Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Frank Viola interviews Scot McKnight

I wanted to call your attention today to a couple of great blogs to which I subscribe, as I find each of the authors provide some great insights into the Scriptures as well as interacting with modern evangelical thought.  Frank Viola's interview with Scot McKnight allows McKnight to respond to some questions that have arisen about his book, The King Jesus Gospel.  I hope you'll click on the link above to read the interview.

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Annie Dillard quote

I’ve been seriously pondering something I read last week and referenced in the previous post.  The imagery of the quote has been bouncing around in my head for several days.  It’s from a book by Annie Dillard entitled, Teaching a Stone to Talk.  She asks the penetrating question about our worship, “Does anyone have the foggiest idea what sort of power we so blithely invoke?”  In other words, do we approach worship with a ho-hum attitude and no expectation of God actually showing up?  Her response is that if we really took seriously what we say we believe, we should all be wearing crash helmets—and ushers should issue life preservers and signal flares and lash us to the pews. 

I’m not advocating chaos and disorder, for Paul writes in 1 Cor. 14:40 that all should be done properly and in an orderly manner.  And yet, I can’t help wondering what a difference it would make if we entered into worship in a spirit of expectancy, anticipating that God would meet us in all of His power and majesty.  Psalm 22:3 says that God inhabits or is enthroned upon the praises of His people.  As we praise Him in spirit and in truth, we can anticipate His power and presence to be displayed among us.  May it be so this and every week as we gather to worship Him!

Thursday, February 16, 2012

Worship at Gate A-3

Let me encourage you to read this piece from Bill Wilson about an experience of worship he had at an airport as a family gathered to receive the body of their military son who died in Afghanistan.  You might want to make sure you have a Kleenex or handkerchief at hand.

I was reading along in the article, still caught up in reflecting on the quote from Annie Dillard about churches needing to pass out crash helmets at the door and install seat belts in the pews if we were really serious about what we say we believe regarding worship, when Wilson shifted his focus to his experience of worship at Gate A-3 in the Charlotte airport.  I wasn't quite prepared for the emotional impact of reading about what he witnessed, but I'm grateful that he shared these thoughts.

Tuesday, February 07, 2012

A Symphony Performed by Misfits

The title of this blog post comes from a blog by Ian Ebright on the Red Letter Christians blog.  The final paragraph of that post reads as follows:

"The body of Christ is not intended to be a singular noise hummed by perfect people, but rather a full symphony performed by misfits, and that’s going to include some subtle tones that take a little extra effort to hear, and some sour notes that are initially uncomfortable. But God is speaking, also through people and in ways that we may not prefer."

You've probably heard the old adage that describes the church as a hospital for the broken and ill.  I really like the imagery suggested by Ebright of a symphony performed by misfits, and the notion that we must make special efforts to ensure that everyone's voice (or musical notes in this context) is heard.  Sour notes may be sounded, but that's preferable to excluding some from playing in the orchestra.  The body of Christ is rich in its diversity, and is enriched spiritually when all of its members join in the song.