1) Check out Relevant’s review of the book Rapture Ready. I am excited to read this one.

2) Speaking of the rapture, I found this link over at ship-of-fools. Who knows if this is for real. And if you do know, please don’t tell me. I don’t think I want to know.

3) I don’t know what I think of ship-of-fools yet. I appreciate poking fun at Christian sub-culture, but I would say it explores the line…and jumps over it repeatedly. Consider that a warning before clicking on the following link. You don’t even need to watch the second video as you can probably predict what it will say. Nevertheless, i was glad somebody else has been frustrated by the reductionist tendencies of our fundamentalist friend Mr. Comfort.

4) Another book I look forward to reading is this one. I am trying not to form an opinion on the book before reading it, but from watching the video I have to wonder about some of their assumptions. They give lip service to emerging being about more than the “three C’s” as they call it in the video, and yet when I hear them speak, I can’t imagine why in the world they should be emerging as the title to the books suggests. Nothing they say in the video indicates that they have any sort of emerging leanings. They seem to be tow-the-line reformed evangelicals–except one of them has holes in his jeans. I was excited about this book when I first heard about it because I was hoping they would be people like me only a little further on their journey. I was hoping that they had been in the middle for a while, had seen the good in the emerging church, but were led to some conclusions that took them in a different direction. But no, it seems that they are just two young guys who are trying to be “hip” while bashing the emerging church (a pretty hard task, haha). I was hoping they might provide some clarity for me on some of the issues I have been thinking through. Perhaps they can still do just this. I won’t know until I read the book, I guess.

5) I was just chatting with my dear brother Andrew Webb. We discussed this video. From their the conversation went just about everywhere but I couldn’t help but sense a theme of Christian paranoia. The video which caused us to have this conversation certainly discusses a view that is indeed dangerous. But the way the video is put together (down to the dramatic voice-over) plays to fear. I don’t really want to judge the motivations of the ministry that made the video, and I am not suggesting that we merely ignore prevalent, dangerous approaches to life. I am more concerned about where our conversation ended than where it began.

Andrew and I eventually began discussing the proper Christian response to hot button issues like homosexuality. We Christians have a tendency to worry an awful lot about changing this nation through government and politics. What are governments but sinful man’s expression of his sinful desire for dominance? Though God uses such institutions redemptively, and may indeed in his grace place us in a country that lets us participate in the political process, this does not mean that we are called to “stand up for our rights” or effect change via the government and politics. I become seriously uncomfortable when Christians talk about protesting in a certain way or voting in a certain way as being our “Christian duty”. I just don’t see that in scripture.

What we need is a healthy re-education in the doctrine of total depravity. We will not save the world by treating the symptoms of sin. The gospel heals the disease. Why are we throwing kleenex into our governments when we could instead inject the life-saving drug of the gospel into the veins of individuals?

And why is it that we are expected to be the moral judge of our surrounding culture? Are you surprised that the world is acting like the world? What happened to the doctrine of original sin? What of the doctrine of total depravity? What happened to the mustard seed kingdom? What happened to the gospel of Jesus? Are we embodying Christ by protesting for our rights and voice? Are we being meek?

“But that will never work!” you say. No, it won’t. Not according to the standard of the kingdom of the world. Not according to sinful man’s estimation. But in God’s economy, the rich are poor, and the poor rich; to paraphrase Derek Webb, “We see things upside down.” And finally, why do we judge those on the outside so harshly, and deal so lightly with sin on the inside. Dare I quote scripture here? I dare!

“I have written you in my letter not to associate with sexually immoral people— not at all meaning the people of this world who are immoral, or the greedy and swindlers, or idolaters. In that case you would have to leave this world. But now I am writing you that you must not associate with anyone who calls himself a brother but is sexually immoral or greedy, an idolater or a slanderer, a drunkard or a swindler. With such a man do not even eat. What business is it of mine to judge those outside the church? Are you not to judge those inside? God will judge those outside. Expel the wicked man from among you.”

1 Corinthians 5: 9ff

semper reformanda

~t clair