Eureka Video Widget

Sunday, December 30, 2007

10th Anniversary





Today is a very special day. It marks ten years of togetherness and companionship. Ten years ago, on New Year's Eve Eve Pascal and I became companions. By Pascal I am not referring to the philosopher/scientist/theologian. By Pascal I am referring to my furry feline friend.

It has been a great ten years. I truly believe that God brought us together. A friend of mine was going to buy a cat, and I went with her. As she was looking at these kittens, Pascal walked up to me and meowed at me. My friend bought her and another cat. She let me name her cats, and I chose the names Pascal and Soren (yes, the obvious). It probably isn't a good sign when you let someone else name your pets. A couple of weeks later I called her and told her I was going to get a cat, and she asked me if I wanted Pascal. I jumped all over that. That was New Year's Eve Eve ten years ago.

It's been great. As a kitten she had the biggest ears (proof is in the pictures above), but she grew into them quite nicely. She still plays with pieces of the long furry toy she is chewing on in the second picture above. At night she jumps into bed with me and places her head on my hand for a few minutes before we go to sleep. In the morning, she places her head on my hand and we bond a few minutes before getting out of bed. She does not like it when other things preoccupy my attention. She should get it all. When taking Hebrew, I recall a day when she sprawled out across my texts while I was studying. It was a welcome distraction. When I was writing my thesis project she would sit at my feet while I was working at the computer, often keeping my feet warm.

I thank God that he brought me such a wonderful little buddy. She truly is a wonderful little gift from God.

The picture below is the anniversary present I bought her. Whew! I'm glad she liked it.

Saturday, December 29, 2007

My Theological Worldview

I came across the theological worldview quiz via BryanL's blog. It turns out I'm more postmodern than I thought, although I know I'm very pomo. The funny thing is that I'm also very much into revival, which explains the high Wesleyan marks I suppose. I thought I'd score higher in the charismatic section, since I are one. Anyway...here it is.





What's your theological worldview?
created with QuizFarm.com
You scored as Emergent/Postmodern

You are Emergent/Postmodern in your theology. You feel alienated from older forms of church, you don't think they connect to modern culture very well. No one knows the whole truth about God, and we have much to learn from each other, and so learning takes place in dialogue. Evangelism should take place in relationships rather than through crusades and altar-calls. People are interested in spirituality and want to ask questions, so the church should help them to do this.


Emergent/Postmodern



82%

Neo orthodox



75%

Evangelical Holiness/Wesleyan



71%

Roman Catholic



57%

Charismatic/Pentecostal



39%

Fundamentalist



32%

Modern Liberal



32%

Classical Liberal



32%

Reformed Evangelical



29%


Tuesday, December 25, 2007

Meowy Christmas from Pascal



Would someone please get these things off of me? Sigh.

Meowy Christmas!


And a quote from Blaise Pascal:

“Wretchedness induces despair.

Pride induces presumption.

The Incarnation shows man the

greatness of his wretchedness through the

greatness of the remedy required.”

Sunday, December 23, 2007

Merry Christmas

I posted this link before, but with two days until Christmas, we wanted to wish y'all a Merry Christmas. With all goofiness intended, here is our Christmas greeting from us to you.

We are:

Pascal--Cat
Petey--Lizard
Yvette--the one out of sync with the cat and the lizard.

Yes, not only are they smarter, they are better dancers.

Merry Christmas Y'all!

Friday, December 21, 2007

Very exciting stuff

Last night when I got home there was one of those wonderful boxes at the door. Yes...it was from Amazon. AND, YES AGAIN! It was a book.

Inside was Nancey Murphy's Beyond Liberalism and Fundamentalism. This has moved to the top of the list. How could it not when the first two paragraphs of the introduction say this:
American Protestant Christianity is often described as a two party system. The division between "liberals" and conservatives (including both fundamentalists and evangelicals) is a deep one, often marked by acrimony and stereotypes. I leave it to the sociologists and historians to account for the acrimony. My goal here is to help clarify the difference between the intellectual positions of these two groups and to advance the thesis that the philosophy of the modern period is largely responsible of the bifurcation of Protestant Christan thought.

A second thesis of the book is that the modern philosophical positions that drove this division have all been called into question. So it is time to ask how theology ought to be done in a postmodern era and to envision a rapprochement between theologians of the left and right.
If that doesn't sound exciting to you, I don't know what does.

Nancey Murphy is Associate Professor of Christian Philosophy at Fuller Theological Seminary.

Woo hooo...let the festivities begin.

Thursday, December 20, 2007

"What's In/On Your" Meme

BryanL tagged me for the "What’s in/on your:" meme. Here we go.

CD Player
-- oooh...I don't really use a CD player, so I'll go with what I was listening to last on my IPod. Luke Timothy Johnson's Lectures on "Early Christianity."

DVD Player

My DVD player holds five DVDs: a disc from "Eureka" season 1, "End of the Spear," "Amazing Grace," "The Siege," and "Deck the Halls"

To Read List
Nancey Murphy's Beyond Liberalism and Fundamentalism and Stanley Grenz's Renewing the Center

To See List
"I am Legend", "Alvin and the Chipmunks", "Walk Hard" and "AVPR"

Mind--it's 10:27 and I have to stop writing this post so I can watch Stephen Colbert on "The Colbert Report"

I tag Jeremy, MLM, and St. Brian.

Wednesday, December 19, 2007

Personality Profile

Thanks to JeremyZ for posting on his personality. This led me to a wonderful profile instrument, and here is my personality profile:

Click to view my Personality Profile page

Personality page has these quotes on the INTJ:

"...approach reality as they would a giant chess board, always seeking strategies that have a high payoff, and always devising contingency plans in case of error or adversity."

"...observer, values solitude, perfectionist, detached, private... does not talk about feelings, hard to impress, analytical, likes esoteric things..."
- Jung Type Descriptions (INTJ) (similarminds.com)

"To outsiders, INTJs may appear to project an aura of "definiteness", of self-confidence. This self-confidence, sometimes mistaken for simple arrogance by the less decisive, is actually of a very specific rather than a general nature; its source lies in the specialized knowledge systems that most INTJs start building at an early age. When it comes to their own areas of expertise -- and INTJs can have several -- they will be able to tell you almost immediately whether or not they can help you, and if so, how."
- INTJ Profile (TypeLogic)

"At work, INTJs use their conceptual strengths to analyze situations and then develop models to understand and anticipate through relentlessly to reach their goals. They will continue on with their plans, even in the face of adversity and data that might suggest to other more practical types that their goals are no longer feasible. By nature, INTJs are independent individualists."

"INTJs are natural leaders, although they usually choose to remain in the background until they see a real need to take over the lead. When they are in leadership roles, they are quite effective, because they are able to objectively see the reality of a situation, and are adaptable enough to change things which aren't working well. They are the supreme strategists - always scanning available ideas and concepts and weighing them against their current strategy, to plan for every conceivable contingency. "
- Portrait of an INTJ (The Personality Page)

This stuff is fun.

Community Quote #2 -- Forgiveness

Sojourners sends these little snippet emails that are a delight to receive. They are free and thought provoking. One of their offerings is called "Verse and Voice." It is daily scripture and compelling quotes. I enjoy receiving these emails from Sojourners. If you are interested in receiving their free materials, you can sign up here.

Today's included another gem on community:

"Too many people come into community to find something, to belong to a dynamic group, to find a life which approaches the ideal. If we come into community without knowing that the reason we come is to discover the mystery of forgiveness, we will soon be disappointed." - Jean Vanier Community and Growth

Some times we enter into community knowing it will help us grow. Often times we enter into community without the foresight that this growth often comes through the trials we encounter when we are in relationship with other believers. Forgiving a brother or a sister is often much more difficult than extending forgiveness to those outside the community of faith. "After all," we reason, "they're a Christian. They should know better."

I'm not exactly sure what Vanier meant by "mystery of forgiveness." Is it the mystery on why God would send His Son so we can have forgiveness? Is it the mystery that we are called to extend the forgiveness we have received to those who wrong us? Is it the amazing mystery of the power and freedom that comes from forgiving? I'm not sure, but I expect a little bit of all of that and more.

One final thought from Scripture: "Bear with each other and forgive whatever grievances you may have against one another. Forgive as the Lord forgave you." Colossians 3:13 (NIV)

___

Update 9:30 p.m.: This must be the theme of the day. I went to church this evening, and our pastor was talking about making our relationships right with the people with whom we have a problem. Then on my drive home, John Tesh was talking about how holding grudges weakens your immune system. Well, I ain't the brightest crayon in the box, but this theme was even obvious to me.

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

Michael Brown and Queer Channel Radio

Dr. Michael Brown of ICN Ministries has this fascinating interview about homosexuality on Shake Radio or Queer Channel Radio. Scroll down to the podcast dated 12/02/07. The interview is a few minutes into the program.

Dr. Brown does a great job of holding to scriptural truth AND being loving. The hosts described him as "tolerant" and a "nice guy." I am thankful for ministers who speak the truth in love and don't resort to gay bashing.

Friday, December 14, 2007

Tagged -- 7 Little Known Things About Myself

BryanL tagged me! First time I've been tagged...and here is the assignment: list seven little known facts about me.

1. I love my cat, Pascal. And my lizard, Petey.

2. I am an INTJ.

3. My only talent is video production.

4. I have trouble sleeping. I can only fall asleep watching TV so I'll get distracted. If I read before going to bed, I usually can't fall asleep.

5. I am sort of OCD and a germaphobe. When I leave the house I check the front door lock ten times (1...2....3....4....5 and I'll do this twice). I go through the same kitchen routine every night to make sure the gas stove is off and count all the electrical items to make sure they are off. I also have to turn on the outside lights, and look outside to make sure no one is there, and tug on the doors of the front and back of the house to make sure they are locked. I have to wash my hands before I eat. Friends will ask me if I washed my hands at a restaurant just to make me think about it knowing that as soon as I think about it I will have to get up and go wash them.

6. I love Star Trek, and I wish I were a Vulcan. When I was a kid and I would fall down and scrape my knee I would look to see if the blood was green.

7. I could listen to Billy Joel and Jimmy Buffet all day long.

I tag mlm.

Thursday, December 13, 2007

Community Quote

BryanL has an interesting quote from Gordon Fee on ecclesiology and soteriology. Interestingly enough, today's "Voice of the Day" from Sojourners was this quote:

We live today in a world of growing isolation, frantic activity, and desperate violence, where paradoxically, we find ourselves longing for both solitude and companionship, intimacy and community. Some of us may look back to times when life seemed to make sense and relationships were more certain. Whether or not such times ever existed, we nevertheless long today for relationships that acknowledge who we are and who we want to be. We want someone to hear us, to hear our hearts beating, to hear our deepest longings—even longings of which we dare not speak.

- Sondra Higgins Matthaei
Faith Matters

There's something to think about.

Monday, December 10, 2007

Merry Christmas from Us to You

When I said in my previous post on death, that I like goofy stuff at Christmas I meant it. So, with all goofiness intended, here is our Christmas greeting from us to you.

Pascal--Cat
Petey--Lizard
Yvette--the one out of sync with the cat and the lizard. Yes, not only are they smarter, they are better dancers.

Sunday, December 9, 2007

On Death

This is that time of the year that can be depressing. I go back and forth from having a blast with silly Christmas carols like "Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer" to being very depressed.

Here is one of the reasons. My mother died the day after Thanksgiving about ten years ago. The miracle we wanted didn't come. At least not the way we were praying. Her birthday was December 14th. A very good friend of mine died December 16 two years ago, and he was very young. He was like a brother to me. So Christmas is depressing.

While my mother was in the hospital dying I learned everything I know about comforting others through Dr. Villarreal. Dr. V, as he is called, was a counselor from our church. He was with us almost every night. He did not offer
clich├ęs. Sometimes he prayed. Sometimes he didn't. All the time he sat. He sat with us quietly. He waited. He waited without offering pat answers.

I'm thankful for Dr. V. When people offered answers or said, "She's in a better place," I wanted to smack 'em. That's the truth. You can tell me I'm a bad Christian. That's OK...I'm not sure I ever claimed to be a good one. Dr. V. was there with us.

