11 November 2007

open season

every now and again, i want to share some thoughts that will hopefully provoke some soul-reflection and culture-engagement. if you know me at all, you'll know that i enjoy a good argument ("oh i'm sorry, but this is abuse ...") - which doesn't mean that i like to get into emotionally charged conflict, but rather a solid no-holds barred evaluation of ideas and practices. if an idea, no matter how uncouth or unorthodox it may be, might be worth some consideration, i say let's give it the time of day. in the end we may all agree that it is a silly or bad idea, but there may be intrinsic value in trying to figure out 'why' or looking at what light it might shed on our own tightly held beliefs.

so just to get things rolling, here's a discussion that i participated in online with some other ministry provocateurs ... what is the goal of a Christian ministry? i've been in the church circles that promote that it's all about the 'decision' to give one's life to Jesus. so is that it? an exercise of the will that gives mental assent to a proposition about who Jesus was and what was accomplished by his death on the cross? does that define a Christian?

what if being a Christian is not so much about a set of assumed beliefs as it is about the trajectory of our life choices that fashion us more into the likeness of Jesus?

what if true Christianity is more about the kingdom transformations that we are effecting here and now than about the security of an (attractive) eternal destination point?

and what if the attempt to put the definition of "Christian" into a category is a violation of the essence of Christianity itself?

this, i believe, is truly a wrestling match worthy of pay-per-view.



  1. voo man...

    great stuff, my friend. i know you are pursuing a genuine call, and you know we're praying for you and anxious to see what it all looks like, feels like, and ends up being like. I know its going to reach people in ways that whatever else is going on hasn't.

  2. Meateor Man! Great blog, very insightful. I am looking forward to the thought provoking commentary and questions you have raised in your opening blogs. Very cool and I look forward to your existential shattering methodology.

  3. ok everybody - just don't get fooled into thinking that i'm smarter than i look.

    seriously, i simply wonder if those of us who profess to follow Jesus are more interested in becoming dispensers of 'answers' rather than facilitating environments that nurture healthy conversations.

  4. Hey man,

    It's interesting that Paul writes in Romans 8, Paul writes "For God knew his people in advance, and he chose them to become like his Son, so that his Son would be the firstborn among many brothers and sisters." We often take this verse and argue whether or not God has "predestined" some to heaven and some to hell.

    And yet, we rarely take that verse in its entirety and think "the point isn't whether or not God has chosen some and rejected others. The point is that God wants us to become like his Son." Looking at this as a Jewish principal being translated to a Roman audience, it lines up perfectly with the call of Jesus to his disciples: "Follow me, and I will be your rabbi. You can be just like me! I believe in you!"



  5. good call, pat -

    i think that the scriptures are peppered with references to the reality that 'being a believer' or a 'disciple' is very process-oriented. this weekend i'm going to be communicating a message reflecting on paul's words in 2 cor. 3.18 - "And the Lord - who is the Spirit - makes us more and more like him as we are changed into his glorious image."

    could it be that a sign of true faithfulness is greater and greater conformity to the likeness of Jesus?

  6. hey patrick

    existential sabotage -- i like it

    i have been playing with a lyric that i think runs in the vein of what you are saying

    "how would you feel if i told you,
    that i am unable to hold to
    the version of truth
    that we sold to
    the world?

    we all are in search of a saviour
    but the answer is not in behaviour
    or words that we say
    in just the right way
    to alter eternity."

    i think that what really matters is where i take my discontent both in the lyric but much more importantly in my life. the working title and hook phrase for the chorus is 'back to you'

    so there's my contribution to some existential sabotage