Friday, November 18, 2005

I listened to the message Jim Wallis gave at the Generous Orthodoxy Conference in October in DC and picked up the other messages there as well. Great stuff! I have always enjoyed reading Jim Wallis' contribuitons to the Sojourners enewsletter and recently read his book God's Politics. He is helping to create a movement that is providing an alternative to the religious right. Thank you Jim!

I have been reading and following the Emergent Church Movement (Brian McLaren, Erwin McMannus, etc.) for awhile especially because so much of what they say impacts urban ministry... the cross-cultural emphasis, cultural responsibility along with individual piety being an important aspect of the gospel, etc.

Of course, they have started a discussion that is raising flags for some more conservative Christians. James McDonald recently wrote a blog about Why I Am Not Emerging and Don Carson wrote a book critical of the movement. I think it is a discussion that needs to happen and I find myself resonating with much of what I am hearing from Sojourners and the Emerging Church movement.

Divided By Faith, by Smith and Emerson, is an important read for those of us who consider ourselves evangelicals and are concerned about race relations and social justice.

There is a sequel called United by Faith that I have heard is an important read, but I haven't gotten to that one yet.

I attended Calvary Church in Naperville last Sunday and heard Dr. David Yonggi Cho from Korea. Cho is the pastor of a church of 800,000! His message is available online. In short... We have enough faith, grace is given to all (Rom. 12:3; Matt. 17:20), but we need to learn to activate our faith. Faith is the substance of things hoped for (Heb. 11:1). Often we don't know what we hope for. We need to be specific. Write it down. He gave the example of praying for six months for a bicycle, table and chair. Finally we got exasperated with God for not responding to his prayer and he heard God say, "What kind of table, chair and bicycle? You are being too vague." He described the bicycle, chair and table he was hoping for in great detail and later that week as he helped someone move, he saw the exact items in the man's garage and they were given to him.

The challenge... what do you hope for? Hmm.

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