[Not what you (or I) expected. From the same series as Sex 202. Loving Terrorsaur]
I walk into the office and pull out the Elf on a Shelf that has been there since Christmas two years ago. I set it on a chair and sit down across from it.
Me: I feel ridiculous talking to a stuffed toy.Continue reading
This week on The Great Reset, Ernie argues that his apparent incompetence and immaturity is actually part of a brilliant plan to demonstrate the need for more Christ-like models of authority.
In this document, Ernie:
- Claims the authority structures he grew up with were built around the Law
- Acknowledges that they were (and are) necessary
- Believes those same structures hinder us from becoming mature in Christ
- Redefines The Great Reset in terms of searching for more robust authority structures built around Grace,
- Hopes that Season 5 shows us what that should look like
- Welcomes pointers, examples, suggestions, and corrections
- Apologizes to anyone he has confused, misled, or offended along the way
Draft 1, 14 Nov 2020Continue reading
How should members of Christ’s Body best relate to internal and external human authorities and institutions, in order to continually increase God’s Kingdom?Continue reading
We continue this Season’s focus on The Great Reset of Education at Tuesday 6/9, 1 PM Pacific. In particular, we are wrestling with hard questions of justice and repentance in light of the recent killing of George Floyd.
Question: How do we teach people where they need to repent?
- What should followers of Jesus condemn?
- What would that require us to tolerate?
- Judging others from a position of Power
- Judging behavior from a position of Authority
- Judging ourselves from a position of Vulnerability
Cast of Characters
In order of appearance
- Natalie Teeger, the Integrated Self (Spirit)
- Adrian Monk, the Manager
- Leland Stottlemeyer, the Protector
- Hope, the Exile
- The Light, Truth
- The Key, Forgiveness
I see a locked door. In a dark and scary place, like a monster movie. Big, iron, with crisscrossed chains and padlocks.
Natalie walks up holding a flashlight. Monk trails behind nervously.
Suddenly Stottlemeyer steps in front of them. His eyes are bloodshot, as if he has been drinking, crying, or not sleeping. Perhaps all three. He is holding his gun in two shaky hands. Pointed at them.
“I warned you not to come here,” he rasps in a hoarse voice.
Leadership is a perilous venture, for the very attributes that make leaders great also carry the seeds of our downfall.
But surprisingly, there is a very simple cure — albeit a very unpleasant one…
In Which We Withdraw From The World To Draw Near To God
The modern world considers solitary confinement and enforced silence as among the worst long-term punishments — with good reason; it is a terrifying thing to be cut off from the consolations and diversions of society. And yet, the very severity of that terror hints at the fertile spiritual soil to be uncovered when we deliberately cultivate time away from the distractions of ordinary human life…
Memory Verse: “Now when it was day, He departed and went into a deserted place. And the crowd sought Him and came to Him, and tried to keep Him from leaving them; but He said to them, ‘I must preach the kingdom of God to the other cities also, because for this purpose I have been sent.’ “ — Luke 4:42-43 (NKJV)
Richard Foster: Celebration of Discipline
- 7. Solitude
Donald Whitney: Spiritual Disciplines for the Christian Life
- 10. Silence and Solitude
Eugene Peterson: A Long Obedience in the Same Direction
- 7. Security: “God Encircles His People”
Ruth Haley Barton: Sacred Rhythms
- 2. Solitude: Creating Space for God
In Which We See God Creating His World, and Our Place In It
The overriding theme of our journey has been exploring what it means to be “baptized into the name of the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit.” Having dealt (however superficially) with the ontological aspects of that “name”, we now focus on the narrative aspects. In particular, we will focus on the arc of “creation corruption and redemption” found throughout scripture (and literature), as manifested through the persons of the Trinity. Starting with the Father, and Creation…
In Which We Discover The Persons Who Make up the Godhead, and How They Relate to Us
We believe in one God, consisting of one substance — one name, one identity, and one character — sometimes called the Godhead. Yet, that name is expressed through three distinct persons, as illustrated by the classic diagram on the left. Theologians use the term “Trinity” to describe this paradoxical mystery, which is explicitly described in the New Testament and often alluded to in the Old.
[Renumbering so we can start at 1, instead of 0]
In Which We Discover What God Looks Like, And Why Moses Wants to See More of Him
[NOTE: the official syllabus is now on the “Lead” page; this post is obsolete, but kept for the sake of historical continuity].
[Yes, I should probably have written this before the first lesson, but better late than never…]
In thinking about it, I ought to take my Curriculum one step further, and actually identify the passages and key learnings for each lesson. Not only will this help ensure I’m on the same page as my pastor, but it would enable others to write some of the lessons (since class starts on September 4th!).
I’ve also cross-referenced these lessons against two common systematic theology books:
- Wayne Grudem‘s condensed Bible Doctrine: Essential Teachings (under “Doctrine“)
- R. C. Sproul‘s classic of Reformed systematic theology, Essential Truths of the Christian Faith (pdf) (under “Essentials“).
In addition to providing a sort index to the topics covered, this allows students and teachers to use those as supplementary textbooks.
- Draft 1 – Sunday, 24th August
- Draft 2 – Tuesday, 26th August: Added “Doctrine” “Essentials” chapters for each lesson
- Draft 3 – Friday, 29th August: Added “Doctrines” chapters for each lesson
Still, it only takes me about four hours per class, which is two late night waiting-to-feed-Rohan sessions (assuming he behaves), so I should be able to keep up.
The real problem is that my lesson topics have gone in a completely different direction that originally envisioned. More, my pastor has a slightly different vision for how things should fit together. Given the time timeframes, it is essential we get on the same page (and stick to it, if possible).
Here’s my current vision for what is now being called “Theological Foundations”. Hopefully my pastor and I can converge on this syllabus soon (once he’s no longer busy with his new grandson 🙂
[Updated and ratified 8/19 with John Isaacs]
In Which We Discover God’s Call For Us As Leaders, And What Theology Has To Do With It
As a counterpart (or even prequel) to my previous article about “safety skills“, I wanted to identify those theological topics essential for lay leaders to understand. In particular, I believe lay leaders need a more concise and practical “boot camp”, in contrast to the multi-year “officer’s training school” provided in seminaries.
Another difference in focus is that I believe (along with the writer of Proverbs) that the goal of theological education is wisdom, not mere knowledge. That is, the goal is to cover a small number of essential issue in sufficient depth to enable people to make more godly decisions — not simply provide an intellectual overview of traditional topics.
Given all that, here is my best attempt at a minimal 12-week course that covers the heart issues of contemporary theology. What are your thoughts and suggestions?