May 25, 2006


So for those of you who check this blog every now and again, or for those who like the guilt of another posting on their blog in order to motivate your own, many apologies.

I am deep in the midst of summer slack-i-tude/working my tail off with the maintenance crew. I hope and pray for the strength to return to this blogging thing very soon, but for now, pray for me as I continue to slide down the hill of slack-tasticness toward total, unmitigated slack-i-tude.

May 18, 2006

why so complicated?

Well in addition to meetings and whatnot, now we've got the search for a new Dean beginning immediately. Fortunately enough I don't have to serve on the search committee, but am the conduit for information between students, faculty, and the board. So pray for me as everyone and their brother decide to share with me who should be the next Dean and President at VTS.

On the less complicated side, school is now over and I might actually have time to expand on some of my posts, etc. in the near future. I'm working on a brief synopsis of the Canonical Approach to Scirpture interpretation and hope to post it soon.

Blessings to the VTS Class of 2006. You will be missed, but thanks for getting out of the way so I can be a senior.

May 17, 2006

my life just got very complicated!!!

It hasn't been made official via press release yet, so i'll withhold the details, but suffice it to say that being president of the student body next year will keep me quite busy.

If you wouldn't mind praying for discernment, patience, and open hearts for the entire seminary community it would certainly be appreciated.

May 10, 2006

great discussion

just a thanks to all 25 of you who showed up for the kitchen table discussion forum this afternoon. The discussion was deep, hearfelt, theological, and done with love. I think we all learned a lot and I hope it was just the beginning.

May 8, 2006

companions on the journey

Friend of S3K

Check out the folks over at Synagogue 3000. They're doing work very similar to the emergent folk for a postmodern jewish community.

good stuff

not feeling generous

The Lectionary... GO!: not feeling generous (BCP)

This link is to my post on my group spiritual discipline blog. Read it at your own risk, that note about not feeling generous refers to me.

O God, in the course of this busy life, give us times of
refreshment and peace; and grant that we may so use our
leisure to rebuild our bodies and renew our minds, that our
spirits may be opened to the goodness of your creation;
through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen. (BCP 825)

May 7, 2006

losing patience

From the AAC response to the election of the Rt. Rev. Marc Andrus as the next bishop of the diocese of California. (emphasis mine)

  • How will activists respond to the fact that a diocese which has for years been a bastion of amorphous Christianity and aggressive revisionism chose a white, heterosexual, Southern male as bishop? Did the diocese succumb to reported pressure from the national Episcopal Church USA (ECUSA), including Presiding Bishop Frank Griswold, to avoid electing a partnered homosexual? Is such pressure in fact part of a coordinated strategy intended to mislead the Communion? A recent report issued by the Special Committee on the Episcopal Church and the Anglican Communion claimed compliance with expectations of the Windsor Report and Primates, but clearly encourages working toward a new consensus. The commission failed to call for moratoria on blessings of same-sex unions and consecrations of partnered homosexuals, urging only “the exercise of very considerable caution.” Moving slowly with caution is not stopping, and ECUSA is practicing a theology contrary to Scripture, Anglican doctrine, and 2,000 years of Christian teaching. The life and practice of ECUSA clearly illustrates its commitment to a new gospel despite claims and protestations to the contrary.
  • All eyes now turn to Columbus, where General Convention is expected to continue its obfuscation of the issues and present an unacceptable fudge to Episcopalians and Anglicans worldwide. It is imperative that the Anglican Communion follow Christ’s exhortation in analyzing General Convention 2006: “Do not judge by appearances, but judge with right judgment”

As a moderate in a world of polemicists I have to admit I'm beginning to lose my patience. Even with the view of schism mentioned in earlier posts, one has to read that which is coming from the AAC as one side telling the other they are apostate. Why, if the rhetoric used is going to be so strong, are they hanging around? Why if the decision has been made that ECUSA is apostate is the network waiting? Why?

Perhaps I am misreading what the AAC and the Network have to say, if so, please correct me. And most certainly, I am not saying ECUSA is right, becasue I indeed believe they have misconstrued this issue as on of justice when it most certainly is not (full humanity does not depend on one's right to be a bishop). What I am saying is that if there is any hope of us walking together as the wounded body of Christ we need to reevaluate the tenor of our conversation. Be it the AAC outright saying that the election of Bishop Andrus was a smokescreen or the writers of To Set Our Hope on Christ saying to the simpleminded conservatives that upon enlightenment they too will come around, the conversation is one of apostacy and "us v. them" not one of walking together despite varying interprations of the Christian faith based on Scripture, tradition, and reason.

Seriously folks, lets watch what we say and moreso how we say it.

May 4, 2006

Doctrinal Statements

LeRon Shults
Jamie Smith's Response

Above are links to the beginning (I hope) of a splendid conversation on the role of "statements of doctrine" in emergent.

I have yet to inwardly digest these things, but I really appreciate the tenor of the conversation. I also am apt to side with LeRon on his position that a "statement of doctrine" has not place in emergent (at least at this time) because it is a living breathing converation that continues to happen. To have a "statement of doctrine" immediatly ends that conversation.

This could have a lot to say to the current struggles in ECUSA and the Anglican Communion. As we stand currently we are a creedal institution. Functionally however we aren't really sure about how this plays out in everyday life. Beyond that, the tenor of the conversation in the midst of disagreement should be the example to which we aspire.

Canonical Approach

Brevard Childs and Stephen Cook are great proponents of the Canonical Approach to Scripture, and approach I am apt to look deeply at. In response to the modernist interpretation that we read over and over again in our study Bibles, the Canonical Approach actually gives us a way to see why Scripture matters at all. Anyway, if you have studied this, or would like to, check out the link above and let me know what y'all think.

May 2, 2006

an interesting view of schism

This afternoon, in forum 3 of 4 in regards to General Convention, two of our professors were set to the task to see if/when schism is every theologically justfied. I'm not entirely sure they'd be ok being named, so I will express the position of one in particular without using his/her name.

The ecclesiology that has within recent tradition defined our discussion around schism is to make the church catholic analogous to the relationship of the Godhead. This creates an idea that all forms of schism fail to live up to this ideal. Failing to live up to this ideal taken to its logical end means that all forms of schism end with one party still "in" and one party "out."

A new ecclesiology (which is actually quite old) sees the church as the body of Christ (see I told you it was old). This ecclesiology sees schism in the same way we see the body as open to infection from outside forces (the devil perhaps?), having the possiblity of being wounded (breaks, cuts, etc.), and even fighting unto itself. This view allows one to see schism not ending as "in" and "out" but as the wounded body of Christ. It is only when a church (see Germany 1930s) turns away from the faith it has held from its baptism (seeking Christ in all people, for example) the claim is no longer schism (a division within the body) but the claim is apostacy (a part that has, by its decisons, left the body of Christ).

I found this to be quite interesting in the current debate in ECUSA and the Anglican Communion (no matter how you define it). The debate over human sexuality or the authority of scripture/the interpretation of scripture are not, in this faculty members opinion, not a matter of apostacy, but rather a division within the body. The possiblitiy of a break is there, but ultimately a break healed is stronger than the bone was before.

The discussion brought to my mind Brian McLaren's 7 Jesuses. In the midst of our deep divisions (the church visible), we each hold a piece of the truth (the church invisible) and it is from this understanding we seek out the truth in the other (reconciliation/healing in the body).

What do y'all think?