Saturday, July 24, 2004

vacation

Tolani and I are going on a much needed vacation.

Be back on the 8th of August.

blessings

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Re: An Army of Preachers

I am reading the current addition of the Officer, a magazine designed for SA officers.  Something struck me.  In a letter to the editor an officer talks about how the Army needs preachers.  He says: "I would...And say that the most urgent need in the Army today is a re-emphasis on the primacy of preaching."  He uses examples of "firery" preachers of the past.  Oddly enough with the exception of Booth all those he lists were well educated thinkers first and great preachers second. 

The Army does need more thinkers.  We need people who will bring the mission of soup, soap, and salvation or Save souls, grow saints, and serve suffering humanity, into the postmodern era.  We need people who will think ethically and do what is right.  we need people who can teach others and lead by example.  We needs people who can preach and teach in a new way to a new world we do not need the revivalists of old.  Revivalism was a good thing in its day when it was easy to attract an audience.  In today's world we need revivalism who will build relationships.

We need people who will put relationships first.

So no I do not believe we need an Army of preachers we need an Army of Incanational people in relationship with God and their world.

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Thursday, July 22, 2004

Evangelicalism and revivalism

I am reading Mark Noll's book "The Old Religion in a New World: The History of North American Christianity" I am about 100 pages in.  One thing has struck me.  The heart of evangelical revivalism was the ability to attract, convince, and emotionally move audiences.  This lead to churches.  This mindset has become gospel in today's churches.  One impact was that preachers were anybody who could accomplish this task.  They were sales people.  education was not a requirement.  This is still true today.  When a denomination requires education it is usually a week education because life is simple.  But what if we understand the gospel to be more then attract, convince, and move the heart/emotion?  Are we evangelical?  I gave up the term a couple years ago because of political reasons.  But what if we question the very nature of evangelical salvation?  What if the "pastor" or leaders job is to walk alongside, to help equip, to be friends with?  what if the sermon is no longer important?  Could it be?  What if we started using the homily style?  What if fellowship and community became the important parts of corporate worship?

What if?


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Saturday, July 17, 2004

Stuff

I have spent the last hour reading blogs.  Gordon http://www.urbanarmy.blogspot.com/ has some great thoughts on mission and TSA. 
 
Rebecca http://www.knowtown.com/epicjourneys/ has some intriguing thoughts on pain and how we hide it.
 
I have read the comments over the past week.  I have spent the better part of 6 years defending the facts that I am a Postmodern Christian who does not believe in absolute truth as something attainable in this life.  Absolute truth in my world is God and God alone.  I can only know God in part.  I am not going to defend the fact.  I will discuss theology mission vision or even the implications of postmodernity for the church I will not defend postmodernity.  I do not expect moderns to become postmodern just don't expect me to become modern or question my salvation because I do not see the world the same way.  Don't question my salvation because I will vote for Kerry only because I blame Bush and his people for killing many unjustly and putting America as the enemy of the world.  I do not want an American empire.  My salvation has been questioned for many of these views, do not do it here. 
 
If you want to debate postmodernity please go to Emergent village or TheOoze.  If you want to discuss the idea of community sanctification or social salvation lets.  Just don't attack me for not being an evangelical.
 
I am probably a bit irritated. 
 
I am most irritated at a Church without mission and the only church that is growing is the unchurched Christian.  Those who find community outside the bounds of institutional church.  Is that a bad thing.  I was raised to think yes.  I have seen too many abuses in extreme Pentecostal circles.  I just don't know.
 
I am gone from the college where is community?
 
Where are friends?
 
I need to go to Praiseworks.
 
their community is a reality.
 
What about here.
 
Now I go to talk through a sermon on Worship.
 
Blessings



2 Comments:

Personally I am finding labels less and less helpful. I have stumbled over a couple of interesting reads together with comments.

http://maggidawn.blogspot.com/2004/07/emerging-church-tribalismhere.html

http://simontsays.blogspot.com/2004/07/on-being-liberal.html

Despite the - without labels how can you be sure you have a tin of custard and not dog food - thought process, I still hold with a thought I had sev months back.

http://urbanarmy.blogspot.com/2004/03/old-labels-being-washed-away-or-new.html

Bill - you've nothing to defend apart from the right to be creative in your thoughts. Stick at it and thanks for allowing me to journey with you.

By Blogger Gordon, at 2:30 PM  

Bill,

I can hear your heartfelt cry. I can understand where you are. I was there too once. Im now one of those who has found community outside. I dont believe it can happen in the church as it is today.

Keep journeying, and may the Lord be with you as you find your way to authentic community.

Lucy

By Blogger Lucy, at 4:50 PM  

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Saturday, July 10, 2004

Random thoughts

My mariners are awful this year how long until football season?

we are heading up to Florence Oregon in a couple weeks can't wait I need a vacation.

I hate packing but unpacking is worse.

Life is good in Redondo. Major Chuck Gillies is great. Its a great fit. My wife is now with me that is awesome. Still running the business so I have daily headaches but all is well, I am getting better at it. I kind of enjoy it that's scary but I'd rather talk theology.

I hope to start at Fuller in January. One class at a time seven years and an MA in theology awaits. I like my BA in BS better though. We earned this during chapel.

1 Comments:

Hi Bill! Great to have found another officer blogger! I'd love to swap emails and engage in conversation. My entries have been sporatic lately but the blog I share with my wife is located at www.mississaugatemple.com/connexions

By Anonymous Anonymous, at 11:23 AM  

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Re:Dwight

Moving out of the theoretical Dwight and an interesting thought.
Dwight wrote:
If the church leadership understood their job as equipers of the faith instead of interventioners (that is a new word, BTW) then I think that holiness could be grasped (at least in a larger part than what I have seen today).

This speaks to something that Wesleyans have historically had a problem with. Social Holiness. Is it possible that not only are individuals are conformed to the Image of God but so are social entities. Is it possible for Communities of Faith to be the Image of God? When I read the NT there was the understanding that the writers where talking to groups of people. This is getting really Pomo but what if sanctification of an individual is impossible outside of a sanctified community (understand I speak of sanctification as process)?

If this is true or possible what does that mean? It means that the pastor or officer can not be the interventioner. Holiness does not flow from the pastor to the people but the pastor is a part of a holy community. S/he may not be a necessary position in the community. Leaders are vital but the traditional roles may not be.

so what about this idea of social holiness? Lets get heratical. Does this idea extend beyond the community of faith? Can other social organizations be sanctified? Is it possible for a government organization to be becoming the Image of God? I say not in America but elsewhere where greed does not run the country maybe?

So what needs to happen to see our communities be conformed to the Image of God?

6 Comments:

Bill

I will easily agree that the full image of God cannot be realized by an individual alone. I do not hold this because I am a postmodern but because of the early church saying "He who does not have the Church as his mother cannot have God as his Father"

I actually think that the role of the pastor lately is one who steps in the way between God and humanity instead of one who intervenes to God on behalf of humanity.

As for organizations outside of the church reaching for sanctification I will state that some probably are, but probably despite themselves. Unforunately, I think that maybe the world is becoming more sanctified despite the church as well. Leonard Sweet said, "If the church will not preach the gospel the culture will." I think that we are in that day today in America, so if that is true that it logically must be possible for corporations, communities and maybe even countries to work toward sanctification.

Side note: Can we equate sanctification as a process to healing?

By Blogger Dwight, at 5:01 PM  

Questions to Bill and Dwight:

How do you fit your concept of Christianity into a mold with the title Postmodern?

What do you do with the scripture:
Phi 2:12 Wherefore, my beloved, as ye have always obeyed, not as in my presence only, but now much more in my absence, work out your own salvation with fear and trembling.

