Well … this is another event I would have wanted to go to … (or would have been nice if we Malaysians could try one of these!). For some taste of it, thanks to (Jordon Cooper for the links) and the rest:-

# Paul Oyler for a personal collection of pictures
# Alan Creech I could check out a large gallery of pictures!
#Jeremiah Smith for excellent notes which I read this morning with my “not-1st-choice” coffee.

There was much that “punched” me or “grabbed” me this morning!

~“Christians in the US have another problem. There is a Christian public that works against what you’re trying to do. All you have to do as a pastor is say something against James Dobson and you’ll find out who has the real authority (thank you, Christian radio).”
We have this problem here too in Malaysia – Asia (I think) and we don’t have Christian radio … just a mutated form of Christian public (or subculture)?? Kyrie Eleison (but then again it’s not that culturally acceptable to say anything against someone in public …)

~ “Whatever the kingdom of God is, it’s an environment in which genuine community flourishes. It’s the kind of community that brings together people who would never associate with each other because of race, class, or affinity. Greet one another with a holy kiss was meant to break through social barriers across racial/ethnic/social/class lines etc as a community of grace rather than a community of exclusion.”
Absolutely Rejuvenating … these words!

~ “What’s the difference between emphasizing community and emphasizing love for one another?”
Totally world-class knock-out question! And it hit me hard because I’m going to talk about “community” this week … message adjustments immediately!

~ “when you think community you automatically think of small. But sometimes you can experience community in a large group, and not in a small community.”
Hmm …. another myth on fire! A discussion time response knocked it in deeper “It doesn’t matter if you go from a big church to meeting in a house, if you go from a worship band to interpretive dance, if you don’t do it out of love it doesn’t really matter.”

~ “I think Buddhists honor the Buddha better than Christians honor the Christ. Buddha found a way of life that his followers try to emulate. Jesus had a way of life that we want to learn to emulate.”

~ “If you listen to Christian radio for any 3 hours in a given day, the 3 most important issues according to them are 1) homosexuality 2) breakdown of family 3) the existence of democrats. What would God’s list look like?”
If I listen to the majority of Christian messages or teaching today through the year in Malaysia, what would the 3 most important issues according to them be? Or check out what Christians are buying in the bookstore? talk about in their cell groups? conferences organized? So far, swimming through 12 chapters of Isaiah God’s list is quite different than our list. Lord, have mercy!

~ “I think we’ll find that the existence of the automobile might have been the most destructive think for community.”
I wonder would TV also be close on the most destructive list … how about our pre-occupation with the Mobile phone? (thus I keep it on silent mode and don’t mind calling back later!)

~ I hope that what catholic comes to mean in the world is “post-protestant.” There’s problems in the Catholic church, so we decide to protest them and we made the Lutherans. Then we see their problems and we protest them. So we form the Pietists. Then they protest and we have Calvinists. That sociology is possibly more destructive than the selling of indulgences we all know about.”
What about a sociology that’s “constructive”?! I like the tone of Emergent lately which leans more to “co-creation”. How’s that gonna work out here in our competetive Malaysian Christianity …?

~ “Andrew Jones talks about a deep ecclesiology. Let’s honor the church in all it’s forms. 2 or 3 gathering in a coffee house. The most orthodox among us.”
I really REALLY like this …

~ We still think of spiritual disciplines in terms of the individual not the community. Brian’s comment: One person asks another: “Do you have the gift of speaking in tongues?” “Yes. I don’t personally, but someone in our community does, so I do too.”
Never thought of it this way before … at least not in such a focused way!

~ “For the first time in history, the average Christian in the world is not of European descent. We reached a point in the 20th century that there were more Christians in the 20th century than in the previous 19. Christianity is the biggest religion in the world. If Christians are jerks, it’s bad for everybody. If Christians are just consumers with bumper stickers and bracelets, its bad for everybody.”
I’ve been thinking a lot in terms of “models” for a while … which is very helpful to focus my reflection process and set me up for imaginative experiments. But then the word “MIRROR” hit me this morning (could it be the caffine or the Spirit? probably both!) All our efforts (e.g. Models), are trying to MIRROR God’s reality better, some are more useful & more faithful than others, all in all it’s a fragile, humbling, rewarding & come to think of it SOBERING exercise!

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