My Feeble Attempt at a Blog

2007 Triangle Harvest—with Greg Laurie, Third Day, David Crowder Band, Toby Mac, Leeland, and more!


Important Distictions...

Brad Bell, the pastor of the Well Community Church in Fresno, recently gave an incredible message on spiritual formation and how that is different for each person. I encourage anyone and everyone to take the time to listen to it. It's affirming to know that the dialogue I enjoy with many of you is an essential part of my growth as a Christian - so, thank you. :-)

As with any journey, some steps take you forward; others force you to retrace your steps and choose a different path. Still at other times, it's good to sit and think. Today was one of those days. It's been great to dialogue with a few people about the last post that I made on here, and especially great for me to be forced to engage myself in a real discussion about intelligent faith. Too often, Christians are not thinking for themselves anymore. But don't get me started on that one.

With that in mind, I do need to make an important distinction. Both in my research of the Emergent Church movement and in my dialogue with others on the subject, I have had to come face to face with the realization that not everyone who identifies themselves as "emergent" (or fall into that category whether they like it or not) is a "problem church."

In fact, a few of the leaders of this movement who have sparked my interest have written a letter in response to recent criticisms. I encourage you to read it and take some time to actually think for yourself about the kind of church that God is calling us to be. Again, it's not about simply taking sides. It's about engaging our minds and searching for the Truth. It's not about feeling good as much as it is about us growing together in this journey we call faith - THAT is the Church. Just please... don't stop thinking for yourself.


A disturbing trend?

Over the past year, I have found myself increasingly intrigued by a movement in the church that is labeling itself as "emergent." Various articles have popped up from here to there, and churches labeled as "emergent" have seemed to run the gamut of conservative Bible-teaching dispensational churches to the more liberal "view the Bible as a nice allegory" type. Whatever the case may be, this certain demographic of churches is seemingly latching on to the words of what some may call "the great theologian of our time": Bono. Is he really, though? True, many of the lyrics that he has written deal with the deep longings of the human soul to connect with God. A sort of wrestling with honest, real faith that many, if not all Christians, can relate to. But what is at the core of Bono's teachings? And is it dangerous to connect one's faith to his leadership?

Consider this: in recent concert events, the band has reportedly been urging their audience to chant, "Jesus, Jew, Mohammed - all true," with the picture "Coexist" behind them on the screen. "But he's a professing Christian," some would say. Really? I beg to differ.

Consider that in a recent interview with U2's front man, Michka Assayas, Bono was quoted as saying, "You see, at the center of all religions is the idea of Karma. You know, what you put out comes back to you: an eye for an eye, a tooth for a tooth, or in physics—in physical laws—every action is met by an equal or an opposite one. It’s clear to me that Karma is at the very heart of the Universe. I’m absolutely sure of it. "

What are the implications of a church teaching Bonoisms rather than the Bible? Bono has repeatedly come forth with a cry that the church desperately needs to hear - that the poor and the hungry of the world need to see the church put feet to its faith. But at what cost? What happens when a young or vulnerable Christian goes to church and see's Bono's words held up in such high esteem? Would he then not assume that Bono's other words are just as well thought out? The Bible warns us of such false prophets, does it not? Wolves that come in sheeps clothing? If one can separate the two and make the distinction clear to his congregation, then great- the church needs to hear the challenge to serve that Bono so eloquently presented at the recent National Prayer Breakfast in Washington. But please, make the distinction. Social justice at the cost of the Gospel is not the way to go. Furthermore, Bono's claims in the prayer breakfast itself undermine the church and its authorities, stating that "[the church] has perverted the gospels and the Holy Scriptures since they were first written." Oh really, Bono? Peter? Paul? Perverters of the Gospels

I think a recent article in Christianity Today sums it up best when they wrote:
"Bono has said repeatedly that Christianity without an element of social justice is empty. We agree. But a Christian's pleading for social justice without worshiping God regularly within the community of the church is little more than activism for its own sake. Any person can stand outside the church and critique its obedience to the gospel. Part of God's call on a Christian's life is to walk inside and die to self by relating to other human beings, both in their fallenness and in their redeemed glory." (Christianity Today. March, 2003, Vol. 47, No. 3, Page 37)

What do you think? I'm interested in hearing your thoughts on this... D


Open Forum #1: Bibliolatry?

Okay, so I've been wrestling with several questions recently, and this has been one of them. So... will you help? I'm interested to hear your thoughts, not to mention find out who reads this - or who even cares. At any rate, here's the topic- let me know what you think...

Is it possible to idolize the Bible? What would that look like? How can I tell if I'm falling into that trap? And what do I do about such passages as 2 Tim. 3:16 and 2 Peter 3:15-16?

Again, your thoughts and comments are appreciated.