Keeping Up With Ted Haggard

Here is the Washington Post article. Tracking Ted can be a full-time job!!! There is some value here. His journey gives an insight into this thing we call evangelicalism. For a long time Ted was treading water in the evangelical pond, and it is still his natural habitat. But the question remains how a guy like Ted remains engaged with evangelicalism having done what he did and being “complex” (as he puts it) as he is. Is there room for him? In what way? As the story comes out about how his church handled him we will gain more and more knowledge about what we believe about redemption, reconciliation and the deep and often unfathomable complexities of the human spirit. No one ever defends the level of dishonesty, but we all know that we live at varying levels of dishonesty. Do our churches really provide a way to come clean, make a fresh start, be accepted for the compromised people we really are? Or is it to be shown the door once how human you are becomes known? This is where religion as we know can become a pathology. It begins to hurt people. Church can become like a hospital where you can’t tell the doctor how sick you are. There has to be a better way.

Today’s Quote 1/29/08

Believing as I do that the greatest need of the hour is a revived and joyful Church the subject dealt with in these sermons is to me of the greatest possible importance. Unhappy Christians are, to say the least, a poor recommendation for the Christian Faith; and there can be little doubt but that the exuberant joy of the early Christians was one of the most potent factors in the spread of Christianity  Martin Lloyd-Jones

Wisconsin Winter Habits

Wisconsin Winter Habits
By Scot McKnight on Wisconsin Weather

60 above zero:  Wisconsinites plant gardens.

50 above zero:  People are sunbathing in Green Bay .

40 above zero:  Wisconsinites drive with the sunroof open.

32 above zero:  The water in  Hayward gets thicker.

20 above zero:  Wisconsinites throw on a flannel shirt.

15 above zero:  People in  Wisconsin have one last cookout before it gets cold.

Zero:  Wisconsinites close the windows.

10 below zero: Wisconsinites dig their winter coats out of storage.

25 below zero:  Girl Scouts in  Wisconsin still selling cookies door to door.

40 below zero: People in  Wisconsin let their dogs sleep indoors.

100 below zero: Wisconsinites get upset because the Mini-Van won’t start.

460 below zero: ALL atomic motion stops (absolute zero on the Kelvin scale). People in  Wisconsin can be heard to say, “Cold ’nuff fer ya?”

500 below zero:  Hell freezes over.  Wisconsin public schools open 2 hours 

Thanks to Jesus Creed

The Future of Evangelicalism

iMonk hits it out of the park again. I hve been an evangelical all my life, and one thing I know for sure, today’s evangelicalism is not the evangelicalism of the middle part of the 20th century. It often descends into goofiness, theological carelessness, fads, and an innate suspicion of reason and the life of the mind.

Here are the words that are iMonk’s money shot: “Evangelicals have failed to pass on to our young people the evangelical Christian faith in an orthodox form that can take root and survive the secular onslaught. In what must be the most ironic of all possible factors, an evangelical culture that has spent billions of youth ministers, Christian music, Christian publishing and Christian media has produced an entire burgeoning culture of young Christians who know next to nothing about their own faith except how they feel about it. Our young people have deep beliefs about the culture war, but do not know why they should obey scripture, the essentials of theology or the experience of spiritual discipline and community. Coming generations of Christians are going to be monumentally ignorant and unprepared for culture-wide pressures that they will endure. Do not be deceived by conferences or movements that are theological in nature. These are a tiny minority of evangelicalism. A strong core of evangelical beliefs is not present in most of our young people, and will be less present in the future. This loss of “the core” has been at work for some time, and the fruit of this vacancy is about to become obvious.”

Often evangelicalism is like kindling put on a dying fire. You will find a spurt of flame here and there (a Rick Warren or a Bill Hybelsor whoever), but the it is the fire itself that is in danger. It is a movement that is exhausting itself. It can’t come up with enough programs and campaigns to keep the center strong.  Theological conviction and Bible-centered piety are not strong enough values to overcome the centrifugal forces and pieces of us are flying out all over the place. Some see hope in a resurgent Calvinism. I have been at the center of Calvinism and have seen why in three generations white-hot Calvinism ends up in cold unitarianism. I do not put my confidence there, though I am largely Calinistical.

I think that the center of evangelicalism is the shift toward the state of the sentiments rather than the objective realities of the spiritual world. We have much more confidence in the power of the emotions than man as a rational being, the spiritual as objective reality and virtue as essential to human happiness. We have become strings on a violin that must always be plucked to feel alive. We are experience junkies who cannot take comfort in truth and ultimate

www.thehighcalling.org

I have heard radio spots sponsored by this organization, which in turn is sponsored by www.laitylodge.org, an organization Dr. Mark Roberts now leads. Visit Mark at his website, http://www.markdroberts.com/.  The radio spots explore the spirituality of the marketplace and sort of ask people to step up to a higher level of transcendence in the routines and responsibilities of their world. Very enjoyable and effective spots. Roberts is a general “all-around-good-guy-resource” for evangelicals. You ought to visit his sites. Much to think about. Much is very useful.