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Posts from July 2006

The Porpoise Diving Life

I am NOT an easy target for people advertising their ideas and products and I cannot be bought. This is what i am telling myself as i write a blog post on the porpoise diving life.
I am, however, grateful to Bill Dahl for my new embroided Porpoise Diving Life hat that keeps me . . um . . shaded and protected from fuzzy thinking about the life of Jesus in the emerging culture. Yeah. Something like that.
Say, don't I look smart in my white, beefy 100% cotton Porpoise Diving Life t-shirt? Such deep thinking and challenging articles call for a cup of tea in my new white, ceremic 12oz Porpoise Diving Life cup. Just the thing for contemplating the July issue of Purpoise Diving Life.

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Reflections on Blah

30 of us met for 24 hours at High Leigh conference centre near London. We were discussing emerging church USA and UK, based on Ryan's book. The scene was overwhelmingly Maccentric.

Emergingchurch1 1Reminds me of that emerging bloggers cartoon with the odd man out. PC users, a scarce and persecuted minority here, brought out their laptops with fear and intrepidation but the atmosphere was ecumenical enough to allow for users of all systems to take notes together.

EccultRyan Bolger and Karen Ward did a great job, considering they had events in different cities each day without a break. Jonny Baker, who was organising this event, took a photo of them which tackles the question of emerging church being a CULT. I have always been suspicious of ORANGE. BTW - my blog gets No1 Google rating for "goat sacrificing cult". I must put that on my resume.
Karen also helped with the worship and led a communion service with some great visuals.

StevecollinsSteve Collins gave an excellent presentation on network theory which is available at SmallRitual. Good thinking on the Monkeysphere and Lattice which caused me to add . . . "Lattice not forsake the assembling of ourselves together." I have blogged before about understanding scale free networks.

Then we mapped out out we are all linked to each other and discussed the joys and perils of networking. Shannon Hopkins led a discussion on networking and partnerships. Which is a worthwhile pursuit.

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Days of the Dead at Cornerstone

Interesting conversation going on about Cornerstone Festival's Imaginarium theme this year - named Days of the Dead. Quite controversial, actually. A 'covert mission' to witness to the Christians at Cornerstone has led to a conversation that will no doubt explode onto the wider stage. Slice opens the issue, and accuses Cornerstone of introducing occultism. Lint Hatcher responds from Cornerstone's perspective.

Yellowskull Mike Hartenstein mentions the 'protesters' in his report who were handing out leaflets and wrapping toilet paper around the Asylum tent and i can only guess this is a reference to the 'covert mission' mentioned earlier. John Morehead, a speaker at the Imaginarium, speaks on his blog about the thinking behind the theme, and the connection between halloween and Days of the Dead.

Michael at Evangelical Resources was there at Imaginarium. He has more links than me and is the next blog-stop if you want to track this conversation. He says Cornerstone's attempt was "itself devoid of occultic elements" and feels Slice "dramatically overstates" what happened .

As for me and my house, I think we need to address festivals and rituals and decide for ourselves and our families whether they should be redeemed [like Easter and Christmas] . . . or NOT. We also need to be very thoughtful in our contextualization lest we "blunder" our way through and end up losing the prophetic message or in syncretism. Its a tricky balance.

Related: Trevor McPherson who heads up the Underground ministries Roundtable each year at Cornerstone will be at our Roundtable in Germany next month. Maybe he will give us the skinny.

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The 1% Rule and Our Blogging Dilemma

It has been said that one in 100 is a content creator, or so i read today from Mindy McAdams who interacts with the 1% Rule from Charles Arthur:

"It's an emerging rule of thumb that suggests that if you get a group of 100 people online then one will create content, 10 will "interact" with it (commenting or offering improvements) and the other 89 will just view it.
It's a meme that emerges strongly in statistics from YouTube, which in just 18 months has gone from zero to 60% of all online video viewing."

08010271521Well, having one percent do the content creation is all very well, but our little group at High Leigh Conference Centre has a problem . . .

