Shane Claiborne And The New Evangelical Vote

Do you recognize this guy?  No he is not the guy who was asking you for spare change last week on your way to work, he is Shane Claiborne.  Claiborne is a young Evangelical leader involved in monastic movements and helping Christians think more holistically about their faith, this includes not being lock step with one political party or another.  His most recent book, Jesus For President, has become quite popular as a rallying cry for younger Evangelicals who want to consider issues such as the environment, social justice, health care, and taxes instead of just abortion and gay marriage.

CNN has a nice cover article on Claiborne and those who want consider how the Lordship of Jesus should effect not just where we spend an hour on Sunday mornings.  Many will read Claiborne and dismiss him as a utopian idealist, thinking that what he and his followers is advocating is to extreme and unrealistic.  After all, how many of us will ever participate in communal living or forsake almost all earthly possessions?  Not many of us.  But I think to wave Claiborne so easily aside is a mistake.  While I do not agree with all of his ideas or all the ways he thinks we must live out our Christian faith; I am sure of his authenticity, love for others, and passion for God.  Voices like Claiborne are good for all of us to hear and should be allowed ample room in all of our cushy lives to convict and stir up new possibilities of what it would look like for us to more seriously live out the Kingdom of God.

Oh yeah his previous book, Irresistible Revolution is amazing, though it does get somewhat repetitive the last 50 pages.  All of you should read it and be ready for God to rock your world.

ryan

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UNLV Wins Second Australia Exhibition

I could have just emailed this to Ryan. But I was so geeked out. 3rd quarter highlights.

Bulls Take Derrick Rose With First Overall Pick

Even Matt is somewhat ambivalent to when I write about the Chicago Bulls, but right now I don’t care.  Because after one of the most disappointing seasons in recent memory, the Bulls drafted Derrick Rose.

A couple of weeks before the draft I was daydreaming while talking to Matt about any unlikely situation in which the Bulls could land Rose.  Given that the Bulls only had a 1.7% chance of getting the first pick, I knew the odds were about as good as Adam h voting for Obama.

So when the Bulls one the draft lottery well it really felt like they won a… lottery.  As estatic as I am about the Bulls drafting Rose I am already adding to my prayer list that he does not develop a passion for motorcycles and follow in the footsteps of Jay Williams, who was somewhat equal to talent and potential when he came out of college.

So as long as Rose stays healthy and Paxson does not go from a C- GM to the second coming of Isiah Thomas, the Bulls have a bright future.

ryan

Sleepy Rougeau sets this Blog’s Priority of Thankfulness

From his article in today’s Las Vegas Sun, thanking the people who made the trip to Australia possible:

When I was a little kid, I never would have guessed that I would be taking a tour of Australia to play basketball. I would like to thank God before anyone else because without him nothing is possible.
After him, I have to thank my head coach, Lon Kruger.

I love that so much, it is now the tagline for this blog, and will remain so forever.

matt

Mark Driscoll And His MANY New Books

Well since Mark Driscoll stepped down as lead pastor at Mars Hill he has gone into overdrive with his teaching and writing, in his role as preaching pastor at Mars Hill.  I wish I could manage even half of the productivity that this guy does. Well in the course of this year Driscoll is set to publish a handful of books that I think will be quite noteworthy.

The last Book that Driscoll came out with was Vintage Jesus.

I have not read it but my wife Crystal has and she really loved it.  I have listened to all the sermons the book was based off of and think the foundational Christology found in the book is second to none.  Here is the website for that book.

Driscoll’s next book, Death By Love, is one I definitely plan on reading. It is about how the work of Jesus on the cross has defining implications for our everyday lives, and if that is not enough the cover alone is worth the money.

And since publishing two major books in one year is not enough, Driscoll also decided to come out with a handful of small books (around 100 pages) on topics like church leadership, New Testament, and Old Testament.  These will be great resources to give out to new Christians and people trying to understand how the Bible all goes together.

So take the time to check out some of these books and pass them onto others who they might bless.

ryan

Teen Pregnancy pact, Juno, and Jamie Lynn Spears

Has teen pregnancy become chic?  Well Jamie Lynn Spears just had her baby the other day and the movie Juno, which was a massive hit, conveyed a nonchalant attitude toward teen sex and pregnancy, and now we have a cluster of high school girls making a pact to all get pregnant.  So what is going on here?

Much of this can now be seen in the language used to describe a sexual encounter.  What most young people refer to as “hooking up.”  Do you hear what a casual tone that has to it?  Its kind of like going for a walk, grabbing a cup of coffee, hanging out.  All imply that sexual activity is no real big deal and nothing is really at stake.  Of course I realize that teen sex is not a new thing, one could easily argue that it was much more of an issue during the free love 60’s of Adam’s youth.

But the culture we live in today is more celebrity driven than any culture has ever been.  A “baby bump” has almost become a new fashion accessorie that is splattered all over the cover of People magazine and its counterparts.  It has somehow become cool to have a baby.  And this is the saddest part of it all, the paradigm shift between thinking about procreation from a standpoint of servant, and what is best for the life that is being created; to the mindset of neediness, asking what need this life being created will serve for me.

I know a group of girls making a pregnancy pact goes deeper than just watching Juno and following in the footsteps of Jamie Lynn Spears.  Yet the cultural milieu which strangles silent any moral voice that would constrain anyone’s sexaul activity, is left exasperated in moments like this.  There are no real comments to be made in situations except those of the utilitarian variety.

ryan

Preached Today On “Piss Against The Wall”

I am taking an intensive Old Testament preaching class for the next two weeks.  Taking a preaching class thats designed for a whole semester in two weeks is quite challenging.  For example, on Monday the first day of class we were given our first passage to preach and I was assigned to preach it today.  That is a day and a half turnaround.  I have done that a couple of times for the young adults group I led.  Usually in those situation it was more of a talk, and I was much more familiar with the passage.

There were pros and cons to having such a short time to put together a sermon.  I came home from class on Monday and ended up studying, figuring out my “Preaching Idea” and then doing an annotated outline, all of this taking 9 hours for me that day.  And in all honesty, this is more time than a lot of pastors get to, or do spend on their sermon each week.  Plus I actually enjoy that pressure, it makes you really hone in and put all your energy into the task that you know is right in front of your face.

Well I preached this morning and got a good grade, so all is well.  But what really makes it fun is that my passage was 1 Samuel 25.  A story in which David is driven to rage by a greedy landowner named Nabal, for not giving him and his men some food.  David becomes so angry that he swears a curse upon himself if he does not kill every man in Nabal’s household. (1 Sam. 25:22)  Well I was digging in the Hebrew and discovered that the literal translation of the curse by David is that he would kill “all who piss against the wall” in Nabal’s house.

Oh the irony!  It is as if Pastor Steve is haunting me.  And if your wondering if I had the gall to highlight this in my sermon this morning the answer is…You bet.  I went for it, not to be a shock preacher, but because when preaching narrative your objective is to do everything you can to draw people into the story and help them feel the emotion and reality of it.  By telling of this we get a greater sense of how David is still a young, hot-headed, impetious fellow who is worked up to the point of using quite bold language.  And in case you are wondering who Pastor Steve is then watch this clip below, my post will then make a lot more sense.