Monday, October 6, 2008

"Religulous" Review on Dan Kimball's blog

There is a great review of Bill Maher’s humorous new documentary film about religion, called “Religulous” on Dan Kimball’s blog. I would encourage Christians who are reformationally re-thinking Evangelical faith to go see the film and to read Kimballs review. Below is a brief portion of the the review.

vintage faith

“…Bill Maher is trying to show how "religion" in general is messed up and even very damaging (which it can be). He tries to make his point in a very, very humorous way. But it also was very predictable in what it covered. I have either listened to or read most of the arguments he made in the film, so what was in the film itself wasn't really new information...

…Although it was a humorous film, and although it raised great questions which need to be asked - it only showed a very one-sided perspective. Thus, to me it was a poor film journalistically as it misrepresented Christianity by only showing the extremes of it...

… A somewhat tender moment in the film actually was in the beginning when he was interviewing some attending a truck stop chapel. As he left he thanked them for "not being Christian, but being Christ-like". That was the best moment in the film to me. Maybe one day someone will make a movie called "Jesusology" or something and it will be a film done as professionally as this one in quality.”


Wednesday, October 1, 2008

Tuesday night "God" party in Miami

This is a group of young, church-drop-out, 20-something single Christians gather on a back patio in Miami with a group of truth seeking young agnostics and new age seekers to discuss God, the scriptures, ethics and morality.

we had a good time last night ... conversations continued after our serious discussion about authenticity, integrity, and transparency. You have to listen closely to the background conversation between Ruth (the girl in the white sweater) and her friends.

Sunday, March 16, 2008

"Jesus" in the eyes of people outside the church

This is a great Youtube video interviewing young people to ask them what they think about Jesus.

Saturday, March 8, 2008

A New Imagination for the Church?

I came across a good article by David Dunbar, president of Biblical Seminary, about the need for “A New Imagination for the Church” on his Missional Journal website.

Missional Journal

I am posting a few excepts below…I encourage you to go read the original article.

In the last issue of the Journal I suggested that the challenge
for Christians in the West is re-imagining the shape of the
church and its ministry in a post-Christendom environment
where it must function on the margins of (worldly) power.
What will such churches look like? Are there any obvious
patterns that will characterize their structure and function?

1. Missional is not McChurch
Since the 1990s the term "McChurch" has referred to a
consumer-oriented Christianity which pursues church growth
by offering more and better spiritual goods and services.
Sometimes the notion of franchising is even included, i.e. the
practice of marketing to the larger Christian community the
programs, practices, or strategies of churches regarded as
particularly successful.

The problem with this approach is that it is not
missiologically sound. It doesn't take into consideration the
fact that the medium and the way the message is presented
will vary, at least in emphasis, from one local context to the
next. Most Christians recognize the need for missionaries to
translate or contextualize the gospel in appropriate ways to
specific cultures--our churches need to do the same.

As the church confronts wide-spread cynicism about the
Christian message, the gospel displayed will give credence
to the gospel declared.

I don't want to argue for missional to the exclusion of all
attractional aspects of current church practice. Many people
are drawn to the church by good preaching, good programs,
and fine facilities. The problem is that 1) many of those
attracted (not all) will be disgruntled members of other
churches and 2) the percentage of the population who can be
reached in this way is rapidly shrinking.

In the culture of late modernity many churches adopted a
corporate model for leadership, decision-making, and
planning. Pastors became CEOs, elders (or deacons)
transformed themselves into corporation directors, and topdown,
vision-driven planning became the order of the day.

It is a sign of biblical-theological health that this paradigm
is being questioned in the missional church movement.

To read the entire original article, click on the link below.

Friday, February 22, 2008

"Friends" part 2

hi, this is part 2 of a series of postings on the friendship model of church life. I have several friends working with this model in Europe and the U.S. ~ Joseph

By Wayne Jacobsen
BodyLife • September 2007

This summer, however, I stumbled upon a definition that expresses the life of the church better than any I’ve yet run across. It crystallized in my thinking at a worldwide gathering of believers this summer and it has grown on me more ever since. Its application to a variety of settings seems to bear witness to its clarity as well as practicality. What is that definition? Simply I am coming to see the beauty of the church of Jesus Christ emerge in this day as “friends, and friends of friends.”

