Tuesday, November 28, 2006

The greatest Christian revolutions come not by the discovery of something that was not known before. They happen when somebody takes radically something that was always there.

Philip Yancey

Monday, November 20, 2006

Irresistible Revolution

Shane Claiborne, author of irresistible revolution and friend of The Simple Way, did a little survey on "Christians about their (mis)conceptions of Jesus. It was fun just to see how many people think Jesus loved homosexuals or ate kosher. But I learned a striking thing from the survey. I asked participants who claimed to be "strong followers of Jesus" whether Jesus spent time with the poor. Nearly 80 percent said yes. Later in the survey, I sneaked in another question. I asked this same group of strong followers whether they spent time with the poor, and less tahn 2 percent said they did. I learned a powerful lesson: We can admire adn worship Jesus without doing what he did. We can applaud what he preached and stood for without caring about the same things. We can adore his cross without taking up ours. I had come to see that the great tragedy in the church is not that rich Christians do not care about the poor but that rich Christians do not know the poor.

"When the worlds of poverty and wealth collide, the resulting powerful fusion can change the world...I long for the Calcutta slums to meet the Chicago suburbs, for lepers to meet landowners and for each to see God's image in the other. It's no wonder that the footsteps of Jesus lead from the tax collectors to the lepers. I truly believe that when the poor meet the rich, riches will have no meaning. And when the rich meet the poor, we will see poverty come to an end."

Irresistible Revolution, 113-114

Tuesday, November 07, 2006

At the Margins

my friend scott emailed me an interesting article. It's an African bishop's critique of the American Church and it's concept of power and change.

Here's a section of text about the Great Commission:
We need to begin to read the Bible differently. Americans have been preoccupied with the end of the Gospel of Matthew, the Great Commission: "Go and make." I call them go-and-make missionaries. These are the go-and-fix-it people. The go-and-make people are those who act like it's all in our power, and all we have to do is "finish the task." They love that passage! But when read from the center of power, that passage simply reinforces the illusion that it's about us, that we are in charge.

I would like to suggest a new favorite passage, the Great Invitation. It's what we find if we read from the beginning of the Gospels rather than the end. Jesus says, "Come, follow me. I will make you fishers of men." Not "Go and make," but "I will make you." It's all about Jesus. And do you know the last words of Jesus to Peter, in John 21? "Follow me." The last words of Simon Peter's encounter are the same as the first words.

I hope you enjoy and are challenged.

Thursday, November 02, 2006

Jesus Wants to Save Christians

Anybody who's anybody should check out the most recent sermon series at Mars Hill Community.

They brought the pain especially on hell and witnessing.

They told the story about the blind man who was healed with Jesus' spitwad. How the man, when asked about the healing, repeated "I don't know". It's okay to not know all the answers. What's most important is that my life has been changed for the better b/c of Christ.

[edit from original post: the sermon series (title of the post) can be accessed on the link above. the first one by rob bell is a little scattered, but the rest are more direct and a pretty interesting examination of how God desires to change Christians...rob seems to be talking about people who think they have it all together and rather than having the love and mercy of Christ, use their Christianity/religion as a weapon against the world rather than an invitation to the world.]