Archive for August 2006

On fear, confusion, and excitement

  Yesterday began a new process for me. One I’m sure will be discussed more than it should be on this blog. I won’t go into it right now. I’ll just reflect on the raw emotions of my day . . . – Introversion. I stood in a room of people I should want to be bonding with . . . and I just slipped out. Sometimes, I just stand in a corner and wait for someone to approach me, sometimes I strike up a conversation myself, and sometimes, like yesterday, I just duck out undetected. Now, I’ve never been the bubbly outgoing life-of-the-party type guy, but I usually hold my own. Not yesterday. Just felt awkward and a little lonely. No “poor me” feelings, just didn’t feel comfortable. – Excitement. Yep, this new thing is gonna be good and envigorating and energizing. – Fear. I felt scared for the […]


O.k., so in a post last week, I mentioned that it might be helpful for Emergent, or the emerging church to have more of the “conservative” voices out, front and center in this conversation in order to demonstrate that it’s not just a new version of “liberal theology.”  I said that I find those categories unhelpful and troubling. I believe that categories are suspicious for a few reasons.  First, especially these days, they’re very often terribly inaccurate.  There are a good lot of people that would look back over the past few years of this blog and slap a “liberal” label on me, and probably the same number of people that would slap a “conservative” label on me.  Who gets to decide who’s right?  Add to this the complicating factor that much of what looks to some like “liberal” is actually extreme conservatism.  Example?  How ’bout ecclesiology.  Many in the […]

Back home (again)

After my trip to New Mexico and back (via TX, CO, UT, ID, and OR), I stayed home all of two days, then had to split again for some denom meetings in Vancouver, WA, just on the other side of the mighty Columbia River from Portland, OR.  The meetings were . . . well . . . I’ll hold my tongue there.  One afternoon and evening were spent in downtown Portland, though, which was very cool.  We actually had a meeting at Stumptown Coffee – which, in the coffee world, is an elite haven of true bliss.  I’m already looking forward to going back. Now, I’m just happy to be home for a spell.  Last night I spent the 4th night out of the last 14 in my own bed. Time to catch up on e-mail, unfinished projects, and planning for the coming school year at UW.  I also get […]

Do emerging church critics have a point?

So, at the conference I attended in New Mexico last week, some silly and uninformed remarks were made from the main stage about the “Emergent Church” (a term which, I believe, hints at a lack of understanding to start with).  No big shocking surprise that people in my denom would be freaked out and feel threatened by what’s going on.  Frankly, it fits the pattern – make some inflamatory cheap shot at something you don’t understand . . . and if you’ve got a few “amens” coming from the congregation, you’ve done your job. Anyway, the typical things were said about the emerging church movement.  “Blah, blah, blah Brian McLaren, blah, blah, blah, Donald Miller, blah, blah, blah, liberal wackos, blah, blah, blah, run for the hills, dig a hole in the ground, and hide out until Jesus comes back.” When I returned from my trip, and made a pathetic […]

You decide the title of this post . . .

Nine days ago I left the state of Washington for an extensive adventure. I got back home yesterday afternoon. I couldn’t think of a single title that would capture the whole experience, so you can choose from the following possibilities:a) Planes, buses, and automobilesb) Oh well, whatever, nevermindc) On the road againd) I’ve seen fire, and I’ve seen rain The story goes a little something like this. I was scheduled to attend a collegiate event for my denomination, just outside of Santa Fe, New Mexico – Glorieta to be exact. O.k., fine, just book a plane ticket to Albequerque, right? Well, not so fast. Turns out, there’s a church near Dallas, TX that has been wanting to donate a van to a new church start here in Seattle . . . except they didn’t know how to get the van from there to here. Sooooooo, I became the designated driver. […]

Gnosticism from the other side

A few weeks ago I poked at the emerging church a little bit by calling us out for Gnostic attitudes, in thinking that we’re the enlightened ones who were able to figure out all the errors of the Constantinian, institutionalized church, and get things back on track. By the way, Charlie put the posts about all that in the July edition of Next-Wave. Anyway, I just want to clarify that while Gnostic attitudes may be there in the emerging church, I believe they’re far more prevalent in the modernistic church still operating under the notions of Christendom. This morning I heard a perfect example. A missionary (who to be clear, has admirably given over 35 years of his life to minister to the poor and outcast) made reference to a phrase I’ve heard about conversion for my whole life – “We need more people to share their faith and bring […]

Slow posting

I’ve been off the grid for a few days around here. Mainly, I’ve been cranking on getting the new version of our inter::mission website launched. Sooooo painful for a non-developer like me. But just shy of midnight last night everything fell into place. It ain’t impressive, but the train wreck of a site it replaces makes it look much better. It’ll do. I got to hang out with John Chandler over coffee yesterday. Fun stuff – it was a helpful, refreshing break. Today I’m getting my hair cut. O.k., so that’s a mundane detail of life that ought not be blogged, right? Well, the significance is that it’s my first cut in nearly a year. I’ve experimented with growing it out. It just never quite got to the point I was hoping for, and Michelle, well, she’s never really been into the idea of me growing it out. She keeps […]