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Saturday, January 31, 2004

Just doing a bit of site tweaking

I've been adding stuff to this site, today I've added what I'm about to read and what I am listening to. So why don't you click on the music link just coming up ( and also on the sidebar), crank up your speakers, and listen to great New Zealand Band Salmonella Dub in the meantime. Theres a choice of tunes.....or you may want to try out some drum and bass, if, like me, you are that way inclined.
Things will be back to normal shortly

Friday, January 30, 2004

Is the emerging church a movement?

Alan Creech has posted his views on the emerging church saying" It is an illusory notion that there is some unified ecclesiastical "animal" called "the emerging church" which has some kind of common voice and authority of some sort. That is simply not so".

Some disagree, and say it is a movement. I think the emerging church is a movement - of sorts, but it is not a unified collective with a common voice, despite some people viewing Brian McLaren as the spokesperson for emergents the way some people saw Bill Hybels as the brains behind the seeker service movement and Rick Warren as the head of the purpose driven "movement" - and Martin Luther King as the spokesperson for the civil rights movement. Yet these men - and yes they are MEN, never WOMEN - did not set themselves up as spokespeople - and in fact they probably rejected the tag. We'll I think I read somewhere that Brian McLaren did, despite him being a keynote speaker at the emergent Mayhem gathering earlier this month.

The fact is that each movement wants to look for leaders representing the collective of a common voice. So-called emergent leader who see themselves as part of a collective that doesnt exist are no different. It's the ones ( like Alan, I suspect) that have a true emergent leaders heart. Sure, Alan sees himself as a role model among emergent types ( I'm sure he wrote that somewhere) - as I guess others like him do - but a role model is not a spokesperson, is it?

The Emerging Church doesn't have, want, or need a spokesperson, purely because it is not a movement with a common voice. Some have compared the emerging church movement to the church growth movement. I don't know so much about the church growth movement, but, as a "movement" I see the emerging church as different, to say, the charismatic movement.

It's different because the emerging church is more of a mindset and an outlook, as opposed to a movement or a collective. Its certainly not a unified voice. Well, thats what I think. So there you go.

You've only got to read some of the bickering in the weblogs of so-called "emergent leaders" regarding, for example, the role of women in the church (see an earlier post) to see the differences in so-called emergent types.

Perhaps some take the view as noted by Adam Omelianchuk who commented that some people in the so-called emerging church: 1) think they are really profound, 2) are anti-historical, 3) are marked by a "we don't want to be like our parents" mentality, 4) say systematic theology is out and art is in, 5) think that celtic crosses make you "authentic." 6) think worship is whatever you want it to be 7) the Bible doesn't matter that much, 8) the church has completely failed God in every generation for all times and places, 9) "modernism" is the devil, 10) "community" is all that matters.

If you are reading this post, and consider yourself as an emerging leader, and can say yes to one of the above points - there's only two things to do - change, or quit referring to yourselves as emergent. I think some aspects in the the above list may well relate to some of those who are leaders in emerging churches - to a degree.

I wonder if some ( not all) so-called emergent leaders - many who see themselves as having a post modern outlook, armed with a post graduate degree from seminary, many of whom post messages on each others internet blogs - spend more time posting messages and reading other blogs as compared to time spent reading their bibles and praying?

And a final thought, if I may: Are some "emerging church" gatherings merely smaller,groovier, less structured versions of the kind of modern churches and house groups that are attended by people who leave their Bibles at home?

Thursday, January 29, 2004

Lots of Oscar Nominees for New Zealand Films

After picking up all four Golden Globes it was nominated for, The Return of the King has been nominated for 11 Oscars, including best director and best picture.None of them are for acting, though. It is the only the second time (after the Godfather films) that a trilogy has had nominations for all three films. Also weirdly enough, Sir Ian McLellans nomination as best supporting actor was the only nomination the LOTR trilogy has had for acting.

But what was even more stunning news was that 13-year old Keisha Castle-Hughes beat the likes of Nicole Kidman to be nominated for best actress, the youngest ever nomination for that Oscar - and the first time a New Zealander has been nominated for best actress. She's very excited - well wouldn`t you be?

Also in this mornings paper… Wellington-based costume designer Ngila Dickson has been nominated ford for costume/makeup Oscars in both The Return of the King and the Last Samurai.

Lots of expensive outfits are now to be made for February 29.

Must get to see these movies sometime, everyone else has seen ROTK at least twice. Perhaps this is why director Peter Jackson earns $1932 every, minute - in other words, he gets more money in the time it takes him to do the dishes than the average person makes in a year.

Mayhem II - Girls light up

There's a bit of a discussion in the kingdom of blog about women leadership. It's Mayhem II. The whole discussion started off after Mayhem, a conference of 260 emerging leaders and bloggers in Ohio earlier this month. The men did all the leading and talking while the women (apparently) made the coffee. The concert had the slogan of "Not Alone".