So here is everything I know about caring for people in the hospital or maybe while they are grieving, and I learned it from Dr. V.:
  • Don't offer pat answers.
  • Learn how to be silent.
  • Sit and wait.
  • Be sensitive to others and the Holy Spirit.
  • Sit and wait.
  • Learn how to be silent.
  • Pray. Silently and maybe not silently.
  • Sit and wait.
I'm not a people person. I do better with animals and books. So, if you can help me with some of these thoughts, please pitch in.

Grace and peace this holiday season.

Thursday, December 6, 2007

One Book Meme

BryanL has this one book meme, so here are my answers:

1. One book that changed your life:
  • The Cost of Discipleship by Dietrich Bonhoeffer

2. One book that you’ve read more than once:
  • Revolution, The Call to Holy War by Michael L. Brown

3. One book you’d want on a desert island:
  • Pascal's Pensees
4. One book that made you laugh:
  • I am America (and so can you) by Stephen Colbert
5. One book that made you cry:

hmmm...cry...I don't know. But Resurrection and the Son of God by N. T. Wright made me kind of misty. So did parts of Pauline Christology by Gordon Fee.

6. One book that you wish had been written:
  • I wish Pascal lived long enough to finish what we have as The Pensees.
7. One book that you wish had never been written:
  • Books promoting "prosperity theology"

8. One book you’re currently reading:
  • God at War by Gregory A. Boyd

9. One book you’ve been meaning to read:
  • Backgrounds of Early Christianity by Everett Ferguson
10. Now tag five people:
  • Quoting BryanL: I don't even know 5 people! Anyone who stumbles across this blog and has not done the meme I tag you.

Wednesday, December 5, 2007

Books

I've finished reading Roger Olson's Reformed and Always Reforming, and I must say it will be one of my all time favorite books. I went through the footnotes and made a list of the books I want from it. Please excuse the inconsistent formatting, but here is the list:

Really, Really, Really, Really Want to Read:

Evangelicalism: Comparative Studies of Popular Protestantism in North America, The British Isles, and Beyond, 1700-1990 (Religion in America Series (Oxford University Press).) by Mark A. Noll, David Bebbington, and George A. Rawlyk

20th-Century Theology: God and the World in a Transitional Age by Stanley J. Grenz and Roger E. Olson

Revisioning Evangelical Theology: A Fresh Agenda for the 21st Century by Stanley J. Grenz

Beyond Foundationalism: Shaping Theology in a Postmodern Context by Stanley J. Grenz (Author), John R. Franke

Beyond Liberalism and Fundamentalism: How Modern and Postmodern Philosophy Set the Theological Agenda (Rockwell Lecture Series) by Nancey Murphy

The Nature of Confession: Evangelicals & Postliberals in Conversation by George A. Lindbeck, Dennis L. Okholm, and Timothy R. Phillips

Evangelical Futures: A Conversation on Theological Method by Jr., John G. Stackhouse

Trinity and Process: A Critical Evaluation and Reconstruction of Hartshorne's Di-Polar Theism Towards a Trinitarian Metaphysics (American University Studies Series VII, Theology and Religion) by Gregory A. Boyd

Really, Really Want:

Christian Foundations, 7 vols. By Donald Bloesch

A Future for Truth: Evangelical Theology in a Postmodern World by Henry H., III Knight

The Drama Of Doctrine: A Canonical-Linguistic Approach To Christian Theology by Kevin J. Vanhoozer

The Evangelical Moment: The Promise of an American Religion
by Kenneth J. Collins

Tracking the Maze: Finding Our Way Through Modern Technology from an Evangelical Perspective by Clark Pinnock

The Post-Evangelical by Dave Tomlinson

The Character of Theology: An Introduction to Its Nature, Task, and Purpose by John R. Franke

Evangelicalism in Modern Britain: A History from the 1730s to the 1980s by David W. Bebbington

The Mosaic of Christian Beliefs: Twenty Centuries of Unity & Diversity by Roger E. Olson

Most Moved Mover: A Theology of Gods Openness (The Didsbury Lectures) by Clark H. Pinnock

First Theology: God, Scriptures & Hermeneutics by Kevin J. Vanhoozer

Theology For The Community Of God by Grenz Stanley J.

