Sunday, April 29, 2007

The Good, The Bad, and the Something

The Good: I am done with div school in 2 weeks
The Bad: The Heat are not in the NBA playoffs any more
The Something: I preached today at New community and you can hear it.

Tuesday, April 17, 2007

Project Presentation

PostProtoTheoEpistemic Projectilicitiness
Or, The things you will never talk to your congregation about unless you care about Jesus really mattering in the World

Senior Projects:
Tripp Fuller
“Becoming Jesus’ Church in the Post-Colonial World: Reframing the Mission and Power of God”

Corbin Boekhaus
"I am the Alpha and the Omega, the Beginning and the End”: Creation and Eschatology in Dialogue with the Natural Sciences

Corbin, Tripp, and Jesus want you to be there!

Thursday, April 26, 2007
3:30pm - 5:30pm
Wingate Hall Room 302

Wednesday, April 11, 2007

Pannenberg on the Church and the Kingdom

Christ points the Church toward the Kingdom of God that is beyond the Church. To the degree that the Church follows his pointing and heeds his reminder, the Kingdom of God will manifest itself through the Church. But note that this is quite different from attributing to the Church in its established structures the dignity of being the Kingdom of Christ. The rule of Christ is effected wherever man becomes aware of the coming Kingdom of God and lives in accord with that awareness. This may happen in the Church. It should be expected to happen in the Church. But the rule of Christ cannot be identified with the Church’s existence as a organized community in the world. The theological identification of the Church with the Kingdom of Christ has all too often served the purposes of ecclesiastical officials who are not attuned to the Kingdom of God. Many Christians, especially church leaders, like to think they are in procession of the truth, or at least that they possess the ultimate criterion of the truth. Because they feel themselves to be indispensably related to the very Kingdom of Christ, they fail to recognize the provisional character of all ecclesiastical organizations. They are unable to stand humbly before the coming Kingdom of God that is going to bring about the final future of the world. They are blinded to the ways in which even now, proleptically, the future manifests itself in the world (and not just in the Church, nor even always through the Church). Precisely because the Church mistakes herself for the present form of the Kingdom, God’s rule has often had to manifest itself in the secular world outside, and frequently against, the Church. - Theology and the Kingdom of God (77-78)

Pannenberg on 'The Beloved"

"True love nurtures wholeness, granting to the beloved the authenticity and independence of his existence. Creative love does not ask the beloved for his dependency but for his personhood...the eyes of love perceive yet unrealized possibilities...Love, on the one hand, envisions in the beloved the destiny of his life and the promise of life's fulfillment. Love views the beloved with the eyes of God. Yet love too respects the beloved. He anticipates that the potential will be realized through the other person's own decision and effort. Love can support, but it does not seek to control, the struggle towards realization." - Theology and the Kingdom of God (118-119)

Monday, April 9, 2007

Church Identity in a Post-Colonial World: Mark 1:1

What does a post-colonial theology of the church look like? A Big and important question, but here is one place to start. The first verse of the first (oldest) gospel about JC.

