Archive for August, 2011

Life of Jesus -Carl Medearis

“What are the top 4 things you love about the life of Jesus?”, asks Carl Medearis in this youtube video. “Not what he said or his parables and what he taught..” This is challenging.

Carl points out that we have often skimmed right through the life of jesus in our Christian thoughts and meditations. He said that in the 30 Christian creeds he went through there is nothing about the life of Jesus within in them. They might mention briefly that he “lived”, and yes that he was sinless, but nothing about “how” he lived.

He lived a real actual life. Carl says, “Look at how Jesus actually did things, not just what he said, not just his parables, not just the end game, not that he died and rose again, not just the theology around it, but look look at how he lived, how he interacted, how he questioned the questioner, how he didn’t answer questions, he dealt with the religious people as opposed to the sinners. How he dealt with his closest disciples..”

Carl talks about a couple of things that he admires in the life of Jesus. He points out how Jesus never seems to mind being interrupted as he is on his way. He walks everywhere and doesn’t ride there.. He also talks about how jesus taught as he went. He does something. Then he tells the disciples they can do the same thing. Then he does the same thing with them. Then he sends them to do it by themselves.

What are some things you love about the life of Jesus?
Has this short video helped you to think a bit differently about the life of Jesus and encourage you in following him?

A New Kind of Pentecostalism

From the earliest time I can remember on up through High School I was a member within a Pentecostal Church. It was full of mostly great experiences with some bad experiences mixed in as well. For various and sundry reasons I eventually came to the point where I no longer identified myself as a Pentecostal. It was not that I disliked “Pentecostals”, or for that matter liked Non-Pentecostals better. I simply chose to not identify myself with any particular denomination or tradition over another in a formalized sense. Of course being that this was the particular Christian expression that I grew up in, I did have many critiques of Pentecostalism as one from the inside.

This new book comes along, and when seeing the title, “A New Kind of Pentecostalism: Promoting Dialogue for Change
, my first thought was that I had no interest to read about any kind of reassertion of the kind of Pentecostalism of which I was familiar with. Nor did I want to read a book about Pentecostalism over against the other great Christian traditions and movements as if Pentecostalism were the elite expression of true Faith so to speak. I was happy to have discovered that neither of these ideas were present within this book. In fact, quite the opposite was true. Samuel hopes to affirm many of the great strengths of the Pentecostal movement, but there is no elitist snobbery found in this book.

Sam opens his conversation with a very broad definition of what it means to be “Pentecostal”. He tries to show how it can be something all Christians ought to take ownership of in its deeply rooted biblical context. He is quite bold in his critique of the movement at large. Sam brings plenty of challenging points to the conversation concerning the common pitfalls within the Pentecostal and Charismatic movement. And he follows through with just as much constructive guidance for the way forward. I highly recommend Sam Lee’s book, A New Kind of Pentecostalism: Promoting Dialogue for Change for those who at any point have identified with Pentecostal and or Charismatic expressions of the church. He has a prophetic message that needs to be heard.

A few of the topics he covers is Emotivism, Exaggeration, Performance, Miracles Sings and Wonders, Financial Ethics, Denomination and Leadership, Bible Interpretation, Dialoging with the Other, Dialoguing with Islam, and Social Justice. In all of his talking points there is a great spirit of dialogue that is encouraged, within and outside of the church.