Suspending Understanding

Jesus answered him, “What I am doing you do not know now, but afterward you will understand.” John 13:7

It’s hard to admit that i can’t know everything now. I tend to think i could, if i just thought harder about it. But time brings a perspective that the present lacks.

Entering in Triumph

The oppressed people of the city welcome their liberation with rejoicing and jubilation in the streets. After an awesome display of power, the winning side is clear. Many years of frustrating waiting is released into song.

Following an initial scouting mission, the “invaders” withdraw, but return the next day to demonstrate authority in the heart of the city. People are astonished at what they see.

From the shadows, the ruling party watches and awaits an opportunity for revenge. Old scores will be settled soon enough.

But the liberation does not turn out as they expect, and in disillusionment the people turn on their liberator. This is not the kind of ruler they want. The power occupying their hearts is stronger than the one occupying their city.

Not Baghdad, but Jerusalem. Not a campaign of shock and awe, but one of teaching, healing and even life after death. Not a military liberator, but a humble servant who died so that hearts could be freed from the tyranny of sin. Today’s news from long ago, in Mark 11 and John 12:12-16.

Scripture Permalinks

There ought to be a standard way to reference Scripture passages in a blog that has these properties:

  • it displays the reference itself
  • it displays the text itself (optionally, and with the option of abbreviating it)
  • it’s linked to a URI that will display the chapter context
  • the URI as text makes sense (so you could compose a new one)

BibleGateway.com provides something like this. Here’s the text for a link to John 3:16-17 (if you navigate there through their interface, you get some other parameters in the URL for the language, the version, and some display parameters. But the URL seems to work okay without them, maybe through cookies).

http://www.biblegateway.com/cgi-bin/bible?passage=John+3:16-17

This seems general enough (though this probably won’t let you reference discontinuous sections, like John 3:16-17, 20). The reference and the text still have to be done by hand, though. 

Now if i just had a Radio macro that generated this automatically from something reasonable, like <%imageref()%>. “someday” i’ll have to look at the tutorial …

 

The Imperatives of Jesus

“Everyone will know you are my disciples, if you do what I tell you …”

I’d like to survey the imperatives of Jesus, just to refresh my memory, and to do so briefly enough to provide an overview. Much of what Jesus did and taught provided context, explained what God and His Kingdom are like, showed him dealing with situations. But i suspect there are relatively few imperatives: “watch”, “be on your guard”, “seek to enter by the narrow gate”. I’d like to pull them all together in one place … (more here: work in progress)

Good News for Geeks

From a fascinating interview with Larry Wall on slashdot, mostly about Perl (the hugely successful scripting language that he created), but with one section about faith …

“It doesn’t take great energetic gobs of faith on your part–after all, Jesus said you only have to have faith the size of a mustard seed. So just how big is that, in information theory terms? I think it’s just two bits big. Please allow me to qoute a couple ‘bits’ from Hebrews, slightly paraphrased:

You can’t please God the way Enoch did without some faith, because those who come to God must (minimally) believe that:
    A) God exists, and
    B) God is good to people who really look for him.

That’s it. The ‘good news’ is so simple that a child can understand it, and so deep that a philosopher can’t. “

Reading Barna’s “Second Coming of the Church” and his contrast of pastors and leaders got me thinking about different church models that put mission first. What if the church was lead by someone who viewed themselves as a CEO of a non-profit, instead of a shepard?

With the fellowship-oriented model of the church, the progression seems to be:
  1. gather people
  2. feed and care for them
  3. motivate them to go out

Of course, the problem here is that the first two tasks are never ending, so the church rarely reaches the place where they’re “ready” to go out.

What if instead the whole purpose for coming together was their shared mission, and fellowship, teaching and training, and worship all happened in that context, pulled together by the mission? This would free the Mission Pastor to really lead, because the mission (rather than the church as a social organization) would be the focus.

Putting Mission First

Reading Barna’s “Second Coming of the Church” and his contrast of pastors and leaders got me thinking about different church models that put mission first. What if the church was lead by someone who viewed themselves as a CEO of a non-profit, instead of a shepard?

With the fellowship-oriented model of the church, the progression seems to be:


  1. gather people
  2. feed and care for them
  3. motivate them to go out

Of course, the problem here is that the first two tasks are never ending, so the church rarely reaches the place where they’re “ready” to go out.

What if instead the whole purpose for coming together was their shared mission, and fellowship, teaching and training, and worship all happened in that context, pulled together by the mission? This would free the Mission Pastor to really lead, because the mission (rather than the church as a social organization) would be the focus.