Monthly Archives: June 2008

The Missional Synchroblog

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Rick Meigs over at Blind Beggar has voiced his concern about the overuse and misuse of the word “missional”.  In an attempt to reclaim and give a proper definition to the term “missional”, he put out a call for a global synchroblog on the topic.  Go here for Rick’s comments and to find the links to all 50 respondents (responses were posted on June 23, 2008).


Here are some snippets from some of the responses:


From Bill Kinnon :  This is not a two-year, three-year, five-year or even ten-year plan. This is a lifetime’s engagement with the communities where we have been strategically placed by the hand of God.


From Sonja Andrews : Missional is about loving my neighbor and that can be expressed in thousands of ways.


From Brother Maynard :  To be missional is to engage with the “other” solely for their sake.


From Grace : “Out Not In”  “With Not For”  “Us Not Them”


From Tim Thompson : An alternative lifestyle where your top priorities are all about signing on to God’s project to repair the World because you want to do that work. That’s missional.


From Erica Haub : I hope that those of us seeking to imitate an incarnate God really understand that that means following a crucified One.


From Duncan McFadzean :  Missional is a call to a life of justice, a life of deep community and a life of authentic worship.


From Makeesha Fisher :  Talking about missional really needs to be comunicated in terms of what one does, how one lives. The ‘now me’ would say to the ‘then me’, get out and live, cancel at least half of your church commitments, drop out of most of your Bible studies and prayer groups and GET OUT THERE!


From Alan Hirsch : Mission always sets our Agenda and Incarnation must always describe our Way.


Hope you enjoy the discussion – and feel free to comment if something is on your mind.



And That’s The Truth

As you probably know, a lot of the criticism (mostly handed out by evangelicals) of the emergent/emerging movement/conversation/community centers around the subjects of “inerrancy of scripture’ and “truth”.  It wasn’t too long ago that Chuck Colson commented about “the emergent community that rejects the bible” – which, I believe, was his way of saying that if you don’t interpret the bible the way he does, then you are rejecting it.  I find it hard to believe he has actually been in contact with an emergent community that rejects the bible – at least not one that calls itself “Christian”.  See the complete comment here. 



  The problem is that many, if not most, Christians from my generation believe they (or their pastor or their favorite theologian) have completely and rightly interpreted all scripture and pretty much figured everything out about God to boot.  If we have questions or doubts about their interpretation then we are making up our own religion, or distorting the truth or as Chuck puts it: “rejecting the bible”. 


   I can’t say that I don’t understand someone being in that place  – what I don’t understand is that someone could continue to stay in that place when so many from the movement have spoken out to explain that they are not trying to make up some sort of feel good theology but that they are truly grappling with the search for truth and find it hard to believe that anyone has completely figured it all out. 




 I say all of that because I want to share something that I read recently over at Up/Rooted.  It was actually a comment to a comment.  You can read the whole thread here.  This is what I found so thought provoking:




I’m a scientist by training so I’m very, very comfortable with the Modern, scientific way of thinking about “truth” as being related to facts, information, verifiability and so on. So it’s completely jarring to hear Jesus say that he is truth, because “truth” is not something you can be. You can know truth, discover truth, share, record, express, discuss, debate and even be mistaken about truth. You can also be true but you can’t be truth.

So, in making that claim, Jesus shatters the category of “truth” in applying it to himself. It’s not just that it’s hard to understand what he means (we all agree there’s plenty of that), it’s that the statement is formally nonsensicalif – you are using the Modern/scientific categories for understanding the word “truth.”   

That, to me, is where Jesus himself forces me to go outside the arena of factuality and accuracy (and inerrancy) in how I am going to deal with him and relate to him and, I pray, trust in him and obey him. These are, I believe, the things that matter most. When Jesus says “I am the truth” it compels me to move out of the Modern/scientific (and Greek/philosophical) arena and back into the Hebraic realm, where it has never been about facts and Ideas but love, life, and above all relationship as the “category of ultimate concern” if you will. 

But when he says that, it also opens the door for me intellectually to all of the discussion I am finding so lively among the Emergents on issues of language, culture and so on. Truthfully, I’d have to say it actually compels me to go through that door so that I will be more cautious about interpreting scripture, since so much hinges on the categories and definitions I bring to the table, knowingly or unknowingly. 

Let me go one step further. When the word “truth” is used in the Modern/scientific sense, then the word “know” also has a particular sense which corresponds to a cognitive condition. Scientific “knowing” is about having access to actual facts in your mind. But in the Hebraic sense, “to know” is also often used in a relational way. So we get the classic “Adam knew Eve his wife…” in Genesis 4:1. This means that there is at least an interpretive option in how we understand what it means to “know.” 