The beginning of the good news of Jesus Christ, Son of God Mark 1:1

This passage is the beginning Mark’s gospel and an important place to begin to search for a reservoir of ecclesial identity in our age of identity crisis and identity fabrication. In these few verses we see how Mark identifies Jesus and the foundation for Jesus’ own self-understanding. As the church of Jesus Christ it is only logical that the identity search of those ‘in Christ’ be informed by the identity given to Jesus himself by his first story teller. Setting this opening to the book in its first century context and in particular in its imperial context will help us identify the how expansive an outlook Mark had for the God Movement present in Jesus.
Mark does not begin his gospel as a traditional Hellenistic biography, by noting the character to which the author is concerned, but instead claims that this story is the beginning of the good news of Jesus Christ. This simple phrase is a loaded one, for it first claims that the text one is about to read or hear is simply the start and does not contain the complete good news; or better yet, the good news is more than a text that can be read and digested and more than story that can be heard and remembered, the good news of Jesus Christ is about more than one person’s life or a past happening, but something that has had its beginning and is still present. The good news is not just an event or a singular happening, it is a life determining reality that moves from this storyed beginning to an end yet unknown.
Good news is not a benign term in Mark’s historical context. The good news was proclaimed when there was a military victory and was expanded to mean “the good news of peace and prosperity” following a military victory. We also know that good news (also translated good tidings or gospel) was used in the emperor cult and was associated with the “empire’s benefits such as an emperor’s birth, military conquest, or accession to power.” One famous example is the Priene inscription which originated within a decade of Jesus’ birth that declares the emperor Augustus to be the “savior” and “concludes with the line ‘the birthday of the god Augustus was the beginning for the world of good tidings that came by reason of him.” Seeing that Rome pronounced “divine sanction for its empire, claiming that the gods had chosen Rome to manifest the gods’ sovereignty, presence, agency, and blessings on earth,” Mark’s counter claim about the beginning of the gospel or good news of Jesus Christ is made quite radical. In this context the following claims that Jesus is the ‘Christ,’ the anointed king of Israel, and ‘Son of God’ take on an even greater meaning. Rome had already anointed a king for Israel and already had a ‘son of God’ in resident. Caesar, the Herods, and the structures they represent had a gospel and Mark set the one beginning in Jesus over against it. Regardless of the other interpretive categories at work, Mark’s title for his narrative deliberately parodies the political propaganda of the reigning empire.
If this is how Mark starts his gospel it is no wonder that it ends with Salome, Mary Magdalene, and Mary the mother of James fleeing the empty tomb after being seized by terror and amazement; “and they said nothing to anyone, for they were afraid.” When read in a first century context this fear makes perfect sense, because there was already a good news in circulation, an anointed one on the throne, and a son of God ruling the established order. If the empty tomb of the crucified, but resurrected Jesus means the good news of Jesus Christ, kingdom-proclaimer, Son of God, did not die on a cross, then this story is not through and is just beginning. If the expansive claim of Mark is true, one should be fearful because the good news of Jesus is not so good for those on the take from the current arrangement under the Roman domination system. One who benefits from the imperial power structure is much more inclined to protect the world as it is. The peace of Rome is kept on the backs of the poor and the blood of resisters. Cross-building coercion is scary even if the tomb of the cross-bearer is empty.

Tuesday, April 3, 2007

Emerging Fear and the SBC

How do you draw more attention to the emerging movement? Like This. If you say blanket statements like the emerging church is "one of the most dangerous and deceptive movements to infiltrate the ranks of Southern Baptist life," you could think that might be an overstatement of fearful dread over the unknown, but I think not. The SBC should fear the emerging movement, because emergent types do two things that can ruin the SBC. 1-Talk 2-Think And they do these at the same time. What happens when these two powerful forces join hands, thinking and talking, you realize you don't need to continue to be subject to the fear mongering of modernity in its worst form. Hell is the religious fear-bearing motivation and Islamo-fascism is the political form. (Well there are more like French atheists, homosexuals and liberals.) So I agree with Roger Moran, the SBC should fear the Emerging movement. Moran is not moron, just observant. Well I would say those baptists who were exiled from the convention with emerging leanings don't want the bureaucracy back. Keep all you stole or won. I think the baptist Fall or Ascension in 79 may have been the best thing that could have happened for real baptists (other than the bitterness part). Power corrupts and convention power corrupts the gospel into conventional fluff.

Bill Leonard makes a good observation, "The Southern Baptist Convention is growing increasingly terrified that they've spent all this time recreating the denomination in this (conservative) image, and now nobody cares," he said. "Young seminarians are challenging them on issues and saying, 'Your vision of reality is not ours.'" OH how I hope this is true.

[an aside] I know the SBC is the Southern Baptist Convention, but I decided sometime in high school always to use SBC instead. I think it parallels Kentucky Fried Chicken’s switch to KFC because they had genetically altered their chicken so much they couldn’t keep it in the name. I bet the KFC story is an urban legend, but I think it works well with the SBC.

Sunday, April 1, 2007

Tripp went Rev

Here are some pictures from my rev-making service. Dr. Tupper preached, my Pops did the charge, and tons of friends and family came. It was a super time and service.