Wednesday, June 28, 2006

what kind of Christian are you?

That's the hook to our book. I've spent most of my week revamping a blogsite to represent the work in progress - Un-American Activities: Countercultural Themes in Christianity.

Go ahead - take the quiz (I double dare ya).

Monday, June 19, 2006

emerging women

I am very excited to be part of the conversation over at the Emerging Women blog!

something's been bugging me

A couple of weeks ago my pastor gave me a book to read on emerging (he knows I'm hooked). And he did warn me that the author would hold to some ideas about women in church (or lack thereof) that I wouldn't agree with, but that there was still some information worth getting.

So I read the book and at first, I thought, it's okay, I can handle it - I do see some good points. But it has left a really bad taste in my mouth and now I feel the need to rinse & gargle. I've seen the book recommended by other emerging sites and it's gotten pretty good reviews on Amazon, so I was hesitant to review it here, but I've really gotta spit.

Confessions of a Reformission Rev. by Mark Driscoll

some good points
10 curious questions - a good start, some thought provoking questions churches should be asking themselves

"I have learned that sometimes the most important thing a leader can do is create strategic chaos that forces people to pull together and focus on an urgent need..." - pgs. 82-83, change is good

Emerging and Missional Ecclesiology - pgs. 108-109, the church organized without hierarchy

the little thing that bugged me
When he refers to Mars Hill, more often than not, it's possessive - my church

the big thing that bugged me
"the man is the head of the home, that the man should provide for his family, that children are a blessing, and that we would not have so many deceived feminists running around if men were better husbands and fathers because the natural reaction of godly women to godly men is trust and respect" - pgs. 66-67

"I explained to Grace that her primary ministry was to me, our child and the management of our home." - pg. 102

"I will simply lean over the plate and take one for my team that, like Jesus did, only appoints men to the highest position of spiritual leadership." - pg. 110

Mark is not gay
"I can honestly say it was the gayest thing I have ever been part of." - pg. 71, what's that you might ask, painting

no really, he's not gay
"and boy bands that danced and still had the audacity to claim they were heterosexual." - pg. 116, I guess Mark doesn't dance

no, no, no
"These Christian "guys" were so effeminate it was unbelieveable." - pg. 131, from where - a nearby Christian college

If you haven't read the book, well, you've been warned, but if you have already - what were your thoughts? Am I off base?

Thursday, June 15, 2006

bits & pieces

I "borrowed" this theme from the Walker Art Center. Resident Artists: The Revolutionary Party, Nothing (Nowhere) to Hide was my favorite exhibit.

category cloud

Added a category cloud based on info @ freshblog. Now I've got to go back and categorize my entries.

more geeking out

What fun you could have with this! Looks like one church is going to create digital puppets for children's ministry using this technology.

can you hear what I don't hear?

Teenagers Develop Covert Ringtone that Adults Do Not Hear

Check it out at I didn't think it was working until my 8 year old yelled out "what's the loud sound!".

Friday, June 09, 2006

emerging youth ministry

these are the thoughts and ideas I gathered from the emerging youth ministry session with Tony Jones

in the beginning
Or at least in our beginning, the culture that we are emerging from has been deeply influenced by foundationalism. This is the philosophy of DesCartes – I think, therefore I am. As I understand it, this is a system of beliefs that relies on a foundation. For instance, fundamentalist Christians believe that the Bible is the inerrant word of God. Their belief system is based on this foundation. You will find a foundation in many forms of Christianity including liberal, universalist, liberation, etc.

The problem with having a foundation, is that when it comes under fire based on new knowledge or differing opinions or whatever, it often has to be to be propped up. When cracks develop in the foundation, the whole belief structure becomes unstable.

Tony feels that people actually know things in a web that encompasses experience, belief & faith is continues to grow. The picture he drew looked kind of like a neural network. So instead of thinking of our system of beliefs as based on a foundation, we really ought to think of our system of beliefs as a neural network that we build on over time based on our experiences, the knowledge we acquire and the faith we exercise. "We’re all interpretive by nature – we can’t know anything objectively."

in practice
Tony and others in the group gave several examples of interacting with youth out of this context:

lexio devino (divine reading) more info @ The Sacred Way by Tony Jones (book)

praying the labyrinth @

inhabiting the biblical narrative @

other resources
- interesting images, stories, ideas about Jesus @
- youth worker resources at youth specialties @
- journal of student ministries (magazine) @
- sacred space @
- Contemplative Ministry by Mark Yaconelli (book)
- Postmodern Youth Ministry by Tony Jones (book)

Thursday, June 08, 2006

thought experiment

these are my thoughts based on God & the New Sciences session led by Doug Pagitt

Let me know your enormity and my tininess and
Help me see your infinity and my finite-ness
– lyrics from His Truth is Marching On by Mike Doughty

I used to think inside the box. I thought I could use Kim’s scientific method to explain the world. My scientific method relied almost exclusively on my observations, which were limited to say the least. So using Kim’s limited scientific method, I did not observe God, therefore God did not exist. Then I discovered that I had kind of been forced into this box to exist peacefully in the modern world, where everything is explained or rationalized away.