Revive Us Again: The Reawakening of American Fundamentalism by Joel A. Carpenter

Reforming Fundamentalism: Fuller Seminary and the New Evangelicalism by George Marsden

Holy Scripture: Revelation, Inspiration & Interpretation (Christian Foundations) by Donald G. Bloesch

Truth Is Stranger Than It Used to Be: Biblical Faith in a Postmodern Age by J. Richard Middleton and Brian J. Walsh

Reforming The Doctrine Of God by F. LeRon Shults

The Identity of Jesus Christ by Hans W. Frei

Flame of Love: A Theology of the Holy Spirit by Clark H. Pinnock

Searching for an Adequate God: A Dialogue Between Process and Free Will Theists by John B. Cobb and Clark H. Pinnock

GOD AND THE GOOD by Clifton J. And Lewis B. Smedes Orlebeke

Space, Time And Incarnation by Thomas Forsyth Torrance

The Social God and the Relational Self: A Trinitarian Theology of the Imago Dei by Stanley J. Grenz

The Named God and the Question Of Being: A Trinitarian Theo-Ontology by Stanley J. Grenz

Monday, December 3, 2007

Chimps Beat Humans in Tests

I know I'm not the brightest crayon in the box, but I hope I could beat a chimp in a test. According to a story, "Japanese researchers pitted young chimps against human adults in two tests of short-term memory, and overall, the chimps won."

Sunday School for Atheists

Yes...you read the title right. It seems as though atheists are holding their own brand of Sunday school. Check out the story.

HT: Scot McKnight

Legal Rights for Embryos

Groups in various states are proposing legal rights for embryos. According to the story at the Pew Forum:
Opening a new front in their assault on abortion, activists in half a dozen states are preparing ballot referendums that would grant "personhood" and constitutional rights to embryos from the moment of conception...

If the embryo is declared a person under a state's constitution, the reasoning goes, the termination of its existence must be considered murder.
This is probably a story to keep up with.

Pascal Quote

The Sojourner's Verse and Voice had this quote today::

"People never do evil so completely and cheerfully as when they do it from religious conviction."

- Blaise Pascal

Friday, November 30, 2007

More from Olson

My theological identity crisis continues, and the more I read Olson, the more I find myself saying, "Amen!" I'm getting close to finishing his book, Reformed and Always Reforming, and I intend to write more about it. But I could not resist writing about some nuggets from Olson on pages 197-198.

Olson states that postconservative evangelical theology regards true orthodoxy as generous. "Postconservative evangelicals worry that orthodoxy is often used as a cudgel to attack and batter dissident and marginal voices even among the faithful. Orthodoxy should not be a weapon in the hands of heresy-hunters but a beacon to guide sojourners away from rocks and toward the shore of truth. It should be relatively simple and straightforward, attractive and welcoming, flexible and adjustible--not on demand but in response to new situations and contexts and especially in response to fresh and faithful biblical interpretation." (p. 197)

On page 198, Olson sates that postconservative evangelicals fear that conservative evangelicals have packed too much detail into orthodoxy "so that the evangelical faith as taught in many seminaries is suffering from hardening of the categories and being used to drive God-fearing, Jesus loving, Bible0believing people away." Some systematic theologies are esteemed by some conservatives as timeless standards of evangelical orthodoxy and are being used to define and defend boundaries that exclude people of faith. Alister McGrath recognizes this tendency and argues,

An evangelical theologian should not be challenged concerning his evangelical credentials merely because he fails to agree completely with Jonathan Edwards, or B.B. Warfield, or John Stott...We must acknowledge the provisionality of our interpretations of Scripture--which is, of course what all good theology ultimately is--and be prepared to have them challenged and corrected by others as part of the corporate evangelical quest for biblical authenticity.

Olson notes Alister E. McGrath, "Engaging the Great Tradition: Evangelical Theology and the Role of Tradition, " in Stackhouse, ed., Evangelical Futures, 150.
Olson continues by stating that postconservatives draw upon tradition, but more especially on Scripture to construct an orthodoxy that is basic and essential to the gospel of Jesus Christ, but not elaborate, detailed, and exclusive of everyone and everything that disagrees with some detail. He then states the maxim, "In essentials unity, in non-essentials liberty, in all things charity."

