Thursday, January 29, 2009

Adding Alan Knox Link

I'm adding a link to my blogroll. Through Abu Daoud's Islam and Christianity, I found Alan Knox's The Assembling of the Church. He assembles with a church that practices every-member participation, and his area of specialization is ecclesiology. He has many good points in why a lot of churches don't operate very well.

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Re-Thinking The Sunday Church Service (Part 8) - The Church Meeting Described In The Bible (3)

Read the entire series here.

In Part 7, I noted that the 1 Corinthians passage showed all the members of the assembly involved in edifying the whole body. It would be interesting to know how many people were there in Corinth. Although I see no limit placed on the number of people in an assembly, I think it might be rather difficult to do this in the context of a 10,000 member mega-church. Does this say anything about the size of a church? Maybe it does. But there are successful large churches who claim to succeed by breaking down into much smaller groups at other times during the week for more personal interaction. Are large churches that don't break down into smaller groups as successful? Can edification take place in these smaller groups? Is there an advantage to doing things this way? Could we call these smaller groups "church"? Questions, questions, questions.

Part 7 . . . . . . . . Part 9

Friday, January 16, 2009

Friday Night Potpourri

Random thoughts on a Friday night:

  • It's Friday night and unlike in my 20's, it's the night to stay home and rest.
  • I don't do squash. I don't play squash, I don't eat squash. Any squash. In my last potpourri, I mentioned the winter beers I received for Christmas. One was a pumpkin ale. Eeeew. The other nine were great.
  • Weekend ride home: the past four Friday nights I've left work for home have had stressful happenings. One, I was rear-ended a block from work. I heard the tires skid behind me, and I knew it was coming. The skid slowed the other car down so that the only "damage" was a transfer of license plate paint, but it was still a jolt. Two, I was the last one to leave work and saw as I drove away, but realized only later, that somebody left the Christmas lights on on our lobby tree, and I feared a fire that weekend. Three, just on the freeway from leaving work, I witnessed a small pickup roll over about 80 yards in front of me. Freeway speed, it bounced about 10 feet up in the air as it turned. It landed upside down with the driver hanging from the seat belt. I stopped about 50 feet short. Contents spewed all over the road. Minor injuries. Four, I came upon about a six car smash up on my way home tonight. I can't wait for next Friday.
  • Mrs. Scott just bought 8 pairs of pants for me. One fit.

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Re-Thinking The Sunday Church Service (Part 7) - The Church Meeting Described In The Bible (2)

Read the entire series here.

In Part 6, I concluded that the passage found in 1 Corinthians 11:17 through chapter 14 was in the context of the church meeting. I also noted how many people were involved in the church meeting, and this can be seen by the following:

  • "But to each one is given the manifestation of the Spirit for the common good" (12:7)
  • "For to one is given...and to another... and to another...and to another...and to another...and to another...and to another...and to another...and to another..." (12:8-10)
  • "...but that the members may have the same care one for another" (12:25)
  • "...but if all prophesy..." (14:24)
  • "...when you assemble, each one has a..." (14:26)
  • "For you can all prophesy one by one, so that all may learn and all may be exhorted;..." (14:31)
It seems here, whatever the interpretation of Paul's exhortation that the women shouldn't speak, that either all members of the assembly speak and contribute to the edification of all, or at the very least, all the men do this. All of the members are active in the edification of all the others? This isn't the modern American model at all.
This isn't, either, a primer for charismatic church services. If the biblical model has everybody doing the task of edification, and the sign gifts of tongues and prophesy (whatever that was in the NT era) have since ceased, then does that necessitate the complete abandonment of the "everybody involved" so that only the preacher and choir do edifying things? Wouldn't we still follow this model (even without tongues of prophesying) that includes everybody edifying everybody?

Part 6 . . . . . . . . Part 8

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Congratulations Rickey Henderson

Congratulations to Rickey Henderson and Jim Rice for making Major League Baseball's Hall of Fame. I watched Rickey's career, much of it in my own backyard. Read about it at my baseball blog, From the Bleachers by clicking here.

Sunday, January 04, 2009

Happy 80th, Dad

Today was my dad's 80th birthday. We had a family gathering over at their house and had dinner. We all celebrated and gave thanks for a dedicated father and grandfather. He has always fixed things and helped out greatly with all of our doings.

