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Jeff
Minneapolis, MN
Husband, Dad, Pastor, Wannabe Writer
Interests: Jesus, Minneapolis, Culture, Cooking, Le Que
Recent Activity
This is great. I often choose a small piece of scripture to meditate on each morning in the shower (don't visualize it). I've been stuck on "do not condemn and you will not be condemned" for a long time. It's the gift that keeps on giving. It turns out it's not only a command, and not only a piece of good advice, I think it is a universal truth of the universe. The more you free yourself from the need to condemn, the freer you become.
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There is a scene in a movie trailer where a (clearly) unstable guy says to his girl- "I love you so much I'll break my finger for you", and then, before she can stop it, he grabs his finger and breaks it. This reminds me of many of my attempts at "Now is the day of salvation" evangelism. I did genuinely love people, but my actions weren't doing anything that would actually be helpful to them. I think this tension is unavoidable, and balancing it is just part of the relational dance of faith. I think of Paul's varied sermons in Acts- some straight to the point, others roundabout, sometimes accompanied by signs. He was doing "whatever works" because "Today is the day of salvation." Good stuff.
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John Piper (a very prominent conservative evangelical pastor in my city, Minneapolis) recently interpreted some tornadoes that came through the cities as God's judgment on the ELCA for voting to allow congregations to ordain homosexual clergy. I was surprised at how furious I was about this. The tornadoes came down fairly close to my condo, and while no one was hurt, it seemed that his public remarks bordered on profane. While some of the usual players (Greg Boyd) publicly denounced his views, no one from inside Piper's neo-reformed camp said anything. It seems to me that in cases like this, responses should come from peers. So if someone in the Vineyard, or someone with a similar sized church near me said something like this, it would be my place to respond. Obviously, the problem is that with the internet, one nut job gets a lot of air play. Still, I don't think we all need to pile on, it just gives the thing more legs. That said, I really think Piper's comments were ridiculous, and I am disappointed that one of his neo-reformed peers (Driscoll, Carson, Mahaney) hasn't yet publicly objected.
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Shucks, Dave, I was going to write the "remarkable man with terrible flaws who is nevertheless an inspiration" piece for this one. I agree with everything you said. My old boss would often say "you can do a lot less than you think in a year, and a lot more than you think in five years." I think that speaks to your point here, and could even be applied to decades and beyond that.
Toggle Commented Sep 1, 2009 on R.I.P. Ted Kennedy at Not The Religious Type
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Simpsons Audio = teh awesome
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I agree with Dave that a lot of this is overblown. Mostly, I think we're just a bunch of white guys who are super-excited that we found a way to feel pseudo-oppressed. That said- I think I do see situations where church people in general feel a pressure to be especially touchy-feely or sentimental in ways that are false. I think there are a lot of men and women who don't particularly enjoy that pressure, and any way we can de-oprahfy the church is probably a good idea.
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It is helpful, to me, that the very center of the church is One who chose (that's an interesting piece of it, the choosing) to be marginalized in every way, and has always related most strongly to the marginalized. Thus, whatever halting steps I take towards (accepting? as a white male, yes, perhaps attempting to accept) marginalization, or to reduce it in others through self-sacrifice, or to embrace it as my own, are steps in the footsteps of Jesus.
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I can buy that. There was a time where I thought it was kind of entertaining to read celebrity news, and after a while I concluded it mostly rots the soul.
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Yup, I agree. I mentioned the experience with the Declaration because it was surprising. I generally am not terribly patriotic. (Though I did choke up a bit on election night last year...)
Toggle Commented Jul 8, 2009 on Are You a Patriot? at Not The Religious Type
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Is that you Brent? You need to come to the CCS. You can stay in my hotel room.
Toggle Commented Jul 8, 2009 on Are You a Patriot? at Not The Religious Type
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