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Posts from May 2006

Squirming into the Mission of God

". . . And so I am praying healing for John Wimber, surrounded by charasmaniacs and Korean Power Rangers and space cadets of all kinds, and TV cameras are pointed at me and all i could think about were my fundamentalist friends and churches where i preached who were going to write me off forever . . . and ever and ever!!!

. . . Maybe . . . the mission of God and His purposes are higher than our little neat set of doctrines. We might squiggle and squirm when God pushes us beyond our own boundaries, like Ezekiel did when God suggested using human dung rather than animal, but maybe this is a part of our spiritual growth - the crucifixion of self, the descrecration of our own idols."

This morning I was responding to some comments and recalling the times I had to break my own taboos.

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Good Cop, Bad Cop. The Blessed Announcement

Me PhotoOK - This is the announcement I have been holding onto for a few months.
My new partner, who I met in a chat room, has come out in public.
Hold on . . .
that came out wrong . .
let me rephrase . ..

Richard White, from the Dream Network and the ACCN, is the co-worker who will be partnering with me in this new project sponsored by Church Mission Society - we will both do this part-time and we will be . . . [how does Richard say it?] . . . "we'll be looking to link up with churches and groups across the UK to create a network of cells that connect missionally in their own context as well as globally.

Yeah . . whatever he said.
Actually, I did meet Richard in a chat room. It was my own Boaz Lounge in 2004 before it was furnished. Remember????
Richard is a great guy with a great family [like mine] and I look forward to working with him. He is the good cop in this partnership. We will be working with all kinds of organisations who are interested in starting mission cells as well as those on the fringe who want to be part of something bigger and wider - in UK and linking up globally.

Appreciate your prayers in these early days for both of us.

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Another Top Ten Emerging Church Article

More Than a Fad: Understanding the Emerging Church, by Walter Henegar

I was holding my breath when i saw the title. Most attempts at defining the emerging church are RUBBISH. But I was pleasantly surprised by this article which could easily make it into my top ten list. Its written for an American Presbyterian audience so there is no mention of simple, organic "emerging" church forms like house church or cyberchurch. Neither is there reference to its connection with the global scene or even the many networks inside USA. Emergent Village gets a mention, of course, but is wrongly named as the "movement's organizational network".
Suprising for a PCA article not to mention the Driscoll.

But hey - its an excellent article - well written, balanced, dealing with problems and opportunities at the same time. And written in the appropriate tone of voice which will be a huge help for those emerging churches inside the PCA who are being given the freedom to be the church they need to be in the emerging culture context while maintaining their PCA heritage.

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You Had Me At Hillel: My Debate with J. Jacob Prasch

An invitation to a debate came in the mail yesterday from James Jacob Prasch of Moriel Ministries and I said I would post it on my blog. Here it is:

"Emergent Church/ For Moriel New Zealand web site please   Inbox Jacob/Moriel
<> to me, David, Jackie, Nigel, Carol
  May 28 (21 hours ago)
From: Jacob/Moriel <> Mailed-By:
Cc: David Lister <>, Jackie Alnor <>, Nigel Nicholson <>, Carol Champion <>
Date: May 28, 2006 8:49 AM
Subject: Emergent Church/ For Moriel New Zealand web site please
Reply | Reply to all | Forward | Print | Add sender to Contacts list | Delete this message | Report phishing | Show original | Message text garbled?

Why Don’t You Try Telling The Truth?

I do not know who you are, but I have read what you say regarding Chuck Smith Sr. and his statement.

Why don’t you try being honest?

1. Brian Maclaren  said & wrote ‘the church should declare a 5 year moratorium on the homosexuality issue and then decide its position’. Maclaren refused to accept the biblical position on unnatural sexuality. How can the church decide on something God has already decided? Is the bible the inspired word of the church or the inspired word of God?

2. Yes, the 7/11 choruses are mantras,

3. Yes, God does forbid the use of icons and graven images in worship.

4. No, the apostles never omitted repentance in their message, but made it the pre-condition (Acts 2:38).

5. Maclaren denies that Christianity is or ever was propositional truth. The New Testament proposes that if the death & resurrection of Jesus are not objective historical facts then Christianity is bogus (1 Cor. 15:3-9).

6. UH emergent church leader Steve Chalk says Hindus & Moslems can be saved without a faith in Christ and be ‘Born Again’ without confessing Jesus.

7. Chalk says that if The Father out our sins on His Son it would be an act of ‘cosmic child abuse’; he boasts he no longer believes in substitutionary atonement.

