Big Bad Beer

The folks at Lifeway have done a very helpful survey of pastors, both Southern Baptist and non Southern Baptist, and protestant laity over the issue of alcohol. This was a scientific study (not a blog poll) where the issues are: do you think its a sin to drink? Do you personally drink? Do you think the consumption of alcohol will attract/detract a person from coming to Christ? I’m glad someone decided to do this study, if for no other reason than to get a good pulse on what the current church climate is. Here’s some of their findings I find most interesting:

I Got My Money’s Worth

The Acts 29 boot camp gave me what I paid for. I went there hoping to be told about (1) Me and (2) my aim to plant a church in Cincinnati. God used them to provide me with both.

Driscoll and Stetzer on Church Planting Partners

The Acts 29 Boot Camp in Raleigh concluded this afternoon with a great Q and A session from Stetzer and Driscoll. They were off the cuff and unscripted, and clearly these guys have a Bert and Ernie love for each other. Stetzer would be a great guy to have your back in a church plant or a bar fight. This guy is a beast. Though they don’t agree on everything, there is clearly a love and mutual respect. Thankfully, they answered the question I submitted regarding planting churches as a team. Although A29 is committed to the leadership of elders in a church as opposed to the senior pastor as CEO model, they also recommend a single church planting “lead pastor” rather than a team of several lead pastors.

Boot Camp is Done, What Now?

I’m in Raleigh, NC, right now, and the Acts 29 boot camp just finished up yesterday. The speakers were Scott Thomas (A29 director), church planters Chan Kilgore, Tyler Jones, Daniel Montgomery, A29 president Mark Driscoll, and church planting genius Ed Stetzer. The purpose of the boot camp is to provide theological and practical training for church planters and potential church planters.

Going to Boot Camp

I’m headed down to Raleigh, NC for the Acts29 church planting boot camp this week. I hope to do some blogging there while trying to process some of what I’m learning. I’m praying that the Lord will use this time to confirm His calling on my life and give me a sense of direction as I head into the future.

A Stronger Faith for only $19.95 (plus Shipping and Handling)

Have you been having trouble walking with God lately? Well, have I got “good news” for you. You can have your very own personal Jesus doll to encourage and uplift you while you walk through the valley of the shadow of death. This Jesus has several important Bible verses memorized and will recite them for you whenever you need a pick-me-up. Never mind that pesky old Second Commandment, your family will enjoy hours of entertainment and spiritual enjoyment from this cute little toy. Lost sheep sold separately.

Reflections on my 33rd Birthday

Yesterday, according to Shire Reckoning, was Bilbo Baggins’ birthday. When he turned eleventy-one years old (111 for those of you who prefer regular numerals), he gave a very fine speech just before slipping on the One Ring and disappearing from sight before escaping from the Shire altogether. What a laugh. Today is my birthday. This is not always a fun day for me, because us brooding types don’t need special reminders that we are getting older and our bodies are dying every day. So what’s on my mind today as I turn 33? I’m glad you asked….

Of a Dangerous Prayer and a Meat Grinder

I’ve prayed on various occasions for God to reveal sin to me, that I might not sin against Him. This seems to be one of those prayers that God is always happy to accommodate. As a result, I have been shown new depths of sin in my heart over the last few weeks that can seem overwhelming at times. This is a good place to be, I suppose, as long as I don’t give in to despair. But I’ve been teetering on the edge of that for a little while.

Why Contextualization is Scary

The word Contextualization will get you shot in some areas. “The gospel doesn’t need to be contextualized” is the mantra. I definitely recognize the inherent feeling of uneasiness about it because it sure does seem like the gospel itself is somehow being modified to suit a particular audience. But that is not the heart behind proper contextualization. To be simple and to the point: contextualization is best positioning the proclamation of Christ to gain a favorable reception without adding to or taking away from the basic content of it. Here’s the kicker: everybody has a context. This is so obvious that its easy to overlook. Here are some traits of the modern evangelical context, and a brief challenge for each.

Hard and Soft Postmodernism, the Emerging Church

The Parchment and Pen blog has an exceptional post about the emerging church and the effects of postmodernism on Christianity. He distinguishes between ‘hard’ postmodernism and ‘soft’ postmodernism. The hard variety is more nihilistic and by definition cannot be Christian because of its denial of absolutes. The soft variety is skeptical of truth claims because there is so little that we can know for certain, which isn’t to say that there are no truth claims. You can read the entire post here.