"Where's the kaboom? There was supposed to be an earth-shattering kaboom?" –Marvin Martian

New BHT Post by Fearsome Pirate http://t.co/uc2jms…

New BHT Post by Fearsome Pirate http://t.co/uc2jmsWM

Pirate Bait (sw)

This morning’s sermon was very good. Take the lowest seat at the table. Humble yourself. Don’t let the world’s systems of evaluating your status define you. And then he preached the gospel. Your righteousness and achievements don’t establish your relationship with God. Instead…

Here I would have started talking about justification by faith alone. But he started talking about baptism. God initiates our relationship with him in baptism. Now we live “the baptized life”. It’s like he’s great on grace, but doesn’t talk much about faith. I’m beginning to understand why. If we always insist upon the necessity of personal faith, people start thinking, “Am I believing right now? Am I believing hard enough?” But if we talk about grace, then people (so the theory goes) start unself-consciously trusting in that grace.

Still, this is hard for my low church evangelical children. So at lunch around the kitchen table I led them in a chant modeled after the practice of our African American brothers.

When I say baptism you say faith!
Baptism! Faith!
Baptism! Faith!

When I say baptism you say faith!
Baptism! Faith!
Baptism! Faith!

Now I think they are equipped to translate any Lutheran sermon back into their mother tongue.

Since We Were Speaking of Pirates


Arrg – pirates

I’m waiting for and anticipating the article that starts to draw parallels with our first real war…started by Thomas Jefferson no less.

Obama is in the White House – idealogical savior of the left. Thomas Jefferson was in the White house then – ideologue of Liberty.

Pirates are pirate, whether they hail from the Barbary coast or Somalia. They need to be dealt with, and Obama has an opportunity and challenge before him. Could be interesting….

Re: Captain rescued from pirates

Not that it matters I suppose, but I’m trying to reconcile accounts of “3 pirates killed with 3 bullets” with “several minutes of gunfire”.

The pirates seem shocked and surprised that we would dare to kill to rescue our citizens. I hope it doesn’t take much more of their nonsense for the world community that has a stake in that shipping lane to obliterate them.

Happy Easter to Somali Pirates…

….from the Navy Seals. Meet my little friend.

Three of the pirates on the lifeboat with Phillips were shot and killed, the U.S. Navy said. A fourth pirate was aboard the nearby USS Bainbridge negotiating Phillips’ fate when the shootings occurred. He has since been taken into custody, officials said.

I’m sorry, but that’s just hilarious.

Wondering if Jesse and Pirate are even half as pessimistic as I’ve been over the last fifteen years.

Agreed Christendom’s not returning but it’s strange to think of how, a decade ago, some high profile Christians were talking about how the end of Christendom was great because it meant an end to mere civic religion and nominalism and that meant the people who joined up with church life were for real. Then just a few years ago one of those sorts of guys was lamenting the backlash against Christians and bewailing the loss of Christendom. You’d think all that really changed was some guys sunk a whole lot of money into real estate and had something to lose if certain tax exemptions got revoked … .

Pirate’s point about sodomy might be elaborated by pointing out that Christian best-selling authors, or maybe just authors, extol the rightness of sodomy within marriage. If even the celebrity Christians mount a defense for it that might signal its acceptance as a cultural mainstream.

Pirate is right. Christdom is dead; nothing we can do will bring it back. I find it interesting that Pirate and I, two of the youngest members of the bar, are the ones who most vehemently give this counsel of despair. I suspect that it’s because those who are older still live surrounded by peers and institutions which are basically tolerant of Christianity, while those of us a little younger have seen more clearly what kids these days are up to.

Of course, that doesn’t mean that the Church is dead. It just means that the parts of it which live will develop a hard shell and hate the world; or else it’ll be eaten by the zombies and its corpse reanimated to fight its former friends.

Speaking of Pre-mil Dispensationalism

As I recall, just about every time I’ve sat in on an NT Wright lecture/presentation, it seems he’s mentioned that the conversation about the rapture and whatnot is a very American thing that he really doesn’t hear over in England at all.

I can’t wait for the invites to go see left behind to start rolling in from the church folk. I’ll need to do some teaching on the whole rapture thing, but I imagine there will be instances where I might just have to say I can’t stand Nicholas Cage.

I’ve been doing a lot of thinking about change and adaptation in leadership and organizations. Anyone here familiar with adaptive leadership stuff? Any other “Starfish and the Spider” book fans? I keep wondering what the church of the future in North America will look like. It’ll need to be resilient and adaptive, but also firm on core convictions, imo.  Or maybe Fearsome Pirate is right.  There are days when that post resonates with me.

Here is an interesting article that was linked by Thom Rainer about how the church could respond to some shifts in culture viewed through the lens of Netflix’s growth and strategy.  When I speak of change in a church setting, I have these sorts of things in mind.  I think many other people hear the word “change” and think of new programs, a different worship style, or shifting on hot topic social issues.  None of those strike me as actual change on a deep level though, at least as far as the institution goes.  They still are in the same paradigm.  It’s kind of like Bart Ehrman going from being a fundamentalist Christian to a fundy whatever he is now.  His paradigm didn’t really change at all.  He just switched sides.

Jason Blair wrote:
The thing to wrestle with is this: Am I more comfortable as the guy who is more “liberal” in a conservative group, or the more “conservative” guy in a more liberal group. I have a hunch it’s the latter.

First off, prayers for you as you discern your way through this. Sounds like a good and relatively safe way to learn if nothing else. I think this question is an interesting one, and it’s one I ask myself occasionally. I guess I’ve thought being more liberal in a conservative group is easier, but maybe that’s because in my denominational situation, I am more conservative in what can be a pretty liberal group and I constantly feel like I’m being told that people who think like me are basically idiot monsters on the wrong side of history. Anyway, I thought that was an interesting question. I do know that feeling like I don’t quite fit in gets old.

Fearsome Pirate wrote:
I bring this up because the same people who are into this locavore/organic/etc movement are the same people who loudly agitate for all the bans, strictures, and costs that make it impossible for anyone to compete with Big Agriculture and corporate grocery chains.

I knew this guy who ran a little butcher shop across the street. He fried up fresh pork rinds every couple of days. Could he do that here? I doubt it. By the time the corner butcher has complied with everything, his costs would be so high that the local Walmart’s shrink-wrapped stuff, which they shipped in from all over, would just kill him on price.

I’m definitely a locavore/organic guy. I think monsanto is evil. So yeah, I guess I’m that guy…

But I’m not – because I totally agree with your assessment of the codes and laws and what not. I would argue that the big producers work hand in hand with the government to make the law more friendly towards them. And it totally weeds out the small guy as competition. There is a ridiculous case of that here in Michigan involving a pig farmer who has been absolutely harassed by the state government in an attempt to shut down his farm and strip him of his livelihood. Where I differ from your definition of organic/locavore guy is that I would rather deregulate and take away subsidies and let people pay the actual cost of their food. I think in that instance the local guy is going to come out much more competitive. And if you want fruit in the winter in the North, I don’t care. I eat that too. I would just rather buy organic and/or from local people I know when possible, even if it costs more. There are plenty of folks out there who are more libertarian in their organic/locavore thinking.