verve&verse: First Responder: The Abolition of Laity.

One of my Vineyard friends is doing some cool ongoing research into the Vineyard’s Quaker roots.

John and Carol WImber came to Christ in the Friends Church and were pastors in that movement for a long time before planting a Calvary Chapel church which soon became one of the first Vineyard churches and then John became the leader of what we now know as the Vineyard movement. | Thoughts from Dr. Ed Cook to invite conversations on issues confronting the church and culture in the 21st-century..

Dr. Ed Cook shares some initial thoughts about a new book by a leader in the Vineyard, Ken Wilson.  Many of us are reading the book and wrestling with his proposal.

How I Helped My Boys to Become Christian Men | The Works of John Frame and Vern Poythress.

Thinking about developing something like this for my son Jack.  He turns 12 in August.

It would be through a much more Vineyard/3DM framework, but I like this for a set of starter ideas.

Anyone want to make suggestions?

The Conversion (s) of Peter

February 16, 2014 — 3 Comments

Thinking through some doctoral research.

Thoughts from a paper by Markus Bockmuehl, The Conversions of Simon Peter:

As we shall see, Peter in fact appears quite characteristically and consistently in connection with narrative or artistic motifs of repentance and “conversion,” so much so that he serves as a paradigm in his own right, not just once converted but repeatedly converting and repeatedly called.

The point of Peters fall and remorse becomes here (unlike for Judas) the point of Peter’s conversion: the cock’s crow projects into the dark night of Maundy Thursday the bright daylight of Easter Sunday renewal.

The Acts of Peter, in other words, bring together Peter s evangelistic and apologetic preaching with the theme of repentance and conversion in his own life. Early on, this theme features briefly and in passing in relation to the gospel narrative of Peters denial of Jesus and subsequent remorse. It is then developed rather more emphatically in relation to Peter’s own martyrdom as the antithesis and redemption of that earlier episode. Where once he denied and then deserted in remorse when the Lord turned to look at him, so now he flees but turns back when he meets Christ in order to share his fate, just as Jesus predicted in John 13:36 and 21:18-19. He is presented as the converted apostle, the one who turns and is faithful the second time round, the one who shares his master s fate upside down, the one for whom the cross is the crown and quintessence of conversion from the powers of the world to the God and Father of Jesus Christ. Where he fails miserably before the resurrection to keep his promise to Jesus, after the resurrection he becomes faithful to the end.

In some respects, therefore, 1 Peter parallels Lukes move from Peters predicted “turning” and denial (Luke 22:31-34) via the Emmaus disciples’ dashed hopes (24:21) to the risen Lords appearance to them and to Simon (24:34)—culminating in their imminent “clothing with power” in the Spirit ( 24:49).46

In John, this unique commission of Peter appears here for the first time. He is newly appointed (not “restored”!) to a pastoral role by his threefold declaration of love, corresponding to the gravity of his threefold denial. This of course has long been a favorite topic of preachers and exegetes. And the link between the two scenes seems strikingly underscored even by the intriguing detail that the Greek word an-thrakia used for the warming coal fire in high priests courtyard (18:18) recurs only once more in the entire OT or NT—namely to denote Jesus’ coal fire by the sea of Galilee (2i:9).47 Having thrice denied and thrice “turned” from that denial, Peter is ready to share his master s task and his master s fate. He is appointed as under-shepherd, assigned to share his masters work of “strengthening” and “pastoring” his fellow believers, and predicted like Jesus to lay down his life for the flock on a cross (21:19, 22; cf. 13:36-37 with 10:11). In other words, the death and resurrection of Christ have become for Peter the point of his conversion from denial to love, and to an apostolic office incorporated into Christ s own.

The idea that the narrative of John 21 captures what Luke’s Jesus predicts as Peter’s “conversion* is not of course a new insight. The fourth-century commentator Apollinaris of Laodicea cites precisely Luke 22:31 in this connection, to indicate that just as Jesus is inviting Peter to reciprocate his teacher and Saviours unwavering love for him, so also Peter should imitate Christ s care for him by strengthening his brethren and shepherding his sheep. The three affirmations of love match the three denials.49

Simon Peter, then, was seen as the follower of Jesus as a Galilean fisherman who was transformed—”converted”—from denial and despair to a confessing hope. As a result he received a unique ministry of pastoral strengthening that allowed him to serve the servants of Christ as a representative of Jesus’ continued ministry on earth. In his preaching as well as in his very biography, the remembered Peter became a man of conversions, a “converting” disciple whose faith begins in Galilee but grows in “convertedness.” In early Christian memory Simon Peter embodies, for individual discipleship as much as for the church, what it means to turn-—from denial to faith, from despair to hope, and from deserting Christ to shepherding his flock.

