Friday, July 22, 2005

Searching For God Knows What

I just finished reading Searching For God Knows What, by Donald Miller, the author of Blue Like Jazz. I really enjoyed Blue Like Jazz, but Searching For God Knows What was even better. Donald Miller has a wonderful way of telling stories that some how or other end up illuminating what it means to follow Christ in a new and deeper way.


In Chapter 10: The Gospel of Jesus: It Never Was A Formula:

Miller writes on page 153:

Each year I teach a class on the gospel and culture at a small Bible college back East. This year I asked the students to list the precepts a person would need to understand in order to become a Christian. I stoood at the white board and they called out ideas: Man was sinful by nature; sin separates us from God; Jesus died for our sins; we could accept Jesus into our hearts (after some thought, students were not able to explain exactly what they meant by this, only saying it was a kind of interaction in which a person agrees Jesus is the Son of God), and so on. Then looking at the board, I bean to ask some questions about these almost universally accepted ideas. I asked if a person could believe all these ideas were true and yet not be a Christian. I told them my friend Matt, for instance, believed all these ideas and yet would never claim to be a person who knows Jesus or much less follows Him. The students conceeded that, in fact, a person could know and even believe all the concepts on the board and yet not be a Christian....

We sat together and looked at the board for several minutes until we conceeded we eren't going to come up with the missing element. I then erased the board and asked the class a different question: What ideas would a guy need to agree with or what steps would a guy need to take in order to fall in love with a girl?

Miller then goes on to talk about how our relationship with God isn't dictated by a checklist, but rather by a love relationship with the Lord. Why do we break down salvation into 4 Spiritual Laws, or the bridge or wheel diagrams? When we do that we oversimplify a dynamic love relationship with God that follows more along the lines of a man and a woman falling in love. Miller's illustrations are brilliant and highlight the difference in belief paradigms between the emerging generations and those who preceeded them.

I'll post more examples in the following days. But, for now, I recommend you go to your bookstore and purchase Searching For God Knows What.

Friday, July 15, 2005

On Being Gay Friendly

Thanks to Steve McCoy and his Emerging SBC Leaders Blog for linking out to this Baptist Press article. It has started a lot of discussion on his website. I like the article and the discussion it has started among my friends in the blogosphere. It brings up a lot of issues about how we show God's love to those who live lives far different from ours. In case you haven't seen it yet please read it and let me know your thoughts.

Tuesday, July 05, 2005

It's All A Matter of Perspective

I received the following E-mail from a friend of mine. I thought it was good enough to copy here:

A lesson to be learned from typing the wrong email address! A Minneapolis couple decided to go to Florida to thaw out during a particularly icy winter. They planned to stay at the same hotel where they spent their honeymoon 20 years earlier. Because of hectic schedules, it was difficult to coordinate their travel schedules. So, the husband left Minnesota and flew to Florida on Thursday, with his wife flying down the following day. The husband checked into the hotel. There was a computer in his room, so he decided to send an email to his wife. However, he accidentally left out one letter in her email address, and without realizing his error, sent the email. Meanwhile, somewhere in Houston, a widow had just returned home from her husband's funeral. He was a minister who was called home to glory following a heart attack. The widow decided to check her email expecting messages from relatives and friends. After reading the first message, she screamed and fainted. The widow's son rushed into the room, found his> mother on the floor, and saw the computer screen which read:

To: My Loving Wife> Subject: I've Arrived> Date: October 16, 2004

I know you're surprised to hear from me. They have computers here now, and you are allowed to send emails to your loved ones. I've just arrived and have been checked in. I see that everything has been prepared for your arrival tomorrow. Looking forward to seeing you then! Hope your journey is as uneventful as mine was. P.S. Sure is freaking hot down here!

Wow, what a shock!

Sunday, July 03, 2005

StudentLife Camp

Sorry about the light posting, but I just returned from StudentLife Camp last week at Windermere Conference Center at Lake of the Ozarks, Missouri. Camp has changed a lot since I was a camper. StudentLife has the camp process down pat. It was a grat time of spiritual growth for the 50 students we took and for each of us sponsors. It was a wonderful time to reflect, rededicate lives, and start anew on serving Christ. I made some good friendships with students and fellow sponsors and was able to teach a daily Bible Study and Prayer Gathering. The weather was unbearable hot and humid, but it cooled off for the bus ride home. To all my students out there who I had a chance to work with, Go Blue Team!