Why do you think it is a good thing to conform to an old, new theory such as Postmodernism?

Postmodernism

In postmodernism the intellect is replaced by will, reason by emotion, and morality by relativism. Reality is nothing more than a social construct; truth equals power. Your identity comes from a group. Postmodernism is characterized by fragmentation, indeterminacy, and a distrust of all universalizing (worldviews) and power structures (the establishment). It is a worldview that denies all worldviews ("stories"). In a nutshell, postmodernism says there are no universal truths valid for all people. Instead, individuals are locked into the limited perspective of their own race, gender or ethnic group. It is Nietzsche in full bloom. (CIM)

Although postmodernists tend to reject traditional morality, they can still be very moralistic. They will defend their “rights” to do what they want with puritanical zeal. Furthermore, they seem to feel that they have a right not to be criticized for what they are doing. They want not only license but approval. Thus tolerance becomes the cardinal virtue. Under the postmodernist way of thinking, the principle of cultural diversity means that every like-minded group constitutes a culture that must be considered as good as any other culture. The postmodernist sins are “being judgmental,” “being narrow-minded,” “thinking that you have the only truth,” and “trying to enforce your values on anyone else.” Those who question the postmodernist dogma that “there are no absolutes” are excluded from the canons of tolerance. The only wrong idea is to believe in truth; the only sin is to believe in sin.

Gene Edward Veith, Jr (195-196) - Postmodern Times
*************
We are to come out from amongst the world, not conform to it.

Again just some questions and thoughts.

By Blogger Concerned Citizen, at 7:50 AM  

Goofy,

You already know how I would do this through our interaction on the Salvation Army Discussion Forum a month or so ago.

Basically, I will ask you the same question in terms of how you can be a Christian and a Modern? How can your belief in Absolute Truth and the human's ability to totally grasp that concept and understand it allow you to be a Christian? How does a Modern's understanding of individualism and salvation toward individual's reconcile with the Bible's teaching of salvation for groups of people.

Basically I would disagree with your depiction of postmodernism as you will probably disagree with my depiction of modernism. Basically Goofy tell me how one cannot be conformed to this world in any way and you will have shown me Christ, but he still interacted with this world and his specific time period (and he still is). I feel that I am a little more realistic of what faith is in America for me and most of my friends and it is not absolutes or relatives. I believe in neither and call both a false dictomy of truth. Some things can be true but not universally true (i.e. I graduated from college four years ago, that wasn't true five years ago, but it is valid today).

If one is a dispensationalist (which I am not) they hold that God changed his way of dealing with humanity several times over our existence (i.e. garden, fall, flood, babel, israel, christ, church, heaven). If that is true it cannot be absolutely true (i.e. something that doesn't change based on time, space, language, culture, history, etc). So if one is a good baptist dispensationalist then they cannot believe in an absolute God.

Goofy pickup a book by McLaren (A new kind of Christian would be good for you) and read the mostly-postmodern perspective of a 50+ year old pastor. Visit www.emergentvillage.com for a church perspective on postmodernity that feels that it needs to be dealt with not feared or run from.

By Blogger Dwight, at 8:43 PM  

Hey Dwight,

You are right, I realized we had had this discussion on the TSA forum right after I hit the submit button. So in essence I should have addressed it to just Bill, however, with your response, I think it would be good to discuss further.

