Jesus Creed

Jesus Creed


Weekly Meanderings

posted by xscot mcknight

Hello from Aruba … you can find us under a tiki hut reading. I’ve got a bundle of things to read for a piece on “happiness.” And how appropriate; we’re at a place called “The Happy Island.” Our housesitters are looking after Webster.SmileyCentral.comhello-from-aruba.jpg(Say the Jesus Creed morning and evening during Lent.)Another good pastor’s blog: LeaderFOCUS.Chicago’s CatholicsA little anxious about something? Read Jim.Do you know about Wedding Pastors? A friend of ours, Bill Yaccino, started this ministry and I hope you take a look at it.East vs. West.George Barna’s new configuration for determining church attendance.Do you need a secular sabbath?Dave Dunbar’s newest piece for Missional Journal (2.2).Fitch is after the Bridge illustration again; read it.A piece of mine in CT on the robust gospel.Yours truly on sports.1. Gendered education trends. Anyone know some serious research on this?2. Erika’s post on Billy’s Bucket … and it turns into parable.3. It got some of my money… anyone know much about these things?4. Is Barack a libertarian?5. Looking for the sun in northern Norway.6. Running out of space up above, but this one deserves to be there. Thanks to JR Briggs.7. Both Julie Clawson, a former BGC member, and John Frye have responded to the (at least) awkward views of John Piper: Pesky pastors. I will be responding to Piper’s counsel someday.8. If Jesus walked our streets. (HT: MDG)9. More missionally-minded leaders need to do more of this. Here’s Art’s summary of the resurrection.10. I’ve run out of space up above, but Michael Kruse’s two-part piece on improving health care, based in Robert Fogel, is a good read. Part one and two.11. Lacey’s loving coffee.Anyone know anything about Church Shift and Sunday Adelaja?.Sports:The technical term for this is frustration.Tiger for President, Lorena Ochoa for VP. Here is Annika Sorenstam looking like she’s passing on the glory to Lorena who is golf’s newest star.ochoa.jpgBrett Favre retires; in my lifetime, I think my top three QBs are Bart Starr, Joe Montana and Brett Favre. Favre says he’s …




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Luke

posted March 8, 2008 at 1:20 am


Wow, I’m looking forward to the response to Piper. How in the world he can say those things and have the audacity to call his view ‘biblical’ (which equals right in his mind) is absolutely beyond me. Holy cow, it makes me either want to be extremely mad or cry.



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ron

posted March 8, 2008 at 5:14 am


Aruba??? Lent????



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paul

posted March 8, 2008 at 6:20 am


thanks for your article in CT Scot. it helps to articulate a big problem i have working with youth… they believe in a gospel that is too small.
i recently began working at a Christian school with a weekly chapel service. I can’t tell you how many times (in just the past 6 weeks) the gospel is reduced to Jesus’ actions on good friday…
i hope more people (including myself) fully take to heart your words in this article, for it would transform many lives and ministries i believe



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John Frye

posted March 8, 2008 at 8:00 am


Do your scuba in Aruba?? :)



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J-Marie

posted March 8, 2008 at 8:03 am


What’s your partner-in-crime reading?



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RJS

posted March 8, 2008 at 8:54 am


Re #7 – and John Piper
As a long time BGC* member – grew up in this denomination and again attend a BGC church, graduate (along with many family members) of the BGC college, attending when Piper was a professor there, … connections could continue – I am sick of this. The latest comments – on the silencing of opposing views, specifically Arminianism – are unfortunate to say the very least. Even “soft” Calvinism is not to be tolerated in his world.
*BGC = Baptist General Conference, which morphed out of the Swedish Baptist Conference for those wondering



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Jason D

posted March 8, 2008 at 9:34 am


i also don’t agree with piper nor his language in that talk earlier. but he did try to clarify that he wasn’t talking about Arminians et. al. being unbiblical. but when, according to his logic, those with an arminian bent and those with a calvinist bent teach on the same faculty, they do a disservice to their students’ understanding of the Bible.
he further states that we should read those we disagree with (which a true separatist would never allow) in order to broaden our education.
i still think he’s wrong, but here’s the ‘clarification’ in his own words
http://www.desiringgod.org/Blog/1108_calvinism_arminianism__education/



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pepy3

posted March 8, 2008 at 9:48 am


Luke #1: or hurl.