Once it all sunk in that there weren't too many women leading, or coordinating discussions, and that some women did feel "alone", Lilly Lewin had a rant. Chris Marshall reposted the rant on his site here on Jan 19 and got 34 comments... Amber Bishop posted this the same day.

Then it all happened. Mahem II. Jonny Baker has done lots of posts on this, as has Maggi Dawn. Jordan Cooper posted this post from Jenny Baker.Jenny suggested that men and women do not know how to be good mates with each other. Jenny suggested that some fear inappropriate relationships.

Sure, that can happen. A 2001 study by the Fuller Institute of Church Growth found that 37% of pastors were involved in inappropriate sexual relationships.

Back to Jordon. He said he is so appalled by the narrow-mindedness of some replies regarding women that he feels like giving up blogging. But he blogged today. Read the replies, and other comments made today here.

Jen lemen rants here, calling for women to have a louder voice and to be released as more than a whisper in the emerging church. She also rants here in response to comments from Jenny Baker and Jordan .

Adam Cleaveland busted out of the court of women while Darren from the Living Room asks if the Emerging Church was just a male thing.

Molly and Bill Bean have also done posts, as has Tammy Jo Reiser, who notes that this discussion happened way before the Mayhem conference. Perhaps the Mayhem conference aftermath brought these issues to light.
The Red Pill also blogs here
on the issue, Blue Tapp Scheffer comments here, and Becky Barkaway joins in here, - and Stephen Garner posts a few links from Reality Magazine.

So what started off as one rant turned into this debate - and it hasn’t finished yet. But then again, this is not just about a debate, it's about a discussion that if it is worth having, must result in some action - and I don`t mean sisterhood gatherings.

But if this discussion is merely hot air and keyboard tapping, everything will remain same-old same-old.

Wednesday, January 28, 2004

A Churchless Faith

Alan Jamieson is author of a book about why people leave church. It's called A Churchless Faith. Today he's speaking at a conference run by emergent UK.

Andrew Jones is there. He's also a Kiwi, tall and skinny like Alan. Alan is the senior minister at Wellington Central Baptist Church and continues to research and write in the area of emerging forms of church in post-modern culture. Alan interviewed 108 church leavers to find out why they left church. Most were employed, tertiary qualified, were previously in leadership positions and involved in the church for more than 10 years. So, what made these people open the back door? Read all about Alan's research here. This is how Alan sees the church:

"The church is the pilgrim community of believers, not of those who already see and know. The church must ever and again wander through the desert, through the darkness of sin and error. For the church can also err and for this reason must always be prepared to orientate itself anew, to renew itself. It must always be prepared to seek out a new path, a way that might be just as difficult to find as a desert track, or a path through darkness"

This "pilgrim community" - as told by M Scott Peck, author of "A Different Drum", and repeated on Alan's notes - is a "safe place precisely because no one is attempting to heal or convert you, to fix you, to change you. Instead, the members accept you as you are. You are free to be you and being so free, you are free to discard masks, disguises; free to seek your own psychological and spiritual health, free to become your whole and holy self."


Tuesday, January 27, 2004

Nudist resort for Christians

Here you go, it's summertime in New Zealand and the first Christianity-themed nudist colony created primarily for Christians in the United States is due to open in Florida in April. Bill Martin, co-founder of Natura, which will be the first in the stages when it opens said, "In Isaiah 20.2, God tells Isaiah to go into the wilderness naked for three years. So there's historical basis for a Christian nudist lifestyle," continued Martin, who is a Quaker.
Well, that explains that, then. Apparently the resort area will have 500 homes, a hotel, a water-slide park, and a non-denominational Christian church. Not exactly a wilderness. Although nudity will be mandatory, attending church services will be clothing-optional for residents.
You can find the articles on the new sanctified nudist resort - where they probably do nude baptisms - here, with pic and here

Monday, January 26, 2004

Are Sunday services a thing of the past?

missionshapedchurch.jpgmission shaped church church planting and fresh expressions of church in a changing context

A recently published report from the Church of England's Right Reverend Graham Cray has suggested that going to church on Sunday could be a thing of the past because people would rather go shopping and play sport (and go to cafes and drink coffee yay!) The report, Mission-shaped church, ( of which you can get a 29 page version here) recommended that the church should stop trying to bring people to Sunday services and instead attempt to rebuild itself by setting up new, less formal churches that meet at different times. it's published by church house publishing. and will be available next month. Check out this article on the report written in a place where attendance - especially by young people - is actually increasing.

Here goes....

Well here goes....
A Baptist pastor deserves a bit of thanks for encouraging this blog to be a part of the kiwi blogdom of God - and also an Anglican priest deserves a plug for giving me a virtual kick up the pants (when she asked when I was going to do a blog). So here it is. Thanks to Steve for being the "comments - man". We`ll see how it all goes….

To kick things off, here's a great interview with
Philip Yancey I saw a while back. It's about sex, lies and…. well, have a read. Good stuff.