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September 2010

Posts from August 2010

Social enterprise and mission-shaped mission

"Mission-shaped mission" is a phrase that came to mind a few weeks ago. If mission shaped churches no longer resemble traditional churches then mission-shaped mission also will be hard to recognize, since it takes its shape from factors other than the modern missions movement (1791 - 1991).

Some of the most exciting mission projects I have seen [and supported] recently have stayed under the radar. Like the new social enterprises that are run from a Christian base. A good example is the viable social enterprise that my dear friends Shannon Hopkins and Jessica Stricker have been working on and the Boaz Project has been pleased to sponsor in a small way. I won't pimp it again here because I have raved on and on about Sweet Notions and the way they are creating value out of recycled fashion to help vulnerable women. But I will put up their new video because its just DANG GOOD and fun to watch. Even if you don't like pink.

Sweet Notions from ilovepinatas on Vimeo.

And you might be interested in the Sweet Notions Boutique Event in London Sep 16th. Ask Shannon for more details.

Thinking about Greenbelt but NOT THERE this year!

Greetings to all my friends at Greenbelt Festival. In spite of all the "See you there at Greenbelt" messages I am getting, I am actually NOT SPEAKING at Greenbelt this year. I decided that after 7 years in a row, that I would take a break this year. Ahhhhhhh. Feels good.

But I am thinking of all my friends there and the incredible memories we have shared over the years and hope you all have a great time.

The Nines Online Conference

UPdate: Speaker list is here

The Nines is an online conference coming up Sep 9.

The theme is "Gamechangers".

100 speakers, including me (no doubt that will be the HIGHLIGHT!).

My 6 minute talk is called . . .  "Gamechanger". Original, heh???

Its free but you can also register and get lots of good stuff.

Some people are hosting small parties to watch it. Sounds like fun. You can get a free Group Experience kit and host one yourself if you want.

Last year #thenines was a trending topic on Twitter. Not many Christian conferences have ever pulled that off. I expect they will do it again this year.
the nines twitter .jpg

Best of Freakstock 2010

Freakstock Festival, hosted by the Jesus Freaks in Germany, was a blast this year. Here is what I thought was the best of Freakstock 2010

Best Mullet: Simon kicked ass. Hey, is that Bill Hybels on the t-shirt?

Cutest Couple: Yes he is really that tall and she is really that short and yes, they are married.

Best Band: I liked Red Rain from New Zealand the most. But then I am a Kiwi and probably biased.

Coolest Caravan: These guys from JFI Netherlands.


And check out what they towed it with:


Best Motorhome from a Firetruck: There were at least 3 of them but this 1971? was a great example.


Continue reading "Best of Freakstock 2010" »

18 Countries in 3 months.

Our travels have taken us to 18 countries in the past 3 months. Whewww!!!!!!!!!  Some of those borders were tough and wearing - Serbia in particular. I have a lot of stuff to blog but it will take some time to get organized. At the moment, we are fixing a wheel on our truck while staying at a squat in Germany. I am a little tired of traveling at the moment and yet I keep wondering if we should drive over to Pakistan to help with the floods and relocation of people.

Maybe we should just rest a little first?

The Future of the People of God

Andrew Perriman, who was at the Christian Associates gathering last week in Germany,  gave me his new book "The Future of the People of God: Reading Romans Before and After Western Christendom." Thanks Andrew!! I had an enjoyable Sunday reading through the book.

Perriman's book is great contribution to the current conversation on Romans, in light of the New Perspectives on Paul and the Reformed theologians attempt to defend their territory. At the heart of his book is the argument that Paul writes the letter to the Romans to prepare them for the suffering that is coming upon them, something that is located historically and temporally in the oikoumene of the Grecian-Roman empire, something related directly to the persecution under Roman leaders and the disastrous war of AD 66-73, and Paul writes without the privilege of foresight into a future where Christianity becomes the dominant religion. This special focus on suffering and "living by faith(fulness)" in order to allow the people of God to stay intact through the suffering gives a strong eschatological and martylogical reading to Romans, one more localised than N.T. Wright, distinct from other New Perspective writers, and certainly a long way from Reformed authors, and yet the focus is still on the glory of God and his righteousness in keeping his promise to Abraham to establish and preserve a community that would bless the nations.

One issue that will make good conversation among the Anabaptist crowd is Perriman's argument that the vindication of God's righteousness, the remnant that is saved from the Day of the Lord and established because of its faith(fulness), the community of the Son of Man that inherits the nations as prophesied by Daniel, is shown to be Christendom as instituted by Constantine. Yep, Constantine.

Another more important tension that Perriman offers to relieve is that of the identity and status of the church after 1700 years of Christendom, especially when many of our favourite Bible passages are seen to be directed at another time [dispensation?] and cannot be applied directly to the forehead without allowing them to run their course inside a much smaller geographically and historically constricted boundary. This is where the final chapter could use a caffeine injection, or at least something as robust as its earlier arguments, but is actually quite silent in the face of an unforeseen future. But it is here that Perriman has written extensively in another book -  Re:Mission: Biblical mission for a post-biblical church - a book that explores ways for the church to live out its mission of being a new creation community.

Interesting: The Future of the People of God is dedicated on the inside cover to "Linus". Linus (Morris), a founder of Christian Associates, was at the meeting last week and I watched Andrew ceremoniously hand him a copy of the book. What's interesting to me is that Hal Lindsey, Linus's friend and one of the early leaders in Christian Associates, had such a huge influence on popular eschatology from his book The Late Great Planet Earth (1970), a book that suggested that the Boomer generation was enjoying the spotlight of ancient Biblical prophecy which was now suddenly coming to life in the arena of global politics in the late twentieth century - something quite the opposite of Perriman's book - but persuasive enough to launch a movement in popular eschatology, culminating in some really interesting B-grade movies and the Left Behind series of books. Amazing to see how the next generation approaches eschatological texts from such a different stance and finds it easier to admit that they are not the center of the universe.

Anyway, I highly recommend Andrew Perrimans' new book. It's well written, well researched, concise, original and brave. Its even better than his earlier books, possibly because of its bounded subject.

Related but totally different: Best Ever Rapture Movie Posters