Archives for category: postmodern

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Even reading that title brings back painful memories of well-intentioned but, ultimately, misguided friends in my life who have tried to discuss race and ethnicity with me.

In true postmodern style, Bruce Reyes-Chow — who has been known as a pastor, techie, moderator, social media maven, and all-around troublemaker — launched this book through a successful Kickstarter campaign. And, since I pitched in to the Kickstarter (“First!” in old internet comment-speak), I was able to chime in regarding the question:

Why is it important to talk about race?

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I’m looking forward to diving into this book. It can be a difficult conversation all around, but if we’re going to see the future begin, then we’ve got to enter in.

As Scripture says in Revelation 7:9-10, our future looks something like this, with an incredible array of people, languages, cultures, ethnicities and backgrounds worshiping Christ:

There before me was a great multitude that no one could count, from every nation, tribe, people and language, standing before the throne and before the Lamb. They were wearing white robes and were holding palm branches in their hands. And they cried out in a loud voice: “Salvation belongs to our God, who sits on the throne, and to the Lamb.”

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third-way-thinking-culture-bannerIncreasingly, I am coming across thinkers, theologians and practitioners who are advocating approaches that can be characterized as third way.

Whether we’re talking about politics, power, theology or praxis, it seems as if our world is becoming increasingly polarized into diametrically opposed camps, whose main form of communication is to lob an occasional grenade in the general direction of the other.  It’s been good for my soul to hear that many others are who are in the same boat — convinced there must be a a way out of these false binaries, a higher and better way, especially as followers of Jesus.

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Today at NPC, I only had time to make it to the morning seminar with Shane Hipps, pastor and author of the excellent book The Hidden Power of Electronic Culture (which I highly recommend) and the recently released Flickering Pixels.

In his seminar, Our Nomadic Life: Undoing the Incarnation Using Nothing but Your Cell Phone, Shane gave a great overview of the shift from oral tradition (in which we needed the tribe to maintain our sense of narrative and identity) to the literate age (in which our words could be separated from ourselves) and, finally, to our current electronic age — a complex convergence of the two.

In our current electronic culture, we live in the following paradoxes:

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The Big Story

This morning, after dropping off our daughter at school, I rushed to get into James Choung‘s seminar at the National Pastors Convention, The Big Story: Sharing the Gospel in an Increasingly Unchurched Culture.  It was a full house and I’m glad, because this is a message churches need to hear.

James details challenged us to think of the Gospel as more than a “get out of hell free” card which, in the vivid words of Dallas Willard, results in “vampire Christians” who only want Jesus for His blood (drew quite a response from those in attendance). Instead, James encouraged us to think of the Gospel Jesus embodied and proclaimed — namely, the Kingdom of God.  To quote James:

The Kingdom of God: Where what God wants to happen actually happens

James describes three significant movements we need to make in our understanding of the Gospel and how we share it with others:

  • Individual > > Communal
  • Decision > > Transformation
  • After-life > > Mission-life

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Lately, I’ve been noticing this bit of grammatical trickery floating around the internets, often in the following form:

Best. Day. Ever.

I often see it associated with gaming/comic/nerd culture.  For example, a recent episode of Heroes used this particular phrase during a subtitled portion of Hiro’s dialogue, which was spoken in Japanese.  In the same scene, Seth Green’s character utters the phrase out loud, with dramatic pauses in between each word (as the periods after each word would seem to dictate).

A couple of weeks ago I set out to figure out the origins of this particular phrasing.  Read the rest of this entry »

What would characterize a uniquely Asian American worship or preaching experience? Does such a thing even exist? asks David Park over at Next Gener.Asian Church.

It seems that, in order to answer this question, we must first begin with the primary issue of our identity, to know deeply what it means to be created as Asian Americans in the image of God. The “neither/nor” struggle — not being fully Asian nor fully American in our identity — has led to shame, rebellion and self-hatred. Because many of us have wandered through this fog for twenty, thirty, forty years, the quest to discover our God-given identity is not easily or quickly resolved. We need the Holy Spirit to repair, heal, restore and redeem the mess that we are.

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Evidence abounds that our culture, in terms of commerce, is shifting from goods to experience. For example, it’s not enough just to get a haircut, especially if you’re a dude. No, you need to get over to SportClips, where it’s not just a haircut, it’s a championship experience. Maybe that’s how Tom Brady feels every time he gets his precision cut (that is, when he’s not cheating! Ha!). Disney is not just about the rides, or the tasty, tasty pineapple whip (which we recently discovered during our last trip there) but it’s all about the experience of the magic kingdom. After all, where else can you ride a roller coaster with Minnie Mouse (as our daughter did last year) or meet Captain Jack Sparrow (or a reasonable facsimile of Mr. Depp) in person?

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