Archives For Missional

My friend, fellow Torontonian and grace-filled blogger, Darryl Dash (aka Triple D) on his Google Reader link blog pointed to this post from Kevin DeYoung, Missional Misfire. It would seem that Reverend Kevin is not enamoured with Reggie McNeal’s new book, Missional Renaissance.

I found it amusing, as Darryl’s link blog posts show up in my Google Reader feed, that this post from Len Hjalmarson, Church Leavers, appeared shortly after Darryl’s link post. Len (who mentions a different Reggie McNeal book, The Present Future) and I would tend to be more in agreement as to how we view the church and her leadership. (Though Len is much more intelligent in how he expresses himself.) And that view would be significantly different from DeYoung’s.

I pointed both these posts out in a Tweet yesterday, prompting this Tweet response (in part) from JR Rozko, “DY needs to get out more.” Dan Gouge, like Triple D, another Toronto buddy of mine, responded to my Tweet with his blog post, Kevin DeYoung’s Bunker Mentality.

DeYoung (says) that the church was “more than a ‘way of life’ for the first 300 years of its existence.” Why calling Christianity a “way of life” is a horrible thing is never explained. Most of what one reads in the New Testament seems to imply that Christianity will – however you explain it – change the way in which one lives. For DeYoung this appears to be a threat to the institutional structure of church which is apparently really, really important to him.

I have yet to read anyone involved in the missional church movement insist that they are anti-institutional to the extent that DeYoung implies that they are – from his description they are all anarchists. Actually they are more radical than anarchists, since anarchists actually do form limited, voluntary institutions, such as bike repair shops. Many of them seem less committed to preserving institutional super-structures, titles, and positions that DeYoung so clearly cherishes, prepared instead to have less formalized structures of Christian community. Unfortunately for DeYoung, it seems as though he cannot stomach any serious critique of the institutional church in North America circa 2010. Instead he feels compelled to defend a structure that is surely at partially culturally contingent. (How else does one explain all the various forms of church organization that have developed in different times and places?)

DeYoung has made a name for himself as one of the published voices of what Collin Hansen has called the Young, Restless and Reformed. He and his congregant & co-writer, Ted Kluck have had the Emergent Church in their cross hairs for a while now – with Kluck continuing the franchise – recently co-writing Kinda Christianity with Zach Bartels – what I might call a “why bother” satire of BMcL’s latest opus. (McL needs no help in making himself look silly, I’m afraid. The anti-Christian comments McL’s Puffington post prompts speak volumes on his progressive influence.)

Late last summer I wrote a rather scathing review of DeYoung’s and Kluck’s second book together, Why We Love the Church. In that post, I wrote,

Rather than a thoughtful and engaging book on Christ and His Church, this book’s title could just as easily have been “Why We Love Hebrews 13:17 – Obey your leaders and submit to them.” Kluck and DeYoung (who write separate chapters in the book) both quote this verse and approvingly quote other writers who say things like, “Without church membership there’s no place for the important role of church discipline (page 162).” My note scrawled in the margin screams “versus discipleship?”

DeYoung/Kluck have read lots of books on the disaffection of many Christians with the Institutional Church (see page 222) but rather than actually speaking to one or two, they instead create the straw man, Disgruntled Johnny (Page 23). It’s so much easier to create a character you can make fun of – rather than listening to flesh and blood folk from a wide cross section of the church who have left the IC. (DeYoung/Kluck might have attempted communication with a number of the voices in the People Formerly Known As the Congregation meme from 2007. But that would have required listening to people who didn’t fit their stereotype.)

Reverend Kevin’s post continues in the same vein as that book. He accuses McNeal of “Sloganeering” as he states categorically,

We need to put to rest the mantra: we don’t go to church, we are the church (45, 19). Membership is New Testament language (1 Cor. 12:12-20) and so is the language of coming together as a church (1 Cor. 11:18). Going to church is biblical. Being a member is biblical. Discipline is biblical (1 Cor. 5). Church oversight is biblical (Acts 20:28; Phil. 1:1; 1 Tim. 3:1-7; 5:17). Submitting to your leaders is biblical, and so is making the care of church members a serious priority (Heb. 13:17). Let’s not spur on mission by stomping all over ecclesiology.

