The table of the Lord: eating together

In the gospel story the Last Supper is the calm before the storm.

If we were filming it as block-buster movie, the Last Supper is where we transition from the wide-screen shots  to a narrow focus – from  fast cut action sequences of arguing with Pharisees to slower calmer exchanges with the devoted and the trusted.

There is a narrowing, a focusing, that happens at this point in the story. It gets tighter, it gets smaller, it gets quieter, it gets more focused. Everything draws in – the story takes a breath. More

End of the (gullible) World!

The minute the earthquake in Japan happened, I told several friends that two things were coming: 1) talk of the end of the world  2) talk of God punishing Japan

But I was not prepared for was the quality of the sample that was to come. This article details the prophetic take of Cindy Jacobs [it opens in a new window] .  She is an authoritative leader in Intercession Prayer circles and someone that I am very familiar with and had even quoted during my college years (the mid- 90s).

“In the early nineties, the Lord gave me a prophecy for Japan that it was a “sickle in the hand of the Lord” that will be used for great harvest. The physical geography of the islands look like a curved sickle with the handle being the island of Hokkaido in the north. One could also say that it looks like a curved sword. Where Japan has historically been a sword of war across Asia.” More

the C.S. Lewis Bible

I referenced C.S. Lewis earlier this week. I am always surprised by how much people like C.S. Lewis.

Don’t get me wrong, I think that I own and have read almost every book that is out. When I was an evangelical youth pastor, he was my go-to voice for apologetics and devotional material.

I bought the “Year with C.S. Lewis” the week it came out (ironically, at the Borders bookstore that had just opened in my town). I took a year off reading the Bible for morning devotions (I needed a break) and spent my quite times with his thought of the day. I have bought a dozen copies over the years as gifts for friends that I thought might like it.

So I just found out that they have released a C.S. Lewis annotated version of the Bible. More

Perfect Theology?

Here is a fun (weird) conversation I had the other day.

My friend and I are from very similar backgrounds. We both come from a type of church that would classified as charismatic – even if it is mildly so. In our circles there is a very popular preacher on the west coast that tons of people listen to and quote religiously.

I was out for drinks with my friend and we were comparing notes on all that we were learning and he brought up a quote that I have heard the preacher say many times (when I used to listen to the podcast every week) – a quote that is used over and over again by those who run in these circles.

My friend said “what do you think of the quote “Jesus is perfect theology” ?”   More

Egypt and Enemies

When news began to surface about the  anti-government protests in Egypt I knew that two things were about to happen:

  • that talk of the end times or the last days would begin to ramp up.
  • That America would find itself in a bit of a pickle.

I was right on both accounts.  Within days I heard people (not on the Internet or TV/radio but live people who I was talking to face-to-face) start chaining together Israel and Egypt along with the weird weather in North America and in Australia, the Global Economy, etc.   I have been through this too many times over the past 20 years.

I also followed the news intensely about America’s diplomatic concerns. On one hand the US is pro-democracy and generally supportive of “the will of the people”. On the other hand President Mubarac is reported to be of friend in the region to US concerns.

This had me thinking about the nature of alliances and enemies. My friend is taking a class this semester on war and pacifism. our talks along with some of the books he he is reading have really caused me to reconsider and rethink  positions and opinions I have formulated over the last 20 years. More

Churchlandia (portland)

I am fascinated by the culture clash that seems to be generated mostly out of BIG churches.

I was born in Ohio, raised in Chicago, spent 6 years on the Canadian prairies, married a girl from Montana before moving to NY  and then training for ministry in California.

It was in California that I encountered a kind of church I had not really seen before. Some call them mega-churches but I have developed a different name for them, since not all of the churches I am talking about qualify simply based on attendance figures.

After college I lived on the NY-Vermont border for over a decade before moving out to the Pacific NW. Arriving in Portland that first week was a reintroduction to these types of churches.

I call them Castle Churches. They can usually be identified them by three primary factors: More

Football Jesus

There is an immense amount of football on the TV this month and the ‘God’ or Jesus of Football players continues to perplex me.   But recently I have found some relief!  A month ago something happened that I can not stop thinking about.

Buffalo Bills wide receiver Stevie Johnson dropped a game-winning touchdown in the end zone Sunday in overtime against the Pittsburgh Steelers. That night he used Twitter to say the most honest thing I have ever read!

I PRAISE YOU 24/7!!!!!! AND THIS HOW YOU DO ME!!!!! YOU EXPECT ME TO LEARN FROM THIS??? HOW???!!! ILL NEVER FORGET THIS!! EVER!!! THX THO…

I can not tell you how refreshing it is to hear Football Jesus get it trouble! He never gets blamed for anything. He gets all of the credit when things go well and none of the blame when things go wrong. This drives me absolutely crazy. This was like the Twitter version of the Psalms of lament where the psalmist cries out “where are you God?” More