Thursday, June 24, 2010

A Much Needed Word

I read a story today about a pastor named Matt Chandler, of whom I have unfortunately been unaware until today, giving an address at the Southern Baptist Pastor's Convention a few days ago. In his talk, he didn't hold back on calling out the hypocracy he sees in many clergy.

One quote literally made me stand up and cheer, causing my toddler to give me a strange look. "I, unfortunately, with a great deal of sorrow have walked away from the idea that all of you are men and women of the Word. I've just come to find that a lot of you are really good at cliches and really bad a tying in the Word."

Chandler articulates well my own frustration with many of my fellow clergy, and often times, myself.

While I probably have some significant hermenutical differences with Chandler (for example, I'd couch the issue in terms of the Kingdom of God rather than "The Word", but ultimately that's not that big of a deal), his critique of clergy is spot on. We often pretend that we have everything figured out and are afraid to admit that we are human beings on a journey like everyone else.

What makes us do this? Part of it is pressure we put on ourselves that is rooted in a genuine desire to please God, but it's twisted by a lack of real trust in God's grace. Part of it is the (either real or presumed) pressure that comes from the people in our congregations. On some level they want a "perfect" (whatever that means) person to lead them. Or it might just be the result of their experiences with other clergy who do a darn good job pretending they don't have any flaws. If folks are buying what they're selling, then they expect us to sell them the same bill of goods, too.

While Chandler's talk was directed at Southern Baptist pastors, his challenge transcends denominational and, dare I say it, lay/clerical divides. We all need the kind of reality check Matt Chandler is offering. I for one am thankful he had the courage to say it.

Sunday, June 20, 2010

The Best Father's Day Present Ever...

... is the love of these two beatiful women.

Books and other trinkets are nice, but it's the relationships that make me a dad that make Father's Day so special.

I love you girls!

Saturday, June 12, 2010

Podcast Episode 9- A New Kind of Christianity Part 2

The latest episode of The Truth As Best I Know It Podcast is up! Well, actually, it's been out there for almost a week. Less than 24 hours after recording and publishing the episode, the hard drive on my computer crashed, and it is currently in the shop. The good news is that sometime in the middle of next week everything will be fixed and we'll be able to record a new episode.

In this episode, we continue our look at Brian McLaren's A New Kind of Christianity: Ten Questions that are Transforming the Faith. Jessica and I discuss the first question, "The Narrative Question".

You can listen on Podbean, or download the episode on iTunes.

We invite you to read along with us and interact with us in the comments section. You can pick up a copy of the book at your local book store or by clicking on the link above.

Tuesday, June 01, 2010

Podcast Episode 8- A New Kind of Christianity part 1

The Truth As Best I Know It podcast is back!

After nearly a year, we're relaunching the podcast, and Jessica and I are spending the summer podcasting our way through Brian McLaren's A New Kind of Christianity: Ten Questions that are Transforming the Faith.

In this episode, Jessica and I discuss the opening chapters of the book and preview the sections we'll be reading through this summer.

You can listen to this episode on the player below, on Podbean (the fine folks who host our show), or you can download it on iTunes.

We invite you to read along with us. You can pick up a copy of the book at your local bookstore or click on the link above.

McLaren recently teamed up with Spencer Burke of and TheOozeTV, making videos where they discuss each of the ten questions. Jessica and I are intentionally avoiding these videos for the time being so we don't just parrot what they say, but you should check them out if you're interested in further interaction with the material.

Thanks for listening! Your comments and questions are always welcome. Look for the next episode, where we discuss "The Narrative Question" in about a week.