How ’bout some positive talk?
April 30, 2007, 7:35 pm
Filed under: uncategorized

Lately I’ve been successful in refraining from comments on the latest round of unnecessary controversy invited upon a local, well-known pastor . . . that is, invited upon him BY him. Instead, I happily direct your attention to Eugene Cho, another local (not as well known) pastor who has posted on the same topic, but with respect and love.


What is Web 2.0 . . . or . . . What is Missional?
April 25, 2007, 7:54 am
Filed under: culture, emerging church, missiology

For those of you who read this blog and don’t know me, let me just state something that’s fairly obvious to those of you who do – I’m a geek . . . but about obscure, mostly irrelevant things. The traditional image of Geek (notice the formal capitalization there) is someone who hovers over their computer keyboard, typing code, and taking occasional breaks to play World of Warcraft. I’m not that kind of geek. However, because I believe geeky technology – especially that of the computer variety – will continue to shape our culture, relationships, economy, justice, education, and religion, I have a few techy blogs in my feedreader.

This morning, one of them, Robert Scoble, posted a short ditty trying to define Web 2.0. In the tech world, lots and lots of people throw that term around, companies develop business strategies around it, investors throw down huge bucks for it . . . but not very many people can actually tell you what it means. A lot of people use the term in ways that make web developers want to pull their hair out, because they’re so off base. Scoble gives the ol’ college try this way:
Web 1.0 was about pages. URLs.
Web 2.0 was about users. Adding them onto corporate pages. Wikis. Blogs. Myspaces.
Web 3.0 is about getting rid of pages altogether. Being able to make the Web YOU want or need.

But, Scoble also links to another tech geek blogger who muses on the question. Different responses over there. Whatever the case, I’ve gotten the distinct impression that most web developers would say something like, “I can’t define Web 2.0 for you, but I know it when I see it.”

So now I come to the question: What is missional? Lots of people are using the term these days in the Church. Few could give you a concise definition if you asked them. A lot of people would give answers that seem well off the mark. A lot would say, “I can’t define missional, but I know it when I see it.” There are increasing attempts out there by some very smart people to define it in clear ways . . . but the ones who say, “I know it when I see it,” may not even care – it’s more about living into it than defining it. Ultimately, there will be people who don’t “get” missional, but say the word all the time. Frustrating or not, it’s still more about living into it than having some sort of linguistic power over definitions.

The Cobalt Season
April 23, 2007, 3:19 pm
Filed under: culture, friends, music

Here’s some encouragement for you to do what I just did . . . go buy The Cobalt Season‘s new record! I can’t wait to hear the yummy goodness.

I forgot my anniversary (again)
April 23, 2007, 10:43 am
Filed under: blogging

One should not be fooled by the title of this post that I’m a negligent husband. I’ve celebrated ten wedding anniversaries with Michelle, and remembered every one of them.

The anniversary to which I refer might be cleverly referred to as my “blogoversary.” Yesterday was the five year mark since I started this here blog. I’ve changed the template several times, but have been pretty consistent in bringing random tidbits about life, culture, theology, and mindlessness in a way that has produced a stunning following of at least 4-1/2 readers.

I had intended to celebrate the anniversary by announcing that I was shutting the ol’ blog down . . . mostly because I’ve got a new one in the works. Alas, I had a more pressing writing project to complete and wasn’t able to get the new blog up and running in time. Perhaps over the next couple weeks I’ll manage to find some time to finish polishing it up. Until then, I’ll continue posting here.

Capitalism is evil
April 23, 2007, 6:32 am
Filed under: uncategorized

Michelle and I went to the pet store yesterday to buy dog food. Michelle remembered while we were there that she wanted to buy a cat litter box scoop spoon thingy. After finding the right aisle, she was faced with a decision – which of the approximately 46 versions of an incredibly simple device was best? I’m sorry, but I just have a hard time believing that any store would need to carry more than one or two varieties – a plastic one and a metal one, maybe. But ergonomic? Comfort-grippy-handle? Hydraulic-sport-tuned-suspension-with-a-Hemi? Ionic-breeze-odor-reducer? No thanks, I’ll take the plastic one.

Am I cranky this morning, or just over-tired?

"Mr. Gorbachev, Tear Down That Wall!"
April 21, 2007, 8:07 am
Filed under: politics

BBC News is reporting on a concrete wall being built in Baghdad:

Once the 3.6m (12 ft) wall is finished, people will enter and leave Adhamiya through a small number of checkpoints guarded by US and Iraqi forces.

The US military says the barrier is the centrepiece of its strategy to end sectarian violence in the area but insists there are no plans to divide up the whole city into gated communities.

U.S. taxpayer dollars hard at work to re-create a situation that clearly didn’t work well in Berlin? Decide for yourself . . . this just seemed a little on the ironic side to me.

How (Not) To Rethink Church
April 20, 2007, 7:48 pm
Filed under: denomination, innovation

I attended a breakfast meeting this morning, sponsored by the international missions agency of my denomination. Amid all the frustrating things that make me wish I wasn’t part of this denomination, this agency has consistently been one of the brighter lights – I’ve met tons of people that really get the Kingdom of God . . . primarily because they’ve served in situations where they weren’t the comfortable majority, and developed some humility and respect as a result.

While at the breakfast, I got to talk to some good folks, in particular, about the Church in Latin America. Good times.

During the “meeting” portion of the breakfast, some good, encouraging things were said. But mixed in with them were some things that made me scratch my head.

Here’s an example: “We need to help Christian in North America rethink church. What is it? A building? A worship service? What? We need to be able to show people that church can take forms other than the normal model we’re accustomed to. Small gatherings of people in informal settings can legitimately be the church . . . as long as they’re fulfilling the five purposes of the church . . . “

I was tracking happily with that, right up until the last line . . . five purposes. Ummmm, o.k., so if I’m supposed to rethink the church, why can’t I rethink the five purposes (which, by the way, were left undefined, and therefore, left me feeling sheepish and silly for not knowing them off the top of my head . . . clearly, I don’t know my New Testament)? So, basically, church can look many different ways in many different contexts . . . just as long as it looks the same everywhere. Got it.

The meeting was enjoyable and well worth my time (even at 7:30am). It’s just funny how in the midst of changing everything, we have the capacity to miss some things. I am certainly as guilty as anyone in this regard. God help us all.