Umm, “we don’t go to church, we are the church” isn’t a mantra nor is it sloganeering – it’s actually the truth, Kevin. “Going to church” rather than “being the church” is one of the defining problems of the Church in the West.

Further, I must confess that I find DeYoung’s unpacking of Paul’s description of the Body of Christ in 1st Corinthians 12 as being about “church membership” dangerously close to eisegesis – if not, in fact, an example of it. To dumb down the rather glorious description of the church as a fully functioning body, to a 20th Century understanding of “church membership” is beneath DeYoung’s intelligence, education and gifting as a writer. Eugene Peterson’s rendering of the text stands in stark contrast to DeYoung’s eisegetical attempt to use it as a proof text for his point,

A body isn’t just a single part blown up into something huge. It’s all the different-but-similar parts arranged and functioning together. If Foot said, “I’m not elegant like Hand, embellished with rings; I guess I don’t belong to this body,” would that make it so? If Ear said, “I’m not beautiful like Eye, limpid and expressive; I don’t deserve a place on the head,” would you want to remove it from the body? If the body was all eye, how could it hear? If all ear, how could it smell? As it is, we see that God has carefully placed each part of the body right where he wanted it.

But I also want you to think about how this keeps your significance from getting blown up into self-importance. For no matter how significant you are, it is only because of what you are a part of. An enormous eye or a gigantic hand wouldn’t be a body, but a monster. What we have is one body with many parts, each its proper size and in its proper place. No part is important on its own. Can you imagine Eye telling Hand, “Get lost; I don’t need you”? Or, Head telling Foot, “You’re fired; your job has been phased out”? As a matter of fact, in practice it works the other way—the “lower” the part, the more basic, and therefore necessary. You can live without an eye, for instance, but not without a stomach. When it’s a part of your own body you are concerned with, it makes no difference whether the part is visible or clothed, higher or lower. You give it dignity and honor just as it is, without comparisons. If anything, you have more concern for the lower parts than the higher. If you had to choose, wouldn’t you prefer good digestion to full-bodied hair?

Hayward-not-my-will.gif

And the rest of the DeYoung’s proof text examples are understood through his particular ecclesiastical world view. His emphasis on authority, discipline and church member submission is an apt portrayal of much of what leadership looks like in the Western Church (and Western-influenced church). Pastors and elders rule and reign. You do not hear Matthew 20:25-28 properly exegeted from the pulpits of these leaders – if it’s even mentioned. From their apparent perspective, the problem(s) with the church is that people won’t just “do as their told.” If they would, then the kingdom might come in fullness. But whose kingdom, many of us ask? (David Hayward’s cartoons ask this better than anyone else in my not humble but accurate opinion.)

Now I need to say that I don’t believe for a minute that Kevin DeYoung is a bad guy or any more evil than the rest of us (and probably much less evil than your humble writer here). I believe that he is simply a product of the church environment in which he’s been raised. His understanding of church leadership has been formed by the CEO leadership style of the Western Church. And he reacts to the “missional movement” from that perspective.

And to be fair, I don’t think DeYoung is out of line when he says, “the anti-institution bent is ahistorical and unrealistic.” Too many missional commentators want to throw the baby out with the bath water. Though I believe that there are huge problems with the present Institutional Church, I’m not quite prepared to throw it under the bus and attempt to return to some 21st Century rendition of the 1st Century church. Which, if I read Scripture correctly, appears to be just as screwed up as the present model(s) of church. (Shall we take a brief look at the church in Corinth, anyone.)

However, where DeYoung wants to emphasize discipline and submission to leaders, I think we need to once again seriously look at Jesus words at the end of Matthew, where we are called to make disciples of all the peoples of the earth – baptizing and teaching them all the things Jesus taught his disciples.