Andrew, whether you are a biblical ignoramus, a deceiving liar, or both – I do not know. But Emergent Church is simply post modernism masquerading as Christianity. It is not the Gospel of Jesus, but fundamentally constitutes the rejection of it.

I openly challenge you to public debate me in front of a video camera when I am next in New Zealand.

We will post this challenge on our NZ web site.


J. Jacob Prasch

My response:

Dear Jacob

thank you for your invitation to debate in New Zealand.

How can i refuse? Alan Campbell "ran scared" from a debate from you, according to Wikipedia, and I would not want Wikipedia to remember me that way.

Please go ahead and post the challenge. And I will post it on my blog for the record. I look forward to seeing my name on your NZ website. Maybe there are people there who still remember me. It has been 26 years since I left NZ - perhaps I should send you some photos of me as a child to post on the web site so that I might be better recognized?

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Emotions in Glass

My wife has been busy putting emotions to art in our studio. She is using stained glass and bohemian crystals as media.
The collection so far:
Top left - Hope
Bottom left: - Fear
Bottom right - Grief

The whole set will be displayed in the Waterfront Gallery, Stromness, for viewing and purchase. We are actually working on a number of ways to make our community self-supporting and getting this art into the galleries will be the first step. If Debbie does well with her first collection, I might even go back there and clean the window for her.

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New Scottish Beer: The Island Bere

Fabulous beer called "Island Bere" launched last night at the Stromness Hotel in Orkney. So good, in fact, that i had to go all the way home to get my wife. Lucky that we live only a few doors down.
This is Debbie and I congratulating Sonny Priest, the brewmaster from Valhalla Brewery in Shetland Islands. His "Island Bere" is a fantastic brew made from the ancient bere barley from Orkney - it taste like a cross between an IPA and an Irish Red. The bere barley has a high nitrogen content so the alcohol level is slighter lower than other beers but the hoppy flavour and reddish buttery taste more than make up for it. It is made with Cascade hops at the start and Fogels at the finish. The end result is stunning and a compliment to Orkney. It ranks up there with the great Scottish beers. Well done!
The idea of using the ancient Orkney bere stems from from Peter Martin (top photo - center back, with striped jumper), Senior Researcher at Orkney's Agronomy Institute. I asked him about the monastic beers in Orkney but neither of us are sure whether the monks would have used bere in the beer [no pun intended] but we both suspect they did, since it was the main barley back then. Thank God for the monks. "In fact, for nearly two centuries, monasteries across Scotland were almost solely responsible for the production of beer." Scottish Pubs
BTW - I am thinking of brewing a heather ale, a beer that has been traditionally brewed by Celtic monks, and before them, the Picts. Actually, there is evidence in the Scotish Islands of heather ale from 2000BC.
Some Scottish beers of note:
- Michael Jackson tells a good yarn about heather ale
- More recent history of Scottish ales and their unusual categories.
- Scottish beers are tasted and tested at the Opinionated Beer Page.The "Old Engine Oil Reserve" looks interesting and is aged in whiskey barrels.
- The Grozet, or beer made from gooseberries, was another beer made by monks in the 17th Century. Mike Miliard dates it back to the 1500's.
- There is a Kelpie seaweed ale that has a chocolate taste.
- The Orkney Brewery and Highland Brewing Co are the big ones in Orkney. The latter is preferred by locals.
And lest you assume that all Scots are beer connoisseurs, the favourite beer up here in Orkney is the horrible Tennents which doesnt even deserve a hyperlink.

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Viking Horns and Emergent Heresy

Viking-Horns-HelmetEveryone knows that Vikings had horns. But actually they didn't. "The Christian monks considered the Vikings to be devils from hell, which is why the myth of the horns arose and spread across the world." Searching for the Real Vikings

Makes me think about the current heated discussion about the apparent heresies, relativism, and paganism of the "emerging church".

Do we have 21st Century 'monks' putting horns on the heads of our emerging church leaders?

Here are a few good reads on emerging church from USA and UK leaders who really don't have horns: Scot McKnight, Greg Austin, Doug Pagitt, George Lings, Alan Roxburgh.

[image from silly jokes]

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Dr Walter Martin and a New Kind of Preaching.


It was 1983. I think. 1984.The late Dr Walter Martin was in Perth, Western Australia where I was studying at Bible College. And I went to hear him preach at Thornlie Church of Christ where John Bond was pastoring at the time.

Images-10Walter Martin was preaching on the foolishness of God and he used 4 Biblical stories to illustrate this part of God - Moses, Abraham, David, and then Jesus on the cross. I had never heard anyone use story in such a way. More than 20 years on and I can still remember the sermon.

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