August 30, 2005, 7:45 pm
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The September edition of Next-Wave has gone live, which includes as its “cover story” an autobiographical piece by none other than Brian McLaren. I actually read this over the weekend on the Emergent Village website. Interestingly, the same day I read it, I finished D.A. Carson’s Becoming Conversant with the Emerging Church, which obviously mentions McLaren more than a little bit.

I’ve tried to avoid reading book reviews on Carson because I wanted to read it with an open mind, without too many subscripts running. Overall, I have to say I was disappointed. I did expect to disagree with him and his critiques of the emerging church, but honestly, I expected a heartier effort on his part. I found his descriptions of postmodernity shallow and simplistic. I almost felt like he didn’t have a command of the theories and thrusts of the philosophy – at least not enough to be writing his own book length critiques. He takes some shots at Stanley Grenz, who’s Primer on Postmodernism was my first in depth exposure to the thought. He would have done better to learn more from Grenz before pulling up short, as he appears to have done. And then, of course, he goes off on Brian McLaren – at length.

I actually found some of Carson’s critiques to be helpful and insightful, even if not profound. But there’s just way too much broad-brushing – as though McLaren is the unquestioned pope of this movement/conversation. Clearly, this thing is about more than just the one guy.

The main beef I have with the book is that Carson shows his lack of understanding of his topic by his insistence on making linear, foundationalist arguments in an attempt to expose a non-linear, post-foundationalist mode of thought. I would have liked for him to be clever enough to find a postmodern approach to debunk postmodernism. Add to that the fact that this movement/conversation has never simply been about postmodernism. Many of us all along have noted the significance of the socio-cultural shift, without buying into all the precepts and epistimology. We recognize it for what it is, and then get on task with missional theology and ecclesiology.

I’m starting to sound like an academic now, so I’ll stop. I am still looking for the first good book that will put us in check. I mean that – we need a book like that. I guess I’ll give Carson some credit for trying, and for meaning well. He does display a somewhat generous spirit at times, which is more than I can say for some of Carson’s own critics.


August 30, 2005, 12:14 pm
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This post from Ryan Bolger very nicely summarizes some of the issues I’m facing in my campus ministry position, and suggests a good, slow way forward.

August 30, 2005, 9:18 am
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I just want the world to know that I’m a really unimpressive bachelor. Michelle flew down to California last Friday. She’s coming home late tonight. I’m happy about this. Now, I’m a guy who likes his alone time and everything, but really, I’m pretty much cut out for marriage.

Michelle is going to come home very very tired. She went to CA to help her parents move out of our house into their new house. She has also had the un-fun job of prepping the house for tenants to move in later this week.

It was nearly two years ago now that the wildfires in Southern California took Michelle’s parents’ home from them. And after a long, very stressful process of putting life back together and building a new house, they’re finally in their own place again. I’m really really happy for them – especially because their new house is truly amazing. The ironic thing to me is that they’re moving in, even while people in the South are losing their homes to the hurricane. Natural disasters are equal opportunity destroyers, I guess.

August 30, 2005, 8:08 am
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Well, at long last, I’ve made some changes to the ‘ol blog design. I know it’s still not impressive, but hey, I’m no web genius. That image up there at the top is part of a painting Michelle and I have hanging in our house. It’s by an artist out of California, named James Leonard.

Well, comment if you are able and tell me how ugly this looks. If you hate it enough, I’ll let you redesign it your own self.

August 30, 2005, 6:57 am
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One Sunday a young Quaker came to visit and the Assemblies of God people were in charge. We had spiritual prayer singing, hand-raising, and a strong truth message from the front. The Quaker visitor went and told friends and family that MaryKate was planting a Pentecostal church. Another Sunday the Assemblies of God people had family visiting and the service had quiet at the beginning, centering prayer, and a more reflective message. His family came after him with, “Why are you planting a Quaker church?”

read on . . .

The September edition of Off The Map‘s Idealab is live. Good stuff as always.

August 29, 2005, 8:11 am
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Hurricane Katrina blogger.

Via kottke

August 28, 2005, 8:14 am
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O.k., I don’t really know enough about Google to know how funny this might really be, but for those of you that do . . . here’s a little Google world domination (in South Park form).