"Ignorance of Scripture is ignorance of Christ." - Jerome

Thursday, April 26, 2007

The Pearl

I was just thinking of how interesting it was that Boris Yeltsin had a full Orthodox funeral when I saw the same observation here on The Corner. Communism tore down churches and turned others into public rest rooms. Today the country is in need of rebirth as desperation, alcoholism and suicide are all out of control. May the Lord have mercy on Russia and indeed help “the Russians find the pearl that was viciously taken from them”.

Wednesday, April 25, 2007

The Emerging Church

An interesting movement lately is the Emerging Church. My initial reaction was resistance. But then, the "Emerging Church" is merely the church of my generation, so to be totally resistant to it is merely to be resistant to my generation. In "They like Jesus, But not the Church" Dan Kimball, in trying to target 20-somethings, noticed the number one question was not "what denomination are you?" but "what are you doing for the poor?" We like our minimall churches, our "blessings of wealth" but do not realize a rich church does not look like Christ. If the body of Christ does not look like Christ, why would or should anyone be attracted to the church?

If you only knew of the church by Jerry Falwell calling the Teletubees gay, or Pat Robertson lusting for judgment of homsexuality in Florida by huricanes, or James Dobson calling Spunge-Bob gay (interesting pattern here), would you see the Christ with the woman at the well, or the Pharisees ready to stone a similar woman caught in adultry? Would we "marvel" that Christ would dare speak and love a homosexual?

Some interesting resources for keeping an orthodox theology, but a liberal orthopraxy in the Emerging church (just click the underlined links):

Dallas Theological's audio discussion on the Emerging Church. (starts with part 3, click part 1 on the right)

Relevant Magazine (yeah, I hate the name too, but great magazine)

Dan Kimball's "They Like Jesus, But not the Church"

Mark Driscoll's "Confessions of a Reformissional Rev."

Don Miller's "Blue Like Jazz"
(not explicitly Emerging, but a good intro to narrative thoughts of Christ, rather than purely systematic)

Wednesday, April 18, 2007

Obama and "Christian politics"

There are many items that makes Obama appealing as a candidate. He professes Christ and has some great Biblical imagry in his speeches. He reminds Christians of the terrible state of Republicans on social justice issues and global poverty (or at least of conservative loud mouths like Ann Coulter and Michael Savage).

Yet, he places himself on dubious ground in his response to the ban on partial birth abortion. One thinks of Wilberforce needing to bring MPs on board slave ships to convince them of the extent of the evil of the slave trade. Are detailed discriptions needed? With a "life of the mother" exemption, isn't this an area where reasonable people can agree?

What a wonderful dialog that could take place about social justice and Bonhoeffer's ethics. But as Bonhoeffer had that one issue of the "Jewish Problem," so are we saddled with the issue of abortion. When will the Democratic party listen to moderation? Don't they know they would easily gain millions of evangelical supporters with merely a more moderate position?

Friday, April 06, 2007

I just viewed a superb movie called "Into Great Silence." The film maker spent 6 months filming the lives of the monks of Grande Chartreuse in the French Alps. The film first makes you restless with the silence of the monastery. Then, you find the rest of the world to be too noisy, and the aesthetic life of the monks engulf you. Everything is done slowly. Everything gains new beauty. You begin to realize; God is not experienced most in the greatest of things, but as 1 Kings 19:11-13 says:
Then a great and powerful wind tore the mountains apart and shattered the rocks before the LORD, but the LORD was not in the wind. After the wind there was an earthquake, but the LORD was not in the earthquake. After the earthquake came a fire, but the LORD was not in the fire. And after the fire came a gentle whisper.

Sunday, April 01, 2007

Legalism is Easier than Liberty

(Derek Webb - "A New Law" video above)

I once was afraid of Grace. "What will people do with it?" Legalism is just easier, so we preach that instead. Moderation? Christian Liberty? No, Pharisee-ism is easier to explain. Just follow the letter, not the Spirit.