Random Links 183

Being agents of transformation

Revisiting “ambition” … can we be ambitious?

“… No, what we need in the Church is not less ambition, but more. We are charged with the most ambitious calling of them all: to be agents of God’s all-transforming love to the world.

… it would be too easy and high-minded simply to contrast bad “personal ambition” with good “gospel ambition”. The reality is so much more complex, because all of us are amalgams of good and bad, with personal ambition and gospel ambition fighting it out in a continual battle of the soul.

Sometimes, the restless energy of the ego can be requisitioned for the good of others. Sometimes, selfless unworldly “gospel ambition” can be used as an alibi for the failure of the new church-hall project, or the fact that fewer people are coming to your church. I admit it: it is (partly) my ego that wants my church full. Good ambition and bad ambition weave in and out of each other.”

Turn off the TV. Forget Facebook. Just give your kids some time (HT: KesterB)

OUCH! I don’t watch TV, but now Facebook … hmmmm…

There is evidence to suggest that this generation of parents who were brought up on videos and instant visual gratification are not going through cooing routines. There are fewer nursery rhymes, less song, storytelling and reading. All this is taken over by TV, which leaves parents free to think about themselves and to work late.

The first line of the article is even more pointed, enough to make one pause:

“A society that fails its children is almost worthless.”

context and socialization in leadership development

I recall how insights from a post like this helped me during a seminary curriculum review process.

Do some Christians want to be “hated”?

Spend 5 minutes working through this question …

Is it the gospel that is rejected or is it the personality of the Christian and the evangelistic approach that is being rejected and “hated”?”

Theology and Cultural Relevance

This was hinted in our conversation last Sunday, Alwyn at his best when providing summaries of various views.  Of course, there are perhaps more nuances like within “Contextualization” – For example, between Schreiter and Kraft I think there are important differences especially on whether there is a truly culture-free Gospel.

The Dark Side of Martin Luther

The comments are enlightening … Luther isn’t perfect after all … great title.

Fowler’s Faith Development (pdf)

I used this as part of my sermon last Sunday. Useful model to look at one’s faith evolution.

Spiritual Direction – Orientation, Disorientation and Re-Orientation.

Another helpful framework:

Stage 1 (‘Orientation’)

God initiates stirs and draws. The directee comes to the director, ‘I feel a need to come and talk,’ or  ‘I’ve got this or that problem, can I come and talk?” They describe their orientation; what’s actually happening where they are, with who they are at this stage in their journey. Purnell notes, “The director…says as little or as much as is needful for the directee to say what she/he wants to say, [verbally and non-verbally].”



Stage 2 (‘Orientation’)

Deals with questions such as “how did the present evolve?” “How did I come to be the person I am?” Theirs is an act of remembering, assembling, and convergence. It deals with the “uncovering of assumptions upon which ones life is built and governed, “. It is an exposing of the script out of which a person lives.


Stage 3 (‘Disorientation’)   

This stage is concerned with seeking God, with seeking God’s will. “Stage 3 is understood as ‘input’; new material, new ideas, activities to enable the individual to feel his/her way forward toward God and God’s will.” The output of stage 3 is an emerging vision. It is also typically a time of disorientation as the familiar is modified, changed, or discarded.


Stage 4 (‘Reorientation’)

Broadly speaking, this stage is about the continuing interaction between the present and his/her emerging vision / script. It is concerned with ones continuing reorientation toward God, self, and others. It’s about a new or different orientation, and also a new awareness of who one could be, and how one could be with the help of God.


Stage 5 (‘Reorientation’ continued)


Is concerned with how ones reorientation works itself out in practice. It is “provisional” – the result of a willingness to experiment, assess, and evaluate.


Stage 6 (‘Orientation’)

One becomes, for a time, settled and orientated.”

About Sivin Kit

man of one wife, father of four kids
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