I will never forget a visit I made to Ilana, an old friend who had become an Orthodox Jew in Jerusalem. When I saw her again, she had abandoned her jeans and T-shirts for long skirts and a head scarf. I could not get over it. Ilana has waist-length, wild and curly golden-blonde hair. “Can’t I even see your hair?” I asked, trying to find my old friend in there. “No,” she demurred quietly. “Only my husband,” she said with a calm sexual confidence, “ever gets to see my hair.”

When she showed me her little house in a settlement on a hill, and I saw the bedroom, draped in Middle Eastern embroideries, that she shares only with her husband—the kids are not allowed—the sexual intensity in the air was archaic, overwhelming. It was private. It was a feeling of erotic intensity deeper than any I have ever picked up between secular couples in the liberated West. And I thought: Our husbands see naked women all day—in Times Square if not on the Net. Her husband never even sees another woman’s hair.

She must feel, I thought, so hot.

via Naomi Wolf on Why Porn Turns Men Off the Real Thing — New York Magazine.

The Iniesta of Hollywood: A tribute to Philip Seymour Hoffman | I Write What I Like.

“And it strikes me afresh, and I say this wishing it were otherwise, and with no trace of cold evaluative satisfaction, that in the end Being Good is as important as Being Good At”

I just returned from a week in Chicago – actually Lombard, Illinois.  I was at Northern Seminary for a Doctor of Ministry seminar.  I started the Doctor of Ministry program at Northern in August of 2012.  It is amazing to think that when I finish the course work for the two classes I am in right now, I will be more than halfway done with the program.  

The way Northern’s program works, once a year, DMin students attend a core seminar on campus.  These core seminar’s are designed to introduce the student to the program and prepare them for the thesis/ministry project they will eventually do when their coursework is complete.  

The rest of the DMin program is focus specific coursework.  Northern has cohort based programs, partnership based programs, and a traditional program.  My focus is a partnership program with 3DM.  I have taken a class every 6 months in the program that aligns with the Learning Community process.  

  • Building a Discipling Culture
  • Multiplying Missional Leaders
  • Launching Missional Communities (Which I am in now and will finish in March)
  • Leading Kingdom Movements (I will start in April and complete in September)

Each class has provided an in depth theological and sociological look at what we are doing in each phase of the LC.  
I will complete my 3DM coursework in September and in January 2015, I will return to Lombard to have my thesis approved so I can start my ministry project.  My ministry project is going to measure the spiritual formation experience of people as they journey through a huddle (at least that is the plan).  

The core seminar I just took was Biblical and Theological Reflection with Dr. Geoffrey Holsclaw.  This course is designed to get us to think or maybe rethink how Scripture, Tradition, and Culture work in our own theological framework and methodology.  Most of us are 7 to 10 years removed from our seminary (master of divinity) training and have, by participating in pastoral ministry, seen a shift in some of our doctrinal positions.  Most people participate in a denomination or movement with doctrinal positions that at least give a basic position to these things as well, so we reflected on how those either align or do not align with our own positions.  

It was interesting, for example, to see how much being a Vineyard pastor for the last 7 years has shaped my view of the Spirit’s inspiration of and role in the interpretation of scripture as well as the formation of the community that interprets the text.  

All in all, it was a fun week.  

I also wanted to share a few things about Northern that I highly recommend after spending a few years in their DMin program:

  1. Highly personal and accessible.  Northern Seminary is small and everyone on campus is highly involved in the student’s success.  I have had access to everyone when I have been on campus or when I have needed something from home.  I was struggling to figure out how to pay for school before Emily went back to work this year and they worked with me to catch up on my account.  In that process, we found out I still had GI Bill benefits remaining and will be able to pay for the rest of my program.  The staff at Northern has been awesome helping me figure that all out.
  2. Missional.  Missional is a buzzword that can seem quite annoying around the evangelical scene.  But, at Northern, there are pastor theologians who are actually doing this stuff, not just theorizing about it.  
  3. Diversity – The students who make up my classes at Northern are diverse and the religious background of the students is diverse – mostly evangelical, but more mainline than my own experience.  Because of this, my experience so far has been incredibly rich.  Also, the seminary is committed to diversity in the theological experience.  I have been exposed to a theological spectrum that I was not exposed to for my MDIV.  Still evangelical, but more willing to give us center or left of center voices.  Also, much more Anabaptistic given Fitch’s influence, I think.  Also, I have been exposed to Black and Hispanic theology which has been refreshing.