Thursday, April 19, 2007

Pondering

Been pondering a lot recently. I'm well into my fourth year of blogging, and have seen quite a number of new bloggers with great skills appear, and also have seen (and heard of) some of the "oldskewl" bloggers retire and turn their time and talents to other projects. Note of Clarification: Do not infer from this that I'm considering hanging up my skates (hockey metaphors are so natural for Canadians).

As Emerging Grace noted in a recent post:
"Do you remember in Forrest Gump when he started running and had this need to keep running for "three years, two months, fourteen days, and sixteen hours", and then suddenly one day, he was done? That's how I see blogging. I started, and for now, I just keep blogging and blogging, but I think that some day, I'll just be done."
We pause now for a brief but poignant moment of shockingly honest and transparent confession: I've never seen Forest Gump.

But I appreciate Grace putting me on her list of recipients of the Thinking Blogger Award!

And I agree with Grace's post on a number of levels, which is why I'm pondering how to invest my future blogging to be the most effective use of my time (which is in high demand during a Crossroads DTS).

While I respect the efforts and the writers who duke it out with various websites specializing in the misrepresentation of all things emerging/missional, I will continue to avoid such arguments here.

It's just too taxing on my general attitude and sanctification. Those who can regularly read and interact with the so-called "discernment" sites are made of sterner stuff than I.

I am an avid reader, but sometimes I think that if I see just one more blog trumpeting the latest "must-read" book on the emerging/missional conversation, I'm going to run screaming into the woods. I just can't keep up. I have neither the time nor the money.

At the same time, I DO plan to keep on reading, and will also continue posting about books that are really stirring my thinking and praxis. But I hope everyone will understand if I'm not limiting my reading list(s) to only books written about emerging/emergent/missional. (Although Alan Hirsch's Forgotten Ways WILL be blogged about as soon as I finish it.)

I have been doing more reading and listening to teaching CD's recently on the Kingdom of God, and I'm more convinced than ever that any missiological and/or ecclesiological (I'd like to morph these two into one entity, but that's another post for another time) must be grounded in an understanding of the Kingdom of God, and what Jesus meant when He went around preaching "the gospel".
"From that time on Jesus began to preach, "Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is near." (Matthew 4:17) and "Jesus went throughout Galilee, teaching in their synagogues, preaching the good news of the kingdom, and healing every disease and sickness among the people." (Matthew 4:23).
Stay tuned...

11 comments:

  1. Great minds I guess. ;-)
    I was thinking yesterday about spending less time blogging. So I'll still be around, but use my time wiser...I hope.

    BTW, aside from reading "Exiles" and being in the middle of "Forgotten Ways" by Alan Hirsch, I am going to be reading and doing a study on the Kingdom of God with a older pastor friend of mine soon.

    One of the foundations on my heart for Revolution was understanding the Kingdom of God. Of course it's kind of like grabbing fog...you can see it, touch it, feel it, and know it's there, but you can't quite grasp it.

    Blessings!
    Don't be stranger!

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  2. Thanks. Seems the KOG is central to Jesus' mission and person - he both demonstrates and proclaims that this is the good news. The long awaited KOG - God's reign, and all that it comprises, is breaking into the world in redemptive and life giving new ways.
    Greg

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  3. Robby,
    Don't worry about Forrest Gump, you didn't really miss much. However, like Napolean Dynamite, it is one of those oft-quoted movies. I'm glad you are still going to blog for awhile.

    I need a little time to process the books I've been reading. I am not very far into Forgotten Ways and may start blogging as I go while the impressions are fresh in my mind.

    I love talk about the kingdom of God, but I've stepped back from it somewhat because I was unsure how much of my understanding had been influenced by kingdom now, dominionism, and restorationism teaching.

    I have always believed that the kingdom is a present, but not fully realized reality. Like the Matrix (sorry another movie reference), more real than the "reality" we live in.

    I think that a proper understanding of power and the subversion of power in the kingdom of God can overcome the false aspect of the dominionism teaching which seemed to be more about an accumulation of power for believers.

    I'm excited to hear what you have to say about the kingdom in relation to mission. It seems that as the people of God, we may have gotten sidetracked into the institution of church and missed the whole idea of colaboring with God in the establishment of His kingdom.

    My confession....
    sometimes I peek at the discernment sites. But every time I do, I'm left scratching my head, wondering why none of it makes sense to me. A part of me would like to figure out the miscommunication and twists in logic, but I know it would be a waste of time.