Now, I realize that needs a bit of explanation, so let me try.

An Example In Ireland
Those who read my blog or listen to The God Journey know I was part of an incredible gathering of believers this past June in Ireland. It was hosted by a number of people who have been living relationally around Dublin for almost 30 years. They were in the midst of forming a congregation in the 80s when God made it clear he hadn’t asked them to do so. They stopped meeting regularly, but continued to share the life of Jesus together as friends living alongside each other. They rarely all get together for a meeting, though it would also be rare if on any given day a number of them weren’t together in one way or another—sharing their journeys and helping each other.

This summer God brought together people from all over the world who are learning to live relationally in his family for a week of sharing life. People came from 10 different countries including Australia, New Zealand, South Africa, the United States and other countries in Europe. Most of those who came did not know each other beforehand, and many had never even been to Ireland before.

We spent the week together, beginning with a picnic on a Sunday in a field and ended in the same field the following Saturday with a barbecue. Nothing was planned beyond the meal for both of those occasions and the rest of the week we did not gather as a large group except to take a bus tour of that part of Ireland. But throughout the week in various homes and other venues pockets of people got together for meals, recreation, and conversation. By the end of the week we were blown away by all Father had accomplished without planning or scheduling any ‘ministry’ times. Friendships blossomed, deep issues discussed, insights shared and questions answered. We prayed together, cried together, and laughed together all the while watching Jesus emerge among us. Significant time was spent helping individuals through rough spots on the road through prayer and counsel. Friends and friends of friends could be together for a week and Jesus could accomplish all he wanted through that simple reality.

For the original article, click on this link:

Tuesday, February 19, 2008

Friends and Friends of Friends

Friends and Friends of Friends
By Wayne Jacobsen
BodyLife • September 2007

This is part 12 of an occasional series on Life in the Relational Church. Check our archive on-line for the previous articles in this series.

Since I first wrote The Naked Church twenty years ago now, I have searched for a definition of the church that encompasses her majesty and yet explains in simplicity who she is and how she functions in the world. At first I thought that could be answered in structural ways as I moved from the mechanics of large institutions into more relational structures, like cell groups, home groups, and house churches.

But it didn’t work out that way, for which I am incredibly grateful. Defining the church structurally has two problems. First, the life of the church is found in the affection and cooperation of people who are living in Christ. No structure guarantees that reality. In fact, smaller groups who practice performance-based religion are even more dangerous than larger ones who do. Second, these definitions were inherently divisive—excluding brothers and sisters who met in different structures and inculcating a false sense of superiority in those who think they have finally recaptured ‘the secret’ of New Testament church life.

For the rest of the article: go to

Sunday, February 10, 2008

Simple Church Movement

this video is good ... it shows that this 'out of the box' thinking is no longer quiet so pioneering but is becoming much more mainstream ... (click twice to view it)

there is, however, more than a small element of idealistic romanticism that one detects in the video ... As we have learned, it takes hard work...working at relationships. 20 years down the road all of the ugly warts and defects and human carnality of the "simple church" approach will be evident ... it is still going to take men and women who surrender their will and ego, and embrace the cross of Christ to coach and perfect the saints for the work of ministry ... it will still take apostles to start groups, help them multiply and reproduce, keep them from becoming isolated, or ingrown or even from veering off into error ... it will still take prophets, teachers, pastors and evangelists to equip and coach among the simple churches ...

nevertheless, I see this as a healthy corrective and we (in Princeton, FL along with our friends in Columbus, Oh) already have 4 to 5 years experience with it ... as we continue to work out the bugs ...

I hope you will contribute some comments for discussion....

Saturday, February 9, 2008

Fox News Miracle

This is a fascinating story of a cardiologist who prayed for a patient who's heart has been stopped for nearly 30 minutes ... Is this an example of the power of prayer? Watch the video and you decide. Click twice to see the video.

Wednesday, January 30, 2008

BWAB in Costa Rica

check out our friends in Costa Rica!