Wednesday, March 26, 2008

A Community Called Atonement Ch. 7 and 8

And now we arrive to chapter 7 and 8. I'm interested to see if we all agree that the cross is the center of the atonement. I'm also interested to hear what you all think of Scot's incarnational assessment of Jesus as the Second Adam.

Here's to discussing!

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

from I, Francis

Some thoughts that I thought were appropriate for our week.

"Jesus' cross was humanity's happiness, love's answer to all the whys, the resolution of every conflict, the overcoming of every tension and polarization, God's victory over death."

If the Son of God had died on the cross, I was saved.

All sadness would have to be banished.

Every one of us was lord of the world.

Every pauper was rich.

Every heart was satiated.

Every project was possible." p15

"Do you not know that my Most High Lord is God's Son?

And do you not know that he became a human being, and as if that had not been enough, a poor person? And how poor he became!

Just see how poor he is. He has nothing left at all.

He, the creator of heaven and earth, has himself come among us.

He did not send someone else, he came himself!

He did nothing to get himself accepted in the high places, nor did he bring anything along to make himself more comfortable.

He did not hide behind the wall of his might and his divinity; he accepted life as the last and least of us.

He was God and he became the poor one among us, the weak one, the wounded one, the calumniated one, the imprisoned one, the condemned one!" p16-17

Monday, March 17, 2008

What I'm Reading...

So I have the annoying habit of reading many books at the same time. I find I treat my books like my relationships...I just hate ending them. So for fun, I thought I'd put the books that I'm reading on here.***
So, I'm reading Jewish Spirituality: A Brief Intro for Christians by Lawrence Kushner. I've read this book in the past while I was perusing at the Messiah College Library. I relied heavily on the chapter on Teshuva (Jewish concept of return) for a prodigal son sermon I gave several years ago. The book is very accessible and can actually be read in one sitting, but is best processed over time. And I'm enjoying it again.

The Next book I am enjoying is The Shaping of Things to Come. This book was actually given to me by Doug, and I'm greatly enjoying it. I'll put some more thoughts from this book on this blog for a bit of discussion. Primarily the book hopes to get it's readers to see the world as a place God wants to shape through them, using the culture that they find themselves in.

God was in this Place & I, i did not know. This book is beside my bedside. Another Lawrence Kushner book, this one explores a variety of approaches to explain the time when Jacob dreams of the ladder and realizes that God was with him, even in the middle of nowhere.

Colossians Remixed. This book was recommended by Doug and also by Byron Borger. And Byron is actually mentioned in the forward. How fun is that? Well, I haven't gotten very far in this book, at all. I enjoyed the intro and have only begun the first chapter. But I already like the book, because it's written by a husband and wife team. Now that's cool. I'd love to do that someday.

I, Francis. I've wanted to read this book for quite some time. Ever since I have read the quotes in A Prayer Guide For Ministers and Other Servants. This is a unique approach to telling St. Francis' story. Carlo attempts to tell the story through first person narrative. It's quite fascinating. At times Francis is incredibly captivating and other times he's annoyingly emotional. But that's what makes it a good read.

Raising Your Child to Love God. This book was loaned to me by my Uncle Dan when I first got married. He thought it'd be a good read for being a youth pastor. It so happens that I forgot to give it back to him when I last saw him, but it's providential, because I am enjoying it. It's got great practical things on how to be a godly father and family.

***I linked all of these to Amazon, but if you're local, you can get them from Hearts and Minds.

Friday, March 14, 2008

Why I Love Hearts and Minds

We have a locally owned bookstore in town called Hearts and Minds. It's located in Dallastown, about 30 minutes from my house, but I love to get down there when I have the chance.

So here is why I love the place...

In a thoughtful and candid post, the owner Byron Borger explains to his readers/customers why he supports the emergent conversation and how the movement connects to his own story. As usual his post is laden with excellent book recommendations. It's almost an autobiography of the books that have shaped his approach to following Jesus.

As you read the post you realize that Byron doesn't just sell books, he actually reads them and allows the thoughts from the authors to affect the way he sees the world.

That's why I love the place.

And when I have a question about a certain topic, Byron will give me a list of books, with a brief blurb on each. Being so informed has made purchasing books from Hearts and Minds both engaging and enjoyable.

So, if you have five minutes, I highly recommend reading the post. And if you have more time, check out some of his other posts.

Thursday, March 13, 2008

My favorite day

Did I ever mention that Thursdays are my favorite days? Or that Ben Folds is one of my favorite musical artists? Well, I regard Thursdays higher than Ben Folds, but sometimes I listen to Ben Folds on Thursdays.
But Thursdays are really my fav days because I get to spend them with the lovely child pictured above. Man, does she make me laugh!

Wednesday, March 12, 2008


So I had never heard of Banksy before, but he was referenced in a recent Rob Bell sermon.

And so I googled some of his art. Pretty creative and cool stuff. The photo included was painted on the security wall that separates Israel from Palestine. This specific painting is on the Bethlehem section of the wall.

A Community Called Atonement Ch. 5 and 6

So, I was delinquint in putting up the post for us to have our discussion this week. But we have entered the fifth and sixth chapters. And it's getting a little thicker...
And I have to admit, I looked forward and found some really good stuff in the upcoming chapters. But we'll get to it when we get to it!
For now I look forward to reflecting with you on the implications of chapters 5 and 6.

Monday, March 03, 2008

A Community Called Atonement Ch. 3 and 4

As I approached these chapters, I was hoping that the first two chapters were more of a diving board and that the next couple chapters would more like the actual plunge. Although, the two chapters focused on "where a theory of atonement begins", I think Scot McKnight took his readers a little deeper.

I'm curious to hear your responses, especially to his thoughts on humanity (Eikon), sin as corruption, atonement as relational restoration...

Let the conversation begin!