This profoundly shifts the sense for interpreting a foundational verse such as John 8:31 “You shall know the truth, and the truth shall set you free.” In a Modern/scientific frame, that translates into something like “You shall actually have access in your mind to the correct information, and that correct information will set you free.” But in a more Hebraic frame of meaning, and following what I think is the sense in John 14, it comes out more like this: “You shall be united in a relationship with me, and I will set you free.” 

For me then, these explorations into the discussion of Truth and so on have resulted in an even more powerful shove towards focusing on my relationship with Jesus. And rather than make me less interested in investing time into reading and studying scripture, it has made that more important as I want to hear what my forbears have to tell me about living a life with God in the way of Jesus. 

 Well, that’s what’s been on my mind. If it’s of any use to others, then thank God for that!
 Blessings –


Wow!  That is very useful to me!  Does this resonate with anyone else out there?


Groovin’ On A Sunday Afternoon – What Are You Listening To These Days?



Made a CD for a friend this week. I started off with a little Jason Mraz and went from there.  It actually ended up being two CDs – a total of 30 songs.  I made it for my friend, Colleen, who lives in San Antonio.  I was there for a visit back in April and we spent some time talking about music – so I decided I would share some of my favorites with her.  It turned out pretty good if I do say so myself.  Here’s the playlist:


Groovin’ On A Sunday Afternoon – The Young Rascals (it was a perfect title for the collection)

Shy That Way– Tristan Prettyman and Jason Mraz (love them together)

If I Ain’t Got You – Alicia Keys (the voice! the piano! It’s perfect!)

(You Want To) Make A Memory– Bon Jovi (great sing a long song)

Love Song – 311 (from the movie 50 First Dates – very pretty)

The Story– Brandi Carlile (love the raspiness of her voice – makes me think of Grey’s Anatomy)

Ain’t Nobody– Chaka Khan (makes me want to dance)

Love Song– Sara Bareillies (another great sing a long)

Live High– Jason Mraz (very mellow and easy going – his voice shines through on this nicely)

Keep Breathing– Ingrid Michaelson (another song from Grey’s – I can still see Christina in that wedding dress)

With You – Chris Brown (who would’ve ever thought I would like a song so much where the guy calls the girl Boo)Dream Some – Shelby Lynne (something I found accidentally and fell in love with)

Do You Know (The Ping Pong Song)– Enrique Iglesias (very poppie and great to sing a long with)

You and I– Jason Mraz (this and Beautiful Mess may be my favorite Mraz songs at the moment)

Best Thing That Ever Happened To Me – Gladys Knight (a timeless song – makes you think of someone special)

Sunday Morning – Maroon 5 (just a feel good song all the way around)

How To Save A Life – The Fray (hauntingly beautiful)

Look At Me – Keri Noble (another one I found accidentally and fell in love with)

Crazy – Gnarls Barkley (love the funky feel – also love the music video of this song)

Tell It To My Heart– Taylor Dayne (anyone feel like dancing?)

When The Stars Go Blue – Ryan Adam (I still think of Blake Lewis from American Idol when I hear this song)

The Way I Am– Ingrid Michaelson (such a positive, upbeat, fun song)

You’re Beautiful – James Blunt (great song – in fact his whole Back To Bedlam album is great)

No One – Alicia Keys (still love this song even though they played it to death on the radio)

1000 Things– Jason Mraz (another great one from Jason)

Bleeding Love – Leona Lewis (was so glad when her music started to break here in the US – love her voice)

Who Knew – Pink (don’t listen to much by Pink but love to sing along with this song)

Unfair – Josh Kelley (was in the movie 27 Dresses – love the old Motown sound)

Love Love Love– Tristan Prettyman (her voice goes so well with the guitar)

Smooth – Santana (sexy)


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Hello world!

Wow – I am finally blogging.  I have thought about blogging for a long time but just kept putting it off.  One thing that has kept me from starting a blog before now is that I thought it would be technically difficult…but the good people at have made it easier than email, itunes, aim, word, excel and all the other mind blowing computer things that I do.  The other thing that has delayed my dream of blogging from coming true is that I had to come up with a name for my blog.  Unfortunately, the good people at wordpress could not help me there – except to tell me that my first five choices were already taken.  It was hard but I finally settled on “Grace Rules”. I chose that name because it is a principle that I am trying to put to work in my life.  I have a history of falling more into the “law, absolute truth, this is what I believe, these are my convictions, rules” category but I am trying to break free of that.  Now the question is…what will I blog about?  Life, family, faith, books, movies, technology, the emergent conversation, church, friendships, serving, community……maybe I should have called my blog jabberwocky!  LOL