My brother asked him which decade for him was the biggest in terms of change. His reply was the 50's because that's when he got his bride (this would be my mom) and started his career. All the grandkids got him cards, and my mom made a cake with two candles, an "8" and a "0."

Happy birthday, dad. We love you.

Re-Thinking The Sunday Church Service (Part 6) - The Church Meeting Described In The Bible

Read the entire series here.

The apostle Paul describes the church meeting in a large chunk of Scripture, from 1 Corinthians chapters 11 through 14. In a direct context of the entire church meeting together, I'm going to use the following section of Scripture. It's a fairly large chunk to read to get the context for a blog post, but reading it through will help you to understand where I'm coming from and where I'm going. The text is 1 Corinthians 11:17 through chapter 14. Click through to the Bible Gateway passage.

Here, I'm going to point out all of the locations in this text where Paul specifically talks about the church meeting, where all of us gather together. He does so in the following verses:

  • But in giving this instruction, I do not praise you, because you come together not for the better but for the worse. 1 Cor. 11:17
  • For in the first place, when you come together as a church... 1 Cor. 11:18
  • Therefore when you meet together... 1 Cor. 11:20
  • So then, my brethren, when you come together to eat, wait for one another. 1 Cor. 11:33
  • If anybody is hungry, let him eat at home, so that you will not come together for judgment. 1 Cor. 11:34
  • And God has appointed in the church, first apostles,... 1 Cor. 12:28
  • ...however, in the church, I desire to speak... 1 Cor. 14:19
  • Therefore if the whole church assembles together... 1 Cor. 14:23
  • When you assemble, each one has... 1 Cor. 14:26
  • ...but if there is no interpreter, he must keep silent in the church... 1 Cor. 14:28
The above Scripture references are merely those verses that deal specifically with the church meeting. It is abundantly clear from reading the whole passage that all the rest of the passage in between all these verses is talking about the same context. This context is the meeting together of the church. Paul speaks much in this passage about the body of Christ, which is the church, and all of its members, how those members relate to each other, what types of gifts each member has, how those gifts are to be used, how all the members are necessary, and how each respective gift of all those members are necessary, what effects the exercise of those gifts have on one another, and not only that, but what effect the exercise of gifts has on unbelievers who happen to be there, different offices that God appoints that have certain gifts, the Lord's Table and how we should relate to one another during it, how many people should speak in church and what the result should be, and that it should all be done orderly. Whew! That's a lot of stuff, and all this is in the context of meeting together as the church.
(I'm not going to address the end of this passage with respect to whether women should be allowed to speak, etc., as this has other issues tied to it, and doesn't affect what I'm trying to point out in this series. I included it just to show that it is still in the context of the meeting of the church.)
It is simply amazing how many members are involved in the church meeting that Paul describes. This passage is quite different from the standard American tradition of church where a very select few (or even one!) actually do anything that affects all the others. For Paul, the goal is edification. With the American model of church, it's amazing to me to that our system hasn't fallen completely apart with so few involved in edifying one another every week. In many cases it has fallen apart, as the number of church closures and people who leave their churches testifies.

Part 5 . . . . . . . . Part 7

Friday, January 02, 2009

Peace On Earth

I wanted to post this on Christmas Day, but you know how it goes.

We packed up the kids to go over to grandma and grandpa's house for Christmas dinner. The off ramp for their exit makes a T-intersection with the desired boulevard. Sitting at the light, I glanced straight across the street at the Target store there. The store was closed, the parking lot was completely empty, as was the whole rest of the shopping center.

The first thing that popped into my mind was, "Peace On Earth."

Thursday, January 01, 2009

Can A Christian Be A Bartender?

Most Christians I know believe that Christians are allowed by the bible to drink alcohol. But can a Christian be a bartender? Own a brewery? A winery? A distillery? Some people who think a Christian can drink tend to shy away from believing these other things. Why?

It's quite okay to go to a bar, order a beer, sit and drink it, play the juke box, but to pour the stuff is questionable. Some might object out of fear that such a person would only be helping people with their vices. But with Christians supposedly holding to higher standards of morality, I would think that these people would rather have Christians in those positions than non-Christians. They would have a larger influence against drunkenness and vice, according to their own theology. Why not be salt and light from behind the bar as opposed to just in the lounge?

Happy Pew Year

Happy New Year. I hope you have a blog of a year.