weekend rip-offs

A few tid-bits I found this week on the interwebs. Be blessed.

We find throughout Scripture that humans are invited to worship the God in whose image they are made. By worshipping this God (which involves repentance and faith; the faith involves learning to recognize this God in the crucified and risen Jesus), they are restored as image-bearers.
When people continually and consistently refuse to worship this God, they progressively reflect this image less and less. Instead, they reflect the images of what they are worshipping. Since all else other than the true creator God is heading for death, this means that they buy into a system of death, [which] leads, by one’s own choice, to an eventual erasing of that which makes us truly human.
— NT Wright, in answer to a request for a definition of what “damnation” means (HT: Beth)

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Here is a description of Ryan Bolger’s “Church and Mission” class at Fuller Theological Seminary. I would take this class in a heartbeat. Wow.

In my Church and Mission class this last quarter, we discussed this idea — continuing the work of Jesus as the primary task of ‘church’. We talked about Jesus’ central message, the proclamation of the kingdom of God. We talked about how the church finds its true identity when it continues this proclamation, both in their corporate life and in the story they tell about God. We talked about how the kingdom is not an abstract concept — Jesus’ proclamation created a space that included the outcasts and the sinners and invited them into community. It gave voice to the voiceless, the enemy a seat at the table.

I asked my very big class (74 students!), what would it look like if our sole mission strategy was to continue Jesus’ ministry? And what if it had to stay pretty concrete, staying pretty close to the actual things Jesus did in community with his disciples? What if that was the stuff we had to get right, the central stuff, and that the other stuff, while important, was peripheral? In our jobs at Starbucks, or in our neighborhood groups, or in our church systems, what if hospitality, including the marginalized, overflowing generosity, giving voice to those without, were the essentials? Could these sorts of communal practices point to God and change the world?

In our class, we replaced the church rubric (how many are in or out?) with kingdom rubrics — how are our practices, anywhere, like the kingdom (or not)? Are our activities that we participate in moving in that direction? How might we foster, through our conversations, positive moves towards the kingdom at Starbucks, in our neighborhoods, and in our church systems? (HT)

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New England has the largest gap between rich and poor than any region in the United States (story)

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And, last but not least, scary militant Christians.

Enjoy!

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4 responses to this post.

  1. fyi, i believe Ryan Bolger appears in this video on the new Allelon website.

    Reply

  2. I know why the gap between the rich and the poor is getting bigger in New England… its all those Republicans ya’ll have in power up… wait. Ya’ll are in blue states. I’ve got nothing. 😉

    Reply

  3. Posted by Casey, East Boston on March 30, 2007 at 6:07 pm

    I just came across your blog when I was googling the pizza place on Maverick Street. My boyfriend and I live over in Maverick Sq if you’re looking for buddies in Eastie. I’m originally from Newport, RI and he’s from Washington state, but we’ve been here for a couple years (passing through Newark, NJ on the way) and I went to college at Northeastern. So we are not entirely new to the area, but we are also not the sort of firmly entrenched Masshole types that you come across in Boston from time to time. I hope that you are enjoying living here!

    Oh- and not to be overly picky, but the story about the income gap in New England doesn’t say that New England has the largest gap between the rich and poor; it says that the gap between the rich and the poor grew at a faster rate in New England than in other regions over the past 15 years.

    Reply

  4. Posted by Steve on April 4, 2007 at 8:24 am

    Casey – Thanks so much for dropping us a note! We live so close … it would be stupid for us not to meet for some TacoMex or Hong Kong Chinese food in Maverick Sq.

    I dropped you an e-mail, but I’m not sure it came through. Go to the contact page at the top and leave us a note with your e-mail address, and we can set something up.

    Thanks again for reading, and thanks for the clarification on the Globe article. I wasn’t clear.

    Steve

    Reply

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