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David B Johnson

posted March 8, 2008 at 10:42 am


Scot,
Thanks a bunch for this month’s article in CT. Great summary that will prove helpful for our local church. It’s great to get such excellent material in such a quick read into our community’s hands. Peace be with you.



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fjs

posted March 8, 2008 at 10:58 am


re the piper quotes… I don’t get this guy’s theology and way of being in the world. he seems so hard… seems incompatible with grace. I just don’t get him.



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David B Johnson

posted March 8, 2008 at 11:11 am


Scot,
Just a request. Please place a priority on responding to Piper. For a long time I have (had) been an avid reader of anything he wrote. All the while being willing to stomach some of his political statements and references to women’s issues. I even attended his Pastor’s Conference this year. What troubled me the most was the way he responded to a question about his Christian Hedonism. For a long time I have felt that he needed bring an orthodox view of the Trinity to bear upon his theology and I was glad to hear someone question him about this. I have since learned that many other Christian leaders have been communicating this to him. His response to the question was troubling. He seemed to project upon the one asking an underhanded attempt to make God less zealous for his glory. I did not hear that in the question at all. I simply feel that it is unChristian to think or speak of God in any way other than Trinitarian terms. So if we want to speak of God being zealous for his glory, we must say, “The Father’s zeal for his glory is directed to the Son by the Spirit.”



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VanSkaamper

posted March 8, 2008 at 12:56 pm


I read the piece by Piper with and got a mixed impression. As an unrepentant, neo-Arminian, I’ve never been a fan of his brand of Calvinism. I also think he suffers from the same blind spot that a lot of people in his camp seem to have, and that is a lack of epistemic humility.
That said, I think it’s fine for a Calvinistic institution to stick to it’s brand of theology, just as it’s OK for an Arminian one to do the same. You teach what you believe to those who want to learn about it. Paul exhorts believers to stick with sound doctrine, to beware of false teachers, and not compromise the truth of the Gospel. I’m sure that’s what Piper sees himself as doing.
I think that there’s a bit of an over-reaction to his original post, and his clarification was helpful, even if I didn’t think it was entirely internally consistent, and unsuccessful in soothing all the feathers he’s ruffled.
When he says: No one?s ultimate aim should be to be Calvinist or Arminian. The aim should be to be biblical I couldn’t agree more.
The problem I continue to have with Piper is the dogmatic and occasionally strident ways in which he seems to equate the the terms “Biblical” and “Calvinist”. He shouldn’t be criticized for following his conscience and teaching what he thinks the Bible says, but his comments about profiting perspectives different than his own would come off as less disingenuous if he would occasionally sound a little more humble and open-minded about his own systematic theology. He could do that without compromising his principles and his beliefs, IMHO.



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Scot McKnight

posted March 8, 2008 at 3:04 pm


Kris is reading The Shack and then she has a couple of memoirs lined up next.



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Richard in London

posted March 8, 2008 at 3:14 pm

sheryl

posted March 8, 2008 at 3:30 pm


Living the hard life! Enjoy it all the more. It’s 29 degrees back here and just stopped snowing mid-afternoon.
There’s a lot of good reading. I’ll have to get to it later.
I can’t pass up the sport’s links though. ;-) That bball coach needs to take a chill pill and get some perspective. Wow, a bit of an overreaction. I like the sports questionnaire. You were at the Atlanta Summer Olympics?! Wow, that must have been exciting. Maybe you could add an addendum to the question, “If you could change one thing about sports, what would it be?”. We place too much emphasis on winning and sports in general. I’d also add the salary of professional athletes. It’s absolutely insane. I think steroid testing should be across the board with all
sports. What do you mean about “the pace of the game” in college basketball? Do you prefer the up-and-down pace of the NBA and find the college level boring? The women’s college game has really accelerated. I think it has to do with them having a shorter shot-clock. If you like the fast pace game you should watch them. They don’t dunk like the men, unless Candace Parker or that girl from LSU are playing. And who said white men can’t jump??! You had some hops! :-)



