Showing posts from November, 2013

Drinking Christians

11 Experimental Theology by Richard Beck   I like dark beer, red wine and whiskey.

When I drink, that's what I like. I like Guinness (or local stouts), Merlot, and sipping whiskey (no ice or water).

That said, I don't drink a lot. Mainly, to be honest, because it's so expensive. Sort of like playing golf. I can't justify it economically. Especially since I'm just as happy having a glass of sweet tea.

Anyhow, this is a post about drinking Christians.

A lot of post-evangelicals drink. And many of them drink a lot. Freed from the "don't drink" prohibitions of their conservative upbringings, these are Christians who are now enjoying the freedom they find in Christ to drink alcohol.

And yet, perhaps you've noticed this, a lot of this drinking has a neurotic edge to it. This manifests in two ways.

First, when the drinking is emotionally reactionary--a sign of emancipation from a painful past--the drinking can be aggressive, angry and e…

Why Faith Has No Formula Nov 17 2013 @ 12:33pm Wittgenstein once wrote that “Christianity is not a doctrine, not, I mean, a theory about what has happened and will happen to the human soul, but a description of something that actually takes place in human life.” Reviewing Nathan Schneider’s God in Proof, Robert Bolger believes the statement captures how arguments for the divine actually function:
Assenting to a proof for God is similar; it is couched in the language of rationality — it argues for the existence of something. Yet, as I hint at in my own book, Kneeling at the Altar of Science, the impetus behind accepting a religious proof as valid comes from a person’s gut (or soul) and not merely from her mind. The proofs are only meaningful for certain people; whether they mean anything has more to do with what we bring to the proofs rather than what the proofs brings to us. Isn’t this odd? It certainly is because it is odd to …
Atonement thinking from the Internet Monk  (Scot McKnight, Jesus Creed)
As I was driving today, the verse heading this post came to my mind. It immediately struck me as yet another clue to the unfathomable love and grace of God toward you and me:
“…love covers a multitude of sins.”
These words were written to suffering followers of Jesus Christ, encouraging them to show deep love for one another. The author reminds them what love does — it covers sins. That is, it overlooks them, it regards them as of no account. Love is generous with others and releases them from expectations of sinless perfection. If you love me, you will not hold my sins against me. You will accept me in spite of my weaknesses, failures, and offenses…
If this is what love is, and if God is love, why then can’t we factor in this same attitude in our thinking about how God views us and deals with us in our sins?
Are humans, who show this kind of love to each other, more gracious and loving than God?
I don’t…
Authority in The Kingdom is DifferentPosted on November 6, 2013 by David Fitch11 Comments ↓ A Theological Excursus on the authority/power in the Kingdom versus the world.But you are not to be called rabbi, for you have one teacher, and you are all brothers.And call no man your father on earth, for you have one Father, who is in heaven.10 Neither be called instructors, for you have one instructor, the Christ. 11 The greatest among you shall be your servant. 12 Whoever exalts himself will be humbled, and whoever humbles himself will be exalted. Matt 23:8-12Summary Statement Authority in the Kingdom is different than authority in the world.

The way authority operates in the Kingdom is a whole different dynamic. This is not to say that this authority is not at work in the world (through Christians). It is just operates differently than the way authority operates in the world in independence from God. And so I think it is incumbent upon church people and leaders to understand this au…
How are you remembering the 50th Anniversary of C. S. Lewis’s Death?
I’ll be at Evangelical Presbyterian Church in Longview, TX enjoying Turkish Delight, Coffee and Fellowship and giving a presentation on “The Aslan We’ve Never Known: How Knowing Aslan in Narnia Helps Us Know and Experience Jesus Here."

3800 Judson Rd.
November 22, 7:00 - 8:30 pm. (Childcare provided)

A Convincing Biblical Argument for Patriarchalism and Male Headship

The only convincing argument for patriarchalism and male headship is this: from the beginning God wanted to make it as hard on himself as possible. He knew the women would get the job done, so he put men in charge on the supposition that if he could whip men into shape, he could easily do the same with women, animals, etc. That's why the sly rascal the snake in the garden went after woman. He attacked God's real mover and shaker while the man stood by like a mute dolt! History may challenge the wisdom of this strategy on God's part but it makes abundantly clear that this has been his strategy! :-)

A Missional Community Diagnostic

Image onNovember 12, 2013byDavid FitchNo Comments ↓ A Missional Community Diagnostic: Some Questions To Ask In Order to Discern Whether We’re On the Right Track Over several years now I’ve been visiting/coaching and leading the birthing of missional communities. Whether it’s a one time visit, a regular coaching relationship or ten years at our own church just leading alongside other leaders, I’ve gathered a list of questions I think are worth asking and discerning together. Often I have found that some of the topic heading of these questions have been avoided entirely by missional communities. For instance “gathering” can often be an anathema for missional communities. But if done out of a Kingdom posture, it is life giving, very clarifying, more often discipleship, and never turns into salesmanship.  It should not therefore be avoided. (Paul after all did gathering at the synagogues). These questions are never meant to evaluate whether ther…

American Psychosis

Image BY CHRIS HEDGESADBUSTERSJUNE 17, 2010 The United States, has become a nation gripped by the trivial and the absurd and no longer able to distinguish between reality and illusion. Contact usPrint IN CONJUNCTION WITHSee this story at its source » The United States has become obsessed with the trivial and absurd. The United States, locked in the kind of twilight disconnect that grips dying empires, is a country entranced by illusions. It spends its emotional and intellectual energy on the trivial and the absurd. It is captivated by the hollow stagecraft of celebrity culture as the walls crumble. This celebrity culture giddily licenses a dark voyeurism into other people's humiliation, pain, weakness and betrayal. Day after day, one lurid saga after another, whether it is Michael Jackson, Britney Spears or John Edwards, enthralls the country … despite bank collapses, wars, mounting poverty or the criminality of…

Pep Talks for Successful Living

Yes, but don’t we need something more from our churches? Mark Galli [ posted 10/22/2013 2:21PM ] WIN–INITIATIVE / GETTY IMAGES SINGLE PAGE RELATED TOPICS READ THIS ISSUE Iwas talking with a fellow evangelical Christian, an older woman whose circumstances required that she live with her aging and abusive father. To say the least, this was a trial, but she said she had recently had a breakthrough. "I was watching Joel Osteen, and he was saying that we should not whine about our circumstances, but accept them as God's way of strengthening us, and use them to love those who make our lives hard. That really helped." This made me curious: Exactly what was Osteen preaching? I had heard mostly scathing critiques of the best-selling author and Houston pastor. So I listened to a few of his sermons. It's been said that even a broken clock is right twice a day. Osteen is right more frequently than that. As I flipped though the channels and caught messages by other so-called prosperi…
The Puzzle of Salvation: Crystallizing the Difference Between Augustianian Salvation & Barthian [Evangelical Calvinist] Salvationby Bobby Grow George Hunsinger, in his really superb book How To Read Karl Barth: The Shape of His Theology, sketches the difference between Augustinian (classical) salvation, and what Barth offers as a better (in my view)  alternative. In this sketch what emerges is very profound, and should help to crystallize further what Myk Habets and myself (and I have been frequently on my blog here over the years) have been trying to articulate in regard to what we have been calling a 'Christ-conditioned' or (pace Barth) 'Christ-concentrated' approach to a doctrine of God, and then subsequent things like in regard to salvation in particular. What emerges in this sketch — at the end of it — is the stumbling block point for so many of the people I have engaged with around this particular question over the years; and usually it stumbles people because…

Self-Help and the Gospel