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Posts from July 2005

Downloadable NerdTV

NerdtvlogoRobert Cringley, who less than a year ago said "most of the video bloggers will be blogging to themselves" (link) is now getting ready to produce his own downloadable TV show called NerdTV that will be distributed through PBS web site using Bit Torrent, a network of distributed servers (Robert's "poor man's Akamai") . . . and under a Creative Commons License. He will also send out an audio-only podcast. Coming Sep 6.
Link: PBS HT: Betachurch

Question: Where would a church go to find really really cheap bandwith if it wanted to create compelling media for the internet?

Turkey Allows Churches

"Turkey’s bid to join the European Union has resulted in a relaxation of restrictions on Christian activity. The country is now allowing churches to register. Only 55 Protestant churches have been publicly identified as places of worship in Turkey’s major cities prior to this significant change." From Agape Press, Link
A book I read recently, Why Europe Will Run the 21st Century, by Mark Leonard gives a good argument why the EU can encourage countries to become more democratic through withholding the benefits of joining the EU, as opposed to the model of military might to scare or force countries to comply to a standard.

Top 50 Most Influential Churches in USA

In USA: "The 2005 survey was sent to 2,000 church leaders with the goal of ranking the nation’s fastest growing churches and churches with more than 2,000 weekend attendance." (oops . . here is the link - thanks scotty)
Great to see some emerging church pastors there (Mark Driscoll, Rob Bell, Erwin McManus - congrats you guys!!!!!!!) and good to see our older, bigger brothers at the top - Rick Warren and Bill Hybels, both superstars and men who have been leading the way for many years. Good to see other pastors i have met over the years - Larry Osborn is a great guy. Jeff Jones. And others.

No mention of house church movements or organic churches close to the ground because only churches bigger than 2000 made it to the list. When I am in USA, i usually try to hook up with the house churches and churches off the map. But I sometimes end up at many of these churches also.

Jim Rutz's MegaShift

"The path away from spectator religion frees people from fixed church role-playing. Previously, many people were passive, conformist churchgoers, experiencing church as a television without a remote control. The personal involvement of every follower of Christ, though, rouses millions of talents and abilities to solve even the most difficult problems. The result is a 'Megashift', a quantum leap in church history." Jim Rutz, Megashift

My friend Jim Rutz has commented before on this blog and you may have read our occasional banter from email correspondence. His old book, The Open Church was a classic and his new book called MegaShift looks like it will stir up things just as much. Wolfgang Simson has devoted the last Friday Fax to Jim's book so for those of you that don't subscribe to FF, I have posted it here as a Word File. Friday Fax 2005 Issue 28-1.doc

Jim is blogging at Logging the New Reality

Continue reading "Jim Rutz's MegaShift" »

The Smartest Guy in the Emerging Church Turns 50

Brad Sargent is the smartest guy in the emerging church. And he just turned 50. He has an incredible brain (and heart for the marginalized) but his health has never quite kept pace. Still, in his good productive hours, he manages to do the work of three geeks, and writes more content than the a Wikipedian writing team on caffeine.
Some of you have met Brad in the comments of this blog, heard me quote him in articles like "Postmodernity and Global Worldviews" or you have seen him online at Suddenly Seminary.

Brad (futuristguy, red cap) at Suddenly Seminary, 2004

Brad used to blog at PostHuman (a deep well of information) but now he has 3 blogs:
- Random Cities - "My on-line journal of thots and whatnots."
- Cruxable - "A forum on principles for developing theoretical systems. My thesis is that the theoretical presuppositions we select affect our theologies and ministry methodologies. That means we need to refocus on how we put our systems together."
- Multimemia - "tracks my self-studies on “delivery systems” for content on cultural interpretation and contextualization."

Continue reading "The Smartest Guy in the Emerging Church Turns 50" »

Complex Christ and Vaux

Kester Brewin has created The Complex Christ Blog, an extension to his excellent book.

