Tuesday, June 12, 2007


I know it's been awhile, but now that I'm done with five semesters of Greek, I'm hoping to return to the blogosphere! Right now, I'm sitting at the beach watching Miami Ink. I've heard about it, but we don't have cable at home.

I'm really struck by the show. I'm hoping this is the last episode tonight, because if it isn't I'm going to be up awhile. The same thought keeps running through my head--If we really want to reach out to this generation, we need to set up some tattoo shops....

If that seems kind of silly, then watch an episode and listen to the stories. And while we're at it, what if we could find a way to offer pre-marital counseling to non-christians?

Tuesday, April 03, 2007


Here are some great thoughts on suffering and American theology from a dear old friend (Natey K anyone?). I got to touch on some similar themes preaching at Bent Tree a couple of weeks ago.


AND, here are two other great links:
1. A 4-hour debate/conversation at Saddleback between Rick Warren [wiki] and Sam Harris [wiki] on the existence of God. It was Newsweek's idea. Link.
2. Time Magazine article on teaching the Bible in the public school system. Link.

Monday, March 19, 2007

What the Church may Become. I hope.

Read this first.

This is the buzz. Scott McKnight also hints of "post-evangelicalism." I don't think the fallout can be homogeneous, but I think the blending is well under way. It has been for some time, but it wasn't identified as a pattern. Early on, there were Bible churches dealing with charismatics and the birth of Emmaus/Tres Dias communities in the mainlines. Then there were Alpha classes among the Episcopals. All of these were a re-centering among their own ilk.

Seven years ago (or so), a lot was being written about evangelical college students using Gregorian chant and ancient rituals. People thought that was the next big thing and started chasing it as an end. What wasn't clear was how many other believers were also becoming unsettled.

The thing she hints at but doesn't address is globalization. This time, not only can we speak to each other, but we can ALL speak. Look at the idea in your head that separates the South African Episcopals from the US Episcopals now that they've wrestled with homosexual clergy. And take a glance backward at how much your view of Roman Catholics has shifted in the last decade. For those wrestling with definitions of Orthodoxy (like Doug Paggit), this is exciting and may seem like a move toward ecumenism. For some evangelicals, it's terrifying and a slippery path to liberalism (many liberals are paying attention).

I think it will continue to blend for awhile, but there will also come a reassertion of the oldest creeds. This will expel some, but energize others. Seriously, isn't it at least a little exciting to see things like Lent and Advent being reclaimed and cleansed of their baggage--the presence of ritual and the sacred again in the midst of all the postmodern chaos? I believe the same will continue to happen and more and more new believers will be reaching back to our foundations for answers. That's why Rob Bell's podcast has 40,000 downloads a week--he's teaching the Old. Same thing for John Piper.

Okay--a lot more than I meant to write.

Tuesday, February 27, 2007

The Jesus Tomb

This is a duplicate of my post on a blog dedicated to our junior high staff:

Thanks to Erik for pointing this out! As it happens, one of my professors was supposed to be at the press conference and couldn't make it, but he's already seen the documentary and has some excellent comments here. Watch for more from him here. Seminary comes in handy!

For those who have no idea what I'm talking about, James Cameron (director of Titanic) is hosting a documentary on the Discovery Channel this Sunday. The promo asks, "If the bones of Jesus were found in Jerusalem, would that destroy the Christian faith?" They believe they have indeed found them, and those of his wife and son. Yes, that would pose quite a problem, since we believe in a BODILY resurrection and all!

Relax. They didn't find what they think they found. But there will be quite a bit of media attention on this in the next couple of days and you may even get some difficult questions from students. Remind them that we never need to fear a real search for truth.

Dr. Bock said this morning in class, "It's like a 21 slide PowerPoint presentation and each slide is contested. For the claim to be true, every slide must build from the one before." Take a peek at his blog or feel free to direct students there to read along with you. If you'd prefer a quick overview, here's a sampling of highlights:
1-It is almost untenable that a Jewish family from Galilee would purchase a family tomb in Jerusalem.
2-The names being used are not agreed upon--there are some significant difficulties with the equating of Mariamne with Mary Magdalene.
3-There is no agreement that this is actually a family tomb.
4-You'll have to see his post the rest, including some truth about DNA evidence. Be sure and go to the main blog as well for his updates. You'll hear him quoted quite a bit this week.

SO, since we're looking at Jesus and comparing him to who the culture thinks He is on Sundays, we're going to hit this head on in class on Sunday. I'll play some video from either CNN or Discovery and we'll let the kids try to help find solutions. As always, you're welcome to come (especially if you're on the Sunday Team)!

[staff meeting reminder removed]

UPDATE: There's a good article here, including an observation by a prominent Jewish scholar. AND, this blog (Ben Witherington, PhD.) is also full of excellent material for dealing with the claims. Be sure and look through the many comments and responses (Dr. Witherington is a friend of Dr. Bock).

FURTHER UPDATES: see www.crosstie.org

Thursday, January 25, 2007

Emerging Article

There's an excellent article on the emerging church here. These are the Christians our students are becoming (and maybe us too). I think the challenge it brings to the mainstream is exciting, and though some have found dangerous theology, others are finding ways around it--or should I say--others are reaching similar conclusions about practice and worship and mission with theology that is clearly orthodox, and yet humbly so.

I'll probably post the article on Crosstie.org in a couple of days.