Wednesday, August 09, 2006

doing what we say...

I have recently been bombarded with situations in which what seems like an enormous amount of people have been saying one thing and doing another. I realize that this is a fairly normal human thing to do, but the vast amount of times that I have run into this lately is not something that I can ignore. It really is crazy!!! I wonder if it is just the place in my life that I am, like my age or my geographical area... both are very new to me. Maybe it is something that I have done to people more than I think and I am learning a lesson from this, I'm not sure... it probably bothers me quite a bit more than it should!

Friday, May 26, 2006

Tool Show

I saw TooL a week ago in Phoenix and it was an amazing experience as was expected! It was at a small venue and it was a more intimate experience than some of the other shows I have been to. This was the tenth time I have seen TooL and it really was a very different experience. I am a few years older and the band is a few years older and I guess that changes both of our perspectives. It truly was a religious experience for me as all of their shows have been and I feel like I did not leave the show the same as when I showed up. It got me to thinking... when was the last time I really felt like that after a church service? I can't help wondering what is missing in the connection between church and God and how do we recapture it, because I believe that once upon a time it was a lot more of a cathartic experience to worship God. If I am getting more out of a concert than the church, I'm sure other people are too and now I continue my search to figure out how to make the church relevant again!

Friday, March 03, 2006


I am working on my questions for the BOM and will start to post some of my thoughts on the questions here. I would love comments that can help me think more, clarify more, or correct an inconsistant idea. Thank you... we will start with the Trinity.

Working as a pastor has expanded and deepened my understanding of the Trinity. On a basic level, I view the Trinity as God’s expression of what John Wesley called God’s “Means of Grace.” Prevenient grace is shown through the “Father” figure of the Trinity, justifying grace is shown through the “Son” figure, and sanctifying grace is displayed through the “Holy Spirit.” In this way one God works communally. As a church we model this behavior as we are one body working in the world in a variety of ways. We are to model God by treating people with love displaying the very same means of grace that God displays to us. This is at the heart and center of evangelism and missions. I have seen God’s grace shown through people’s actions in the church to others inside the church and out. To be “Christ-like” is to treat others with this grace as he exemplified. We are to live as one in community, just as our Trinitarian God does and as a community of faith we can share God with the same means of Grace God uses as exemplified in the Trinity. When people reach out to others through church programs and evangelism and when we perform a baptism in the church, this is like God’s “fatherly” prevenient grace. When individuals respond to God and reach back through involvement in the ministries of the church and when people are confirmed or join the church in another way it exemplifies God’s justifying grace given through Jesus Christ the “son.” In the church, we practice God’s sanctifying grace through the Holy Spirit by reaching outward to others, thus getting closer with God. Mission work, mentoring, and bible study are things we do in the church to experience God’s sanctifying grace.

Wednesday, February 01, 2006

Trouble with Demons

Many people tell stories about personal experiences with demons and those sorts of things. I have very close friends for whom I carry a great deal of trust and respect that have shared such experiences with me and I believe that those experiences were real. I have personally never had any such experiences that I am aware of and I understand that the idea of demons has changed throughout history. My only problem with the idea is that it makes it too easy to avoid responsibility for our sin. "The devil made me do it" is a theological problem for me because it takes responsibility off of us. I think that the idea of personal responsibility goes hand in hand with the idea of repentance. If we are merely victims of the "devil" we don't really have anything to repent of, only the "devil" and demons and such would need to repent since they would be the ones with the responsibility. This is only the beginning of the theological troubles that surround this idea in my mind.