How did Jesus make disciples?

He was with them daily for three years. He walked with them, opened the scriptures to them, showed them the Kingdom come, corrected them, strongly expressed his anger with them, laughed with them, was profoundly hurt by them, yet never stopped loving them. He did not spend twenty hours a week preparing a 40 minute sermon to preach at them, having them sit in straight rows staring up at him whilst they wondered what was for lunch.

He poured out his life in service to them, that they, when filled with the Holy Spirit would pour out their lives in service to others. Yes he spoke to crowds. Some of them huge. Yet his life was focused on a very small band of followers – primarily his disciples.

The relationships that Jesus had with his disciples and people like Mary Magdalene and the siblings, Mary, Martha and Lazarus – is how Jesus, full of the Holy Spirit, laid the foundation for his church. He did it in deep relationship with a small group of people he called friends. People who would not necessarily have been friends with each other without Jesus calling them – his calling transcended their differences – which it still does.

I am convinced that the healthy church going forward will be a church that disciples. Not discipleship in a classroom setting, but discipleship that see us living out our lives in deep relationship with others. As we are discipled and disciple, we will naturally and infectiously teach others to disciple. And I need to stress that that discipleship will need to include effective catechesis as we finally recognize how the present church is functionally illiterate when it comes to church history and a basic understanding of scripture. Discipleship will also include those “baptized” and those with no understanding of their need of baptism, yet.

This is the call to be missionaries to a post-Christendom culture – the missional call.

Those who hang on to a Christendom understanding of church along with a 20th Century understanding of church leadership will find their world becoming progressively smaller – no matter how young and restless they may now be.

Church-Exciters-Book_Cover.jpg

Aside: I have been remiss in not pointing to Barb Orlowski’s book, Spiritual Abuse Recovery – a book based on Barb’s research for her Doctorate. It’s an important book for all of us to read – and would be particularly helpful for people like Kevin DeYoung to help them understand how the church leadership heresy of command and control has damaged and, in some cases, destroyed people.

From the publisher:

This book offers a thoughtful look at the topic of spiritual recovery from clergy abuse through the eyes of those who have experienced it. It invites church leaders to consider this very real dysfunction in the Church today and aims to demonstrate a path forward to greater freedom in Christ after a season of disillusionment with church leadership.

Pushing Pixels, Not Missional

kinnon —  March 20, 2010 — 4 Comments

BlockVersion-of-Logo.gif

I make my living pushing pixels – whether those pixels are animations, creative design, moving images or stills. Because of a large broadcast trade show that goes live every April for which I do creative design, animation and production work – February, March and early April are exceedingly busy for me.

At this stage of the project, every waking minute, save the few I'm taking to write this, are spent pushing pixels inside Illustrator, Photoshop, After Effects and Final Cut Pro – or on location in Toronto capturing pixels.

I think the discussion going on around how the definition of the word "missional" is an important one. There are lots of posts at this small corner of the interwebs that talk about that very thing. I wish I could contribute to the particular missionSHIFT conversation happening now, but I simply don't have the time to engage in the kind of intelligent conversation that needs to take place. Not for another month, anyway.

The trademarked logo above was designed by Imbi Medri-Kinnon and me for a new subsidiary of our 25 year old company, Medri Kinnon Productions Limited – we hope to launch Pushing Pixels later this year.

Ed Stetzer has rightly become concerned with how the word “missional” seems to have become a buzz word – rather than an actual theological term with legitimate meaning. To that end, with a number of colleagues, Ed set up missionSHIFT to explore how best to frame our understanding of “missional.” A number of us, who were part of the What is Missional Syncroblog? that Rick Meigs (The Blind Beggar / Friend of Missional / Missional Tribe) instigated, began talking with Ed about how blogdom could aid this discussion. This first post, instigated by Rick is the beginning of that “bloggers live aid”.

