Saturday, May 28, 2011
It is hard to believe that a guy, even a villain, that is responsible for the absolutely iconic cover you see below would be so hard to find images of, but there you have it - everybody likes to look at Copperhead, but nobody really cares about the character. Remember the "Serpent Society" we looked at a while ago? Well, Copperhead is one of the reasons it exists. Are you old enough to remember Billy Crystal's "Fernando" character from SNL - "It is better to look good than to feel good." That's what we got here. An empty suit that just begs for iconic covers.
The dumb blond of villains, Copperhead just looks too menacing to give up on completely, but then....
Coppsie does not operate alone much anymore and with good reason. They could send out Robin's younger cousin "Just Hatched" to handle this one - but he does look, really, really good.
Friday, May 27, 2011
Winning - Christian Style
Pastor Steven says "One of the biggest dangers that any church faces when trying to reach people who are far from God is comparing itself to other churches...It’s dangerous because if you want to reach other people for Christ, your competition isn’t other churches. It isn’t a matter of if you have better music than other churches. Better videos than other churches. Even better community than other churches. That’s not your standard of comparison.There is a lot to agree and disagree with about this. I agree, churches in general are not in competition with each other. The whole thing where we try to grow by being better than the church down the street so we can draw their people does nothing but kill churches.
Why? Because none of the people you are trying to reach are attending the church down the street, the megachurch across town, or even attending the online church in their underwear.
But when the church focuses on evangelism exclusively, at the expense of being the WHOLE church, there is danger.
The real point is the church should be huge and getting huger. [sic] And with that, if it is done well, should come a large variety of expression, theology, commitment, sacramental practice.... Some of the combinations of these things will be better liked and therefore have bigger churches than others - some churches will need to learn to be content with being not so big.
IT strikes me that those that want to pull the "whole church under one roof" are really little different than the Catholic Church just prior to the Reformation. They have confused earthly power for God's purposes. IT may not be the political power of Rome, instead it is the market power of the current era, but it's not that different a phenomena.
I don't know if it's funny, but it does make me hungry.
Thursday, May 26, 2011
The Church Must Do More Than PreachHis point is great as far as it goes:
There should be a time when people in the church can learn in a different environment with different rules. There should be a time when people can interrupt and ask tough questions. There should be a place where people feel free to object. There should be an atmosphere where people can express their doubts and struggles with doctrine without fear of being publically reprimanded. There should be a place where people can intellectually engage their minds at a different level.You know, sometimes I think small groups are just a way for the preacher to avoid confrontation and intellectual challenge.
I knew a marvelous preacher once - people came from far and wide to hear him - but if you put him in a Sunday school class, after he taught from his prepared text, and challenged him with question that pushed the envelope a little, he shut down. I had this experience when he was new to the church - he soon quit doing Sunday school classes. Years later I heard second hand that he had a new job granted on the basis of him completing a PhD in 5 years. I predicted at the time we would not get the job done because I knew he could never stand for orals. Five years later I heard he got a new job.
I understood him becasue I understood how very cool it is to stand in front of people and have them pay rapt attention. I know how cool it is to be so polished when you speak that people applaud. Feels fantastic - tempting to make a career out of it, even a low paying one - the other perks more than make up for it.
But the point of standing in front of people and talking is not to be heard - it's to instruct. We do not take in information at face, it must be integrated into what we already know, it must be systematized with the other information in our brains. It must be tested for its truth and validity - and it must be applied to our current circumstance.
And then there is the fact that it should alter our behavior....
Related Tags: Illuminated Scripture
Wednesday, May 25, 2011
Oh, Go Ahead, It's OK
Justin Taylor pimps a C.J. Mahaney "booklet" entitled Don't Waste Your Sports:
“I had the opportunity to glorify God in my sports,” C.J. writes, “and I fumbled it. I wasted my sports. You have the opportunity, by the grace of God, not to waste yours.”Plain and simple - God is glorified by WHO YOU ARE. If you are excellent at something, if you do that thing with good character bearing fruit of the Spirit God is glorified. You don't have to have "John 3:16" eye shade like Tim Teabow (Nothing wrong with it mind you but it does NOT mean Teabow glorifies God more than his devout linemen) You do not have to drop to your knees in thanksgiving after you score a touchdown (In fact Christ warns us in places against ostentatious public prayer) and you do not need to wear a cross around your neck that flies around hitting you opponent in the eye when you drive the lane.
Most of us participate in sports to enjoy the participation - God is glorified in the fact that we can enjoy anything. Think about it - The fruit of the spirit is love, joy, pe.... You mean, that to express joy is to glorify God? Yeah, uh-huh.
God sanctifies us, not what we do. Just as we are saved by faith not works, so it is with our sanctification - it's who we are when we do what we do, not what we do.
Tuesday, May 24, 2011
The Prophetic Voice
Live each day in repentance and trust in Jesus Christ and watch how God turns your mourning into joy, your gladness into sorrow, and your doubts into unshakeable faith in the One Who died and rose to make you new and to give you an eternal future with God! Amen!Mark rightly points out that Jeremiah's prophetic voice, often ignored becasue the message is so harsh, is really a voice of hope.
Hope becasue the call to repentance is not a call to wallow in our own shortcomings, but a call to sweep them off the table so that the great feast of Christ can be laid before us.
There is no good news without bad news, without both there would be only news. Yes, we are sinners - an inescapable fact. Salvation is here fore us, but only when we confront that fact, for if we do not confront it, if it is not real we have no need for salvation.
The prophetic voice is not harsh - it is the preaching of the gospel pure and simple.
Would that there were more prophets.
Monday, May 23, 2011
The Church Is "Missional," We Are "Attractional"
There’s been a big debate for awhile about missional and attractional churches, and recently the AND Conference posited that these two don’t have to be separate choices, but can coexist. I’ve been a part of both type of churches in the past, but never an “And” church. It looks like you’re not in the same boat as me.My headline says pretty much what I think about the issue proper, but as usual I see others things involved as well.
We spend so much time worried about "the church" and not much worried about ourselves. We join the church, we lead the church, we serve the church, we market the church, we position the church - we do a lot of church stuff. But in all of that we forget we are the church.
I am a political conservative, of that you can have no doubt. The free market tools of institution are the best economic and social tools in a world full of sinners.
But the church has different tools and an entirely different source of authority. Government and business exists to control people and to entice people. The church exists to change people.
Debates like "missional v attractional" miss the point of being the church. That's effective stuff for a sinful world - but the church exists to end a sinful world and usher in a world without sin. We operate on a completely different paradigm.
Think about it....