Lj – emerging theologian 3

So last night LJ and I were doing our evening prayers, complin, if you will. We ususally say the shema, the same prayer and have a 4 sentence conversation about our commitments to each other. Recently, however, we have added Psalm 115:1-3 to his memorization. Here’s a little tidbit from last night:

LJ:Why do the nations ask, where is their
Jesus…God?..Jesus..our…uhhh…He is in heaven, he does whatever he
pleases.

Me: great job, let’s pray.

Lj: I said Jesus, not God, oops.

Me: That’s ok – they’re sort of the same.

LJ:…(puzzled look)…

Me: Well God is like the Father and Jesus is like the Son (using the
word like to try explain the intricacies of explaining unexplainable truths
about God using the English language
)

Lj: Like me and you!

Me: …(hesitating…considering the implications of my son comparing
himself to Jesus and me to God – what’s good and what’s bad about it
)

Lj: Who’s the mommy?

Me: …(considering my options: 1. say God, let my child in on the
majesty of God’s motherly loved that is expressed inthe Scritpures; 2. say
the Holy Spirit and get into a conversation about the Trinity and later have to
explain that the Holy Spirit is probably not a boy or a girl; 3. Say Mary
and let my son revere her
)…(my answer…) Mary, the virgin Mary,
she is Jesus’ mom.

Lj: ok, let’s pray

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Spiritual Leadership, J. Oswald Sanders

This book was one of my assigned books read by our staff and discussed in staff meetings. This one actually worked better than most – it didn’t turn into a karioke evaluation after the middle trying chapters that are found in most books.

i am trying to process this one, though. I am living in a context where Rob Bell tells me, Everything is Spiritual, yet, if there is a such thing as spiritual leadership, then it follows that there is a such thing as unspiritual leadership. So how can I say everything is spiritual, when apparently it is not? Then, (using Bell’s logic of everything being spiritual because there is no Hebrew word for spiritual – thus everything is spiritual) possibly, can it not be true that nothing is spiritual? I can’t believe that, though, because then God would be a liar. As a point of note, apparently Bell has merely borrowed a phrase that Schaffaer used before him, and explained a little more cartesianly.

Anyways, I am beginning to sound like a Nate rant when he has overdosed on Lewis…lol.

So, I am living in this tension of everything being spiritual but assuredly old-school (read: reductionism) Sanders says, apparently, that it isn’t. I have a hypothesis – maybe everything is spiritual, but sin rips the spiritual out of things. And then, the regeneration/renewal/salvation of all things that Jesus is doing could be described as working the spiritual back into all things.

So here’s some quotes contributing to the tension:

> p.18 “True leaders must be willing to suffer for thee sake of objectives great enough to demand their wholehearted obedience.”

> p.28 “A true leader influences others spiritually only because the Spirit works in and through him to a greater degree than in those he leads.”
So, then, why? Doesn’t this mean a pastor cannot spiritually lead those who are more spiritual? Isn’t there a problem in this somewhere when we have 26 year olds graduating seminary and pastoring people who have been following God for fifty years?

> p.32 “Spiritual goals can be achieved only by spiritual people who use spiritual methods.”

>p.53 on young leadership, “…pray while others daydream…”

>p.75 “Any position of leadership involves a considerable amount of correspondence, and letters are self-revealing”
I ripped on this section in a staff meeting – it’s all about how writing letters is so important. Hello?? email!! Anyways…

>p.85 “The spiritual leader should outpace the rest of the church, above all, in prayer.”

>p.87 “Jesus performed miracles without a sign of outward strain, by ‘he offered up prayers and petitions with loud cries and tears” (quoting Hebrews 5:7)

p.157 “Many influential Christians have fallen before this temptation [indispensability]. It seems that Christians are especially prone to it. They cling to authority long after it should have passed to younger people.”
I think this is going to be a trying point for much of the modern/baby boomer leadership in existence today. Even more so because of a lack of understanding and suspicion that leads to a dismissal of postmodernity.

Good stuff. I wouldn’t have read this book if I hadn’t been told to, but if I only ever did what I wanted I would only grow in some areas. This book helped to balance me and see through some biases that I had been reading in other texts.

shabbat

this is short because it got erased earlier today. I’ve taken the last couple days off and rested and used energy in non-ministry ways (the only people I looked to care about were sleeping in my house, taking my order, or playing center for the Miami heat).

I have also joined the world of downloading podcasts. I love it because I can have lots going on while I am working. Right now I just finished with some Miroslav Volf and am listening to Donald Miller read his new book.

I love this stuff.

Today I worked on our summer missions trip, happening in two weeks. Should have it finalized by tommorrow. Cool stuff, with God smiling on the whole effort. The giving spirit of the adults in our church is humiliating to me. They are so amazing.

Ok – lots of posts coming – I have a ton of books to upload.