Tuesday, November 30, 2004

the Word on the Street

It's not every day I'm going ot do advertisemenst for Zondervan, but click on the title link to see Rob Lacey, a theatre preformer who has created a Bible paraphrase that is able to be acted out. I got a DVD at the convention and it has some clips on it - very cool.

It's like the message, or the NCV, but a step further. The coolest part is that he says revelation sounds like John was on drugs. That is so true...

Calmed Down...

So it's been a week since I've returned and I'm much calmer now. The most frustrating part of my life right now is helping people distinguish between posmodernism the Christian marketing machine fad, and postmodernism the real cultural shift that is going on in western culture.

Bruce Mau, center for massive change, was on Charlie Rose last night, but I went to bed b/c the questions were boring.

I will likely go out and get his book though, mostly because he uses the word manifesto in the title.

Many posts are going to have to be done in order to keep up from the NYWC and the expansion of me that went on there - so...

Sunday, November 21, 2004


It's all I can do to keep from swearing.

In a nice, holy kind of way.

I'm at the National Youth Worker's Convention (a YS product!) and I can't get through a single theory session without hearing about postmodernism (henceforth referred to as poshizzle). The problem I have is that most of the mentions are talking about the fad that comes after seeker-sensitive (henceforth reffered to as la grand crapola - who's not a seeker).

I use the term in the sense of what comes after the last FIVE HUNDRED years of th development of the modernist system. It's not a fad - it is where I live.

Also -

I went to a reimagining youth ministry forum - dang - there's a lot of YP's who don't have their poshizzle together. A lot of the stuff that they suggested I already believe and practice. Not that I am the next DF, but I ain't no joke.

Alright - also - if you are a student reading this, comment on what you thought of the last Wednesday night - i'D LOVE TO see some reflections to match with

Live from ATL - James <><

Monday, November 15, 2004

Listen, for the life of your soul is at stake!

Isaiah 55:3, The Living Bible

I somehow got a pre-release copy of a Leonard Sweet book. I copied it to word and printed it, I don't know how I got it - it seems to be a rought draft of an entire book! It is a book on leadership that examines Ernest Shackleton on his expeditions to and around the Antarctic. He seems to have been an inspiring and brave leader, whose story has much to teach leaders today. If you hate to read, you can pick up the movie, Endurance.

From what I can tell it's the book Summoned to Lead, which you can buy at Wal-Mart by clicking on the title link. This is the first Sweet book I have ever read and have since purchased another, Aqua Church, but it's a little down on my list.

Here are the interesting quotes from this rough draft of this book.

"the words 'ear' and 'wisdom' are the same in Sumerian."

"In postmodern culture ther is a new respect for 'losers' and 'successful failures' --those who didn't quite achieve their dreams, but generated a story in the quest."

"One of the reasons Shackleton 'failed' was because relationships were more important to him than achievement, colleagues more important than conquests and campaigns."

"Every person decides whether to leave footprints that will last beyond a lifetime, or that will sink in the sands of time."

"You don't lead. no one does. You only exercise leadership."

"The voice of a leader communicates truth beyond words, turth that sometimes goes beyond even the comprehension of leaders themselves. Leaders are those for whom voice- even more than words - is a way of life."

"You fight until hell freezes over. Then you fight on the ice." -Quoting US Senator Richard Russell

"perhaps sometimes it is best to be blind, so one can see the way things really are, and not be blinded by the way they look." -Quoting William Wharton

"Hire attitude and aptitude. Train for skill."

"[Jim] Collins describes such ['great'] leaders as 'modest and willful, shy and fearless.' These people 'llok in the mirror' to apportion blame for poor preformances, and 'look out the window' to credit success. These leaders have ambition, 'first and foremost for the company and concern for its success ranter than for [their] own riches and personal renown.' "

"Why pay people to work if you can't celebrate their work?"

"Men wanted for Hazardous Journey. Small wages, bitter cold, long months of complete darkness, constant danger, safe return. Honour and recognition in the case of success." --legendary Shackleton advertisement by Shackleton for 1914 Antarctic expedition

"People will put in time for a job; people will give their lives for a mission."

"We have as a Pilot one who sleeps in the back of boats."

"books have become cigars for the brain."

"Intuition comes to those who are prepared."

Wednesday, November 10, 2004

Bruce Mau Design

Here's a neat-o thing I've been pondering over - It's from a Toronto design company who are seemingly very progressive. It's called and Incomplete Manifesto for Growth.

I'd print it here, but that would make two superflously long posts and that doesn't jibe (mad props to TJ) for me.

In other news...

Monday, November 08, 2004

Christian Marketing Machine is Killing Kids

**Parental Advisory: This post contains possible sacrilegious material. Reading this is done at your own risk.**

It's true! The machine simply is a business, not some kind of "ministry", that is killing children. They present a Jesus that is part action star and part self-help psychotherapy counselor. That kind of image simply won't hold up. They give a false representation of Jesus and then reality hits and kids realize that Jesus is really calling people to a revolutionary way of living, not to Christian music festivals.

To illustrate my point, here are two t-shirts that Christians can buy

Does anyone actually think that Jesus' pecs were that large? He was a carpenter, not a steroid enhanced world's strongest man competitor! Come on! When Jesus was on the cross, he did not picture your face, nor mine - he was freaking dying the most painful death they could imagine - if you think he was pondering life's mysteries...try pushing a nail through your hands.

How can you be proud to be a Christian? That is like sinning to say that you don't sin anymore!! Who are you that wears this? W.

Further, I quote Mike Yaconelli, from an article called "Youth Ministry Rant" from the March/April 2002 issue of YouthWorker Journal...

Ever have a bad day? Well, I'm having one, so I thought I might start ranting. Dennis Miller does it all the time on HBO, so why can't I? After forty-two years in youth ministry, let's get ready to rant!

Is it just me, or are you tired of seeing grown adults with their hats on backwards?

Am I crazy, or does it bother anyone else that Christian music has an army full of pubescent, immature, dysfunctional little kids giving concerts and telling this generation of young people what Christianity is all about? Isn't it a bit weird to have a fourteen-year-old spiked-haired misfit telling other fourteen-year-olds how to live life when they live it in a tour bus?

Does the world really need Christian T-shirts?

Can’t we think of another word besides "extreme?"

I’m going to go crazy if I hear one more youth group going, "Give me a J; give me an E…"

What is it about the word "fire" that people in youth ministry like so much?

Has anyone seen a tattoo that actually looks good?

Can someone please explain to me what breaking a stack of bricks with your head has to do with Jesus?

Can anyone explain Carmen to me?

Can anyone explain Tulsa to me?

Can anyone explain The Prayer of Jabez musical to me?

What is with this new breed of youth workers who look like MTV clones but act like fundamentalists?

Remind me again why shaking the video camera while filming is cool?

Doesn’t it bother anyone that many older kids drop out, most of whom never to return to church and abandon their faith regardless of what techniques or programs we use?

What is the deal with Christian colleges, anyway? Shouldn’t they be graduating students who are revolutionary, anti-institutional, anti-cultural extremists? Isn’t anyone else upset that most of our Christian colleges are graduating compliant, materialistic, irrelevant students who don’t have a radical bone in their bodies? Who will push the envelope in the generations to come?

Why is it youth groups never go to the opera, art museums, jazz festivals, ballet, modern dance recitals, art shows, poetry readings, professional theatres, or lectures?

Do we really believe it helps young people to tell them that September 11th was actually the beginning of a revival?

Why does youth ministry worship thin, gorgeous, buff, cool, hot, sexy, beautiful people?

Explain to me what a "Christian Festival" is and why we need them?

Why would anyone who understands the Gospel encourage young people to play sports in America?

Why would anyone who understands the Gospel tell young people that God wants them to be winners, all-American, first, and top of the class?

Remind me again why we pray at football games. Does God really care who wins? Or loses?

Why are so many youth ministries concerned with putting on programs no one remembers?

Why do so many youth ministries spend all their time talking about God instead of helping young people experience God?

Do youth ministers really believe that "big" (as in big youth groups, big events) matters to God?

Sometimes I worry that Jesus has left the youth ministry building…and no one’s noticing.

Thank God, kids remember their relationships more than they remember programs.

Thank you, Jesus, that you've always worked through the small, the broken, the powerless.

Thank you, God, that you find a way to chase young people into the Kingdom, in spite of all the frivolous programs, institutional obstacles, and silly youth ministry stuff that often chase young people away.

Thank you, Father, that you tolerate our egos, put up with our neediness, ignore our fascination with what doesn't matter, and still find a way to use us to draw young people into your presence.

Thank you, most of all, that you're a God who’s big enough to even ignore our rants

It's a good ending to that article. You can find it at youthspecialties.com. Hopefully the Christian Marketing Machine kills itself eventually and we can become as good of Christians as our brothers and sisters in Indonesia, China, Russia, Iran...

And that's all I have to say about that.

Tuesday, November 02, 2004

E.M. Blaiklock, The Archaeology of the New Testament

This is a really fab. book - I didn't underline anything because I didn't see it as a life-changing book - it was full, however, of background and contextual information. It had an especially great examination of Pontius Pilate's political career. The book is out of print, but available at used book stores, one of which is available in the title link. Why are good books ever out of print?

I have been working into my definition of turth that truth only exists in context. That mean there is no such thing as absolutely abstract, objective truth. I think this may make some people nervous....but it makes sense. Jesus was the truth - he was not a statement or a policy. He was a man in the context of men who brought them himself, which was/is the same as bringing the truth.

Truth...it's a tough one if you aren't going to tow the company/christianity line of absolute truth.