Saturday, December 16, 2006

to remember the good times...(a look ahead to MN?)

So I was reading over at one of my favorite blogstops about this fantastic new piece of shoddy commercialized Christian junk...

Dad...are we going to remember and reflect on a wonderful childhood filled with Rocky movies when I get to MN by not only seeing the delightful new installment of boxing drama, but also could you get the leadership kit to walk us through the movie as a family to discuss its "Christian" values? Please?

Don't get me wrong, I used to watch Rocky 4 before soccer games my junior year of high school to get "pumped up" for games...I mean, nothing gets me more thrilled to play soccer than watching a completely over-matched American boxer single handedly defeat communism by whipping the steroid-taking giant boxer of communist Russia.

Are we Christians really that gullible? Should I even ask? In case you haven't seen the trailer yet...enjoy:

Thursday, December 14, 2006


We're down to the end of the semester, with class tonight and finals next week. Things never seem to quite slow down as much as you think they could or should...but I'm looking forward to being on the other side of next Thursday when I take my last final and turn in my Historical Theology paper on Origen and his method of biblical interpretation.

Two things I've come to realize thus far in Historical Theology I (which is the class where we study the development of theology and doctrine during the patristic time period, i.e. Augustine, Origen, Justin Martyr, Clement of Alexandria, Pelagius and many more) are:
1) I tend to enjoy studying the theologians and church leaders who were declared heretical on certain doctrines.
2) I think Pelagius got a bad rap.

I'm reading a lecture on Augustine's perspective on foreknowledge and predestination and it reminds me of all the great "conversations" that took place in college about this stuff. Really...reading all this stuff stirs up a desire to read more Eastern theologies...anybody know some good books? (I'm getting How (Not) to Speak of God by Pete Rollins for Christmas...which should be a good look at some apophatic theology.)

Wednesday, December 06, 2006

something in the water?

So in the last two days I've had some of the best conversations with students that are unlikely to discuss some of the following topics, that I've had since I've been here as youth pastor. One student who is home-schooled and comes from a rather conservative background and story, asked me point blank about my thoughts on the War on Terror and our president's actions regarding specifically the war in Iraq yesterday. And with this student, who rarely talks about much else besides Lord of the Rings, Star Wars, and role playing...we embarked on a journey of discovery of some of the great history in our Baptist tradition, our history as Christians, and the value of a prophetic voice and keeping a critical distance from power was amazing.

Tonight at youth there was a riled up time of prayer requests. One student asked that we pray for the mostly immigrant workers at the local psuedo-fast food place who he works with that he thinks work just as hard as his managers yet make thousands less dollars. This same student also prayed that as a church we would begin to become more doubtful and not just accept everything that is passed down to us, but that we would thoughtfully and generously question our beliefs so that we might be changed by our beliefs and perspectives. Also tonight, a different student asked that we pray for the leadership of our church, and that we might ask why people of other races and other sexes are not in places of leadership at our church. Wow.

Of course, another student (from this same home-schooling family) went on tonight to then talk about how God has a plan for everything, and when I raised some questions about this view, and pointed out how the church has never agreed on this...This student went on to say that she wasn't sure why I was the youth pastor (or possibly if I was even a Christian)if I didn't agree that God was "omnipotent" or "all-powerful" in the ways that she believed God to be all powerful and omnipotent. Oh well. I'm still glad to have the students talking for real...even if this doesn't happen all the time. It's nice to hear their voices...