We are group of 35 people having an interesting conversation about the emerging church in UK and how it compares with emerging church USA, especially as presented by a book written by Ryan Bolger and Eddie Gibbs called Emerging Churches. Its a book that i once said was the BEST BOOK ON EMERGING CHURCH. And , this is our dilemma . . . we cannot find anyone who wants to blog an entry with all the participants and their corresponding hypertext links. What we really need here, is a GRUNT blogger, a peon blogger, a newbie blogger with no credentials who will put in the necessary work to create an informative blog post that we can all point to. But so far our group, being far shy of 100, has not produced such a person to create the content.
But jonny baker, says it will probably be mark berry.

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Daft Raft and the Wellie Throwing Contest

Its been a great week here in Stromness with the Shopping Week celebrations. For the record, I came second in the Wellie [Gumboot] throwing contest and third in the 100m run against the other dads.

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The noisy pink raft called Shiela's Wheels was the most interesting contestant in the Daft Raft race. We are talking about entering a raft next year.

I am on a ferry tonight and at High Leigh (near London) tomorrow for 24 hours with Emerging Church leaders from around UK. Ryan Bolger and Karen Ward will join us.

How Your Emerging Church Can Stay in Calvary Chapel, Inc

You LOVE being in the Calvary Chapel fellowship of churches but are scared that your emerging church style worship will get you kicked out. I feel your pain and understand the tension. CC a great fellowship with an incredible history. In fact, my wife grew up in SoCal and was a regular at the Costa Mesa events during her college years.

Roger Oakland recently gave a clear summary of Chuck Smith Snr's stand on the emerging church and why "no Calvary Chapel pastor heading down the Emerging Church road movement would be permitted to use the name of Calvary Chapel. . . "
"We have great problems with the use of icons to give them (Emerging Church) a sense of God or the presence of God. If they want to have a tie with the historicity of the church, why not go back to the church in Acts, which seems to devoid of incense, candles, robes etc., but was filled with the Spirit." PDF, the skinny

But wait . . . before you blow out those candles and dismantle your alt. worship stations, there may be a workaround for multi-meida contemplative worship in the Calvary Chapel world.

- You could always appeal to the Second Council of Nicea 787 which names 'the pictoral icons" as something good which the church has received. But they may not appreciate church history as much as you do.

- You could appeal to Jean Luc Marion's treatise of icon vs. idol in his excellent book "The Crossing of the Visible" [clue: idols receive the 'gaze' but icons pass it on to the subject of worship] but they may not have read Marion.

- Or . . . and this might be the best idea .. . you could just set up your worship within the boundaries of acceptable Calvary Chapel practice. This sphere might actually be larger than you think and does, in fact, include space for iconic stations . . . but you have to use CC language to get away with it.

Here's the deal. I am pretty sure that Calvary Chapel, Inc will allow you to set up a "display that represents a religious viewpoint". I say this because Calvary Chapel insisted on using a multi-media station in a Christmas celebration consisting of a two-mile long Holiday Fantasy of Lights a few years ago. I was reading this on Christianity Today and since then have found the incident all over the internet.

- see Calvary Chapel Church, Inc. v. Broward County, 299 F. Supp. 2d 1295 (S.D. Fla. 2003) (holding that Broward County must include Calvary Chapel’s “Jesus is the Reason for the Season” display in its annual “Holiday Fantasy of Lights” event so long as the display identifies the Church as the speaker) [link]

What i am saying is that your multi-media worship display might be, as is was for a Calvary Chapel in Florida, a "constitutionally-protected private religious speech" (link)

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Emerging Church the Fastest Growing Group in Christianity?

Great to see the Americans getting on board with the emerging church, which is being described as the fastest growing group in Christianity. CBS investigates with a special report. Unfortunately, their video focuses on the worship service based churches and does not go out to the house churches and cell churches where much of this growth is happening.
HT: Smart Christian

Want to support it? We have a global emerging church leaders roundtable next month in Germany with a special emphasis on underground ministries, street ministries and new church movements among the postmodern subcultures. 50 leaders from around the world have been invited from countries as diverse as Peru, Russia and Macedonia. Many of them need help with their airfares - and this is where you might be able to help. Let me know in an email if you want to play.

Want to complain about it? Steve Camp is hosting Gary Gilley's anti-emerging church blog post.

Also, Emerging Church Research has the TOP 50 Emerging Church Blogs. Nice to see so many familiar names. BackyardMissionary is not hypertexted so here is the link [hint - hamo is worth reading]

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