When I learned about postmodernism and acknowledged the struggle of dealing with paradox and truth, I discovered that I had been limiting my thoughts and myself. I’m now thinking outside the box and it is a frightening and exhilarating and humbling experience. I don’t have a degree in theology or physics, so I’m going to be treading on thin ice here, but I had a thought.

We’ve been dividing the world up for a long time between the natural and the supernatural, mind and matter, humanity and God. We do this because it appears to us that these entities play by different rules. I just learned that this is called dualism. I love that I can learn new things at my age.

With advent of quantum mechanics, it appears that another duality exists between large objects and quantum particles. All the rules that we understand or take for granted to govern large objects, such as force, mass, acceleration don’t apply to quantum particles. In fact, out of our context of understanding and being able to predict large object behavior, quantum mechanics seems kind of unbelievable.

Here are just a few properties of quantum particles (from Quantum Mechanics for Beginners):
– Speed and location cannot be simultaneously known (The Uncertainty Principle of Heisenberg).
– Quanta move along according to the chance that they do, and can interfere with themselves.
– A large number of particles will display a pattern that is near equal to the initial possibilities of a single particle.
– A quantum particle can not be coerced. If it chooses to do so it will end up where only 1% of the particles ended up. It might even boldly go where no particle has gone before. Nothing is certain. Everything is possible.
– Below the energy level at which particles can exist, there is an ocean of chance (called quantum foam).

Human Quarkiness
On the one hand this is mind-boggling stuff. How can you make sense of something that can’t be predicted and leaves so much to chance? On the other hand, it sounds a lot like humans. Don’t we tend to be unpredictable, often moving by chance, choosing whether to interact or not. Isn’t this our God given gift of free will? Why is it so surprising that our most fundamental building blocks have this gift as well?

God’s Enormity
So we find ourselves living in a world where the small particles are behaving chaotically and the large objects are behaving more predictably. This got me thinking that maybe the largest object of all would be the most predictable, the most reliable, and the most stable. We often think of the vastness of space as a scary thing. We seem so small and insignificant. It is awe-inspiring, but now I think it should also be comforting. Growing up in Texas, I always heard that that bigger was better. Maybe it really is.

Let me know Your enormity because You are always there, You are steadfast. Let me know my tininess because my life is chaotic and unpredictable. Let the quantum particles of my being search and adhere to You.

Un-American Activities: Countercultural Themes in Christianity

That's the working title of a book I'm writing with my dad. It's another reason I'm at Solomon's Porch, to get some inpiration, practical advice and writing time.

The book is about a modern father and postmodern daughter reflecting on their pilgrimages of life and faith. Of course, the project is very interesting to me because in the process of it I'm learning so much more about myself, my dad and our family. What I wonder is why it would be interesting to anybody else and how to communicate that.

I think it's interesting because:
- it's challenging on many different levels
- it's educational; learn about theology, sermon prep, third-world Christianity, Lutheran traditions
- it provides a form of translation from modern to postmodern
- you may discover, like I did that you are postmodern stuck in a modern church that doesn't make sense

The first four chapters of the book are @ We'd love to get your feedback.

journey to solomon's porch

I'm hanging out at the Summer Institue at Solomon's Porch this week. So far it has been an awesome experience. Almost as amazing as how I got here.

A couple of weeks ago a friend at church sent me a link to the summer institute - "wouldn't it be cool if you could go?" Of course, but what about childcare & plane tickets & the guilt of leaving the family for a week...

So sometime in a conversation with my mom, I mentioned the conference as a passing dream. We have ties in Minneapolis, my aunt, uncle & cousin live there. My grandma happened to be recovering from surgery there.

Next thing I know my dad writes to say he'd be happy to come to VA and help watch the boy, so I can go (this is no small thing, it involves a plane trip from TX). One barrier down.

I checked and had some frequent flyer miles I could use. Another barrier down.

Ah, but the guilt hung on until I arrived. This is surely too much effort for little 'ol me. But I'm finding it's not too much and it's not just about me.

- I'm getting some amazing growth out of it and feeling closer to God
- My dad is getting some quality time with the boy and they are bonding
- I get to hang out with my 91 year old grandma, who is still sharp as a tack and vibrant
- I get to connect with aunts & uncles & cousins again

... and it's all priceless.