Kaleo: “All the Pretty Girls”

Makes me think of Arlo Guthrie.

(Go AJ McCarron! Beat the Steelers!)

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Meandering thoughts on Nein Quarterly, hermeneutics, a little Kierkegaard, and leading change in a Church of Christ, Part 4

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From Nein. A Manifesto by Eric Jaronsinki, compiled from his Twitter feed of philosophy based humor: @neinquarterly

Kierkegaard

Jared Byas recently posted a Kierkegaard quotation at Peter Enns’ blog:

My listener, allow me to make a confession about myself here. I still do not dare to be utterly alone with God’s Word. I don’t have the honesty and courage for it . . . Being alone with God’s Word is a dangerous matter. Of course, you can always find ways to defend yourself against it: Take the Bible, lock your door – but then get out ten dictionaries and twenty-five commentaries. Then you can read it just as calmly and coolly as you read newspaper advertising.

Kierkegaard, the Nineteenth Century philosopher and theologian, was arguing against our use of scholarship to insulate ourselves from the demands of Jesus — a very valid point. We turn Jesus’ stories into laboratory specimens to study as disinterested Western scientists and scholars. And by turning them into puzzles to be solved rather than stories to be lived, we escape from the power of Jesus’ words. Continue reading

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Meandering thoughts on Nein Quarterly, hermeneutics, a little Kierkegaard, and leading change in a Church of Christ, Part 3

nein

From Nein. A Manifesto by Eric Jaronsinki, compiled from his Twitter feed of philosophy based humor: @neinquarterly

Our story

I’ve written several times about the story in which we live — and yet I’m sure it remains a foreign concept to most. The idea is that, whether we realize it or not, we all have a certain worldview (metanarrative, framing story) that defines the culture in which we live. For Americans, this worldview is about personal freedom, individual autonomy, the good life defined in terms of family and consumer goods — having a good job and being able to buy vacations and stuff, patriotism to our nation, the inevitability of economic and scientific progress, etc.

For most people, these ideas are never considered because they are too obvious to question. Thus, when Islamic nations begin to revolt against their rulers, we assume that they revolt to gain civil freedom, democracy, and free enterprise. After all, that’s why we fought the Revolutionary War against England. It doesn’t occur to us that they may be rebelling to gain power to impose their understanding of Islam on their nation. We would never do that. Nor do we consider that it may about vengeance of one tribe for atrocities committed by the tribe in power years, even centuries, in the past. Again, we would never do that — and we assume that everyone is like us. And they’re just not. Continue reading

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Seth Timbs: “New Personal Record”

Catchy tunes. And who could resist an album beginning with “Give Up on Your Dreams.” I mean, irony and melody is a powerful combination. Think Randy Newman.

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Meandering thoughts on Nein Quarterly, hermeneutics, a little Kierkegaard, and leading change in a Church of Christ, Part 2

nein

From Nein. A Manifesto by Eric Jaronsinki, compiled from his Twitter feed of philosophy based humor: @neinquarterly

Solutions

Family, our denominational identity, the story we live, and hermeneutics. It’s a tall order to expect any church leadership to successfully lead their congregation through so many barriers to change. The solution, I think, is to tackle these issues long before the church deals with such issues as female deacons or … well, you know the list.

If the leaders are talking about family resistance to change in the context of female deacons, then the members will weigh their Thanksgivings against the benefits of female deacons. And no matter how strongly you feel about female equality, your life is likely far more impacted by how your family treats you on Thanksgiving. Continue reading

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Regarding the Proper Role for the Pulpit Minister

preacherFrom the comments:

Mark:

Jay is very good about allowing the comments to go wherever they go. Perhaps we need to have a discussion of just what preachers are supposed to do vs what they actually do vs what people wished they would do. Isaiah said in 40:1 Comfort ye, comfort ye my people, saith your God. This must have been important because it’s said twice, according to commentary of the rabbis. Jesus told Peter written by John in 21:17 feed my sheep. Many people wish the preacher were more of pastor or spiritual leader. The elders want the preacher doing everything including their bidding. The people want/need a shepherd. Something needs to change.

Wish granted. Discuss away.

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Pepperdine Lectureship Schedule Set

pepperdinePepperdine has just posted the schedule for the 2016 lectureship, Tuesday, May 3, 2016 at 4:30 PM – Friday, May 6, 2016 at 11:30 PM (PDT).

N. T. Wright will be speaking 4:30 for the opening keynote and then at 2:30 and 3:30 every day.

But enough about him. I’m teaching twice, both times at 9:30 on Thursday and Friday, on baptism. (I’m so glad I’m not opposite Wright!!) I’ll be in Plaza 190. This is evidently the Plaza Classrooms building (as labeled on site), shown on maps as the Black Family Plaza Building (someone please correct me if I have this wrong).

If you plan to attend, it’s free and registration is not required, but it helps the planners locationsmapsgreatly if you register.

I look forward to seeing you all there. If you’ve never been, it’s always an incredible, uplifting, enriching experience. Check out the classes and other presentations: a veritable buffet of Christian teaching and encouragement.

And it’s in Malibu.

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Meandering thoughts on Nein Quarterly, hermeneutics, a little Kierkegaard, and leading change in a Church of Christ, Part 1

nein

From Nein. A Manifesto by Eric Jaronsinki, compiled from his Twitter feed of philosophy based humor: @neinquarterly

Hermeneutics and change in church

As you know, I’m an avid reader of Richard Beck’s blog Experimental Theology (a title I wish I’d thought of — and thought of before he did. I’m so very jealous.) And he recently posted this regarding hermeneutics and Protestantism “Owning Your Protestantism” —

Here’s the situation, I told the group, you have to own the fact that you are Protestants (as am I). Which means that you are never going to land on an uncontested “biblical view.” Protestants have never agreed on what the Bible says. Just look at all the Protestant churches. Underneath the conversation about the “biblical view” what you are searching for is a hermeneutical consensus, the degree to which your community can tolerate certain hermeneutical choices.

Stretch the hermeneutical fibers too thin and the consensus snaps. People can’t make the leap. The view is deemed “unbiblical.” But if you keep the changes within the hermeneutical tolerances of the community the consensus holds and the view is deemed “biblical.”

But let’s be honest, I said, what we are discerning here is more sociological than Biblical. We are assessing the hermeneutical tolerances and capacities of a faith community because at the end of the day it’s consensus you are after.

Continue reading

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Assembly 2.0: Part 11.11: Have We Restored the First Century Assembly?

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Restorationism

The Restoration Movement was originally a unity movement. Various branches attempted to build unity from within the Presbyterian and Baptist denominations, but they found themselves unwelcome, even excommunicated by their home denominations. They became, unwillingly, a new denomination (and then, later, decided to pretend not to be a denomination).

As a result, Alexander Campbell published a series of articles called the “Search for the Ancient Order,” seeking to find the original pattern for the early church’s assembly. Just as I have done, he found very limited guidance in the scriptures, and so he turned to history
— the uninspired writings of the early church fathers — to fill in the gaps. And there were many gaps. Continue reading

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Lord & Lady

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