I am not a Salvationist, nor a Modern, I think I have been called just about everything in the TSA forum but “Modern” is a new one. The title that has stuck in the forum is “Pentecostal Charismatic Foursquare” person. That would be about the nearest and in that a “Fundamentalist” somehow fills out the names. Absolutes are the mark of any well balanced society, whether it be the absolutes of sin and death or the laws of mankind, without absolutes of any kind, you have chaos. The Bible is an absolute in the historicity of God and His people; it lays down the basics for humankind to be humane and just. The Bible also lays out the laws of nature, the human credo of right and wrong created in the conscience mind. God is an absolute as He is the beginning and the end. Jesus is an absolute as He is the author and finisher of our faith. Jesus love was absolute and unconditional. Absolutes have become a problem in society as they point to the ultimate conclusion that there is a right and a wrong, they do not allow for middle of the road commitments or fence walking. God’s absolutes carry punishments as well as rewards and man today does not like to deal with the reality that if you disobey those laws of God there is a price to pay, a negative outcome if you do not turn from those things that would separate you from God for all eternity. Sin is sin, and the new theory of degrees of sin is not new at all, it is from the beginning of time in the Garden of Eden. Jesus made the way for us to return back to the Father without there being a recompense for our own personal sins that is the absolute of unconditional love.

I know Dwight I am probably spinning my wheels here, you and I will probably never see eye to eye, but I do pray for you, that your journey will mellow and you will come to find the inner peace that is given to all who believe in God and His authority over all.

Blessings,
Goofy

By Blogger Concerned Citizen, at 8:24 AM  

Goofy - what do you mean by "I know Dwight I am probably spinning my wheels here, you and I will probably never see eye to eye, but I do pray for you, that your journey will mellow and you will come to find the inner peace that is given to all who believe in God and His authority over all."

It sounds like you are questioning my love for Christ and my salvation. If you are then you will know why I have left church for a while and why I left the SA discussion forum. My lack of beliefs in Absolute Truth which reeks of Platonic thought does not effect my entrance into heaven.

Also sin does have degrees (penalities for lying and murder are not the same on this planet from humanity or from God (read leviticus proof of this), and any sin is enough to hurt our relationship with God. So the concept is as old as time itself because it is true. Again, research a Christian's view of postmodernism some time.

By Blogger Dwight, at 9:43 AM  

Dwight,

I apologize, I did not mean for my last statement to read the way it did. I was trying to say to you that I am praying that the journey you are on will come to a more centered place in your heart and you will find the peace you obviously desire. I am not doubting your belief in God, but only your lack of acceptance and understanding that He is all you need. You don’t need a bunch of modern day theories, you already have Jesus Christ and God in your heart, you just need to focus on the Bible and not the theories and teachings of man. It’s all right there, if you are willing to read it for the wisdom contained in it.

As to researching the Christian view of postmodernism, I have been. I have read a lot of Len Sweet and many others as well as the Threshold, the Church on the Threshold, Future Church and Christianity Today has some excellent articles pro and con. I would recommend you visit the following in your journey:

V Praize at:
http://www.praize.com
There you can find Watchman Nee, Wigglesworth and so many other wonderful theologians and their visions of the Christian life.

http://www.christianitytoday.com/ct/2000/013/7.74.html

I did not mean to offend you Dwight, but I think you are wise in seeking to find the Lord on your own at this point in time. If you continue to earnestly seek Him, in His Word and not in the words of so many outside, I think you will find Him in a new way that will give you exactly what you need.

Blessings Brother, in the Name of Jesus.
Goofy

By Blogger Concerned Citizen, at 10:25 AM  

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Re: Goofy

Its been a busy week of unpacking. All my books are now unpacked I feel at home. This discussion on Holiness is good.

Goofy wrote:

Quick question and then I would like to discuss further if that is acceptable to you. What do these statements mean to you, it is speaking about Wesley:

Sanctification he spoke of (1790) as the "grand depositum which God has lodged with the people called `Methodists'." Wesley taught that sanctification was obtainable instantaneously by faith, between justification and death. It was not "sinless perfection" that he contended for; but he believed that those who are "perfect in love" feel no sin. He was anxious that this doctrine should be constantly preached for the system of Wesleyan Arminianism, the foundations of which were laid by Wesley and Fletcher.


