Friday, June 20, 2008

Jesus in China

There has been a lot of reporting on the church in China the past couple of months. The cover page article in Christianity Today, May 2008, and as well the main theme of Christian History & Biography, Spring 2008, currently available on news stands in most local B&N and Borders. And I just found out that FRONTLINE/World, on PBS, this Tuesday at 8pm, will have a feature Jesus in China. With the Olympics coming up, and with all the focus on China, as well as China’s rapid economic growth, and the surprising growing affluence and influence of the church there, it will be interesting to watch developments there.

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Our next meeting June 25th

We don’t have any specific topic set up, but I thought we might discuss theology, spiritual, and philosophical books… what we’re reading now, what we’ve read, our favorites, recommended, and what we want to read and why. So of course we will probably whined up talking about all sorts of things.

Also, I’ve decided to go back to school. I plan to audit a course at our local Salt Lake Theological Seminary, the class The Message of the Psalms: God’s Rule in a World of Trouble, I’ve already anteed up the class fees and ordered the books. [Unfortunately, my class was just cancelled] (Check out there summer course schedule for classes if you’re interested.)

Be prepared to go on a book buying apocalypse after this get together. :^)

Monday, June 16, 2008

The Hope That You Have

I had some more thoughts on hope and why I feel it may be more useful than beliefs.

Peter said:
But in your hearts set apart Christ as Lord. Always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have. But do this with gentleness and respect,

I believe Peter was very specific with his choice of words. Notice he did not ask us to be prepared to give reasons for our beliefs.

One reason hope tends to be more useful is because it is not a matter of right or wrong. I could believe with my whole heart that something is true... then find out it isn't. How often has this happened to us?

Hope speaks to our desires and where our heart is going. I think scripture shows that God tends to focus on our hearts.

Hope allows me to fellowship. I just had a great walk and conversation with a good friend of mine. He is LDS and I am not. Many people find it difficult to fellowship with someone of a different faith. My friend and I do not have this problem and I think it is due to Hope. We have beliefs that are very different and we often candidly discuss them. However, above our beliefs we find that we share a common Hope - That God is a loving God who wants us to grow in Him. That Goodness will triumph. That this will all end in a way better than either of us can imagine.

Sunday, June 1, 2008

Some upcoming plans

Emergent Village will be having their theological conversation event, Reclaiming Paul: The Apostle in the Emerging World, in late October. If any of us can go, great. But I know I can’t go, and I would still like to participate in some way. So we had discussed reading the books the conversation will be going over and doing some of our own conversing over them, and then participate in some of the blogging and the podcasts that will probably be periodically made available on Emergent Village after the conversation.

Here’s a possible itinerary we could do, following along with the reading material that goes with this theological conversation:

For our August meeting we can read and discuss the article “Crucified Lord or Conquering Saviour: Whose Story of Salvation” by Sylvia C. Keesmaat, and Philippians & Romans in the Net Bible Translation.

For September, we can discuss The Lost Letters of Pergamum, by Bruce W. Longenecker.

The conversation is set to start on the same day our get together is scheduled (fourth Wednesday), so we can discuss the book by one of the events main speakers, Reading Paul, by Michael Gorman.

What do you guys think? If this is a go then you’ll want to order the books now and have the book read before the meeting for that book so we can discuss.