Stop Caste Now
June 29, 2007, 6:53 am
Filed under: culture, friends, missiology, politics

I’m currently working with Jim Henderson to host an event or two to help Sunil Sardar. Here’s a quick clip video that shows a bit of what he’s all about.


I don’t know which I’m more tired of hearing about . . .
June 28, 2007, 4:38 pm
Filed under: uncategorized

. . . Paris Hilton or the iPhone. Is it just me, or are the people dying in Iraq and Darfur just not sexy enough to retain our attention?

Quick Visit to San Diego
June 25, 2007, 12:55 pm
Filed under: friends, travel

Michelle and I just got back last night from a few days in sunny San Diego. We went down for the wedding of some dear friends, which I was honored to officiate. It wasn’t quite as busy/hectic as I thought it might be, so that’s good. We always come home wishing we had been able to see more people than time allowed for, but we did pretty well. In addition to good hang out with both sets of parents, my sister and her kids, we saw some folks at the wedding. Friday night, we also got to visit Jason and Brooke Evans in the South Park neighborhood of San Diego – we walked with them, caught up a bit on life, and just enjoyed friendship with these people we love to death.

I was surprised at how much I enjoyed the San Diego vibe on this visit. We had an early dinner with my folks at the Edgewater Grill, the wedding rehearsal brunch at Pacific Beach‘s legendary Broken Yolk Cafe, and the wedding was at the Karl Strauss Brewery Gardens. Kinda touristy trip in some ways, but really fun.

The Simple Way
June 20, 2007, 12:34 pm
Filed under: uncategorized

The Simple Way community in Philadelphia has experienced a devastating fire. Their community center and several neighborhood homes were destroyed. Their site has ways you can help.

The Simple Way most recognizable as the home of Shane Claiborne, author of The Irresistible Revolution.

Having experienced the impact of a fire like this firsthand, I’m definitely feeling for the community.

Oh yeah, I’m still an idiot dude
June 20, 2007, 9:29 am
Filed under: books, friends

This summer I get the pleasure of officiating two weddings – the first of which is this weekend. The second of these is a bit later in the summer, and I’m starting some premarital counseling soon with the couple – young, bright. fun, level-headed. The bride-to-be works with Michelle, and I made a book recommendation to the couple through Michelle this week. It’s a book that we read together a few years back and found interesting, so I suggested it.

Apparently, without me noticing a thing, the book has a noticeable male bias. The bride-to-be had started the book a while back on her own, but found it pretty demeaning. Michelle’s suggestion was that given that most of my theological positions have shifted around pretty significantly in recent years, perhaps it would be good to review my list of book choices that predate the era of shifts. Hmmmm, that’s probably wise. I can already pull a few volumes off my mental bookshelf that I really valued when I read them, but are something less than helpful now.

Humbling to know that I’m still a chauvanist, despite all this pseudo-enlightening I’ve been up to.

So, anyone know of some good, healthy premarital books that are equally honoring and respectful to both genders?

Put down the guitar, slowly back away, and nobody will get hurt . . .
June 15, 2007, 7:45 am
Filed under: Christendom, culture, music

So there are a bunch of people around Seattle buzzing about the cover story in yesterday’s issue of The Stranger. For those of you outside the area, The Stranger is the local alternative newspaper. Check that . . . The Seattle Weekly is the local alternative newspaper, and The Stranger is the alternative to the local alternative newspaper. Anyway, the article is basically 30 staff writers getting sent out to 30 houses of worship on the same weekend, and writing witty, snarky reviews. Some of them are hugely hilarious, some of them are a bit unnecessarily mean spirited, some of them are a waste of time. Personally, it seemed to me that some of them tried too hard to be funny.

Anyway, something I noticed on balance from these pseudo-reviews was the number of digs the writers took at church music. All the churches with a non-hymn format are described as having bad indi-soft-rock cover bands. In one case, the lyrics of the songs are called into question for sounding a heckuva lot like pillow talk (very very funny). With the whole seeker movement a long time ago, church music shifted in the direction of “contemporary” in order to be more welcoming to the unfamiliar nonbeliever. In many cases, churches produced what they thought were pretty solid musical packages. In a few cases, even I thought the music was fairly decent. I’ve lost count of the number of church ads I’ve seen that actually use their hip music as a selling point for the church. Perhaps it’s time to stop . . . people aren’t that impressed. Even with the best musicians, and the purest hearts, it’s just not that great. Sadly, most churches that make an attempt DON’T HAVE the best musicians, even if they have pure hearts . . . and then it’s even worse.

I hope we’ve impressed ourselves with our cool music (of course, it would be better if we’ve honored God with our worshipful attitudes). At least that way someone enjoyed it.

Mixed messages
June 14, 2007, 12:44 pm
Filed under: denomination

So this is the week each year where I clinch my teeth and hold my breath – hoping against hope that something silly or bizarre won’t happen. I also await the annual addition to the long list of things I’m supposed to boycott. It’s the week of my denomination’s big annual meetings.

So far, nothing too weird has hit the press. But I was scanning the denomination’s news site a few minutes ago and found two stories. One was about the denomination stepping up its ministry to homosexuals. O.k., I suppose, depending on how “ministry” is defined and carried out. The other story, though, was about a resolution that was approved by the attendees, “opposing hate crimes legislation that includes homosexuals and transgendered persons as protected classes.”

So let me get this straight – we want to reach out and “help” homosexuals . . . but we don’t want to help protect them from getting singled out for violence because of their homosexuality? How do you think that one’s gonna play in the LGBT community?

Just for the sake of clarity, this resolution, as with all resolutions that are voted on in my denomination is only symbolic in value – it is not binding for churches or entities of the denomination. Thankfully, I can continue to be a gay-loving, grace-extending member of the denom . . . whew!!