Goofy: Obviously you are quoting a historian or theologian, who? This is imperative to your question. I have read much of Wesley's writings and sermons. In my opinion Wesley was a true theologian. His thoughts evolved over time. At times Wesley seems to argue that sanctification is simple, Justification followed by a crisis point called sanctification (which meant every action motivated out of love) followed by death. Other times he seemed to understand the process as a process of becoming holy until such a point that entire sanctification becomes a reality in the persons life. The question is does a person grow in faith and practice? With the first model the answer is often no. We are radically changed again at sanctification. The second model presents a world where Christians are being sanctified. We are being conformed to the Image of God. It is this idea that I am in love with. HS is at work in our lives with our cooperation and work conforming us to the Image of God.

Let me discuss it this way: the doctrine of the Trinity came about over many years it developed over time. So has science. I believe doctrine to be constantly building and growing to help us in our practice of following Christ. So why can't the doctrine of sanctification develop. Wesley was an interpreter of the Orthodox doctrine of glorification in his day. We also to interpret doctrine in our day.

I home this answers your question and muddies the water even more.

1 Comments:

Hey Bill,

Thank you for your response, before I share my thoughts on what you said, here is where I study Wesley:
http://wesley.nnu.edu/index.htm

By Blogger Concerned Citizen, at 1:22 PM  

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Saturday, July 03, 2004

Re:Goofy

Goofy and Dan,
Thanks for the feedback. The question is one about discipline and skills. In football every person excels at the game by focusing on different skills. Wide recievers have different skills then linemen ect. Even linemen all have different skills and different jobs. Furthermore each coach has a different way of teaching basic skills.

In our Christian walk our skills build and develop. Each person must work on different things in their life as they struggle towards holiness. I am a Wesleyan because I do believe that people can reach a point in this life where "ever action is motivated out of love" (Wesley's definition of holiness). The problem with legalism or even much of early Methodism rules of discipline are that they were rules for everyone. But we are all different. Some need to abstain from drinking I am one of those because of family background. Others need to pray and read every morning. Others need to... The point is every person is unique. We all learn separate skills to someday be perfected in Love. The churches job is to coach but as with all coaching it is individualized. A good coach fits their game around the players.

Blessings

3 Comments:

Hey Bill,

All this reminds me of the problem with power structures in the Church. That may sound a little off of holiness, but just bear with me. If Church is set up with heirarchical structures (i.e. pastors, priests, etc) then there has been an inherent (at least in my background in church) "You go intervene to God for us." You know the type of attitude Moses got after coming down from Sinai. If the church leadership understood their job as equipers of the faith instead of interventioners (that is a new word, btw) then I think that holiness could be grasped (at least in a larger part than what I have seen today).

I agree that we should all excel in different spiritual gifts (a spiritual gift being a gift that you do whether you want to or not, as being distinct from a talent, which you are good at but will not do if you are in a bad mood) and those spiritual gifts should be nutured and recognized by the leadership of the local body of believers and encouraged even if the leadership does not have that gift. I also refuse to address the issue of the so called, "Supernatural gifts" in this comment (suffice it to say I believe they exist today, but very rarely do we see them).

By Blogger Dwight, at 9:29 AM  

Bill, hey,

Quick question and then I would like to discuss further if that is acceptable to you. What do these statements mean to you, it is speaking about Wesley:

Sanctification he spoke of (1790) as the "grand depositum which God has lodged with the people called `Methodists'." Wesley taught that sanctification was obtainable instantaneously by faith, between justification and death. It was not "sinless perfection" that he contended for; but he believed that those who are "perfect in love" feel no sin. He was anxious that this doctrine should be constantly preached for the system of Wesleyan Arminianism, the foundations of which were laid by Wesley and Fletcher.

By Blogger Concerned Citizen, at 5:57 PM  

I forgot to identify myself last time when I commented anonymously, but you ID'd me. Must have been my signature closing. I like the holiness thing when seen in the context of love, it prevents the 'holier than thou' mentality.

Good Journey,

(yeah, it's me.....)

By Anonymous Anonymous, at 6:08 PM  

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