"The origins of creation cannot properly be understood apart from their eschatological aim. If we understand creation (including ourselves) only in terms of an origin (protology) rather than also as a destiny (eschatology), we will miss the crucial point that creation - including humanity - is in an important sense unfinished.
Strikingly, Descartes arrived at his concept of the autonomous res cogitans (thinking thing) by abstracting himself from the world and his mind from his body in contemplative solitude, while the biblical concept of the self emerged in constant interaction with God and other creatures in a particular history of covenantal relatedness.”
Inspired by reading God So Loved, He Gave, Esther Ellis and Shelbe Knapke performed Spring Rains. Their song looks back towards Adam and Eve's first doubts, and rejoices that God pours himself out for us despite our brokenness.
You can find other artistic responses to Kelly Kapic's acclaimed book here.
I heard some really discouraging and sobering news the other day, and I wanted to take a break from Greek instruction to share it with you.
A friend of mine just left the ministry. This is a young man who felt the call of the Lord, and committed his undergraduate education to Biblical Studies. His wife and he made an additional commitment to go to seminary, a decision that involved major sacrifice on their part. It was interesting, they said, to live with all the hookers in their town. But the rent was cheap.
And when his young wife's health continued to deteriorate, they move to another seminary to finish his education.
The point of all this is that we are looking at about six years of significant sacrifice. Six years. Perhaps more.
And then the time comes; they graduate, and move to their first pastorate. He lasted about four years, and when he and his wife couldn't take it any longer, he resigned and is going into some other area of work, and the church is robbed of a bright and passionate young man who deeply loves the Lord and wants to serve the people.
And what was the cause of this man's and woman's loss of a dream? Gossip.
Today you, Koinonia reader, get a chance to win One.Life! I’ll tell you how after these three reviewers tell you why you should be reading it in the first place.
"Often when students say 'I'm tired of being a Christian,' they have understood a Christianity that equates faithfulness with the accumulation of pious practices. 'I need to pray more, serve more, do more.' An exhausting endeavor. Scot McKnight disturbs this equation: it's about following Jesus, with others, to birth a kingdom imagination. An exhilarating endeavor. Let's begin following." - Joseph Modica, Eastern University, Chaplain
"Scot McKnight does not let us get away with picking and choosing the words we like best from Jesus. Instead, he points us to Jesus' invitation into life in the Kingdom that is grand, sweeping, compelling, and meaningful. It is a vision, a dream that is worthy of our ONE.LIFE…McKnight urges us to not just listen, but to follow." - Tracy Balzer, John Brown University, Director of Christian Formation
"One.Life is hands down the best practical book I've ever read for connecting God's Big Dream (aka The Kingdom) with life as a young adult in North America." - Josh Graves, Preaching and Teaching Minister, Otter Creek Church, Brentwood, TN
The One.Life giveaway will run through Thursday and there are two copies to give out.
To enter just comment below with your answer/guess to this question: What is the dot “.” for in the title One.Life?
A little later today we will be featuring a post by McKnight, so stop back soon!
Why the focus on cities? Because “In the year 2007, the number of people living in the cities of the world—finally and irreversibly—exceeded the number of people living in rural areas. The earth’s population is now more urban than rural, and Christian leaders are trying to figure out what this means for the church.”
Swanson and Williams crafted this book while working with missional leaders from cities around the world in order to set some guideposts for others looking to minister in an urban setting. Cities present a different challenge than rural ministry but, as the book points out, the early Christian movement was largely urban so we have rich material to point us on our way.
This giveaway will run through Thursday evening, and there will be two copies up for grabs. To enter, just comment below with your answer to this question: which urban center has the most influence in the area that you live?
Last month on the Out of Ur blog, Shane Hipps shared in an impromptu interview at NPC what he believes to be severe problems with labeling online connections as “virtual community” (view post). Scot McKnight raised some questions (view comments); Anne Jackson mostly defended (view comments). Not to mention Shane’s clarifications. As much as I tremendously respect Shane, I feel I cannot let his fundamentally flawed assertions (and assumptions) about virtual community go unchallenged.
First, let me tell you what meaning virtual community has for me: on the one hand, I seldom participate in any type of virtual community. I’ve attended a number of virtual churches, but for the sake of my marriage I’ve stayed away from World of Warcraft, and I don’t blog, Twitter, or yet do much else online as far as community goes; on the other hand, I’ve spent the last year asking some hard questions about virtual community for my forthcoming book, SimChurch: Being the Church in the Virtual World (Zondervan, 2009). Hard questions that started not by what I felt community to be, but hard questions that came out of my readings of the Fathers, church history, theology, and philosophy as they relate to community.
Let me start with a pointed critique of Shane’s criticisms of virtual community. He lists four necessary ingredients at the beginning of the interview, the first three of which he argues are lacking or absent in virtual community: