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Showing posts from December, 2008

Time Waster: Smoking Gun's list of 2008's Best Mug Shots

OK - another complete waste of time. A complete and total waste of time. I am warning you. It will waste your time and you will wonder why it is so completely useless and fascinating. Just warning you. Smoking Gun's 2008 best mug shot line up.

Just click the picture above to be taken to the original list.

10 Rules for how and when to leave a church

It seems like every year I have a conversation with a friend who is dissatisfied with his or her church and is ready to chuck it and leave for something better down the street. So, in a nutshell, here is my advice.

10 Rules for Leaving a Church

1. Do not leave without first examining your heart to find out why you want to leave. Many will say they are leaving their church for doctrinal issues, lack of leadership, a lack of genuine community, or other issues - when really the reason they are leaving because their pride has been wounded in some way. Maybe they aren't getting the recognition they think they deserve. Maybe they think their gifts are undervalued. Maybe they see someone else getting attention and public applause and they feel threatened or jealous. Too many people leave their churches under the guise of some spiritual reason, when really it is a vindictive act stemming from wounded pride.

2. Do not leave without first having the hard conversations. Some people lea…

The Three Kings by Gene Edwards, a review

I just finished reading Gene Edwards' The Three Kings. I was introduced to Edwards in the early 90's, right after I had become a follower of Christ, and his work The Early Church had a pretty significant impact on my view of what church was supposed to be like. I was attracted to the house church movement and was involved in the Plymouth Brethren movement - a group that emphasizes lay leadership and informal church structures. I haven't read anything by Edwards since, so I picked up The Three Kings a couple years because of the sub-title (a study in brokenness) ago and just got around to reading it.

(Just for the record, I am no longer in the house church movement or the Plymouth Brethren. I do believe the house church movement is seeing a resurgence and will likely continue to grow in the coming years with more and more immigrant communities and even postmodern types being drawn to its simplicity and specificity of contextualization... and honestly don't remember …

Reading The Shack - Part 2

I came across a review of the Shack by Scott Lindsey this morning on Resurgence. He did a great job summarizing many of my concerns with The Shack, so I am simply going to post a link here. He also links several other reviews that are worthwhile. I like Lindsey's especially, though, because he tries to strike a balance between acknowledging what is good in the novel while also clearly calling out the theological shortcomings.

Check it out here.

Reading The Shack - Part 1

I read the novel The Shack by William Young last week. I didn't want to like it. It seems like every year there is some new Christian book or film that everyone rallies around, claiming it is going to change the world. The purpose driven passion of Jabez or something like that. But as often happens, though, I find there is a reason this stuff is so popular - there is something powerful and worthwhile in it. I plan to write a few blog posts in order to help me untangle my mixed reaction to the this one, I just want to summarize my general impressions.

First, while it was not great literature, it was a powerful story - one that touched my emotions in both warm and painful ways. I was afraid going in that it would be overly sentimental - as I find Christian fiction often is. It seems that Christian authors want to write about suffering, but the way they do it comes off as if they are just using their character's suffering to get to emotional pay off in the end - …