Archive for May 2007

TSK on MacArthur

Andrew Jones is at it again with another critic of the emerging church – this time it’s John MacArthur. I haven’t read his book, so I won’t comment . . . but Andrew did read the book, and has a stellar review here. Quite funny, generous, and fair.

Idealism and the People Pleaser

Idealism is a really great trait to have . . . except when it comes time for getting work done. This is one of the things I struggle with. I dream. Sometimes I dream big. Mostly I dream small to medium. But always when I dream, I dream the perfect, idealistic vision kind of dream. In other words, the kind of dream that is usually impossible to fully attain. In fact, one of the reasons I don’t dream really big more often is that I know from the get go that really big dreams have almost no shot at reality. Politics is a good example – at various times in my life, I’ve followed political goings-on, and thought about getting involved in local/naitonal causes. But I have always been quick to remind myself that many thousands have gone before me with the best of ideals and intentions, and gotten sucked […]

Living the 4th Commandment

I spent the past few days in the land of paradoxy. I was at a retreat for my colleagues in Northwest Collegiate Ministries – folks from all over Oregon, Washington, and Northern Idaho. The topic of the retreat was Sabbath . . . which sounded ever so refreshing to me. Unfortunately, because I don’t get a chance to see my friends in ministry that frequently, I stayed up way too late, and got way too tired . . . quite un-Sabbath-like! But hey, at least it took place just in front of a three day holiday weekend, right? Sabbath time indeed! The presentations given by my boss-man, and good friend Wes and his wife Charlene were really terrific. It wasn’t just about convincing us that it’s good to take a day off – they actually did a terrific job of making it real for people. In particular, I was pleased […]

Secular Student Union

Last night I attended an event with the University of Washington Secular Student Union , co-sponsored by InterVarsity Christian Fellowship. They brought Jim Henderson in to talk about his recent experiences of buying the souls of atheists, writing books with atheists, being nice to atheists, etc. He nailed it. It was the best I’ve seen Jim speak – probably more transparent with them than he is with a lot of the pastors he speaks to. After the event, about 8 of us went and ate Indian food for a couple hours and continued the conversation. I have to say, I was super impressed by the students there (most of whom were atheists). They’re not looking to win arguments, make religious people mad, or get militant about changing the Constitution. The questions they asked Jim were insightful and genuine. It was a good time, definitely. Jim also told me a little […]

Facebook me

O.k., so I’ve blogged before about the wonders of Facebook. Working within an environment of college students, it’s been on my radar for a while now. I think I joined up about a year and a half ago. But since they recently opened up membership to non-students, I’ve noticed more and more of my friends popping up there . . . except I don’t know who is and who isn’t signed up. So hit me up, yo! Add me as a friend . . . I promise I wont stalk you.

Big week

This week has passed by quickly, but certainly not without notice. I’ve been in a bunch of meetings, culminating in some important decisions and new directions for the ministry I lead. It’s exciting, scary, energizing, painful, exhausting, hopeful stuff – an emotional cocktail. I can’t go completely public with the details just yet, but I’ll dish soon. I’m looking forward to this evening, when my buddy Jeff Greer will play a benefit concert for us at the Perkatory Cafe at The Purple Door. He’s a super cool man, whose facial hair has been featured on the most trafficked emerging church blog in the world. Our musical tastes are right up the same alley, so I know I’ll be lovin’ life, even as I pull espresso shots for the masses. We’re giving all of our coffee donations (Perkatory has no set prices – it’s by donation only) to the University of […]


I’m going to withhold my own commentary (good, bad, and indifferent) on the death of Jerry Falwell. You want to know what others are saying, though? Digg has a story with close to a thousand comments . . . brutal.

Not a good sign

Yesterday morning, I had a conversation with a UW student who lives at The Purple Door. He’s Jewish (by culture more than belief), and is considering joining the UW fraternity that is primarily Jewish in membership. He told me something I didn’t know – the frat house they occupy is next door to the home base for the campus Islamic organization. Ironic indeed. Sadly, even among these enlightened, educated, hopeful young people, the same kinds of tensions arise that take place in the Middle East – bottles and bricks have flown between the two in some isolated incidents. The parking lot that separates the two buildings is known as the Gaza strip. Clever. I don’t think anything has reached fever pitch, and hopefully it won’t, but it’s definitely disappointing to hear this stuff.

This is not a political post

I’ll just admit it – I’m an addict. I am a faithful fan of public radio’s This American Life. I’m a week or two behind schedule on my podcast listening, but this morning, I tapped into their episode “Habeas Shmabeas 2007,” which was an updated version of an episode they did a year ago – an episode which won them a Peabody Award. It talks about the detainees in Guantanamo Bay, detailing some of their stories. Now, I don’t care what you think about the war on terrorism, but this stuff is just outrageous. I’m not typically very politically active, and I greatly dislike the rhetoric of the major political parties, but I will say this – after listening to this show, I’m all of a sudden sympathetic to some of the cries for impeachment of the president and vice-president (to be clear, sympathetic doesn’t mean endorsement . . . […]

Denominational words on evangelism worth listening to

Nobody ever accused me of having a shortage of negative things to say about my denomination. But in anticipation of the big annual meeting next month, the President of the denom (mostly a figure-head PR position) said the following about evangelism: It is time to emphasize evangelism with integrity. No longer should we use manipulative methods that may bring about larger numbers when those persons’ commitment to Christ is little or none. Evangelism without manipulation? That is a much needed step in the right direction.