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Scot McKnight

posted March 8, 2008 at 3:36 pm


sheryl,
Yep, Luke and I saw the last night of track and field at the Atlanta Olympics.
Pace of game: too much spread out, drive and dish and not enough passing and picking; 1 minute time clock is fine with me; teams can no longer protect a lead. I almost never watch an NBA game. Women’s Bball right now is every bit as good as men’s; at least when good women’s teams are playing. I don’t like the runaways. Kris and I often watch the women’s games.



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sheryl

posted March 8, 2008 at 3:42 pm


Scot,
Got it. So you would be a fan of the Princeton style offense? I don’t like blow outs either, regardless of who’s playing. Which is why I don’t watch the Bulls anymore! ;-) We’ve turned down free tickets to their games because they’re so bad. Anyway, I enjoy watching the WNBA play more than the NBA. There is really only one NBA team I’ll waste my time and watch–the Spurs.



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Scot McKnight

posted March 8, 2008 at 3:47 pm


sheryl,
Yes, I do like those Princeton-style offenses; and Bobby Knight’s old teams (he became too much of a show unto himself later in his career, a kind of infant terrible). I don’t like how Duke plays.



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sheryl

posted March 8, 2008 at 3:54 pm


AUGH! “I don’t like how Duke plays.” A mortal wound to my heart! I don’t know if I can be a part of JesusCreed any longer. Kidding!
How can you not like team play, swarming defense, easy baskets because of that great defense, playing every possession, and picks & screens?!? Or is it because DUKE is on the front of the jerseys? They do a lot of drive and kicks, and the 3 ball is a big part of their play. But I love how they play. I like tough defense and team ball. The players have to buy into the Duke concept and they usually do, a reason for its continued success. It’s in stark contrast to the Princeton and Carolina styles of play. To each their own. :-)



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Scot McKnight

posted March 8, 2008 at 3:58 pm


Picking and passing; they don’t do the former so it is all slash and kick.



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sheryl

posted March 8, 2008 at 4:06 pm


Um, have you watched them much this year? Picks, screens, and the extra pass are a major part of their offense. In addition to the drive ‘n kick and points off turnovers. Princeton (or Georgetown who utilizes that style well) it is not.



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Tony Stiff

posted March 8, 2008 at 4:31 pm


Steve Huber and Art’s Doubt Nights are a great idea,
I’ve modified what they do with 20’s and 30’s to work with our teens here. Its one of their highlights and they bring friends, but being in the heavily churched south I almost feel as though another set of doubts more church-ward focused are in order to un-nerve the nominal-christianity that’s stil in place in a lot of lives down here. Thanks for linking all your readers to them Scot.
PS Their Doubt Nights were pretty packed out when I visited, let no one ‘doubt’ the potential these kind of conversations can hold :)



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Charlotte

posted March 8, 2008 at 4:42 pm


Aruba? Wow, I hope you have a great time!



