask questions as to what their lives could be like having a relationship with God. Could we invite them to our church, or point them to a local youth group, yes. Would they go, no. We have relationships outside of our church, and we bring the mission of Christ to those relationships. We don’t invite people to our church so they can hear a message about their lack of God, and how they might go to hell if they died right now. Rather we bring Christ to our everyday lives, and have had conversations about God with people who would never set foot in a church.
    I’m not the person to get into a theological debate with you about Missional/Emergent churches, nor do I want to.


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