Random Links 128 (1st for 2007)

Martin Marty on diversity in the ancient church
Noteworthy observation: “…it struck me that this is the difference between the systematic theologian and the church historian. The theologian wants to press for precision and the way it (perhaps) ought to be. The historian accounts for what actually was and is.” Other bonus links included at the end.

The interdependence of the global church
Another good one by Al Hsu. “One practical challenge that Muriu offered – when American churches send a missionary to the Two-Thirds World, they should also work to receive a missionary from the Two-Thirds World. When churches send a team on a short-term trip, they should likewise receive a team from their partnering church or mission. The North American church must realize how much it needs the life and perspectives of our brothers and sisters around the globe to help us live missionally in our own culture. After all, every part of a human body both gives and receives from others. We are impoverished if we think we have nothing to receive from the majority world church.”

The Top 10 Posts of 2006 (Leadership Blog)
I was thinking just because we have a “Top 10 Post” maybe because it has generated a lot of interest or is popular or noteworthy, it doesn’t mean these are the Top 10 Agendas we have to to focus on. Having said that it does give us a pulse on what has evoked much response as far as the leadership blog readers are concerned.

So, what on earth is the church?
This was a good post to re-orientate my thinking … “For many of us, church has been something we have lived with and around for much of our lives. And this is a good thing, because the community of faith is meant to be a living community of God’s people. But the problem is that hanging around it for so long we get to assume that we actually know what it is–what exactly makes it the church. Having been in it for such a long time actually makes it increasingly hard to ’see’ and therefore define. Kinda like a fish trying to describe the water it swims in. But getting to grips with missionality and missional church requires that we first get to grips with what the ecclesia really is.”

What Is The Right Question?
So if you are job-hunting, what questions do you ask?

Six Propositions on What Makes Good (Christian) Theology (HT: Chris Tilling)
“1. Good theology is a transformative, embodied proclamation.

2. Good theology is a communal activity.
3. Good theology is contextual.
4. Good theology is biblical.
5. Good theology is historical and ecumenical.
6. Good theology is trinitarian.”

Is China colonizing Africa?
Now, this is one question that shakes me up.

Year-ending, Year-beginning Reflections
It’s not too late to begin working through these questions:
“How did the year begin? What were the events of last winter? Spring? Summer? Fall?

What took place in your home relations? Your work relations? Your church relations? What events in the larger community of city, country and world most captured your attention?

Who were the significant people in your life? What books and art instructed your mind and heart?

Did you create anything this year? Did you make any new discoveries about yourself? How were you gift last year to a person, a community or an institution?

What was your greatest joy in this year gone? What was your greatest sorrow? What caused you the most disappointment? What caused you the most sadness?

In what areas of your life did you grow? Were these areas related to your joy or your pain?

What are your regrets? How would you do things differently, if you could live the year again? What did you learn?

Did you have a recurring dream? What theme or themes ran through your year?

Did you grow in your capacity to be a person in community – to bear your own burdens, to let others bear theirs? Did you have sufficient time apart with yourself?

Did you root your life more firmly in Scripture? Did you grow in your understanding of yourself? What was your most important insight? Did God seem near or far off?

How do you want to create the new year? What kind of commitment do you want to make to yourself? Your community? To the oppressed people of the world? How do the questions about commitment make you feel? Angry? Challenged? Hopeful?

Who are the people with whom you would like to deepen your relationships in the year to come? Do you have relationships that need to be healed? What can you do to heal your own heart? What can others do to assist in your healing? In Scripture it is written, “Ask and you shall receive.” How can you ask God for what you need? How can you ask God’s people for what you need?

Is there a special piece of inward work that you would like to accomplish? Is there a special outward work? What are the goals that seem important to you? What are your hopes? What are your fears? What are the immediate first steps that you can take toward the goals that seem important to you?”

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