I’m really, really busy. (Which is not a bad thing – I’m really thankful that Imbi’s and my company, MKPL is getting busy again.) I’ve promised to respond to BD on the post below – and, after working ’til 3am this morning, I realize that I don’t have the needed mental horsepower to engage in an argument with someone I highly value. (But I will respond in the next day or so.)
I have thousands of unread posts in GR, and had over 400 unread posts in my "christian" category of the feed reader. I’m down to 243. (I’m very thankful for the J key shortcut in GR that lets you skim, mark as read and advance to the next post.) Unread #243, (well, actually, now read) is a Thinklings post from Jared, from a couple of days ago. It’s a great quote from Eugene Peterson on leaders being Augustianian in the pulpit and fully Pelagian the rest of the time. Here’s an excert (please read the entire quote),
Pelagius was an unlikely heretic; Augustine an unlikely saint. By all accounts, Pelagius was urbane, courteous, convincing. Everyone seems to have liked him immensely. Augustine squandered away his youth in immorality, had some kind of Freudian thing with his mother, and made a lot of enemies. But all our theological and pastoral masters agree that Augustine started from God’s grace and therefore had it right, and Pelagius started from human effort and therefore got it wrong . . . How did it happen that Pelagius became our master?
Our closet Pelagianism will not get us excommunicated or burned at the stake, but it cripples our pastoral work severely . . . it is catastrophic to the church’s wholeness and health.
This past weekend I was at an urban church leadership conference for a half day in another Canadian city. I walked in as the morning worship drew to a close. It was more than I could handle – I walked back out again (and retrieved my coffee that I’d set down – as food and drink were not allowed in the "sanctuary". Only JIMB worship done manically and guilt-producting scriptures were allowed that morning. There ought to be a law.) Bob Hyatt identifies some of my discomfort.
…I’m beginning to realize just how far removed I am from the experiential side of evangelical worship.
Honestly, it’s begun to feel downright cross-cultural to me…
Yesterday was rough on that front. It’s been a while since I did the smoke-machine, colored lights moving, everyone clap your hands if you love Jesus kind of worship… since this conference last year, in fact.
And every year, it’s gotten harder to engage with that aspect of things. I’d get cynical, or just not really participate… [Bob does not trash the entire experience in the post – as I am wont to do.]
I’m a Jonathan Brink blog fan and he has a good post on Love in the Burbs that I would commend. He ends it with this,
It’s actually quite easy to go down and serve the homeless or at a soup kitchen. We can arrive with our lattes and leave when we want to. We’re in control and can look like a hero. But loving our neighbor next door, when every time he looks at us with an angry stare, is another matter. Our neighbor isn’t likely to leave tomorrow, meaning we have to love over a long period of time. Our flaws are likely to show and then we’re no longer the hero. We’re simply human called to love. And the question isn’t which is better. The question is, where God is calling us to? And what if God is calling us right back to the space we find ourselves in? What if God is calling us to address the poor right next door?
And a final link to my blog buddy, Susan Arnold. She has an interesting post that deals with the "where to next" issue for graduating seminarians,
…the fact remains that the movement of God’s Spirit in up-and-coming-leadership is very often at “odds” with the existing ethos and modus operandi of the local church. Lets face it. Lots of churches are led by old poops in my age group who don’t have a clue how to disciple anyone because they were told they were supposed to pull themselves up by their own bootstraps and be CEO’s in order to “grow the church.” I’ve seen more than one exceptionally gifted young leader get barfed out of the local church for reasons as simple as they just don’t “fit,” don’t have the “chemistry” and so on. Fresh leadership is not all that welcome: it’s rather threatening, actually. It reminds the old guard that they are, well, old, and are supposed to be multiplying and empowering others in their maturity… but they haven’t a clue how and apparently see nothing immoral about such a refusal to be fathers and mothers of a new generation of leaders who will lead in ways they never dreamed of…
I think the answer to Susan’s questions (around seminary students and their vocation) is answered well by Eddie Gibbs in this Allelon interview I shot just over a year ago (with Alan Roxburgh.)