    And I'd much rather talk about the kingdom of God, living missionally, and growing in our revelation and understanding of the Lord.

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  4. just to say this old blogger and her old preacher husband are starting to blog again and searching out old and new friends, glad to see you are still here!

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  5. David,

    I'm eventually hoping/planning to do more writing on being "charis-missional", and that (for me) requires re-examining the foundational understanding of the already-and-not-yet Kingdom of God.

    I'm looking forward to the process!

    Greg,

    I absolutely agree. Interesting, though, how many evangelicals talk about "the gospel Jesus preached" and equate that with the Four Spiritual Laws. We need to take another thoughtful look at what Jesus meant by "Kingdom of God" first.

    Grace,

    "love talk about the kingdom of God, but I've stepped back from it somewhat because I was unsure how much of my understanding had been influenced by kingdom now, dominionism, and restorationism teaching."

    I have seen much damage done by these teachings as well, which is why I want to dig back and get a better handle on it. And I like your use of The Matrix; not only have I actually seen that one, I've watched it so many times that I've inadvertantly memorized a lot of the dialogue (much like Braveheart).

    I haven't peeked at a "discernment" site for quite a while, but when I did earlier this week, I realized immediately how poisonous it is to even read them. I'd be less defiled listening to Metallica...

    Maryellen,

    Good to hear from you again! Yep, I'm still here, older and hopefully a little wiser, but here nonetheless.

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  6. These days I find as much great stuff in many blogs as I do in books. So, not to be anti- books but I often find myself spending more time reading around the blogosphere than I do in books.

    I want to hear about your CDTS staffing experience! My wife thinks staffing a DTS would be awesome. I was surprised to hear her say that because that is what I assumed I would love to do (and I would), but I didn't want it to be all my idea!

    Of course, I'm saying that after only week 2 of our CDTS, so I suppose I should spend a little more time seeing what God has to say about it. :)

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  7. Brian,

    Well, it sounds like you're heading in the right direction:

    (A) You and your wife are hearing the same thing.

    (B) You're enjoying the Crossroads journey already.

    (C) You're going to continue to wait and listen to God's leading.

    Drop me an email at the link above, and I'll send you a fuller reply than comment boxes normally allow!

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  8. Hey Rob,

    I'm looking forward to hearing your thoughts on the kingdom of God and how it relates to us here and now, or maybe that should be how we relate to it here and now.

    As far as blog & book reading goes, for me I'm geared toward practise so I gravitate toward people who are trying to DO what they believe God's kingdom IS. This is why I appreciate you.
    But I've been trimming back on others who appear to be more talk than walk. I'm all for people processing their thoughts, but at some point it has to settle and be lived out. I'm also far more interested in reformers than revolutionaries.

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  9. Good to hear that there's life in the old dog yet ;)

    I echo your thoughts on the kingdom of God and learning from them in time - i still think i misunderstand and miss much, even having hung out in the vineyard with our kingdom babble for the last 12 yrs!

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  10. Hey Rob --
    Just visiting your blog to catch up...enjoying the tribute to George (I know that's been on there for while)...reading on the "missional/in breaking kingdom" comments...seeing what's new with you.

    Thought you might like to catch the last two sermons from Tapestry on line - very much in line with your kingdom writing here and on our heart as we seek to grow (shift) our local body to a missional/incarnational/organic/transformational community! :-)

    Anyway, check Kev out at www.tapestrychurch.ca and listen to the sermons from April 14 and 21 (and follow up on 29).

    Have a good one, Rob. I'll enjoy the reading and thinking!

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  11. KSG,

    I often feel the same way, but I think I'm looking for "revolutionary reformers" or "reforming revolutionaries" -- the longer I walk this path, the more I see that we will always be interacting with people in all areas. So we might as well get used to it, and learn how to walk with others at whatever point of the journey they're on.

    Paul,

    "Old dog"? Does that refer to ME?!?

    I agree that there's implications and depth to what Wimber tried to teach and impart that many of us didn't really "get", even though we all adopted the "kingdom jargon".

    Never too late to re-address the foundations, methinks.

    Louise,

    Speaking of people who probably see me as "old", if not necessarily an "old dog..."

    Say hi to Kev for me, and thanks for the suggestion of his latest sermons. I've told many people, and I'll say it loudly online here, that your husband is one of the finest preachers I've heard in a long while.

    I'll have a listen to Kev's stuff. Sounds like things are moving in new and interesting directions for Tapestry!

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