this week’s round-up (march 3)

Eventually I hope to get back to a Sunday or Monday release schedule; here’s what’s of interest:

From Last Call to My Call, Jerry Herships’ article challenging us to take the church to where the people are from this month’s Circuit Rider. (This is one of those strange “Is God trying to tell me something?” moments for me, a week or two before I read this article I was having a conversation with someone about being in ministry with people outside the church by building relationships in bars, and I’ve had a couple incidents after reading this touching on the same theme).

Donald Miller: Characteristics of a Creator.

My pal Casey practices turning the other cheek at a McDonald’s Playland. We could all learn from his example.

Kem Meyer on 5 things to remember about winning people over.

Bri starts to unpack her trip to Israel, and writes on discovering God in unexpected places: In Search of Holy Ground.

Angry Birds: Letters from the Front Lines. Short, humorous little read from McSweeney’s.

Rage Against the Machine… marching band style… (pay attention to the girl in red playing the piccolo)

 From Jesus Needs New PR: Check out what this church does not allow. (I know that it is begging for some commentary, but I’m going to resist).

 My blogroll exploded this week about a controversy among evangelical and emergent-types surrounding Rob Bell’s new book. The book itself hasn’t been released yet, but there is speculation that Rob embraces some form of universalism which seems to bring some people to near hysterics. Here’s a few of the reflections on all of this:
Jesus Needs New PR: How to Survive Rob Bell’s New Book Release.
Julie Clawson: Love Always Wins.
Slacktivist: The Epistemology of Team Hell.
Michael Gungor: Rob Bell, Dualities and Meanies.
The very best has to be the short, brilliant theological reflection from Anne Jackson.

 Another, more wide-spread, church-related controversy was the recent Supreme Court decision in favor of the Westboro Baptist Church/Fred Phelps to protest at the funerals of soldiers. The Atlantic, I felt did a good job of reminding the reader that this, ultimately, is a First Amendment issue. Just because you don’t like what they say, or how they say it, doesn’t mean they should be kept from saying it. It’s easy to demonize Phelps and his little clan, but as I had to remind myself beneath the hate, bad theology and misguided tactics are just some people who are broken and in need of grace just like everyone else. It would be easy to try to shut them down, or sue them into oblivion maybe we all just need to find better ways of telling a better story.

Music from Gungor this week: