Mark Driscoll and Bill Hybels

I know this topic is already storming on Christian blogs.  I bet I am a little late to the discussion because I took a break from the internet this weekend.  I did see Mark’s post on his blog and found it to be pretty calm and rational.  You can clearly tell that he has someone editing his stuff now, which is a good thing.  I do not want to write a major novel on this topic, because it make my blood pressure boil but I do want to point out a few things.

1.  Christians should really question how we will be able to engage in winsome, generous, friendly dialouge with un-believers.  I am once again saddened and discouraged by the manipulative, unthoughtful responses to this whole issue I have seen on blogs.  Things such as, “well MD has been a jerk in the past so he deserves it,” or “firestorms seem to follow MD so it is once again his fault.”  Both of these lines of reasoning are ridiculous and betray people’s inability to step outside of their prejudices and think critically about a situation.  All of this to say if we slaughter and unfairly malign a fellow believer because we do not like their theology, how do we discuss issues like abortion, morality, marriage, truth with those who hate Christianity?  I just do not get it.  All of this is highlighted by my second point.

2.  Even remotely implying, insinuating, or even whispering about gender issues in Evangelical circles will bring great condemnation by someone.  This issue just always has a way of flaming up and out of control.  For some people this issue just blinds them, and once they hear anything about it they go nuts, and lose all ability to think and listen.  It is like talking race with Al Sharpton; once he hears a few key words he just shuts down and goes into ideologue mode.

It is sad especially in this situation, since Driscoll was not even talking about Egals/Comps he was just speaking about church planting.  Granted, his understanding of church planting has a built in framework of Complementarianism, but his primary point was talking about what he believed it took for a church plant to thrive.  And from what I understand this is exactly what all of the speakers were asked to do at the conference; give their advice and wisdom on what it took to plant a church.  I just wish people could calm down with this stuff and realize that Driscoll was not even in the same time zone at the time and simply made a short sermon video on church planting, not because he wanted to propagandize to a bunch of church planters, but because he was ASKED to by the directors of this conference.  I would say shame on the directors of this conference for inviting someone to present their ideas, and then censoring them just because one of the other speakers did not like what was said.

3.  Last what Hybels did was wrong.  No I am not a “Whatever Driscoll says is right, and I can not think for myself kool-aid drinker” and those that play this card are just looking for a way to make people who disagree with them feel marginalized like a little lemming.  Anytime you take someone’s main point and extrapolate out of that something they did not say, or do not even believe then you are being unfair and misleading as to what they really believe.  Just think back the last time you had a fight with your spouse and one of you latched on to one phrase and turned it into something it was not.  Driscoll was talking about church planting, not spiritual gifts and how they relate to genders.  Besides even that is a misrepresntation of the complementarian/egalitarian issue.  Since it is not an argument of GIFTS but OFFICE.  Hybels has been around the block long enough, and is smart enough to know the difference.

Last Last point.  “The in the same building test”  I absolutely believe that if Driscoll had spoken in person, right before Hybels and they had been in the same green room before and after, Hybels would not have been so quick to utter his remark.  I call this the “in the same building test” much of this applies to blogging, things that are said on blogs would not often be said over a cup of coffee.  So if you want to quickly jump to the defense of Hybels I would just ask you to think about if Driscoll and been present would Hybels been so quick to throw this comment out there?  Maybe but it would have taken a lot more gall to go backstage afterward and look him in the eye.

Ask And You Shall Recieve

Here it comes…

Okay I promise to drop this issue for the time being but I could not help but link to it for the time being.  I also was going to post on the grille/beer thing that Matt did like a month ago and never got around to it.  So last night I went to a Rockies game, not so much because I like the Rockies but because Coors Field is one of the best ballparks in the world.  Anyway, it gave my heart a great stirring as all around me I saw millions of depraved people paying six bucks for cheap, nasty, light beer.  This is truly a sign that the end times are near.  Person after person who walked by me, had one in each hand.  This means that many were spending more on this cheap dirty beer than they were on their game tickets.  Or this could just be a massive indictment on how horrible the Rockies are.  Needless to say, I loved going down to LoDo last night with 70 degree temps, and a playoff Nuggets game going on and a Rockies game.  I must admit I love living here in Colorado.

web wednesday

ipod toilet

Actual quote from the website:

Some visits it’s “Splish Splash I Was Taken A Bath” and at other times “The Long And Lonesome Road” seems more appropriate. I’ll let you figure out how I match my activity to the song.

I know you cannot wait to go out and get one.

HT: graceful flavor

“Stress-Free Productivity”

I love David Allen. I love his great book: Getting Things Done.

However, I have had a bit of a hard time taking his great principles, which are written obviously toward manager and directors, and finding ways to implement them into daily cubicle type entry level work. I have not had a hard time implementing them personally, and in a church planting context, just at the office. The problem is not David’s system, but more in my inability to see them in helping me in an entry level context. But after much deliberation I have been able to flush out the principles in the context of my work. This is just a sample of great David Allen type stuff.

Matt’s Organizational Overview



Monday I cried.

I remember reading something recently, by whom I’m not sure, that said something to the like of, “People will not believe in something until it becomes existentially real to them”. So that’s what happened to me.

On 9/11 I didn’t cry. I tried to force myself to, and when I couldn’t, felt guilty. Well, I guess Adam and I making jokes about Flight 83 being shot down by the U.S. right after they overthrew the terrorists didn’t help my conscience either. I didn’t cry at Columbine, I really have never, ever cried when hearing of public tragedy. I don’t cry when I read about torturous rape on Drudge-Report, or when I hear of a UNLV professor having over 25,000 pictures of child pornography on his computer. Why?

None of it is real. Well, at least not to me.

See, when I read Monday about these killings at VT, something happened.

I saw a gunman on the 7th floor of Terry shooting Andy, Kelvin, Allison, Morgan, and Charles.

I saw Cory, I guy I discipled in 2004, in his class at VT unable to leave becuase the doors were shut (note: Cory’s fine, I was simply explaining what was going through my head. Calm down).

That was real to me, and I cried.

In a very ego-centric, introspective way, I have felt very guilty over the last few days. Guilty that a girl in New York was raped and left for dead, and I didn’t care enough to ask God to comfort and heal her. Guilty that I don’t care that a reporter is being held captive in a place far away from home. Guilty that thousands of families don’t have daddy’s and mommy’s anymore, because of our presence in Iraq, and I haven’t prayed for a single one.

Guilty, that I have not given these people the respect that someone bearing the image an likeness of God deserves. So I cry and mourn. For the students who died, the families who suffer, and the sinfulness in me.

Is this really existentially real to me? To a certain extent maybe, but life has pretty much gone on as normal. My prayer is that this would be the impetus of change in me. From being so self-absorbed, to actually realizing that other image bearers of God exist.

VT Killings

I spoke tonight at our young adults group about the killings at VT.  I had prepared a message on the gospel of John chapter two, but that all changed when I got to the airport in Las Vegas yesterday.  I did not hear anything about the shootings until that time.  I had a wonderful day hanging out with my in-laws that was turned into a surreal one once I sat in the terminal watching the television tell me of the horrors that had taken place.  I got home around 10pm and watched the news for about two hours.

Being in Littleton Colorado I knew this issue would be one of great relevance to our young adult group.  Many of them have very vivid memories of that day and personally knew those who had been killed.  I knew that I would need to teach on it tonight, or it would have just been a giant elephant in the room as I tried to press on with our preachings schedule.  There is so much to say about the subject, but I think the thing that makes it hard for all of it is just the drastically senseless nature of it all.  If Mr. Cho had just killed the girl he was angry with (the object of his wrath) we would’ve understood.  We would have just called it a crime of passion and moved on.  But to go into a building and coldly execute dozens of people is senseless.  There is something terribly wrong with that and all see that.  The atheist even feels it, but has no real reason to understand why he/she is so bothered senseless mass murder.  Yet the feeling remains, they know that life is valuable and that people have worth, but they just do not know what that worth is or where it comes from.

I have so many thoughts on all of this and I preached about much of it tonight, but I can not get around that fact that it seems we are a culture that has forgotten we are made in the image of God (Gen. 1:26, 9:6).  This alone gives us worth.  We mirror our creator and join him in his activities and works.  We procreate, just as he creates, we govern just as he rules over all, we love just as he supremely does.  We reflect our creator in our very being.  This is what gives life such great worth and dignity.  This is why we grieve and feel such saddness at horrible murders; the blatant disregard for life even though we are made in the image of the one true God.  Yet we grieve with hope, because we know that this is a time of sorrow but not the end of the story.  Our hope is in Jesus and because of his finished work on the Cross we understand that while things like this do not make sense, God is in the business of putting ALL things back together again.


Books to Read

I am not sure about these lists.  I have read “Tale of Two Cities” and I hated every page of it.  At the time though I was fifteen, and if I was ever set on making my children hate reading I would have them read stuff like that during their formative years.

I have actually read a good chunk of the Modern 10 list.  Including Constitution, Federalist Papers (which are excellent) and Wealth of Nations.  I think his list is a little off though and should have included Locke and Mill as well.  I would also add in this vein of Political stuff, that Constitutional Case book that Simich had us read.  I still have it and will open it up from time to time.  I think that reading some of these Supreme Court cases is beneficial in two ways; it is incredible writing, and it a great example of great logic and insight as to the application of wisdom and the Constitution.

My Four Books I would tell everyone to read are.

1.  Something by Steinbeck.  Especially “East of Eden.”

2.  “Mere Christianity” Truly the definition of a Classic, this book will be read and relevant a hundred years from now.

3. The Bible.  Start with the Gospel of John.  Then read Genesis along with Proverbs.  Then read Romans and 1 John or James.  And then read everything else.

4.  Some systematic theology.  Either Grudem or Erickson would be a safe bet.  Grenz is a bit more simplistic but still a fun read.  Branch out from there you can read some great NT theologies like Ladd, Marshall, or Guthrie.

There are many others I would recommend that people read including as much biography that you can take.  Marsden has written an Epic biography on Edwards that I love.  Martin Marty and Ronald Bainton have both written great biographies on Martin Luther.  This is just to hard to talk about what books people should read, truth is people do not need to just read a list of books and think they are done, but read and read and read.