Continuing on from the first post in this series we will look at what are some things to look for in when we are church shopping and only have a brief time to get to know a little about the community we are checking out. (Also note there are many assumptions being made in these posts, one of the more important ones is that you can gain some insight into what kind of community you are visiting by making careful observations and that in fact we often do this whether we know it or not.)
Emily and I are back from our 2 week vacation in the Midwest. We had a lovely time seeing family in Friends in Ohio, and Nashville. And we thoroughly enjoyed our anniversary which we spent in Ludington Michigan at a great Bed and Breakfast called Cartier Mansion. I will post pictures soon. While we were in Ohio we spent some time with Emily’s parents who recently moved to Toledo, Ohio and they are in the middle of looking for a new home church. We went with them on Sunday to visit a local church and when we pulled up I started trying to exegete that church’s theology.
Here are some fancy links for your blog reading pleasure.
He sums the book up with this sentence, Religion declares that we are separated from God, that we are outsiders. Grace tells us the opposite; we are already in unless we want to be out.??? Nathan also states that the theology of this book challenges much of what people learn about God in the church but that it, takes books like Spencers to challenge what we take for granted in our theology and our lifestyles. So I wont critique his theology, Ill leave it up to the theologians to do that.??? (For a great theological response to Burke’s book see Scot McKnight’s post on it. )
I admit that can be hard on the church from time to time, but this is in part because I believe that we have such a grave responsibility to bear peace and reconciliation to the world. In this way I tend to enjoy people like Stanley Hauerwas, John Howard Yoder, Brian McLaren or Tony Campolo, all of which tend to present their particular messages towards the church in order to help straighten it out.”
On Friday, August 18th, Emily and I will celebrate 5 years of marriage. We are driving up to Ludington Michigan where we’ve rented a little cottage on the Lake for a little peace and rest. We’re both really happy to have some time to ourselves but also sad that our anniversary cuts into our time with the families here in Ohio. For those of you who know our honeymoon story, I am trying to make up for what turned out to be a less than quiet and peaceful spot in Wildwood New Jersey, with this lake front cottage.
Here are few good reads from the folks over at the Daily Scribe.
From “A People So Bold” a post about Reinhold Niebuhr‘s stance on nationalism. Quoting Niebuhr, “The gospel cannot be preached with truth and power if it does not challenge the pretensions and pride, not only of individuals, but of nations, cultures, civilizations, economic and political systems.”
My housemate Chase and I were having lunch the other day and we started talking about important books that we would use if we were going to teach Bible and Theology students. Now granted we’re both from more of an Evangelical stream of Christianity so I recognize that some of these books may not appeal to all flavors of Christianity but this list does represent a number of viewpoints and would a number of individuals on here would certainly have a lot of critique for Evangelicalism (so don’t write it off either way).
I just finished reading Martin’s post about him finally finishing John Woolman’s Journal and it got me thinking about how I enjoyed Woolman’s journal so much. Then I started thinking more about books (not something that’s all that hard to do, really.) This reminded me to take A Description of The Qualifications Necessary to A Gospel Minister??? by Samuel Bownas (the title of the book is pretty self-explanatory) with me on my trip to the Mid-West for vacation (this Saturday).
Well in short our meeting last night was wonderful, there was a group of about 13 adults, 4 children (and a few lovely mennonite-volunteers) and I think it would be safe to say we all enjoyed ourselves and learned a lot from each other. For now I thought I would post the queries that we actually didn’t get to use for this meeting but I encouraged everyone to think about them, blog them, and discuss them with others. (See chart down below)