1. The Clawsons both lead me some good stuff. Mike’s blog has a very funny (and sad) story on how Christian Radio has been on a twenty year loop. It is these types of articles that makes me wonder if Christian entertainment and radio is totally out of touch with the world today. As a future teacher, we are constantly being told in our classrooms that high school changes dramatically every year. Each year, we are told, we need to reassess our goals and objectives based on the students. Should this be something the church is doing as well? Julie lead me to a very good poem that should be read to reflect on advent season by T.S. Eliot. I love his imagery in all his poetry.
2. There is a discussion going on over whether or not Rob Bell speaks out of both sides of his mouth. I, apparently, am his sole defender on the largely reformed blog. This should not be taken for a blanket endorsement of Bell by myself. I think that his teaching is inherently one-sided, but I think that we can all be guilty of this in one way or another if we are not careful. My one piece of advice to all ministers is to be careful with the words you speak to your congregations.
Do you find yourself saying the same things over and over again (see this if you’re not sure)? Does your congregation say that you sound like a broken record? One of the main things that pastors are guilty of is “getting off” on a pet doctrine and building a church around that pet doctrine. Granted, there are some things that probably need to be emphasized more based on the context and the community of your church, but there also needs to be a certain amount of challenge and push to your congregations as well. Sometimes congregations need to hear something different and something that may make them uncomfortable. Sound educational pedagogy says that we need to push our audience into a bit of disequilibrium (i.e., make the laugh, make them angry, sad etc.), but not into so much disequilbrium that they shut down and stop listening. Find that balance between raising emotions and keeping your audience engaged is a fine line that any good pastor must walk.
3. How would you answer Andrew Jone’s million dollar question? I would begin a house school where a group of one hundred students learn within the context of their community. They would shadow professionals in the field, learn job skills in relation to their field, and study what they are interested in. I don’t have all the detail worked out, but it would be a place where community service would be part of the curriculum. We would save money by using no textbooks and having the majority of the research done in public libraries. Students would be in charge of making lunches for the students in low-cost fashion. Jones also talks about five ways that churches can overcome the recession we are in. His views reflect many of theings I have said in the past (here, here, and here). If this isn’t enough, also check out Kathleen’s post on this subject.
4. Colin talks about why he won’t be listening to MacLaren in Scotland.
5. Adrian talks about why Piper doesn’t own a TV, but that he does own a macbook. How are the internet and the TV the same? How are they different? There is a disscusion about this in relationship to education here. Because the internet is much more interactive (especially in a web 2.0 world), many have argued that there really is no comparison between TV and the internet.