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Posts from July 2006

Family Pilgrimage

Well . . . the whole family decided to join me on this trip. Fair enough. We are packing the Peugeot right now and cleaning the house. So . . . here is a basic schedule

Monday 30th - leave Orkney. Sheffield by evening, hopefully in time for Shannon's birthday party
Tuesday 1st. Appointment with some people regarding missional cells and emerging culture in Europe
Wed - Ferry to France early morning. Germany by evening. Set up tent at Freakstock
Thursday to Sunday. Freakstock
Wednesday - back in Uk. Visits in Cambridge? and then a quick stop at Fringe Festival in Edinburgh.
Friday 11th. - back in time for Pizza and a movie in our house

Global Roundtable and Emerging Church Seminar


I am off on Monday to Edinburgh and then Germany. I am taking my son Samuel on this trip. One of the highlights for me will be teaching a seminar at Freakstock Festival in Germany on the emerging church. I will be teaching it from a German perspective and will base my history on what God has been doing through the Germans over the past few decades, as well as the influential thinkers behind this current reformation including Bonhoeffer, Hartenstein, Barth in the 30's. And if we get time, Gustav Warneck, one of missiology's founders a century ago.


Jesus Freaks International are one of the many movements of God inside the European emerging culture. Started by teenagers in the early nineties, the Freaks quickly grew to 100 churches in Germany filled with mohawks, piercings and VERY LOUD MUSIC. Today, they exist in a number of countries and their festival attracts 8000 participants. This is where the Global Roundtable will happen.

The roundtable is called Die Gefaehten, a word that I cant spell without looking it up but it means "The Fellowship". 50 leaders have been invited from around the world. All of them are part of what God is doing in the alternative underground sub-cultures. Leaders are coming from, if i remember . . Peru, Macedonia, Russia, Norway, USA, and many more countries. And, of course, Germany.

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How To Ask Foundations for Money

Today I am writing up some proposals that i will be presenting to a number of Foundations when i am back in USA next month (Aug 21-25). This kind of thing really wears me out but its a necessary part of mission work and getting the job done. My previous mode of working was to ignore the Foundations and do everything without money as much as I could. But Donors also want to play a part in the Great Commission. Especially the more exciting stuff that I have been involved in this past decade -the mission of God in the global emerging culture - and I have a responsibility to make space in the playground for them also.

As far as writing up proposals go, I have no natural tendencies or gifts in this area [and Puh-leeeze dont bombard with me emails] but I have been taught by the best. On a number of occasions, I have sat under the Proposal Guru Dr Steve Steele (ex-DAWN, now Global Strategist for the Maclellan Foundation) and jotted down notes on how to partner with donors in a way that benefits both parties. In fact, I went through this again last week in London at a special meeting I organized for some emerging culture leaders from around Europe and some representatives from Maclellan Foundation - Lee Behar and Steve Steele. I didn't blog on this meeting, and probably wont, but towards the end of our meeting I asked Dr Steele to give some advice to the group on approaching American Foundations for their projects. He smiled and began to talk and our pens came out and notes were frantically taken and when Steve had finished, there was a suspended hush, a religious silence, a monumental awe-filled appreciation of BIBLICAL proportions!

I wouldn't broadcast all his secrets in a blog post [he really should write a book] but I will pass on a few snippets of wisdom that I know he wouldn't mind me sharing. If you find yourself in a position where you need to raise support for mission projects, and you want advice from a Master, then read on . . .

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EC Conversation Pieces

- Scot McKnight (who has retaken first place on technorati EC blogs for the second time) discusses Spencer Burkes new book.
- Out of Ur has a good article on Monasteries for Spiritual Formation
- Paco Rosic from Sarajevo is painting the Sistine Chapel in Iowa and he is choosing the grafitti aesthetic. HT: Chad Brooks
- Russel on Blogging as the New town square
- Rick Warren gets a blog (comments not allowed)
- Washington Post: Cyber-savvy pastors blog when the Spirit leads them
Steve McCoy's Missional Baptist blog closes up shop. Reformissionary will continue. HT: Stephen Shields

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My Wife is Cool

Debbie took a class on the medieval art of painting on stained glass at an English cathedral last week. Its a dying art form. She learned from someone who studied under the Italian masters and was invited back for a further 3 days at her farm. No one else in the class was invited to go further.This is her first piece. Isn't it stunning? We are looking into building a kiln so we can make the cathedral glass and fire them ourselves up here.


The Emergent Church - 1980


Another book for my vintage emerging church book collection. "The Emergent Church:The Future of Christianity in a Postbourgeois World" " by Johann Baptist Metz, 1980 (German), 1981 (English). Found it yesterday online and it arrived today. Thats fast.
The book has some good thoughts on "towards the second reformation", and forming church with power from below (postbourgeois) .
The other books are The Emerging Church" by Larson and Osborne, 1970. John Carr's book is more of a commentary on Ephesians.
HT: Dan Kimball who seems to dig up these books out of nowhere.

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Icons and the Possibility of a Tropological Theology

Worship using icons, images and multimedia is being discussed right now, especially in relation to Calvary Church's stance on iconic worship and the emerging church. It might be helpful to look at the idea of tropological theology.

Tropological theology is found all the way through church history. "Augustine suggested a four-fold sense which would later be adopted by medieval theologians: (1) literal; (2) allegorical; (3) tropological or moral; and (4) analogical." Theology Adrift,

According to Viggo Mortensen Snr, some scholars believe Martin Luther gave the tropological (relating to the soul) interpretation priority over the allegorical (relating to the church) in his interpretation of the psalms. (Link) Dr John Barber says "Luther’s mature exegetical approach, which was the tropological method of Bible interpretation (it emphasized the spiritual and existential side of Christian living), came to fruition between 1516-1519". [Luther and Calvin on Worship and Music, PDF]

Paul Hiebert speaks of the doxological or tropological theology that "is done in the context of worship, and stresses the mystical, sacramental and iconic nature of truth. The key question it addresses is, “How can we comprehend complex, transcendent truths about God and reality that lie beyond words, logic and human reason?” It uses nondiscursive signs and tropes such as icons, metaphors, types and parables to communicate transcendent truth." (Paul Hiebert, Spritual Warfare and Worldview, p. 167, Global Missiology for the 21st Century, ed. William Taylor)

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Emerging Church Stuff

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Emergent Poetry: The ladies of Emergent Village have created Efflouresce, a really beautiful poetic/image piece that you can download for free. [PDF]. Thanks Holly. HT: EmergingGod

Postcolonial Read: Andy Crouch interviews Rt. Rev. Dr. David Zac Niringiye in Experiencing Life in the Margins.

Catholic Criticism:Domenico Bettinelli bemoans the ". . . many lapsed Catholics flocking to these “emerging churches,” the fruit of both The Scandal and two generations’ worth of poor catechesis." and "losing more and more Catholics to the latest fads, trends, and “ear-tickling.”

Internet Ministry: Aussies should check out Darren Rowse's seminar on Thursday 27th in Melbourne called Internet: Mission and Ministry. Darren will be compiling a list of web resources.

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