_________________________

David Fitch once said that most missional thought leaders “emphasize incarnational forms of church over attractional; the church as Missio Dei over mission as program; organic forms of missionary living in neighborhoods over ministry set in a building.” Yet many others seem to add the term to the current program they are attempting to promote or make cool sounding. As Ed Stetzer noted, “The word missional is used to bludgeon legalism and antinomianism alike. To some it is a sign of freedom from all established forms of the church and to others it is a degeneration into syncretism with the world.”

So, do we abandon the term and move on? Not yet, because the concept behind missional is really big and words help us when we can agree on their definitions— or at least we can agree what we mean when we use a word.

Over the next few weeks, we want to discuss how “missional” happens in our lives and in the life of the church. It will be discussed here as well as at other places including the blogs listed below. As the conversation moves forward, we hope you will move from blog to blog and offer insights from the scriptures and how you see missional happening in your local community.

By doing this, we can all be a part of a specific missional conversation. As many of you know, there are several working toward a “Missional Manifesto” that will be rolled out as a part of the missionSHIFT conference on July 12-15. The intent with the manifesto is to say, “This is what we mean when we talk about being missional.” It is not the manifesto’s intent (or within its ability) to say this is what everyone should think or say about the term, but reflects a hope that it will help us all be clearer and more mission-shaped in our own thinking and practice.

Conversation on the grassroots level is important, so be sure to join in here and at the other blogs and let’s see where God take us. Here is the team that will be leading the conversation:

Rick Meigs: The Blind Beggar
Bill Kinnon: kinnon.tv
Brent Toderash (Brother Maynard): Subversive Influence
Scot McKnight: Jesus Creed
David Fitch: Reclaiming the Mission
Tiffany Smith
Jared Wilson: The Gospel-Driven Church
Jonathan Dodson: Creation Project

So for the sake of conversation today, leave a comment about with your own 1-sentence definition of “missional.” And, in the weeks to come, we will be addressing certain points or issues in the missional conversation that need consideration and perhaps clarity.

Missional® Level® Marketing®

kinnon —  February 20, 2010 — 31 Comments

'Cuz some of us little people need to make money from this missional marketing thing, too.

Leave a note in the comments if you want me to sign you up.

Many territories still available, but don't delay. Spots are filling up quickly.

MLM-presents-Missional-Shampoo-2
Note we no longer support Emergent® Level® Marketing® – market's gotten a wee bit too small and rather over-saturated.

I count it a privilege to call the Internet Monk, Michael Spencer, my friend. His writings have been extremely helpful to my family as we've navigated the waters of the church these past five years. [Update: That's these past five years in particular. We've been involved in the church for a whole heck of lot longer than that.]

His support of this humble corner of blogdom has also been greatly appreciated.

I know how excited Michael is about his new book, Mere Churchianity – Finding Your Way Back to Jesus-Shaped Spirituality. I had been looking forward to chatting with Michael about this before Christmas – and then his health concerns turned into a rather severe cancer diagnosis – and Michael's time has been consumed with fighting that battle. (Please continue to pray for Michael and his family as he, his doctors and the prayers of the people continue to fight the cancer.)

MereChurchianity.jpg

Michael's book is now available for pre-Order on Amazon. I haven't read any of it yet, but I know from Michael's writing at Internet Monk and our email conversations that this is going to be both a very good and a very important book. I've pre-ordered my copy from the Canadian Amazon store. It would be a great encouragement to Michael if you ordered a copy now, as well. (Links in this post are to the US Amazon store.)

You can also support Michael via the PayPal Donate link @ Internet Monk. (If you click the linked "Donate link" in the previous sentence – you will go directly to PayPal.)

Michael's medical coverage and his work remuneration have both come to an end and his medical battle is very expensive. (Michael was a teacher at a private Christian school that was more a mission than a profitable venture. They do not have "gold-plated" medical coverage as I doubt they could afford it.)

A Missional KISS

kinnon —  January 29, 2010 — 6 Comments

I could write another very long post that provided the history behind the present missional impulse – while debating / explaining the desire to either define it or contain it.

