Monthly Archives: March 2007

Let the Great Experiment Begin!

Sorry, couldn’t resist. But for you Arrested Development fans out there, you know what’s up… :P

My friend Matt and I have decided to do a joint blog project for a while. He had a great idea for an issue to tackle…

Enslaving aliens … Family before work … Silencing women … Play … Smiting homosexuals … Turning the other cheek … Just War …

One could make a Scripture-based case for each of these. So how do we know where to take the Bible literally, or where to use our imaginations; where to take the words at face value, or where to dig for additional meanings? It sounds broad, it sounds daunting, but this is the quest of every Christian serious about figuring out how they fit into God’s ongoing story of his involvement in His Creation, our world.

Matt has come across an article that should generate some wide discussion and probe some interesting questions: Nine Theses for the Interpretation of Scripture, written by Ellen F. Davis and Richard B. Hayes of Duke University.

Every Tuesday and Friday, we’ll post about the particular thesis for that day, basically moving through the article over the course of a month. Anyone who wants to go through this with us is welcome, just comment on my post or his, and we will also make use of trackbacks. This Tuesday we will start with Thesis #1 and I encourage you to read the article on it, and also NT Wright’s How Can the Bible Can be Authoritative?.

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Catalyst: Kevin Carroll

Have you seen those yellow silicone wristbands that seemingly everyone wears? They say “Live Strong” on them and they were inspired by Tour de France champion Lance Armstrong. Well, a Catalyst speaker came up with the Live Strong bands. That man is Kevin Carroll. Kevin was the head athletic trainer for the Philadelphia 76ers when Nike founder Phil Knight personally approached him to come work for the shoe giant to inspire creative change. In 2004, Kevin left Nike to found his own brand, the Katalyst Consultancy. He’s worked with The Discovery Channel, Capital One, Disney, the NHL, and Starbucks, to name a few. Kevin’s most satisfying work, however, is his role advising Right to Play, a global outreach organization that hosts events like the “Homeless World Cup,” where impoverished youth get the chance to indulge in a key human need: play.

Kevin spoke to us from a secular standpoint, but his ideas are one thing from the conference where I personally really need to apply myself. In general, we allow our genius and creative muscle to atrophy. When the message of the Gospel is on the line, how much more important is it for me to exercise the full creativity God has blessed me with? He had about ten major points, but what really stuck with me was Kevin’s optimism about human potential. Through the lens of our faith identity, my version of this principle is that we can bring glory to God by doing our best to maximize the creative potential built into us. One of the chief metaphors describing God throughout Scripture is that of a Master Gardener, a Flawless Cultivator, essentially the First Creator. And we ourselves are created with this image in mind!

A few questions that Kevin left us with: Do you play enough? Because your creativity will die if you don’t play. Do you dream things that realistically shouldn’t happen? Because those are the only things worth dreaming. What if every second of your day was worth a dollar? Because $86,400 is huge sum.

So, what if Christ-followers took that kind of brash creativity and applied it to dwelling on how God has uniquely positioned them to be catalysts for his purposes…

King Without A Crown

So I’ve been listening to Matisyahu a lot recently. Amazing music. Here’s an excerpt from Pandora‘s mini-bio on him:

When Matisyahu emerged with his debut album, Shake Off the Dust…Arise, in 2004, his musical persona seemed to some a novelty. Here was a Hasidic Jew, dressed in a black suit with a broad-brimmed black hat worn over a yarmulke, and sporting a full, untrimmed beard, who nevertheless performed toasting raps about the glories of traditional Judaism over reggae beats in a dancehall style directly from Jamaica, punctuating his performances with stage diving. It may have seemed like a joke at first, but Matisyahu was serious, and he began to attract press notices to go with the enthusiastic audiences that packed his concerts.”

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RELEVANT Univ.

Apparently the folks at RELEVANT Magazine took up a study of institutions of higher learning for their website’s new College Life section. They looked at academics, spiritual life, and student life. According to RELEVANT, it seems that kids in Waco have it pretty good. Baylor University (my alma mater) ranked … [drumroll please] … on second thought, a little suspense never hurt anyone; go here for the study’s results. :)

Sic ‘Em Bears!

Double-Standards in the Fringe?

I subscribe to an e-newsletter from a website called Serious Times. Now, I’m not a big fan of the website’s name, because it might be misinterpreted as playing into the Culture War mentality that keeps so many well-intentioned Christians from doing the redemptive work of Christ. But Serious Times has great content. I’m a fan because it’s published by James Emery White. White is President of Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary (where I almost decided to pursue my Master’s), and whatever he puts out usually has very sharp and very positive thoughts addressing how Christ-followers can/should/might relate to culture in a loving, reconciliatory way. White also wrote a great mini-bio on William Wilberforce for 2006’s Catalyst Groupzine (which I have a copy of, and am dying to discuss with others, since it seems we’ll never get around to it here in our weekly staff studies).

Without further ado, here is an article on the ST site that got my gears turning.

[Right-click. Open Link in New Tab. Read. Come back.]

I’ve been trying to ask more questions recently, to reconcile my posts with the blog’s title. But reading stuff like this just makes me want to be discouraged… annoyed… bitter… accusing… lashing out… offensive… point out those bitter liberals’ double standards….

  • But did Alexandra Pelosi have encounters with christianizers that legitimately contributed to her bias?
  • What will I do this week to take fuel from –not add to– Alexandra Pelosi’s fire?
  • What will I do to help other Christ-followers counteract the damage possibly done by misguided christianizers?
  • In what areas am I on the fringe, and where do I need to obliterate my double-standards?

I’ll leave you with a few words about where to maybe go from here, uttered by one who was often plagued by depression over his self-perceived Christian impotence…

“I am only one, but I am one. I cannot do everything, but I can do something. And that which I can do, by the grace of God, I will do.” -Dwight L. Moody