Category Archives: Philosophy

Advent Conspiracy 2011

Worship Fully // Spend Less //  Give More //  Love All

The question is what will you do?

Evolution of the Hipster – Muppet Style

This is too funny, but not in an ironic sort of way. Let’s hope they don’t ruin coffee…oh wait they did.

The Secret Art of Lying

I for the most part try to live a life that would bring glory and honor to Jesus Christ. As a man I still fail at times in this attempt. As I reflect upon the kinds of things I struggle with I often times rationalize my sin in that I disassociate them from others. An example of such notions would be that murder is worse than adultery or, greed is worse than lying. However, sin is sin in the eyes of the Lord. There’s is no delineation between good sin or bad sin. It’s evil anyway we look at it.

This brings me to my main point…

Yesterday I read an article in Christianity Today by Sarah Sumner entitled “The Seven Levels of Lying.” As I read through the article I was immensely disturbed by the fact that even through I try to live a righteous life, I still knowingly sin against God. This is done by my flawed view of lying. Although lying about something with the motivation to cause harm, either emotional or physical is heinous in any form, I found myself reflecting upon my own sins… especially with lying.

I wouldn’t consider myself to be a profound liar, but there are times where I bend the truth or exasperate truth to tell a more interesting story, you know to make things sound better than they are. Either way I look at it, it’s lying and it’s a sin. Sumner’s response to this and the idea of seven levels of lying are well within normal parameter of the Christian life. As she stated in her article: you lie, you self-protect, you develop a habit of lying, you self-deceive, you rationalize, you develop your technique, then you you see it as your duty to lie. It’s outrageous that I (and I’m sure everyone else) allows ourselves to develop a life built upon accepting lying as an benin sin.

This is what Sumner said that really got me thinking…

God’s disdain for lying is not whimsical (Prov. 12:22). Lying is sinful not merely because the Bible says it is wrong. The Bible says lying is wrong because untruth violates Truth. Since Jesus is Truth, it is antichrist to lie.

Lying is untruth…period! And if we want to live a life that reflects the truth of the God we serve there can be no room for lying or sin. 1st Peter 1:15-16 simply states “Be holy, because I am holy.” As a man of God it is my desire to live in such a way. Not because it looks good on a resume or brings favorable comments on my Facebook page, but because I am in this incredible, amazing, passionate love story with the Creator of the universe. It’s a love story that transcends time and space. When I seek to understand who God is and what he is like, I’m speechless and standing in awe. When I realize this…how can I continue to accept the secret art of lying? Seriously…how can I rationalize lying when it bring nothing by chaos and destroys community?

Do you struggle with lying?

3 Books I’m Going to Read this Fall

It’s no secret that I have an unusual obsession with books, especially books pertaining to church, church culture and student ministry. Being a loyal reader to Relevant Magazine I come across a multitude of books that I want to read, never really investing the time and effort into finding and reading those books.

However, as I think, pray and dream about the future of the local church I couldn’t help but make the attempt at securing three books I feel could be extremely interesting within the context of church culture. It’s possible that these books could could be a waste of time by regurgitating the same old trendy sort of  information. Just from reading the dust jacket I have a feeling that the guys that wrote these books are on to something. More so, they place the on the table the question of “as a church…where are we and we are we going?”

It would be hard to answer these questions thoroughly in one book, so I appreciate the effort of dividing up this concept into three books. Relevant Magazine advertises this idea with the clever word of “inspire” while linking each book to a social element often times missing from the church mix; Holistically, Relationally, and Missionally.

I know what you’re thinking…what are the names of these books?

HOLISTICALLY…

RELATIONALLY…

MISSIONALLY…

As I progress through each book, I’ll tender my thoughts and keep you updated. I would love for you to join me as I dissect the idea of the local church becoming more holistically, relationally, and missional in it’s approach to the Kingdom. Let me know if you’re reading these books and perhaps we can start a “trendy” online book club of sorts.

Does God Exist?

This is an incredible video!

Interesting Article…

Mere Christianity

mere-christianity

Picked up “Mere Christianity” today for a my summer reading project. I’ve found an academic podcast to go along with my readings. Super excited about it!

Revisting Relational Youth Ministry: A Review

relational-ministry

As a youth pastor I always try and get my hands on the current youth ministry book that’s out.  Within the last six months I have read a plethora of youth ministry books, and what I’ve come to realize is that they all sound the same.  Maybe a different perspective, sure, but in the end the concepts and principles are the same; just repackaged. I’ve slowly developed an appetite for this type youth ministry quick fix books. Though what I was really looking for was a foundational outlook on ministry, more specifically relational ministry…something more academic and less program driven

Then I found Revisiting Relational Youth Ministry by Andrew Root.

This book was (is) absolutely amazing.  Academic yet functional. Simplistic yet comprehensive.  The book is divided into two parts.  Part one focuses on the birthplace of youth ministry and where its been, where its is, and where its going, while giving thought into the social implications.  The part two focuses on Christ and his role in a relational ministry.  Let’s face it, without him there’s no reason for youth ministry.  However, how we do ministry is a different story.

As RRYM progresses through a vast field of what it means to be relational, Root looks at the adolescent mind to find the cause of why they do the things they do (you know…the stupid things teens do).  He brings to light the importance of being relational as a why of communicating God from a life on life application. But why is this important. Root explains that Christ is “present within human relationships” i.e. transcendence and revelation.

RRYM is a book that will take time to think about.  This is not some “fun-filled youth ministry” model.  It is an academic look into the heart of what today’s teenagers need and how we can help them better understand what it means to know Jesus Christ.  Because if Christ is not infused into everything we do as a ministry…we got problems.

A man needs new experiences

Well…after tons of prayer and coming to the point where I really don’t care what people think, I made the choice to attend another seminary.  I guess I found myself engulfing my graduate work in the Southern Baptist tradition and applied to Golden Gate Baptist Seminary.  Though, I really never wanted to go there.  Now that I think about it, I  never wanted to attend a Southern Baptist seminary.

Why?

It’s not that I’m a SBC hater (I work at SBC church), it’s more about understanding what works best for my life at the moment.  Honestly the discount that I would get from being a SB (Southern Baptist) and working for a SB church really doesn’t cut the cake.  With what I make, I would be waiting years before I could afford to go, and I’m not about to run out and get another loan.

Where?

West Coast Bible College & Seminary

Again…why?

  • It’s cheap…$75 per class…heck yeah!
  • It’s all online…work at my schedule!
  • It’s no-denominational…works for me and they’re kingdom focused!
  • The master’s program is identical to it’s counterpart at GGSBS.
  • It’s relevant!
  • I really don’t care about the academics…I just want the accolades from having a master’s degree.  Seriously folks, places/people don’t care if you have a masters in shoveling horse crap.  All they see is that you have a masters.

At this point of my life…I just want to be done

Masculine vs. Feminine

I have weird question to propose to those who read this.  Is it our responsibility as male youth workers to make male students more masculine?  Allow me to give some context in why I ask this question.

Imagine you have a guy in your youth ministry who is extremely feminine.  Everything from his physical mannerisms (not physical features), interests, and social interactions with others scream feminine.  He has the typical family dynamic, single mom, no father.  He exhibits strong faith qualities and is a Christ follower.  However, you notice that his social interaction with others and staff is extremely awkward and often distracting to others.

I ask this question because I want to know if it’s our responsibility as men to make his kid more like a guy.  Is it wrong to want him to be socially accepted and less awkward…more masculine?

Your thoughts?