I read blogs. I have a steady diet of blog reading although I do try to diet (not spend too much time reading blogs). Every once in a while I strike gold. Here’s some gold from the blogosphere with a comment or two.
ON MONEY: Mark Van Steenwyk tells us here why tithing is wrong. Instead we should LIVE SIMPLY and GIVE AWAY the rest. Mark writes about this and other ways we can live more faithfully in relation to money and the economy. Van Steenwyk and his JesusManifesto is worth reading.
ON OUR CHILDREN: Neil Cole wrote this about children. In my years of church planting the question of how do we care for our kids is one of the top two or three questions we as an intentional missional community have had to respond to. There have been many times I’ve needed what Neil Cole said right here.
ON DECONSTRUCTION VERSUS DOCTRINE AS (WITTGENSTEINIAN) GRAMMAR OR (MCINTYRIAN) NARRATIVE. Tony Jones gave a courageous and engaging presentation at the Wheaton Theology Conference in April. He talks about it here. I was there and believe me, it took cojones to do what he did because power point and pictures of Jesus holding the bat of a boy baseball player are not the stuff of this kind of academic conference. Having said that, I think Tony provided the right diagnosis to the problem of modernity,Orthodoxy and evangelicalism’s lack of resourcement of the Ancient traditions. But his answer to the issue, “Orthodoxy as an event” ala Caputo/Derrida, provides little help as D. H. Williams revealed in his questioning of Tony afterwards. Because afterall, is not what Tony described as “the strike zone,” a “rule” that is part of a game (within a rulebook/grammar ala Lindbeck) with a tradition/culture (cultural linguistic ala Lindbeck), a history, carried on by a community of interpretation. This sounds like Wittgenstein and McIntyre. Hauerwas and friends are famous for using baseball analogies like this. Has Tony been sneaking over to “Duke” country? I believe all the moves Tony wants to accomplish can be better accomplished over there without giving up on any of the insights and help offered by the French Continentals. This is not the time and the place, but I would love to hear Tony Jones and Brian McLaren engage Zizek and Badiou’s complaints about Derridian descontruction as leaving us with nothing to move a politics forward (into revolution). Good job Tony! And waiting for more.
ON THE HAZARDS OF INDETERMINACY AND LACK OF COMPASSION. Jamie Arpin-Ricci tells us in a courageous post why stating what we believe in relative terms might sometimes put those who are struggling with homosexuality in a torturous position. He also states beautifully why the church has miserably failed at being the kind of people who can minister to the gay or lesbian person facing such struggles and decisions in their lives. This great post revealed to me once again the weaknesses inherent in both Brian McLaren’s famous Out of Ur Post and Mark Driscoll’s response last year. I responded to these posts here (you have to scroll down). I’m not Jamie. I don’t pretend to speak from the vantage point of those who are, who have been or ever struggled with the issues of being gay in any way. But from my perspective, I believe I was close to where Jamie is on the issue although he’d have to answer that. Thanks Jamie for putting yourself out there and calling us to be the kind of people we need to be in order to both welcome and minister to gay and lesbian peoples.
ON MISSING THE POINT OF CHURCH. Bill Kinnon wrote a great piece on the dangers of church becoming built around a personality and then becoming an enterprise of the same personality and/or ego. It is rebellious and irreverent and a bit angry at what this does to people who allow themselves to be called the congregation in this situation. Thanks again Bill.
ON INDIVIDUALISM IN THE CHURCH. Scot McKnight writes a great piece for Out of Ur on how individualism has destroyed the gospel in our churches. How does this guy do all the writing he does? And still grade papers?
And lastly, ON WHEN I DON’T HAVE TIME TO READ I read Len Hjalmarlson’s blog always full of highlights and comments from his voracious reading of blogs and books. He keeps me up to date when I don’t have time to keep up to date.
These are just a few of the highlights. I’ve got to update my blogroll! Any other suggestions?