Article3 01-1His church Vaux closed recently and is looking to rebirth into something new in London. Vaux existed for 7 incredible years. I first visited in 2000. I took some video and wrote about it in artlcles like "Is This The Next New Worship?". For many Americans reading those articles, Vaux was their introduction to alt. worship and the emerging church scene in UK.

Back Home

Ahhhhhhh . . good to be home. 3 days without internet is like a month in real time. I half expected there to be lots of nasty comments and spam from every company in the world who found out i wasnt there to monitor my blog - only 2 spams in my comments and i am leaving them there because they are harmless.
We had a good trip. But i am tired and dont want to talk about it. Just want you to know that I am back. The two girls made it and arrive in Pamplona, Spain tomorrow.

Sending off Cindy and Elizabeth

Pilgrimingate-Tm-3-1We are on the road until Monday. We are sending off Cindy (its her birthday today) and our 12 year old daughter Elizabeth who are starting their 6 week pilgrimage across Spain (Camino de Santiago). They fly out of Aberdeen on Friday. When Elizabeth returns from this rite of passage, she will not be a little girl anymore. As you know, our family walked part of this trail 2 years ago with a team - Incredible experience to learn the posture of a pilgrim and approach a country in true Luke 10 form.

So I wont be blogging or responding to comments until Monday. Appreciate prayer for safety on the roads and good use of our time in Scotland. Have a great weekend everyone!

Emerging Church in Modern Reformation

Cover0705BMy copy of Modern Reformation arrived in the mail yesterday (cool cover in Kiwi green!) and I was surprised to see the entire issue devoted to the Emerging Church. I love the Reformed folk and I think they have added a lot of spice to the conversation over the past year.

The issue is quite balanced and reviews of books both pro and con are presented with equal weight. Although the best books i have read on emerging church were not reviewed.

The focus on the emerging church falls heavily on just one group - - I would have liked to see them deal more with emerging church inside the Reformed tradition - emerging Lutheran churches, the Acts 29 Network, leaders like Mark Driscoll (Mars Hill) and others who are ministering among the emerging culture AND holding to a Reformed 5-point Calvinism. However, they have done a thorough job and a lot of work to put this together. You can read more and listen to some talks at White Horse Inn.

Continue reading "Emerging Church in Modern Reformation" »

Labyrinths and Navigable Worship

Tim Challies has a old post called Experience The Labyrinth: (Insert New Age Music Here) which is getting some new life in the comments section - some think its a Satanic tool, and others who think its a great way of praying with focus - its an interesting discussion.

Labyrinth-Tm-1Many ministries and websites that are anti-emergent have a problem with Labyrinths -Lighthouse Trails, EmegentNo, Steven Muse. But others are using them in an old school way or reinterpreted as a multi-media journey of of worship. ( This is a BIG point of contention and I don't think we will get any resolution here.

Challies asked for some biblical foundation for the idea (not easy for ANY current worship practise) so I left a comment way down the bottom at 74, part of which says this. . .

A labyrinth is simply a "line in the ground" (Mark Pierson's definition). It is a way of creating a journey of motion with points to stop and pray, read, think or act in worship. I have visited Chartes and am not really impressed with the middle age style labyrinth. But a journey of prayer and worship that engages the mind and body - thats different . . that sounds like my own devotional times when i go for a walk and pray over what I see - or when I am involved in a prayer walk around a city.

I find many examples of this kind of worship (some of us call it "navigable") used in the Old Testament. The Feast of Tabernacles had many journeys of motion that the worshippers used to participate in - from one gate to another gate, holding citrons and sticks . . The Psalms of Ascent (Psalm 120-134) were used in (well - there is some disagreement here . .. but either they were read out as worshippers ascended the steps of the Temple, or along the journey/pilgrimage to Jerusalem . . . or maybe both)
Jesus also participated in the yearly pilgrimages to the Festivals, and during his long walks with his disciples, he would often stop in his journey to interact with a fig tree or look at something.

Continue reading "Labyrinths and Navigable Worship" »