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Tim Keller on “Evangelism in the 21st Century” April 24, 2012

Posted by peterong in Christ and Culture, Tim Keller.
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Tim Keller speaking on the challenges of city work and evangelism. Love the part of the video when you hear the truck backing up. Ha…so urban.

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Powerless December 3, 2007

Posted by peterong in Christ and Culture, Rants.
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Here is my semi-weekly blog on some rants and things that came across. I got a “boycott” emails forwarded from a  “Christian” activists named Dr. Bryan Cutshall (who is he?) It was to address the atheist agenda that Golden Compass seem to be promoting. The the email mandates us with this bold statement:

“THIS IS A MOVIE THAT WE MUST PROTEST AND OPPOSE AS CHRISTIANS.”

It has been confirmed by snopes dot com that the upcoming movie “The Golden Compass” is a vision by the author to promote atheism for kids. It is also making its waves on youtube with calls to boycott the movie. Although I agree that we should be mindful of thematic and some dangerous overtones of films for children but as adults I think we can discern and make sound observations without being in danger of becoming an atheist.

Is this the whole Christian vision and mission to boycott a movie? Is that where our energies are to draft up letters so that we can feel protected by such sinister (yes I am being sarcastic) forces out there as a film with a white polar bear. Yet, we don’t really feel too empassioned when we watch films promoting violence, adultery or greed. Those we are fine with…because it stars our favorite stars from People magazine.

And we wonder why a city who sees our Christianity and conclude by saying we are “powerless.” Yet, when we look at the poverty in our own neighborhoods, the sex trafficking in our business districts, genocide in Sudan, and/or our overlooking of the violence in our poor communities. We don’t forward those call for our action.

I often say that being Christian is like being a Star Trek fan. The source materials is pretty amazing but the people who love it are a bit strange and you don’t really want to be associated with them. These “boycott” emails makes me question much is this about Jesus or the gospel but rather, when we are honest it is about our superiority. Our desperate clinging to be on the “winning” team. We love Focus on (not Jesus but) the Family ministries because they can help us find the next thing we can blame for our moral decline in our society.

Pastor Ro preached on the ministry of grace yesterday and I am haunted again. He reminded us that our greatest gift we have to give to the world is Christ and it is the distinct power of the gospel to show grace. To take our faith so seriously that we are willing to do more than push a “forward” button on our email’s but to move us to availing ourselves with possibly dying for others.

I receive another email about how Christians should not be doing Yoga from this article but I am too tired to go into it…or rather, it is not worth going into…there are so much more important things…no?

Waiting to Exhale October 19, 2007

Posted by peterong in Christ and Culture, Gays, Rants, Reflections, Uncategorized.
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It has been a time and trying to find time to pause. Sorry for my lapsing into these moments of deferment. today, i had my first sabbath in sometime. went to mulberry street public library for some reading and just browsing the bookshelves for some inspiration and a momentary lapse of care. no prayer. no meditation. just a simple jaunt through the pages of the New York Sun or the Daily News.

These past few days I am still haunted by my recent retreat at a Chinese church in  Boston. I spoke on a series of talks that I did at the New York Summer Conference this past summer called “Jesus Uncensored.” I talked about how within the confines of Christian and church culture, we have muted some of the most profound elements of our Christian faith. Most importantly, the issue of grace, radical inclusion, outward missional posture and the expression of faith through engagement not disengagement. I found there moments of great connection with several of the conferees as I shared about our concord with those around the world who are in need and how we need to shed some of our inwardness to reach to those around the world who are part of humanity. To see the scriptures as a missional statement for those in bondage, oppression and blinded by grief. Not to shape our theology to cater to our fears. To exclude or demonize those who are so in need of understanding the gospel. Of God’s good news…God’s desire for redemption.

Yet as the days went on, I realized that I need to walk in their shoes as they live in a state where there is an embattled fight regarding same-sex marriage. As I listened to the parents and how they didn’t want their kids to go to schools where there were gay principals. I was yearning to understanding why there was such a venom behind their words. Yet, as I have been reflecting on this issue, I am trying to be very careful about the implications of how this stance is so prevalent in our Christian communities. But I have to confess that there is very little said in scripture about this particular sin and it seems as if we take liberties to choose which are the sins that are of note. Yet, we don’t think twice about our Lord’s word of caution on when we use the word “fool” or when we miss the spirit of our call to be holy not simply for us to be “set apart” as righteous through our morality but by what Christ called to bring people the freedom of the gospel. Not license but a freedom that comes from transforming hearts…to see what is latent with this holy discontent…that in that holy discontent has a destination for our common desire for dignity.

We fail because the the scandal of grace says we are all in the same situation. I take comfort in that, becaus I begin to see that I am part of the problem. I wanted so much to say to them…some of us are more lost then others and the question is to what extent are we willing to what my good friend Hosive says…We are called to “carry the cross for others, not putting people on crosses”

But I realize that it is hard to carry that cross…especially when it comes to an embattled place…where children’s innocence are at stake and I confess, I want to understand more. I want to listen more. Perhaps that would have been wise…to listen, to find places of fear and supplant it with hope. Hope. Gospel hope.

Evangelical Author Puts Progressive Spin On Traditional Faith September 11, 2006

Posted by peterong in Christ and Culture, Emergent, Politics, Social Justice.
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an interesting article that was featured in the Washington Post…Emergent Church Movement personality Brian Mclaren is much referred to in this article…enjoy!
By Caryle Murphy
Washington Post Staff Writer
Sunday, September 10, 2006; A01

Lyndsay Moseley was no longer inspired by the evangelical Christian faith of her youth. As an environmental activist, she believed that it offered little spiritual support for her work and was overly focused on opposing abortion and gay marriage.

Then the 27-year-old District resident discovered Brian D. McLaren of Laurel, one of contemporary Christianity’s hottest authors and founding pastor of Cedar Ridge Community Church in upper Montgomery County.

“He always talks about the environment as a priority when he talks about the church being relevant to the world,” Moseley said. “He’s leading a [spiritual] conversation that needs to happen,” one that “I’ve been hungry for.”

McLaren has emerged as one of the most prominent voices in an increasingly active group of progressive evangelicals who are challenging the theological orthodoxy and political dominance of the religious right. He also is an intellectual guru of “emerging church,” a grass-roots movement among young evangelicals exploring new models of living out their Christian faith. (more…)

Faith Without Foundations August 3, 2006

Posted by peterong in Christ and Culture, Christian News, Emergent.
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This is an article I found on the Weekly Standard website which gives another critique of the emerging church movement (he calls it Kool-Aid)…chime in folks…

by Jim Tonkowich, president of the Institute on Religion & Democracy.
July 26, 2006
For those who are shocked by the crack-up of the Episcopal Church, let me explain: The answer was on a T-shirt I saw last month while traveling to the Presbyterian Church USA General Assembly in Birmingham and the Episcopal Church General Convention in Columbus. It read, “I’m Making It Up As I Go.” Exactly.

Both denominational meetings were characterized by division, polarization and discord as conservatives and liberals attempted to discern and approve God’s will on issues ranging from divestment from companies doing business with Israel to gay clergy to the doctrine of the Trinity (“Mother, Child, and Womb”?). As left and right argued their cases, the real issue emerged. It is not the opposing opinions on assorted overtures and resolutions that divide left and right; it is the underlying understanding of truth, and how we know it. (more…)

FIRST-PERSON: The myth of the apolitical evangelical August 2, 2006

Posted by peterong in Christ and Culture, Christian News, Emergent, Politics.
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Found this on the net from the Baptist Press News website by Russell D. Moore. Mr. Moore is dean of the school of theology and senior vice president for academic administration at Southern Baptist Theological Seminary in Louisville, Ky.…He has an interesting response to the NY Times article regarding Dr. Boyd’s church…especially his little ribbing at Brian Mclaren. Let the comments flow!

By Russell D. Moore
LOUISVILLE, Ky. (BP)–The New York Times recently featured a front-page story on the members who have left Woodland Hills Church in suburban St. Paul, Minn., over Pastor Gregory Boyd’s denunciation of “politics.” The Times headline summarized the story, �Disowning conservative politics, evangelical pastor rattles flock.

Some of the things Boyd renounces in the article are well worthy of renunciation. Some churches have too closely aligned the Kingdom community with one particular nation-state or political party, that is true. But the article also leaves murky, as does Boyd’s new book (“The Myth of a Christian Nation”) on the subject, how the church plans to challenge prophetically such social and state-sponsored evils as abortion. (more…)

Democracy and Its Discontents: Religion and the Underside of Pacific Asian North America August 2, 2006

Posted by peterong in Asian American, Asian American Church, Christ and Culture, Politics, Social Justice.
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APAARI 2006

August 3-5, 2006
Haas School of Business, University of California at Berkeley

After two gatherings in the Chicago area, the Asian Pacific Americans and Religion Research Initiative (APARRI) returns this year to the San Francisco Bay Area. The 2006 conference, to be held August 3-5 at the University of California at Berkeley, will be APARRI’s eighth, again bringing scholars from the social sciences and humanities together with scholars from the theological disciplines and leaders of faith communities for engagement around issues of Asian American and Pacific Islander religion. (more…)

Holy Toledo July 31, 2006

Posted by peterong in Christ and Culture, Politics.
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ohio

I was referred by Rage about this New Yorker Article…Ohio Gozai it maitz!!

HOLY TOLEDO

by FRANCES FITZGERALD

Ohio’s gubernatorial race tests the power of the Christian right.

Pastor Rod Parsley stood on a flag-bedecked dais on the steps of Ohio’s Statehouse last October and, amid cheers from the crowd below, proclaimed the launch of “the largest evangelical campaign ever attempted in any state in America.” A nationally known televangelist and the leader of a twelve-thousand-member church on the outskirts of Columbus, Parsley had gathered a thousand people for the event, and attracted bystanders with a multimedia performance involving a video on a Jumbotron and music by Christian singers and rappers broadcast so loud that it reverberated off the tall buildings south of the Statehouse. TV crews from Parsley’s ministry taped the event. “Sound an alarm!” he boomed. “A Holy Ghost invasion is taking place. Man your battle stations, ready your weapons, lock and load!” In the course of the performance, Parsley promised that during the next four years his campaign, Reformation Ohio, would bring a hundred thousand Ohioans to Christ, register four hundred thousand new voters, serve the disadvantaged, and guide the state through “a culture-shaking revolutionary revival.” (more…)

Disowning Conservative Politics, Evangelical Pastor Rattles Flock July 30, 2006

Posted by peterong in Christ and Culture, Politics.
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By LAURIE GOODSTEIN

New York Times

Most members of Woodland Hills Church near St. Paul stayed after the Rev. Gregory A. Boyd urged an end to sexual moralizing and military glorification and said America should not be proclaimed a “Christian nation.”

MAPLEWOOD, Minn. — Like most pastors who lead thriving evangelical megachurches, the Rev. Gregory A. Boyd was asked frequently to give his blessing — and the church’s — to conservative political candidates and causes.

The requests came from church members and visitors alike: Would he please announce a rally against gay marriage during services? Would he introduce a politician from the pulpit? Could members set up a table in the lobby promoting their anti-abortion work? Would the church distribute “voters’ guides” that all but endorsed Republican candidates? And with the country at war, please couldn’t the church hang an American flag in the sanctuary?

After refusing each time, Mr. Boyd finally became fed up, he said. Before the last presidential election, he preached six sermons called “The Cross and the Sword” in which he said the church should steer clear of politics, give up moralizing on sexual issues, stop claiming the United States as a “Christian nation” and stop glorifying American military campaigns.

“When the church wins the culture wars, it inevitably loses,” Mr. Boyd preached. “When it conquers the world, it becomes the world. When you put your trust in the sword, you lose the cross.” (more…)

Barack Obama “Call to Renewal” Keynote Address July 27, 2006

Posted by peterong in Christ and Culture, Politics.
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obama

‘Call to Renewal’ Keynote Address

Wednesday, June 28, 2006

Washington, DC

Good morning. I appreciate the opportunity to speak here at the Call to Renewal’s Building a Covenant for a New America conference. I’ve had the opportunity to take a look at your Covenant for a New America. It is filled with outstanding policies and prescriptions for much of what ails this country. So I’d like to congratulate you all on the thoughtful presentations you’ve given so far about poverty and justice in America, and for putting fire under the feet of the political leadership here in Washington.

But today I’d like to talk about the connection between religion and politics and perhaps offer some thoughts about how we can sort through some of the often bitter arguments that we’ve been seeing over the last several years. (more…)