There is something to think about.

Democrats Court Evangelicals

Saddleback Church hosted a Global Summit on AIDS and the Church, hosted by Rick and Kay Warren. According to the article, Warren "invited all the presidential candidates in both parties to address his congregation on the HIV pandemic. With just five weeks until voting begins in the presidential nominating contest, only Clinton came in person; Republicans Mike Huckabee, John McCain and Mitt Romney and Democrats Obama and John Edwards addressed the congregation through videos."

Saturday, November 24, 2007

Blog Reading Level

OK...I am sure this is way off. If it isn't wrong, then I am in big trouble because I won't be able to understand my own blog. Anyway, here is the blog reading level.

cash advance

Friday, November 23, 2007

On This Day --Pascal's Night of Fire

On this day, November 23, in 1654 Blaise Pascal had a dramatic encounter with God. He wrote of his experience, and sewed it into the liner of his coat. It wasn't until after his death that people learned of this and realized everywhere he went Pascal carried this experience with him. This encounter has become known as "Pascal's Night of Fire."

Here is "The Memorial":

The year of grace 1654
Monday, 23 November, feast of Saint Clement, Pope and Martyr, and of others in the Martyrology.
Eve of Saint Chrysogonus, Martyr and others.
From about half past ten in the evening until half past midnight.

Fire
'God of Abraham, God of Isaac, God of Jacob,' not of philosophers and scholars.
Certainty, certainty, heartfelt, joy, peace.
God of Jesus Christ.
God of Jesus Christ.
My God and your God.
'
Thy God shall be my God.'
The world forgotten, and everything except God.
He can only be found by the ways taught in the Gospels.
Greatness of the human soul.
'O righteous Father, the world had not known thee, but I have known thee.'
Joy, joy, joy, tears of joy.
I have cut myself off from him.
They have forsaken me, the fountain of living waters.
'My God wilt thou forsake me?'
Let me not be cut off from him for ever!
And this is life eternal, that they might know thee, the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom thou hast sent.'
Jesus Christ.
Jesus Christ.
I have cut myself off from him, shunned him, denied him, crucified him.
Let me never be cut off from him!
He can only be kept by the ways taught in the Gospel.
Sweet and total renunciation.
Total submission to Jesus Christ and my director.
Everlasting joy in return for one day's effort on earth.
I will not forget thy word. Amen.

Saturday, November 17, 2007

Another Confession

If I haven't said this before, I'll say it here: I am going through a theological mid-life crisis. I'm not doubting any of the significant concepts of Christianity, but I am reassessing much of what I was taught and unlearning a lot more. I am at one of those places where I feel like an idiot...I don't know anything.

In these times of perplexity I am reminded of the lyrics of a song by that great philosopher, Billy Joel (yes, I am dating myself).

Shades of Grey

River Of Dreams Released: 1993

Some things were perfectly clear, seen with the vision of youth
No doubts and nothing to fear, I claimed the corner on truth
These days it's harder to say I know what I'm fighting for
My faith is falling away
I'm not that sure anymore

Shades of grey wherever I go
The more I find out the less that I know
Black and white is how it should be
But shades of grey are the colors I see

Once there were trenches and walls and one point of every view
Fight 'til the other man falls - kill him before he kills you
These days the edges are blurred, I'm old and tired of war
I hear the other man's words
I'm not that sure anymore

Shades of grey are all that I find
When I look to the enemy line
Black and white was so easy for me
But shades of grey are the colors I see

Now with the wisdom of years, I try to reason things out
And the only people I fear are those who never have doubts
Save us all from arrogant men, and all the causes they're for
I won't be righteous again
I'm not that sure anymore

Shades of grey are all that I find
When I look to the enemy line
Ain't no rainbows shining on me
Shades of grey are the colors I see

Shades of grey wherever I go
The more I find out the less that I know
Ain't no rainbows shining on me
Shades of grey are the colors I see

(Taken from: http://www.billyjoel.com/site.html)

