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Posts from May 2006

blog posts I dont want to write

da vinci code. angry words. books that suck. somebody's bad language. denominational scandals. rumors of heresy. secrets. threats against what we hold dear.

sometimes too much attention puffs up issues beyond their intended size.
the damage is as permanent as the links.
and the blogosphere becomes the laundry for dirty washing
or the unwitting pimps of things we are trying to hush
rather than a happy place to publish glad tidings daily.

comments are closed on this post
and there are no links.
lets use the internet wisely. please.

Announcement Tomorrow

Tomorrow I am finally able to announce my partner in this new venture in UK with CMS. Together, and with strategic partnerships with other organisations, we are praying and planning towards a new network of mission cells across UK that will connect globally. Very exciting.

A clue: I am the bad cop and he [yes - a male] is the good cop. We met in a virtual room in habbo hotel.

Forum Gemeinde Innovation (Church Innovation)

Alan Hirsch did extremely well with his sessions. Some of the media from our Church Innovation Forum, held earlier this month, is now online. Podcasts, images, etc.
- Forum Gemeinde Innovation (check out the photos)
- Christoph Schalk's blog is a good resource.
- When i get some time, I will post some video.

The idea of "communitas" vs "community" went over well - So often the church doesn't appeal to men, or it only appeals to men who don't mind singing sissy songs. Men and women would rather have a dangerous story to belong to.

Alan and myself taking a day off in Thun, Switzerland with Reinhold.
Andrew And Alan

Related: German speakers should know about David Schafer's first book on emerging churches in Germany - "The Young Wild Ones" (Die Yungen Wilden). Reinhold has details.

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The Chuck Smiths on Emergent Church

ChuckSmithChuck Smith the Senior just released a paper on the "emergent church". (Parson to Parson, PDF) [UPDATE: paper probably written by someone on staff at Calvary but not Chuck Smith Sr - ) Its been years since I heard him preach at Calvary Church in Costa Mesa. My wife used to attend their Saturday evening events when she was a teenager but is not old enough to remember the days of Lonnie Frisbee and the beginnings of the Jesus Movement in Southern California. Chuck is a great guy and a well respected leader. But he may have been handed some bad info on the emerging church.

He suggests the emergent church:
1. Does not believe that Jesus is the only way by which one might be saved.
2. Soft peddles hell  - traces of universalism
3. Experience of feelings become criteria of truth rather than Word of God
4. Use of icons to give them a sense of God.
5. We should not make sinners feel safe and comfortable in church.
6. They condone what God has condemned.
7. They look to Eastern religions and practices of mediation through yoga and spiritual breathing techniques or repeating a mantra.
8. The final authority of the Scripture is challenged by their confusion

Not saying that one or two of these elements are not present in some of the churches. I have used icons (crosses, flowers, architecture, photos) in church [but so do Calvary Chapel] and when "sinners" come to my house for a meal and a talk about Jesus, I make them feel safe and comfortable. House churches globally would be guilty of Number 5. The message of the cross is still a stumbling block and an offence - no getting around that -  but our hospitality should not be such a barrier. And I believe in the authority of the Scripture and that Jesus is the only way to the Father. These are basics of the faith that are held worldwide and covered in the Lausanne Covenant, which I affirm, uphold and promote.

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Hacking Alpha: What Have You Done With It?

Just curious: What are you favourite Alpha hacks? What have you done with the Alpha Course to adapt it to your context?

I see that there is already Catholic Alpha and Youth Alpha and Armed Forces Alpha as well as Alpha for the workplace, and prison. And I am sure each one of these has its own hacks and customizations.

Hackingalpha1-1The church I preached at last week, up here in the north of Scotland, has an Alpha course on a Wednesday night. Its held in the town hall so the environment is not as informal as it was intended. And they have been using the default videos from suburban middle class England which doesnt really seem to fit the local context. And as far as i can tell, they have not yet hacked into the Alpha system to contextualize or adapt the material. Interesting to note that both the adult Alpha and the youth Alpha are being run by English who have moved to Scotland.

The youth up here have a different attitude. Youth Alpha just started up and my son is going along. Even in the planning stages they were talking of making their own videos to go with the series - something more gritty and urban than whats on offer.

And another thing. What happens AFTER alpha? Are people spoiled for "real church" after Alpha or are they plugging in nicely to the traditional Sunday morning service model? Do you know of any Alpha groups that become their own church?

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