We could talk / debate ad nauseum about David Boesch, Lesslie Newbigin, the UK and US versions of the Gospel and Our Culture Network, Missio Dei, missional from a Reformed perspective / Arminian perspective or any number of the finer aspects of "missional". And, at one level, this might be a rather important part of the discussion as we learn how to disciple a mission-shaped people.

But at another level, it is simply more talk – when what we need to do is simplify the talk so that people might consider being formed as mission-shaped.

A suggested Missional KISS

The Word became flesh and blood, and moved into the neighborhood. And that is what He is calling us to do.

The first sentence is from Eugene Peterson's poetic transliteration of John 1:14
And for those who don't recognize the acronym KISS.

Dan MacDonald is a good friend and PCA Pastor in Toronto. He blogs sporadically – but he's always worth reading. Dan has entered the fray on the Missional = Liberal discussion and scored a KO in my opinion.

…when respected Christian leaders say that an emphasis upon social justice may lead to theological slippage, they are, I think, getting the cart before the horse. It is true that historically, some churches and denominations departed from biblical orthodoxy in the early 20th century, retaining only a strong biblical sense of social justice. In response, orthodox evangelical churches grew wary of both the doctrinal departure of many mainline churches, and of the social justice that they emphasized. The first wariness is healthy, wise and necessary. But the second wariness – of embracing social justice – needs to end. Now.

Mercy is not an option. Mercy is a reflection of the gospel of God who had mercy upon poor, miserable, sin-addicted self-destructive slaves – you and me. The gospel is all about mercy. Jesus showed spiritual mercy, physical mercy, social mercy, relational mercy in His ministry; he foreshadowed the new Creation He will one day bring in.

Please go read it all and comment there (as well as here, if you'd like). Thanks Dan for this very welcome addition to the conversation.

You Might Not Be Missional…

kinnon —  January 26, 2010 — 24 Comments

…if your response to the term is to see it as a liberal/progressive plot to move the church into the purely social gospel column.

[Note that I've edited this post for clarity and updated it with a few more links since first published earlier today.]

I've been away from the blog for a while. Mostly tweeting and retweeting 140 characters of limited wisdom. In that Twitterverse, someone noted Brent Thomas' response to Jonathan Leeman's 9 Marks post, Is The God of Missional Gospel Too Small?

Leeman begins his cautionary tale with this;

It's been said that liberalism often creeps into the church through the doorway of evangelism and mission work. I think that's right

And shortly thereafter,

More and more evangelical and missional leaders have begun to characterize the gospel of justification by faith alone, penal substitution, and the salvation of souls as a "small gospel." [emphasis added]

One might reasonably ask who the "more and more" are – though it's probably just easier for Leeman to refer to the amorphous "they" to make his point – stats and facts being optional.

Thomas, who like Leeman writes from a Reformed perspective responds to the post,

It seems that, on one side, we have many moving towards what is becoming known as a “missional” approach, focusing on God’s mission to restore all things to Himself through the person and work of Jesus Christ. It might be said that Tim Keller is at the forefront of this movement. On the other side, we have the more traditional, church-focused camp spearheaded by 9 Marks Ministries and Mark Dever focusing on the supremacy of penal substitionary atonement in any talk of salvation (I’m not so sure these things are mutually exclusive, personally, but that’s not really the point). Again, this is just my sense and I could be wrong, but from my perspective, such as it is, I not only sense a growing separation, but that separation being pushed by the more traditional side. [emphasis added]

I've read Thomas' post a number of times and commented there on how I felt Leeman's central four points against missional sounded like boilerplate from certain Reformed blogs – attacking the particular Emergent Village brand of the much wider global emerging church conversation. (As an aside, please read Reformed Pastor Michael Newnham @ Phoenix Preacher on what he feels the wider emerging church conversation has added to 21st Century Christianity.) In rereading that post this morning, the emphasized line in the above quote stood out to me.

