Monday, January 30, 2006

Video Killed the Radio Star

I'll be on the radio twice this week, for those of you who are really bored and lonely.

On Tuesday, I'll be on the Kim Jeffries Show on KTIS 900AM in the Twin Cities (and some other stations in the Upper Midwest) from 12:30 - 1:00pm CST. I'll be talking about The Sacred Way. You can listen to a live stream here.

On Wednesday, I'll be on the Louie Free Radio Show (in Youngstown, OH) WASN 1500AM, sometime between 8 and noon EST. There I'll be talking about Bush's State of the Union Address.

KTIS is an evangelical Christian station; the second is an Air America station.

That's called radio whiplash.

Tuesday, January 24, 2006

Synagogue 3000

It's now been a week since I left my new friends at Synagogue 3000. Others, particularly Ryan Bolger, have already blogged about the substance of the meeting. I, instead, will blog about my personal experience there. [UPDATE: May I also commend to you these blog posts about the event: Synablog and Scott Collins-Jones.]

I spend a lot of time at Christian institutions -- in the last three months I've presented at places as diverse as Princeton Theological Seminary, Southern Baptist Theological Seminary, Church Divinity School of the Pacific, and Wheaton College. At every place, I have been received with a mixture of hospitality and skepticism. While I have been seen as a fellow follower of Christ, I've also been seen as a threat (I imagine that I pose a different kind of threat to each group).

Now, Jews surely have more reason to receive me, a committed Christian believer, with a great deal of suspicion. Surely my Christianity is more threatening to Jews than it is to Presbyterians, Southern Baptists, Episcopalians, or Evangelicals. Surely people of my tribe have earned hearty skepticism from Jews.

But, instead of suspicion and skepticism, I was received with the warmth and hospitality that made me think, "These really are 'People of the Book.'" The hospitality toward strangers that is such a prevalent theme in the Hebrew Scriptures was exemplified in spades by the rabbis, cantors, and Jewish leaders present.

And the worship! To describe it would be a disservice, so it will have to suffice to say that it touched my soul in ways that Christian worship has not since I-don't-know-when.

Was my confidence in Jesus, the Messiah, shaken by my time with those who do not accept his Messiahship? No, it was bolstered. But not in a fist-shaking, white knuckle way. More in a quiet, humble, this-is-going-to-be-alright kind of way. Oh, you can bet that Emergent will be working with these Jewish leaders more in the days to come. They are beautiful people.

What In The World?

In my illustrious career, I have now been mention twice by "What In The World!" (sic, "!" instead of "?"). What in the world is "What In The World!", you ask. Why, it's "A news service from Bob Jones University helping believers find out what the devil is up to."

In 2000, I made Volume 27, Number 03:

A series of articles on "seven trends to watch in the next decade," published in Youthworker (1-2/00), includes the "good news" of the rising "postdenominational church." "Now more than ever, Christians are connecting across denominational lines," the article claims.

Tony Jones of Colonial Church of Edina (Minnesota), author of the article, cites an example of "what God's doing in our town." Congregationalists, Catholics, Baptists, Presbyterians, and Covenanters join together at a high school vespers service once a month, led entirely by students. A network of youth workers also meet for lunch each month to fellowship and pray.

And now I've been mentioned in Volume 40, Number 2:

A group of progressive Jewish synagogues called Synagogue 3000 (S3K) is going to meet together with the Emergent network for interfaith dialogue. Emergent is a leading
organization in what is called “the emergent church,” a loosely organized group of Christians who advocate postmodern ways of reading the Bible. Brian McLaren, often regarded as the “pastor” of the emergent church, says that Emergent and S3K “have so much common ground on so many levels. . . . I’m thrilled with the possibility of developing friendship and collaboration in ways that help God’s dreams come true for our synagogues, churches, and world.” Lawrence Hoffman, a senior fellow at S3K, says that the world is experiencing “nothing short of a genuine spiritual awakening,” offering “a chance for Jews and Christians to do God’s work together.” Tony Jones, national coordinator for Emergent-U.S., says it is with “great joy and promise that we partner with the leaders of S3K to talk about the future and God’s kingdom.”

Praise Jesus!

Monday, January 23, 2006

Have You Gotten...

...your mug yet?

Friday, January 20, 2006


I actually don't preach very often, although I have a couple opportunities to do so this winter. Last Sunday, I was afforded the great opportunity to preach at UBC-Waco. It was the 11th birthday of UBC, having been founded by Chris Seay those years ago. It's also the home church of the David Crowder Band, and he and the boyz were there on Sunday. They've been home for a couple months.

It's also, unfortunately, the church that is now infamous for the tragic death of Kyle Lake in the baptistry at their church. I was, in fact, scheduled to go duck hunting with Kyle, MOL, and Scott ("I am Relevant") Gornto last Saturday. The duck hunting never happened, and I was asked by Ben Dudley at UBC to preach when I was in town.

The church is now temporarily meeting at the Waco Hippodrome, a great old theater with lots of character. Crowder led off the morning with the Beatles' "Happy Birthday," followed by three or four songs. I took the stage and preached for a bit too long. Most importantly, I hope, I brought greetings and love from Emergent churches around the country who continue to grieve at the loss of Kyle.

After the service, I had BBQ lunch with Dave, Ben, Jen Lake, and a few others.

All in all, it was a bittersweet time, and I'm glad to count those people as my friends.

Thursday, January 19, 2006

Journey - Dallas, TX

I had the wonderful opportunity of spending last weekend at the community of Journey, in Dallas, Texas. Really, it would be impossible for me to do justicce in a blog post to the wonderful people there and their un-hyperlinked pastor, Danielle Shroyer. It's a great group of people who love each other in a way that, I must say, I haven't ever before experienced at a church. Plus, the folks there are creative, young, and sassy.

I also had the (mis)fortune of joining the MOL Nation for their occasional baccanal, a.k.a., Poker Night. I took my fair share of abuse, as was my due. But, I not only drove myself home, I also outlasted JNise in the game and got to see Junior with his shirt off. In fact, I won $17.

Breakfast with MOL and Scott ("I am Relevant") Gornto was another highlight.

Friday, January 06, 2006

I've written a piece on Emergent for Next Wave

You can find it here.

Wednesday, January 04, 2006

My Kids -- TV Stars!

Watch it here (I had to open it in IE -- it didn't work in Firefox).

Mine are the two stars -- Lily asks for "Size 4, please" (notice the manners), and Tanner is wearing the red helmet (his idea).

Tuesday, January 03, 2006

Hey, Mac Snobs...

...did you know that you can add GoogleTalk to your iChat?

Please do it. I will never use AIM again.

(ht: Sweet Cheeks)