Film & Theology: Napoleon Dynamite Night

tonight is the Napoleon Dynamite film and theology night…

It should be cool,: great prizes… think fishing line, bicycles and teather ball!!

Who knew theology was this fun?


Emergent Celebrity

So there’s not going to be an emergent convention for the next couple of years and I think that might be really, really good.

Emerging things seem to be such a market driven piece of property that it is becoming hard to know what is going on out here. To me, emerging is about a community becoming, not about attendance at conferences.

Which brings me to that which prompted this. Our church is looking at the addition of a worship pastor (focus on the pastor part more than the worship part) and one of the good looking applications was from a former YP who turned into a worship pastor. He had Sonlife advanced one and two, both of which I’d love to learn in, and He had been to the past two emergent conventions (which, from some reports were heavy on the convention and light on the emergent – which adds even more problems to my gut reaction). when I saw that I was, to my horror, jealous. I had to actually ask myself what was going on inside of me –

I figure that I had become enamored by the celebrity of the emergent group. They’ve got books and conferences and appearances on Larry King…and really…really…what does that mean?

I am going to try and get past the celebrity worship part of my life…which getting older is really helping…but it is going to read it’s ugly head again (no offense intended to the good looking fellows at emergent). I don’t think the fellows at emergent want to be celebrities, but that’s what us americans do, right? Take a good thing and market it…

Just another step in the reorientation –


Hitch – great movie – it’s about a youth pastor who learns to stop making little people who love God and start just loving God himself and allows other men to follow him.

youth pastor is played by a date doctor
little people are played by single men
God is played by women

Nice movie.

Good theology.

The Relevant Church, Jennifer Ashley ed.

Great leaders don’t always make great writers.

This book is a collection of stories from church planters of “emerging” churches. In some cases, really great, in other cases, it’s like reading the diary of someone I want to emulate, but they just talk about crap. It’s a really, really easy read, especially when you skim through the chemical waste.

This is the first book I’ve read from Relevant Books, which makes me nervous that Relevant Media Group has so filled a gap in Christian marketing that they think they can get away with anything (ring a Bell-South?).

Meanwhile, there are some great people writing in this book, and they have some great quotes, with the appropriate writer attributed.

– Brian Kay

“It is impossible to be a follower of Christ and not be a part of a local church. There, I said it.”

“…others go from church to church in an effort to put together a smorgasboard of the best teaching, best music, best small group, best whatever. Church hopping is the only tolerated promiscuity in Christian culture”

Alex McManus

” ‘Creativity is the natural result of spirituality’ “

“We would have to be Rafiki…we shake a coconut, throw some dust, do a little dance and can’t figure out how to cover our butts.”

– Jason Zahariades

“Yet, over it’s long history, Israel distorts its vocation as a blessing to the nations. Rather than being an inclusive transformative community, it accentuates its distinct ethnic identity in order to keep the other nations at bay.”

not bad. but not that great.

The evangelicals are screwed! Part Deux!

Last night Larry King hosted a discussion with a few of the most influential american evangelicals on his talk show. Each of them was a included in TIME magazine’s 25 most influential evangelicals in America list, which is from their most recent issus, dealing with the power of evangelicals in the American political world.

On the show were Tim and Beverly LaHaye, Franklin Graham, T.D. Janks, and Brian McLaren. Of course, it was easy to see who was going to be relevant, and who wasn’t.

The LaHayes are sure doing a great job at whatever it is they are doing, but heck if I know what that is!

Franklin Graham was his normal stuff, giving the gospel message in a very humble way, but giving it none the less.

T.D. kept his patience even though Larry King talked to him about the evangelical track record with racism (which in case you haven’t noticed – sucks – America was not built on biblical principles, it was built on the backs of black slaves).

Brian McLaren, perhaps the least evangelical of them all, was what was expected as well.

No big surprises.

One caller in to the show did make me think though, and then another did too.

First, one caller commended McLaren and Janks for being open-minded. It made me wonder why we have to be polarized into open- or closed-minded…

I think it is the real call of Christians to be known as compassionate, which may well go beyond the open/closed minded discussion. Compassion is like the flavoring in the dish, because being open- or closed- minded without compassion is pretty much the same thing isn’t it? And perhaps, people who commend Christians for being open-minded have no idea what they are talking about and really just admire the compassion with which the person responds.

Second, a caller asked McLaren about his view on the war. I love going to listen to Brian speak, simply to hear the people try to peg him down with their heretic darts. McLaren was wise though, and stuck by his views, being a little sneaky about not saying whether or not he supported Bush, but being outright in saying that he does not support Bush’s actions in the world.

I think we’re all very, very grateful for the initial good results from the election, so I have nothing but gratitude that went so well. And I think we’re all so proud of the Iraqi people for, at great risk, going out to vote. But I think we still, many of us who are Christians are not spoken for, by a lot of the most public voices. And a lot of us are raising very deep questions about the U.S.’s role in the world, and is this really a sensible role for us to take.

So, it was an interesting night, and will be good conversation for the small group this week…