Redemptive Movement Hermeneutic

As happens to me frequently, I think something, wonder if I am crazy, do some checking and then find I am not the only one that is crazy. I need to put that on one of my t-shirts.

The other day I was going to Mars Hill Michigan, where I frequently download the teachings of Rob Bell. I close to wholeheartedly agree with the teachings of Rob Bell. I find him not trying to be “emergent” but rather emphasizing living in the way of Jesus and following Him closely.

Anyways, I always get their url wrong, so I yahoo searched it and saw a link to it from a gender magazine. Thinking that was interesting I read the article. Ends up the magazine is very complementarian, which means they hold to an understanding of the Scriptures that ignores cultural influences. (For example, if it says women shouldn’t be elders in the New Testament times, then women shouldn’t be elders now either.) They also rip on Mars Hill and on Rob Bell personally. It’s an interesting read if you’d like.

For a long time I have held to male only elders, though I thought women pastors were fine as long as the SP was male. I held to that, because I thought that if I allowed women elders, then I had to make other concessions to the Scriptures as well, including allowing homosexuality. So, I was, basically, opposed to women church leadership because I was pretty sure that God didn’t like homosexuality.

Weird…now that I write it out. I’ll have to call my mom – we talk about this often.

So, from the article I also found that Rob Bell holds to a hermeneutic called “Redemptive Movement” that has been brought further into the mainstream by a professor William Webb (who is working in Canada, thank you very much).

It seems this Redemptive Movement Hermeneutic is focused on the desire of God as it moves through the Scriptures. It then extrapolates to find the heart of God in the “ultimate” desire of God.

So, I have to do some more reading on this, but I think it might help me explain what I am thinking in process salvationism. I am going to have to email Brian McLaren and William Webb to find this out. But you can check out some of the links and comment about what you think…


Save the Forest

Last night we had a youth ministry Capture the Flag style game up in Millersberg – it was super fun – our group is really learning how to have fun together and play. When I first came to this church, little clicks were having fun together but there was no group – it’s really turning around. For the Sonlife among us, we are developing a loving environment and a Biblical Ministry Image.

This morning I was unloading the shuttle bus of 1,000 feet of police tape and other pairfinalia. I picked up a box of fire wood at the store before heading out yesterday and when I was unloading it this morning I noticed, in big red writing, on the side of the box,



Inside the box are some logs made out of wood. Apparently this is a special type of wood that is not made from trees. And, thanks be to the manufacturers, because they also made the cardboard box out of a material that did not us tress.

Gotta love that modern technology.

Breakout Chruches, by Thom S. Rainer

Based on the coporate mega-hit, Good to Great, this book follows the travels of 13 churches who went through dry times and came out ahead. While I am naturally adverse to using coporate business books as church growth material, I tried to approcah this book with an open mind, especially after hearing what the notorious Jeremy Gange had to say about it.

The book is a research report more than a prescription on how to grow your church. The research group of doctrinal students under Thom Rainer interviewed thousands of churches and 13 breakout churches looking for common themes. The 13 churches chosen had to fit certain criteria, including keeping the same senior pastor through the dry time into the breakout times. I thought that was awesome, b/c it gave hope to pastors to stay where they are and not be constantly looking for greener (easier) pastures somewhere else.

So, I would pick up the book if you are a church leader, or want to support your church leadership in moving from good to great.

There were, of course, a couple of things that didn’t sit well with me. The biggest problem I had was with the statement that good was a sin if we are called to great. I just don’t see that as I look at the Scriptures. It sounds really motivational and all, but is it real? So, this book is not the gospel for me, but it is encouraging in a John Maxwell kind of way…

Just a tool.

I’m nothing, hear me, nothing but a tool;
If God wants to use me I just say cool.
I’m not a ballonhead who thinks he’s on the rise,
If you’re thinking that then, pop, yo, surprise.

I woke up this morning, prayed, visited the lab at the doctor’s to give blood, drank coffee, read Nick’s blog, and went on with my day.

Little did I know that this morning God would be working in a man’s heart to call the church, ask to talk to a pastor. Without going into personal details, this man has suffered some personal loss and came in to my office, prayed and became a Christian. It was unbelievable. I basically just sat there and watched the Holy Spirit enter a man. I ministered by offering kleenex, telling him how amazing God is, told Him about the story of the prodigal son, and hugged him.

no one has ever taught me how to share the gospel in the story of the prodigal son, it just came out because it just lives inside of me.

It’s awesome to just be a part of God’s redemptive plan.

Midnight Maruaders

So Saturday morning I woke up and found that the youth house (which I like to call the cave, in recognition of the saints who meet in the catacombs before us) was broken into on Friday night. Thieves made off with ~$1500-$2000 worth of music and AV kit. If you’ve ever been robbed from from a B&E you know that feeling of violation that you want revenge for. I find myself having to remind myself that the best life for me does not include revenge. In any way.

I think practicing the Jesus Prayer over the last while will help me through this. It really helps to turn my focus from myself to the reality of the God-world.

It’s still annoying that people would steal from us. At least that’s how I feel; they didn’t really steal from us, they stole for themselves, trying their best to get their best life possible.

So the question I find myself asking is this: Do I love the people who stole from the youth house?

It’s convicting.

Catholic John Wesley

Like everyone else that circles the emerging church blogs, I have taken the Theological Worldview test. Originally seen at the Dead YP site, I ended up Roman/Catholic and Weslyan. I’m cool with that. I have never prayed to Mary or the saints though, so that part of the quiz is a little off. Whatever.

Alright –

You scored as Roman Catholic. You are Roman Catholic. Church tradition and ecclesial authority are hugely important, and the most important part of worship for you is mass. As the Mother of God, Mary is important in your theology, and as the communion of saints includes the living and the dead, you can also ask the saints to intercede for you.

Evangelical Holiness/Wesleyan


Roman Catholic




Neo orthodox




Classical Liberal


Modern Liberal


Reformed Evangelical




What’s your theological worldview?
created with

Authentic Sin

I wish we would stop referring to Christians as “sinners who are forgiven.” I wish we would see the calling of being holy, separate as a way of life. Following Jesus instead of natural tendencies.

I am prompted to this wish by a few factors, reading the forum boards about an article on slacker-leadership, my own blog, and feeling a growing distinction between those who live for and against Jesus. I don’t work hard to classify people into Christian/not-Christian, but I do point out obvious traits that work for/against a person, or myself, being whole in all aspects.

It seems the current buzz-words of “real” and “authentic” are being thrown around in conjunction with sin. For example, it’s considered real, by one forum poster, when people around a church swear and drop the “f-bomb” about once a week. That line of thinking says that those who don’t swear are not real. That just doesn’t line up with Scripture. Romans is clear that we should not go on sinning just so that the grace of “realness” abounds.

I dare say that “authenticity” and “realness” may be the false gods of our time. They are very good attributes, but they are not to be worshipped. Why should they be the measure of a Christian or a church? Of course, this coming from someone who really values an insistence on reality, I am not advocating for the fake church.

I am advocating for God’s people to be holy and allow that holiness to be the “authentic” reality in their lives.