Tuesday, March 28, 2006

Ordination of Men

I'm reposting this from The Shiverian:

Top Ten Reasons Why Men Should Not Be Ordained

10. A man's place is in the army.
9. For men who have children, their duties might distract them from the responsibilities of being a parent.
8. Their physical build indicates that men are more suited to tasks such as chopping down trees and wrestling mountain lions. It would be "unnatural" for them to do other forms of work.
7. Man was created before woman. It is therefore obvious that man was a prototype. Thus, they represent an experiment, rather than the crowning achievement of creation.
6. Men are too emotional to be priests or pastors. This is easily demonstrated by their conduct at football games and watching basketball tournaments.
5. Some men are handsome; they will distract women worshipers.
4. To be ordained pastor is to nurture the congregation. But this is not a traditional male role. Rather, throughout history, women have been considered to be not only more skilled than men at nurturing, but also more frequently attracted to it. This makes them the obvious choice for ordination.
3. Men are overly prone to violence. No really manly man wants to settle disputes by any means other than by fighting about it. Thus, they would be poor role models, as well as being dangerously unstable in positions of leadership.
2. Men can still be involved in church activities, even without being ordained. They can sweep paths, repair the church roof, and maybe even lead the singing on Father's Day. By confining themselves to such traditional male roles, they can still be vitally important in the life of the Church.
1. In the New Testament account, the person who betrayed Jesus was a man. Thus, his lack of faith and ensuing punishment stands as a symbol of the subordinated position that all men should take.

Monday, March 27, 2006

Soul Man

As I was headed home for lunch today, the song "Soul Man" came on the radio, and for some reason, I was transported back to Rock Bridge High School circa 1995. My Dad was the host of the annual talent show, which has a clever name that I can't remember right now. Anyway, my Dad was co-hosting with another teacher named David Graham. In between acts, they would play off the fact that Dad was older and David was younger. At one point, the two of them came out dressed like the Blues Brothers and danced to Soul Man. I seem to recall somebody cracking a joke about Dad being the Old Man. It was one of those moments when a child is awfully proud of his Dad. There he was, respectable Mr. Bancroft, the English teacher, acting totally goofy on stage. There ought to be more teachers out there like Mr. Bancroft who are willing to be real people. Anyway, that was a fond memory, and I thought I'd share it with you folks.

Saturday, March 25, 2006

Up early on a Saturday

  • So, it's 7:15 on a Saturday morning and I'm actually up and dressed. What's wrong with this picture? I'm house/dog sitting for the Joneses and I could tell the natives were getting restless, so I got up to let everybody out. In a little while, I'm headed out to have breakfast with Biff and Mary. I really look forward to my Saturday mornings with them. They're great people.

  • This week, as I was cruising toward downtown Nashville, I got behind a car that had a sticker in the rear window that read Truman State University-Excellence is no Accident. I pumped a fist and cheered right there in the car. When I pulled up next to the car, I didn't know the person, but it's good to know that there are a few other Truman Staters hangin' out here in Nashville.
  • I close on a condo in just over a week...April 3rd to be exact. I feel like I'm making a grown up commitment here, and it's a little bit scary. Melissa Britt, my realtor, and friend, has been wonderful about explaining everything and walking me through all of the various steps. I totally understand why some people are never able to buy a home. There are so many upfront costs...appraisal, inspection, earnest money, etc. Anyway, on April 3rd, I'll be a homeowner.
  • I'm preaching tomorrow on John 3:15-17. I'm also using the Old Testament text from Numbers where Moses puts a bronze serpent on a pole so people can look at it and survive snake bites. Check it out at Numbers 21:4-9. I'm going a little bit dark...playing with fears a bit. We'll see how it goes, I guess.
  • OK, off to breakfast. I hope everyone has had a wonderful March.

Thursday, March 09, 2006

Burglar update

This morning, I decided to walk to Notables, a coffee shop/eatery that's become one of my favorite haunts. It's on the route I ran the other night when I lost my key. When I came to the corner and prepared to cross the street, I looked down, and lo and behold, there was my key on its blue Lakeside 2000 keychain. I swear I spent five minutes searching in that very spot the other night. Anyway, I thought some of you might like the update. :)

Monday, March 06, 2006

Burglar Bancroft

So, this evening, when I got home, I decided to go for a "joggy jog" as Kevin Day would say. I put my spare key, my stocking cap, and the Rio Nitrus (mp3 player) in my pocket and set off to run as I listened to Angels and Demons which I recently downloaded from the Nashville Public Library. Awesome idea, huh? Download books and you get a three week license to listen to them. Brilliant. Anyway, I went for my run, and surprisingly ran for 35 minutes before slowing down to walk the last quarter mile to my apartment. As I was climbing the stairs to my apartment, I reached in my pocket for that spare key. Alas, it wasn't in either pocket. Now, did I put it in my back pocket that zips? Hell no. I put it in one of my front pockets, which apparently doesn't hold keys very well. So, I decided to retrace my steps a bit and look around at the couple of places where I stopped and pulled out the Rio Nitrus. Did I find the key? No way! After traipsing around for 45 minutes, I was back in front of my apartment door with no way of entering my apartment. The front office to my complex was already closed, by the way. So, what's my only viable option? That's right, Renderings fans, I had to break into my own apartment. I climbed on top of the fence around the patio that sits below my little deck and then pulled myself up onto the deck. Thank goodness for Lat Pulldowns at the gym. Keep in mind that I'm wearing a black long sleeve running shirt and a stocking cap at this point. Thankfully, I had left the bedroom window that opens onto the deck unlocked. I slid off the screen, slid the storm window up, and then opened the window, and climbed through the mini-blinds that were all the way down. At that moment, I was so thankful that I had decided against putting one of my bookshelves directly in front of the window. Upon entering my apartment, I turned on the lights, and ate a dinner of a peach, a sweet potato, and Spicy Thai Tempe from Wild Oats Grocery Store...All part of a balanced nutritious burglar's diet. Oy.

Gems from Newbigin

Here are a couple of quotes from Lesslie Newbigins The Gospel in a Pluarlist Society. They both come from a chapter entitled "The Congregation as Hermeneutic of the Gospel. This book is truly amazing:

Jesus, as I said earlier, did not write a book but formed a community. This community has at its heart the remembering and rehearsing of his words and deeds, and the sacraments given by him through which it is enabled both to engraft new members into its life and to renew this life again and again through sharing in his risen life through the body broken and the lifeblood poured out. It exists in him and for him. He is the center of its life. Its character is given to it, when it is true to its nature, not by the characters of its members but by his character. Insofar as it is true to its calling, it becomes the place where men and women and children find that the gospel gives them the framework of understanding, the "lenses" through which they are able to understand and cope with the world.

I love those words in the middle that say It exists in him and for him. He is the center of its life. I, personally, need to be reminded of that from time to time. I get so caught up in the daily tasks of preparing lessons, visiting people, planning lock-ins, preparing meals, etc. that I forget that the busy-ness of the church is not what it's all about. The church exists for Christ and Christ is the center of its life. I'm not the center, youth group isn't the center, the building campaign isn't the center, what we sing at what time isn't the center...Only Christ is the center. I also love the opening words about Jesus forming a community. Again and again, we must remind ourselves that Christ calls us into community.

Almost everything in the "plausibility structure" which is the habitation of our society seems to contradict this Christian hope. Everything suggests that it is absurd to believe that the true authority over all things is represented in a crucified man. No amount of brilliant argument can make it sound reasonable to the inhabitants of the reigning plausibility structure. That is why I am suggesting that the only possible hermeneutic of the gospel is a congregation which believes it.

If I had to summarize my time at the emergent convention last May, I think I would use this snippet from Newbigin. I am more and more convinced that tight theological treatises and "brilliant arguments" are not the way we will convince people that the God we worship is one of love and grace and One worthy of worship. The community of believers must live the gospel in such a way that others look and say, "Wow, I want to worship that God and know that Lord and Savior."

Great stuff from a great mind.