Saturday, June 30, 2012

"Affirming Inspiration"


I wrote a piece on how persons in the Church of the Nazarene think about Inspiration and "How" the Bible "came to be."

Linked here by it's title: "Affirming Inspiration"

It's short - by the requirements provided to me - but I think it gets at the key issues - while affirming the need to read and study more to discern the complexity of the historical issues involved in how the Bible came to be.

"We may not have all the answers to 'how' the Bible came to us, but we can still celebrate its revelation of all things necessary to our salvation."

"The Bible is an intricate, complex, and beautiful document. When we read it we are only seeing the final product of an even more complex history."

In Holiness Today - from - June 2012.

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

James K. A Smith says

"We cannot hope to re-create the world if we are constantly reinventing “church.” Instead, we will reinvent ourselves right out of the story. Liturgical tradition is the platform for imaginative innovation."

Something to think about from DUKE's Faith and Leadership.

Saturday, June 09, 2012

It's time to NOT rethink everything

Back in October 2011, I posted on the news then, that Neutrinos traveled faster than the speed of light.

Since that time, many things have happened. 

It's appropriate that I note the human, technical, machine failure that lead to that revelation then - now fully confirmed, as error.


Things still force us to rethink what we have known before and I like being open to the possibility of surprise in our "4% Universe."

Friday, June 08, 2012

Wisdom Networks & The Dip

I like the idea behind the book, The Wisdom Network.  The premise is quite simple.  Traditional hierarchical leadership operates - more or less - in top-down or bottom up channels.  But, various persons from within separate organizational structures might share keen insight and "wisdom" into numerous ideas or processes - if these persons would be enabled to collaborate and connect outside of the organizational flow-chart.  "Companies already have plenty of effective project teams.  What they lack are these highly innovative and diverse networks."  (p. 11)  Categories of traditional project teams - set over against Wisdom networks are outlined on pages 16-17 - and the rest of the book creates a framework for how these wisdom networks can be fostered. 

The book is an attempt to get away from the "silos" that operate within so much of corporate and business structure - where persons contain (hide/hoard) their local knowledge and do not share it. 

The book has much to offer in the way of ideas - which are great - but they are presupposed on the idea that the corporate culture (business or whatever) has enough trust and support to actually make it work.  Networks do not develop, it seems to me, within (or between) groups of people where mistrust and deceit or being taken advantage of takes place.  In fact, networks best function within mutual relationships of shared accountability and shared solidarity and shared effort.  The ideas in this book are great - if only the larger culture exists to allow for the framework of networks that they articulate. 

It seems to me that the only way the ideas in this book can take hold is if the leader(s) of the company/network/business can genuinely be trusted.

Great ideas from the book - if the correct culture already exists to put into practice their insight.


I like Seth Godin.  I read his blog posts weekly - if not more often.  He's got keen insight.

This book - like so many of his books - The Dip encapsulates a really simple idea - spread out over many pages.

"We fail when we give up too soon."  "We fail when we get distracted by tasks we don't have the guts to quit." 

The dip is the time in life when one is tempted to give up.  But, if a person persists beyond (or through) the dip - and presses forward, there is the possibility for success.  "We succeed when we do something remarkable," says Godin.  "We succeed when we are the best in the world at what we do [having persisted through the Dip.]"

That's it.

Quit what is unimportant to you.
Stick with what is important to you.

Organizational Health

I finished reading Patrick Lencioni's The Advantage.

Like so many modern books on business and leadership - the book can be quickly summarized in a few points.  The book itself narrates numerous stories to illustrate the truths of these points.

In truth, the core of the book is summarized - for all intent and purposes - in these links provided at the Table Group's website:

Their Organizational Health Model

I've worked in the Church and in Church based Universities for my professional career.  By virtue of a commitment to the mission of Christ - and by virtue of the hybrid nature of leadership that is diffuse among various campus realities (Schools within Universities, Department Leadership vis-a-vis Deans vis-a-vis Administrators) - the organizations I've worked in do not fit the same type of organizations that Lencioni describes.

Nevertheless, I still wish I could work in an organization - or within organizations - that had the clarity & vision & openness & vulnerability & accountability & trust that Lencioni articulates.  I would love to sign up for leadership in an organization to help it develop in these ways!

Even though you can "read" the book's data in the links I've provided, I still recommend the book for it's stories that "flesh-out" the concepts.

Thursday, June 07, 2012

Does not jive with the lifestyle of Jesus - it seems to me

If you preach, "To the atheist watching this telecast, if our belief in God offends you, move. . . . I don't care about the atheist" as John Hagee has recently done - you seem to have misunderstood the inclusive, hospitable language of God's love for the world embodied in the "good news" of self-giving love extended in lived-out-discipleship.

Or so it seems to me.

Wednesday, June 06, 2012

I don't fit in

I don't fit in.

I just spent an hour reading tweet after tweet and status-update after status-update  of persons commenting on how Oklahoma City's NBA team, the Thunder, won the Western Conference - and is headed to the NBA finals.

I don't get the "'our' boys" and "'our' team" and "'we' beat them" mindset. 

I played team sports - and know what it means to be part of a team, but it's not "our team" - it's a bunch of players that - well, "play" a ball game - and a bunch of them that, truth be told, do it for the love of the game, no doubt - but play for the pay-cheque.  They don't play for "me" or "us" - they play for themselves.  And, they're "players" after all.  They play!

Thousands - tens of thousands of dollars will be spent on game shirts - just tonight - and in these coming days.  That doesn't include hundreds of thousands, even millions of dollars spent on other sports team paraphernalia, tickets to games, travel for persons committed to see the games live, food concessions and alcohol concessions for games.

What's got me worked up tonight is the fact that a local, big church worship pastor had multiple tweets about thanking "GOD" (yes, all caps) for this "blessing" of a win.

I feel quite confident that God - the One affirmed in Scripture - does not care about an NBA team (or NFL, or NHL, or MBA, or College . . . or . . .)

I feel quite confident that God does not partner with athletic events. 

I feel quite confident that God doesn't want persons spending on "merchandise" that trends for a time while issues of sustainable justice never get traction!

Mind you.  Please.  I am not holier than thou!  I am not perfect.  I do not think God is against "play" nor sport nor fun nor enjoyment.


God sides with justice and equitable acts of kindness and charity that lift up the poor.

God sides with benevolent care extended to those in need.

God sides with our attempts to embody the Love of the Kingdom of God.

I won't list here the crimes, plunder, violence, hurt, terror that is being reported that we know of . . . because the list would be too long to note.  But, it seems to me that God would have us to be more concerned with these issues - than with the "play" of a "game." 

I wonder how many Believers in my local community could tell me the score of the game from tonight - while being clueless to how man nations and places and people are in turmoil - locally, nationally, and worldwide - in the news right now! 

I like sports.  I enjoy a good game.


For me, the fanaticism with the game, and the team and the hype of "our" "win" in this season, does not make sense when it is set over against issues of justice and peacemaking that need Christian attention and Christian focus.

I don't fit in.

It's just a game - while, in the world health, wholeness, sustainability, care, kindness, generosity, peacemaking, and justice should be the "hype" of reasonable people everywhere.

I don't fit in as a fanatical Thunder fan - I think and hope, because my allegiance is with a 1st Century Galilean peasant.

I dare to believe that the life of all people in the world would be radically different, if Christians everywhere focused away from the "team" and toward the Kingdom.

I dare to believe that the life of all people in the world would be radically different, if Christians everywhere focused their fanatacism on self-giving love for the sake of loving the world.