Thomas sees missional as "focusing on God’s mission to restore all things to Himself through the person and work of Jesus Christ" over and against Leeman and 9 Marks focus of the "supremacy of penal substitionary atonement in any talk of salvation."  The Kingdom of God position versus a soteriology that revolves around penal substitionary atonement. To which I want to respond – what difference does this argument really make to the unbelieving people in your neighbourhoods?

Sorry brothers.  Your discussion may be a great one for the academy but I don't see it helping with a necessarily simple and important understanding of missional.

My Credentials, or Lack Thereof, to Be Involved In This Discussion
I'm not a theologian. In my 55th year (how I hate to write that), I've been a Christian since 1982. I have owned a television production company with my wife since 1985 – I'm a writer, director and editor who has spent 95% of my career working in secular media. I've also been, for want of a better phrase, a lay leader in the church for more than half the time I've been a believer – predominantly in charismatically-flavoured Baptist and independent churches. Imbi and I now attend an evangelical Anglican Church in downtown Toronto.

In 2006, I began working with an organization that identified itself as a Movement of Missional Leaders. I was documenting that movement from behind the viewfinder of an HD camera. Never one to miss an opportunity to engage in interesting conversation, I was drawn into hours of discussion on missional with missional practitioners & thought leaders on three continents – while also producing hours of content that discussed all things missional.

References to those missional discussions & insights can be found in hundreds of posts here at kinnon.tv.

One of those posts was written for the Rick Meigs' inspired Missional Synchroblog, What is Missional Church? or A Little More Missional Shampoo. In it I unpack where the recent missional discussion has come from – identifying Lesslie Newbigin as the instigator of this present missional conversation.

In brief, Newbigin returned to the UK in 1974 after the better part of four decades on the mission field in India. What he discovered was a post-Christian/post-Christendom culture that no longer understood the Christian meta-narrative. Newbigin recognized that for the Gospel to have any kind of impact on English culture – Christians would need to become missionaries to their own nation.

How did that translate to North America?

Vast swaths of the U.S. still function in what remains of a Christendom culture. The plot has not been completely lost. But that is not the case for many of the northern states and is certainly not the case in a post-Christian Canada. And the reality is that the trajectory of the Christendom areas in the predominantly Southern States is towards post-Christendom. (See the data coming from Barna, the Pew Foundation and anecdotally in this article from USA Today. Ed Stetzer is the goto person to understand what's happening to the church in North America.)

And this is my simple, yet I believe, easily comprehensible understanding of What is Missional:

To quote Eugene Peterson, it's about,

The Word (who) became flesh and blood and moved into the neighborhood.

Becoming missional means we realize that Jesus has "moved into the neighborhood" and we are to follow him. It stands in stark contrast to church buildings that say, come. Missional stands counter to the attractional church model of Christendom.

I believe there are three aspects to this discussion. Missional is incarnational – in that we are to be the hands, feet and voice of Jesus in our neighborhoods – positional in that we are to move out and amongst, and relational – we are to love our neighbors, whether they ever darken the doorsteps of our church buildings or not – in fact, whether they ever even "become Christians". Luke 10 provides a framework for that journey as we move into our neighborhoods – engaging everyone we meet – entering wherever we are invited – receiving hospitality and engaging in relationship – understanding that in C.S. Lewis' words, Aslan IS on the move – and we are to follow Him.

My definition does not negate the need for Christians to be a part of a real Christian community where they are being discipled and are growing in their faith and their witness. Chicago's Life on the Vine would be one example of a church attempting to live this out. (Dave Fitch is one of the leaders there – and Imbi and I shot the Stetzer/Fitch videos in LotV's building.) There are many others. But the focus is not the building as the locus of the community.

Missional is about us getting off our butts and actually engaging with our neighbours as Christ engaged with the people he met – teaching and then sending His disciples out to do the same.

But.

Sometimes it's seems easier to simply engage in esoteric arguments about who has the completely correct theological understanding – rather than to actually meet and love our neighbours.

Missional isn't complex – but apparently, it also isn't easy.

