Wednesday, April 10, 2013

Your Secret Weapon and the Plot to Take It Away

Jamal Jivanjee has a good post on the Illuminate blog about one of our most powerful secret weapons. I won't spoil it by telling you what it is. I will quote a portion of the post:
  • There actually is a conspiracy underway to take away your most powerful and feared weapon.
  • If you lose this powerful weapon, you will live as a slave.
  • If you lose this weapon, you will starve to death.
  • If you lose this weapon, you will lose the essence of life.
  • If you lose this weapon, you will become frustrated and hopeless.
If this sparks your interest, check out the post to learn more.

Tuesday, April 09, 2013

Jesus vs. Paul?

Recently I've been running up against a controversy of which I'd previously been blissfully ignorant: the supposed conflict between Jesus and Paul. I guess I'd known about the views of Ferdinand Christian Baur and the "History of Religions School" that had pitted Jesus' allegedly minor innovations to Judaism against Paul's ostensibly radical innovations, which then supposedly synthesized into early Catholocism. But I also thought that this theory was considered to have been discredited and outmoded. I didn't think that anyone who took the Bible seriously bought into it. Seems I may have been mistaken.

Apparently, the general idea is that we've been too influenced by Paul and his teaching of justification, which, we're told, leads to a focus on individual salvation, "accepting" Jesus as savior, praying a simple prayer, and being eternally secure thereafter. Evidently, what we should be doing is focusing on the teachings and example of Jesus in the Gospels. We see the differences described nicely here (by someone I consider a dear friend, by the way).

Saturday, April 06, 2013

Relational Ministry is Not a Strategy

Scot McKnight writes a good summary/review of Andrew Root's book The Relational Pastor: Sharing in Christ by Sharing Ourselves.

I think that to the extent that emerging and missional models of ministry failed and are failing, it is due precisely to leaders wanting a relational strategy rather than relationships with others for their own sake. It comes down to the same personal kingdom building (not Jesus' Kingdom building) that they think they're rejecting from the old Evangelical models.