Friday, June 02, 2006

Help Pass the Federal Marriage Protection Amendment

Join the grassroots movement to flood our senators offices with messages for the preservation of marriage between a man and a woman in support of the Senate vote on the Federal Marriage Protection Amendment on June 5 by going here

Thursday, June 01, 2006

N. T. Wright on Engaging Culture

Check out this excerpt from N. T. Wright's address to Seatle Pacific University. The full transcript is here and addresses the ubiquitous Da Vinci Code.

"The task of engaging the culture with the Christian gospel and so working to transform the world always includes three elements. First, we must speak truthfully about Jesus of Nazareth, and explain how it is what we discover who God is by looking at him. Second, we must do so in full engagement with the world of our own day, understanding its ebbs and flows, its fashions and follies, the places where it has got things gloriously right and the places where it has got things gloriously wrong. Third, we must be prepared to refute — that is, to give a reasoned rebuttal of, not simply to say we disagree with — popular misconceptions which leave people with muddled and misguided ideas about Jesus and the nature of Christian faith."

Wednesday, May 31, 2006

Clothing and Community

I like clothing. I don't shop or buy that much of it, but if I didn't have superior and more satisfactory desires, I'm confident I would. Although, I do love Christ more than clothing, I do have a few pairs of shoes. Sometimes I buy clothing to fit in. I bought two suits when I became an interim pastor. The rest of the leadership wears suits on Sunday, so I conformed. I recently returned from England where shoes are a personal statement. I shopped for shoes but didnt find any. I wnated them to set me apart in America, but in reality I was seeking conforming to England. I got some pretty cool Sketchers that actually come with European sizes. Does that count? The point is that we clothe ourselves to fit in to some community, vocational or social. Clothing is also theological. Paul tells the Colossians to put on the clothing of Christ: compassion, kindness, humility, meekness and patience. This clothing is very important. Without it we will not live with the community of faith and the triune God in the new creation.

All too often, we aren’t aware of or convicted by the fact that we have ill-fitting clothing. This is why women go shopping by twos. We need someone to point out whether or not our jeans really fit around the waist. That’s where the community of faith comes in. We need others to point out our high-water jeans and our oversize shirts. The problem is that too many of us don’t believe that we need others. We are so used to doing Christianity on our own that we actually think it’s an individual project. It’s not; it’s a community project. One of the greatest lies we have ever believed is that the Christian life can be lived on our own. Paul combats this individualistic notion with his one another commands: love one another, teach one another, and admonish one another.

A great place for this to happen is in the church, in small groups and in accountability groups. The problem with these groups, however, is that too often they run on individual, not communal gas. We expect everyone to do their homework, confession and repentance alone. But Paul tells us that we need to instruct, admonish and love one another by asking the hard and penetrating questions. By pointing out when the clothing doesn’t fit.

But how can we do this Christianly, redemptively? How is your clothing?