Friday, November 16, 2007

Humility in Theology

Growth often requires humility. Humility to acknowledge where we have failed, that we don't know it all, and we may have gotten something wrong. My generalization may not be accurate, but I usually don't think of theologians as people of great humility. That's what made this statement from Roger Olson so priceless:

This style of doctrine does not eschew correct doctrine or propositions or the Great Tradition of Christian belief but subjects all to the greater authority of divine revelation in Jesus Christ and Scripture, which may at any time break forth in new light that correct what has always been believed and taught by Christians. That style demands humility, generosity, and openness of spirit in conducting the work of theology and handling the cognitive content of the faith (p. 65 from Reformed and Always Reforming).

It is with true humility that we should approach theology. Knowing that we do not know it all, and acknowledging that there are others who can guide us in growth and knowledge, always asking God to speak to us and help us grow in transformation.

Postconservative Evangelical #1

I am becoming increasingly convinced that I am a postconservative Evangelical. I don't really care much about titles, but it is nice to know I might fit somewhere theologically. And if I don't, I suppose the Island of Misfit Toys can use some more company.

Here are a couple of "nuggets of joy" from Olson's Introduction to Reformed and Always Reforming:

p. 25 "To be sure, insofar as fundamentalism signals anti-intellectualism, an aversion to critical thinking, and separation from secular society and from Christians affected by secularism and liberalism, most conservative evangelical theologians are not fundamentalists. However, many conservatives share with fundamentalists a tendency toward harsh, polemical rhetoric and angry denunciations or ad hominem arguments when writing about fellow evangelicals with whom they disagree. The words 'heresy' and 'heterodoxy' and charges of departures from the true faith are all too frequent in some of their writings."

p. 45 "On the one hand, conservative evangelicals admit sola scriptura--that Scripture alone stands as the final source and norm of theology so that every doctrinal formulation, however ancient and accepted, is subject to correction by Scripture. On the other hand, they label as less than fully or authentically evangelical any theologians or theological proposals that diverge from man-made orthodoxy. How then can an evangelical theologian subject ancient and accepted doctrines to critical scrutiny and propose revisions in the light of faithful and fresh biblical understanding without automatically being condemned as nonevangelical?"

p. 53 "First, postconservatives, like conservatives, presupppse revelation, but they consider its main purpose to be transformation more than information."


There are a few snippets, but there is much more, and I have much more to read in the book.

But I do think I might be a postconservative evangelical. So far anyway.

Political Candidates

I'm not much into telling people how to vote because such and such a candidate is the most socially conservative. The red and the blue both have a lot to offer, and they both have a lot of problems. What I care about is making thoughtful choices.

I've never prayed for a political candidate...until now. A friend's son is running for office, and I pray for him. But since I've never done this, I didn't know for what to pray. Here is what I have come up with. If you have any ideas, please share them. You can also use this as a guide to pray for any candidate you are supporting. God knows anyone aspiring to serve in public office needs the support of prayer.

My Problem with Evangelicalism

Here is my confession. I have been frustrated with Evangelical Christianity. Check. That's conservative Evangelical Christianity. I have found myself drawn to those who would be considered liberals...Tony Campolo, Ron Sider, etc.

So, why? What are the roots of the frustrations?

I think there are three main reasons:

1. Arrogance. Especially in the Reformed community there is a sense that "we have it right; you must agree with us." The emphasis on being Calvinist to be orthodox is scary.

2. Fear. There is the constant cry of the slippery slope. "We can't have women in ministry, because suddenly we'll be tolerating homosexuality." "If we accept some of the valid aspects of Open Theism, then the sovereignty of God is thrown out the window."

3. Modernity. There seems to be a marriage to the methods of modernity within conservative Evangelicalism theology, even though they would deny it.

So...I'm frustrated. Some friends of mine gave me a great book that is addressing these concerns by Roger Olson called Reformed and Always Reforming. I think I'm a post-conservative Evangelical. More on that to come.

It's Time

I've had this blog for a long time and done nothing with it. It is time to start getting some of these thoughts out.

This space will be dedicated to wrestling...wrestling with faith, philosophy, theology, and most importantly...how these things are lived. So welcome to my ramblings.