_________________________________________________________

You might also find this post helpful on the Missional Longview – written a week after the one I link to above for publication on the actual Missional Synchroblog date. And please make a point of reading the other posts in that synchroblog. If you are at all interested in What is Missional? Brent Toderash aka Brother Maynard wrote eight posts covering all 50 of the Synchroblog posts with a final summation here.

The Missional Mobilization video with Pete Atkins in the sidebar is also worth watching in light of this post. Pete and Kath Atkins, Fresh Expressions missioners in the UK, have had a profound impact on Imbi's and my understanding of missional/mission-shaped – as they are both thought leaders and practitioners.

And might I also recommend you add these voices to your missional blog reading list if you haven't already: Jason Coker and the three JR's: JR Briggs, JR Rozko and JR Woodward.

I'm finding it hard to post this week. I've begun a number of posts and abandoned them for good, or for a more appropriate time.

I'm still troubled by things from last week that need further discussion. I'm missing the sane voice of my good friend, Michael Spencer. (Please keep praying for Michael and his family.) And the Haiti Earthquake puts the brokenness of this world into forced focus.

You can find me commenting 140 characters at a time on Twitter: @kinnon. You will also find brighter Kinnon lights in the Twitterverse if you follow @liamkinnon and @kailikinnon – Imbi's and my oldest and youngest, respectively.

A couple of quick comments then.

First, the BHT's illustrious Matthew Johnson (Twitter: @revmhj) tweeted about this post from Oak Leaf Church, Selfish Christians. Matthew liked it. I didn't and commented there. Discipleship has got to be the biggest problem in the Western Church (and probably the Church universal.) This story, More U.S. Christians mix in 'Eastern,' New Age beliefs, in USA Today from last December (that I believe Ed Stetzer pointed to) strongly makes that point.

The second comment is about Mark Driscoll's Tweet (Twitter: @PastorMark) about his plans coming together to go to Haiti with a film crew "to help raise awareness & money for the church there." Now, I don't want to question Mark's heart in any way. But I do need to ask the question of why it's necessary for anyone, other than those who are going to work on the ground, to take a camera crew to Haiti right now?

There are probably more than 50 crews already there. Producing more tragic visual impact than one could ever possibly need. Do you really need to be there to raise awareness? (Look at this post of Jordon Cooper's alone.)

Resources are already so scarce, does Haiti need any more attention-tourists arriving at this point to tell anymore stories of the horror and trauma? (@TimmyBrewster points to the fact that the FAA is not allowing anymore planes into Haiti as there is no where to put them and no fuel available for them. UPDATE: Moments after I posted this @NPRNews says aid flights have resumed.) World Vision, World Concern, the Red Cross, Oxfam and every other credible agency is there working there tails off – with people shooting what's going on. And every network is covering this tragedy as the biggest story of this still young new decade.

I doubt another "film crew" is necessary.

UPDATE: And one final thing. If you want to give X% of sales this month to Haiti, that's very cool. But do you need to make it part of your marketing communications. I find that kinda "gross" in the words of @jaredcwilson.

EdCyzewski1.jpg

Ed Cyzewski (@edcyzewski on Twitter) is a gifted professional writer who blogs on culture and the church @ In A Mirror Dimly – one of my favourite blogs. (Ed's blog on writing is also worth following.)

Ed is also the author of a good book, Coffeehouse Theology:

Coffeehouse Theology will help the reader understand, shape, and live out practical Christian theology in the postmodern context. Beginning with the relationship of cultural context and theology, Coffeehouse Theology roots theology in the church’s mission to be the presence of God’s Kingdom.

CoffeehouseTheologyBook.jpg

If you haven't had a chance to read Coffeehouse Theology, Ed and his publisher are offering a 35% discount (coupon code: K82E1D8E6).

FREE EBOOK STUDY GUIDE:
Until the end of 2009 – a scant 16 days away – you can download a free ebook version of Ed's study guide for Coffeehouse Theology.

I've already grabbed mine.