Posts Tagged ‘centuri0n’

Study guide — Deep Church, Deep Truth

Sunday, February 28th, 2010

We’re writing a study/discussion guide at my church, for Jim Belcher’s book Deep Church–an examination of the “emerging church” controversy.  I was writing my contribution, and since my blog has been lying fallow for a couple weeks, I thought I’d post it.

The author is trying to present both sides fairly on each area of the controversy, and lay out a balanced, faithful approach to each issue.  Someone summarized the book as:

  1. There are problems in the English-speaking church.
  2. There are fair criticisms of the church.
  3. There are faithful solutions to those questions.

If you’re interested in some reviews, check out: (1) A thorough summary & review by Kevin DeYoung (notice the comments left by Jim Belcher).  (2) A review from a hard-nosed conservative, Frank Turk, explaining what’s so good about this book, even though it’s too nice sometimes.  (This one includes an mp3 of a interview featuring both Turk and Belcher on a radio show.)  (3) A negative review from 9Marks.  (4) A response from Belcher, and a response from Frank.

I was assigned to make the summary & discussion questions for the chapter on epistemology–”Deep Truth”.  Here goes!

By the way, if you have any suggestions for more discussion questions, I’d love to hear ‘em.

(more…)

Stop Attending Church

Monday, August 17th, 2009

(Taken from my Facebook wall and Twitter page today.)

Stop attending church.

Frank Turk’s reply:  “Indeed: what if you loved your church?”

After I posted a link to Frank’s recent blog series called Not Done Lightly (scroll to the bottom and read upward), where he discusses the reasons for his strong belief that we should almost never leave a church unless we’re asked to leave, Kelly F. posted:

I glanced at Turk’s stuff and I think he’s making very good points. A real challenge, though, in committing oneself fully to a church is that in our mobile, unrooted lives we often find ourselves in the position of ‘shopping’ for a church. There’s really no way around it when you move to a new neighborhood or town. But then after you’ve chosen a particular church you have to stop thinking of it as a commodity to choose and start thinking of it as a family you’re called to love, bear with, and serve. It’s a hard switch to make.

The flip side of this is that church leaders (in general) have to stop acting like they are trying to sell a product to a target market. We’re called to make disciples, not make a sale.

So.  Let’s try not to attend church.  Let’s try to commit to loving a church, a community, as a family.

Christian Courtship: Lowering (or Redirecting) Our Standards

Wednesday, June 3rd, 2009

Earlier today I found the blog of Thomas Umstattd, Jr (from my church in Austin).  One entry in particular caught my eye.  You should go give it a read.

Christian Courtship – The Need for Lower Standards

I have no opinion about his observations on demographics, but he has some wonderfully challenging insights.  Some of the good stuff:

Finding a wife is not like shopping. It’s not about comparing the features between disposable products. No one is perfect. Marriage is about finding someone to grow with, not someone to consume.

And:

My goal is to become the kind of man who will attract the kind of woman that I want to marry.

And:

We must lower our external standards and raise our internal standards if we ever wan to walk away from this problem.

Frank Turk (aka centuri0n) also added a comment earlier today, connecting things with the high call for husbands to Christ-like sacrificial love, in Eph 5.

When Your Church is Foundering: What are you doing?

Wednesday, April 8th, 2009

This is why I love Frank Turk, aka centuri0n.

What can I do now that my church is foundering?

I’m going to give you a secret to my success in influence my church, and do with it what you want: people who know me, and live with me, and talk to me find out quickly that I love God and the Bible in more than just a theoretical and theological way. The Bible makes sense to them when they see how I live. The question of “how real is Jesus” is solved for them when they meet my family and have lunch with me. So when they show me a Nooma video, having never read my blog, and I say to them, “I’m not sure this fellow got the Bible right—can we check?” The context of that statement for them is that my life is actually getting the Bible right already.

I don’t have any kind of perfect life. If you could measure sanctification with scientific devices, to measure mine you would need something which measures angstroms and not cups or pounds. But I have sacrificed the time to demonstrate this to people because I love them and care for them. Have you done the same for these people for whom you are grieved, and troubled, and deeply, deeply concerned?

I’m feeling conviction and inspiration.

On the Dangers of Podcasts

Sunday, March 22nd, 2009

Frank Turk did a post of miscellaneous thoughts, including some commentary on celebrity culture in Christianity.  It included the following gem for podcast aficionados:

May we all have the opportunity to use our gifts for the goods works God intended them to be used for, amen? But let’s never forget that while it is a virtue to do those things which God has ordained beforehand, it is not a virtue to merely admire those who are doing what God has ordained and then nothing else. You are not a Paul-plus-James Christian if you merely enjoy the podcasts from all the T4G guys and all the Gospel Coalition guys. You are a Paul-plus-James Christian if you count trial as joy, and can say that you see that the aim of what the apostles taught is love that issues from a pure heart and a good conscience and a sincere faith.

That hit home for me.  I love the T4G guys, and I listen to podcasts somewhat obsessively.  And I’ve noticed some dangers:

  1. Letting podcasts act as a substitute for your devotional walk with God.
  2. Spiritual pride based on the people you listen to/like.  Justification by podcast.
  3. Picking podcasts for the interesting controversy, rather than the edification.

Aside from the podcast issue, Frank’s point was key, about how “the aim of what the apostles taught is love that issues from a pure heart and a good conscience and a sincere faith”.  (How much easier to be a hearer-but-not-a-doer, in this age where hearing is so easy?)