this week’s roundup (feb. 12)

Jon Stewart on the O’Reilly Factor here. Absolutely brilliant. As much as I enjoy the more comedic stuff he does, I love it when he just straight up challenges people in a honest, reasonable way.

Thinking about a DMin? I’ve actually kicked around the idea for a couple years now, but haven’t made any serious movement towards it. Chuck Warnock offers 5 questions to consider here. (Should the time ever come when I get a DMin, I will fully expect everyone from then on to simply call me “The Doctor.”

How architecture relates to how we do church has been a source of fascination for me for quite a while. This week I came upon this article which is a interview with Mel McGowan about how sacred space needs to foster both horizontal and vertical relationships (ie with others and with God).

Andy Alexis-Baker has a post on “Goshen College: Hurting the Church Bit by Bit” which looks a the recent decision by the college to begin singing the National Anthem at sporting events, after a 114 year history of not singing it in accordance with their Mennonite roots. The primary reason for the change? Public pressure from the press and about 300 people in the community. I can’t come close to holding a self-righteous view on this one, I’ll admit that in the face of pressure and conflict the temptation to compromise comes too quickly for me; but the article does raise some interesting questions about the compromises we are tempted to make, especially when that relate to issues central to our identity and core values.

I also got sucked into the discussion/controversy surrounding Ed Young and Fellowship Church. Over at Church Marketing Sucks they posted a piece looking at the issue in a general sense of how congregations should respond when they are the target of a media investigation. As I looked deeper into the issue what caught my attention the most was:
*First, how my own envy clouded by perspective of the issue. It was very easy to develop this self-righteous attitude about Ed’s seeming “excess” (salary, size of parsonage, access to a private jet) and how that money could be better used for mission, without considering the very real issue that even I, too, could be sacrificing more.
*Second, the issue of transparency. Granted I can’t even begin to get my head around the size and scope of Fellowship Church, but the fact that things like a church budget (which includes pastor’s salaries) isn’t readily available to everyone, is outside my whole concept of church administration. If it were out there in the open, there might be more little nit-picking, but my guess is it wouldn’t develop into the issue that it has become.
*Third, the issue of administration and governance. In this video Ed “sets the record straight” with his congregation, but what jumped out at me is that the members of the governing board of the church who speak on his behalf are OTHER CLERGY from DIFFERENT CHURCHES. Again, this is a difference in polity and ecclesiastical understanding, but I can’t really comprehend the governing board not being members of the congregation (although I think I could rationally understand the counter-case of having “outsiders” for a balanced perspective).
I don’t know the whole situation and don’t really have any interest in the specifics, but the issues it raises are interesting.

A couple gems from Lifehacker this week – Re-Create a Fancy Steakhouse Dinner at Home on the Cheap and Learn to Snag Stuff with a Whip. Of the two, there’s only one I’m likely to ever try, but I’ll let you guess which one that might be.

I’m not sure I fully get Google Buzz yet (or why it would get me to switch away from Twitter), but I have added it to my Google account. Information about Buzz can be found here and here.

Finally finished Malcolm Gladwell’s book What the Dog Saw which I though was really good; I’ve also just read Thy Kingdom Connected by Dwight Friesen which I should be posting a review of soon.

I heard this on the radio yesterday driving into work, and it was stuck in my head the rest of the day, so I’ll share it with you. Classic Squeeze: