a theological vision for immanuel church – part 2 – reconcile people

This picture was taken by my friend, Mike Midkiff from under the Monroe St bridge.

This is part 2 of Immanuel’s Theological Vision. You can find part 1 by clicking here.

We live in such a fragmented society. At this point, almost every element of society is responding as a victim. Everyone is slighted to one degree or another. Everyone is polarized. As a matter fact, in my 59 years, I have never seen a more volatile moment in our culture’s history. Here are a couple of examples. read more

Book Review: Kingdom Conspiracy by Scot McKnight


Do you wear skinny jeans or pleated pants?

Kind of a funny question, but those are the metaphors theologian Scot McKnight uses to describe two prevailing and popular views of the Kingdom of God in his book, Kingdom Conspiracy. The first view, skinny jeans, predictably represents a more current approach that frontloads public sector social justice activism, while often times bypassing the church. He writes, “Kingdom means good deeds done by good people (Christian or not) in the public sector for the common good.” (p.4) The second picture is, again predictably, a perspective that is more represented in “traditional” Christianity. He describes this group’s view by saying, “…the Kingdom is both present and future, and the kingdom is both a rule and reign.” (p. 9) read more

NT Wright on the Church


I was reading last night while lying in bed from the book entitled, Jesus, Paul and the People of God (I know,
nothing like a little light bedside reading). It's a dialogical or responsive book that has to do with the theology of NT Wright. One of the chapters is called “The Shape of Things to Come? Wright Amidst Emerging Ecclesiologies.” In the chapter, contributor and theologian, Jeremy Begbie discusses the interesting notion of how NT Wright has been generally embraced by so many corners of the church, in particular the emerging church. Begbie writes, “Significantly, Wright’s heavy institutional involvement is largely ignored by the young ecclesiologist drawing on his work. Along the same lines, Newbigin’s claim that the local congregation is ‘the hermeneutic of the Gospel’ can be quoted enthusiastically in emergent writings, but his decades of work for visible church unity (sometimes in the most barren institutional settings) receive rather less attention.” read more

The Missional Church as a Sub-culture or as Counter-culture

Difference of prophetic ministry Difference of Prophetic Ministry

Too frequently the church morphs into the dominant culture in its values, while adhering to a sub-cultural external expression (a Christian ghetto mentality and appearance). The very opposite must happen. Howard Snyder addresses this nuance when describing the differences between being counter-culture and sub-culture stating, read more

Chan on “Crazy Love”


"We need to stop giving people excuses not to believe in God. You've probably heard the expression 'I believe in God, just not organized religion'. I don't think people would say that if the church truly lived like we are called to live." — Francis Chan, Crazy Love read more

What is the Church?

Here is a beautifully done video from one of CA's projects in Brussels called The WELL.  I found myself strangely moved as I watched it.  With so many people either pulling out or disparaging a caricature of the church, the Well and scores of other communities like them are representing Jesus in their cities in truly remarkable ways. read more

Newbigin – The Gospel as Public Truth

Leslie Newbigin, author of The Gosple in a Pluralist Society

Lessile Newbigin has been one of my heros for some time.

“The community that confesses Jesus is Lord has been, from the beginning, a movement launched into the public life of mankind. The Greco-Roman world in which the New Testament was written was full of societies offering to those who wished to join a way of personal salvation.  There were several commonly used Greek words for such societies.  At no time did the church use any of these names for itself…it used with almost total consistency the name ecclesia – the ecclesia theou, the assembly called by God…The Church could have escaped persecution by the Roman Empire if it had been content to be treated as a cultus privatus.”  - from The Open Secret read more