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Terry Dischinger

posted March 8, 2008 at 5:09 pm


Scot,
I don’t know about the book yet, but I do know a bit about Sunday Adelaja. He is a Nigerian who wound up in Ukraine, like many Africans, during the Soviet period to study. He ended up staying in Kiev after the fall of the Soviet Union and planted a church that is now the largest church in Europe. He comes from a Pentecostal, prosperity gospel background but preaches a strong gospel message to unbelievers. I attended his church in 1995 when it was only about 200 people. He is a very engaging, charismatic man regardless of what one thinks of some of the prosperity message he preaches. His church has many political leaders in it, including the mayor of Kiev, and is very active in work amongst drug addicts, prostitutes, orphans and business men. He has always been very active in politics and was very active in the Orange Revolution. From his church, many other churches have been planted throughout Ukraine and in other parts of Europe. Some have estimated that up to 250,000 in Ukraine alone are connected to his church or others that have been planted out of his church. I have included links to two articles below that give a little bit of an overview of Sunday and his ministry. The telegraph article gives a bit of negative view that the Orthodox Church in Ukraine has about Sunday. The CT article is not so negative but together give a good overview. Regarding his book, I think it would be interesting to read because I’m sure he tells the story of how his ministry has exploded throughout Europe.
http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/main.jhtml?xml=/news/2006/05/13/wukra13.xml&sSheet=/news/2006/05/13/ixnews.html
http://www.christianitytoday.com/tc/2005/006/4.42.html
Terry Dischinger



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Mike Clawson

posted March 8, 2008 at 7:50 pm


VanSkaamper, #12:

“That said, I think it?s fine for a Calvinistic institution to stick to it?s brand of theology, just as it?s OK for an Arminian one to do the same… I?m sure that?s what Piper sees himself as doing.”

No, that’s not what Piper is doing. His church is a member of the Baptist General Conference, which is NOT a Calvinist institution. In fact it deliberately doesn’t take a stance on the issue one way or the other. He has tried to tear the denomination apart before by strong-arming it into defining itself on this issue and thankfully he has failed. And frankly, if Piper claims that he would separate from a denomination or institution that allows Arminian pastors and teachers, then he is flat out lying, since last time I checked his own church has not withdrawn from the BGC. However, if the presence of Arminians within the denomination is so odious to him, then perhaps he should withdraw and stop trying to divide the denomination on this issue.



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VanSkaamper

posted March 8, 2008 at 11:23 pm


#25: Mike, I said that’s what Piper sees himself as doing. I agree with you that he’d be much more appropriately at home outside the BGC and in a traditionally Calvinist institution, and not try to turn the BGC into one.



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MatthewS

posted March 9, 2008 at 8:29 pm


Piper said, “…the more responsible a person is to shape the thoughts of others about God…”
Teachers and preachers plant seeds and water them but they cannot control the final crop. I get the impression that Piper may be too worried about controlling the final outcome of others’ thinking. It is good to be concerned with the influence that teachers and preachers have on others, but it would be overreaching to try to control the actual thinking of others. Perhaps he isn’t guilty of doing so, but I have gotten that impression in the past and I get it again when I read the above quote.



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MikeS

posted March 9, 2008 at 10:26 pm


OK, Scot, what hotel? The picture looks like either DiviDivi or the Hyatt/La Playa complex.
I’m not there anymore, unfortunately. But I’ve still got friends up and down that one happy island.
This is bad winter to find yourself back in the upper midwest after living on Aruba for a few years. It’s cold, too much snow, and Brett Favre retired. I’ll be in therapy for years.



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carolsong

posted March 12, 2008 at 5:16 pm


Ref: gendered education trends
A great place to start is the work of Carol Gilligan, who in her research developed a female-oriented Care Model approach to moral development in contrast to the accepted male-oriented Justice Model of moral development. [Dorothy MacKeracher cites Gilligan frequently in her article “Women as Learners”, found in The Craft of Teaching Adults (1997).]
According to the research, these different approaches to moral reasoning effect perception, interpretation, cognition, and action, all aspects of the learning process. What it all boils down to is – males use separateness or autonomy as their dominant approach to learning, while females use connectedness as their dominant approach. The learning style and outcome is therefore shown to be a different experience for males and females. It’s a fascinating subject…I would also suspect there’s some good current physiological brain (male/female) research that would support Gilligan’s sociological pedagogy.



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