Wednesday, February 3, 2010

I would visit regularly and participate actively if we could discuss _______.

"And there was silence in heaven for about half an hour" (Revelation 8). Seriously, what's on your minds? What are the questions, topics, issues that are currently most engaging to you?

47 comments:

Joseph Holbrook said...

I can't resist:

JOB 2:12 Seven days and nights they sat there without saying a word.

Jeremiah said...

Ok Brian I'll take the bait. Here is what I would talk about. To everyone else, this is a post I put on Facebook as a response to a response, etc. The third paragraph is what I have been spending most of my time thinking about.

Justin, I don't think you are putting me down at all. I have tried to be public with the fact that anyone is free to challenge me on anything I say as to whether or not it is Biblically supported or not.

I'm not putting forward an opinion here, but rather a very close approximation of Paul's statement to the Corinthian Chruch out of 1 Cor. 1.

I personally believe, that the Cross stands independent of Resurrection and would have existed, in some form or fashion, whether or not death was ever introduced to the planet or not. I think I can make a fairly strong case for this out of John 15-18 primarily, but also supported with additional scriptures. That discussion would be too involved for FB.

John M. said...

Do you want us to respond here and on Facebook? I already responded to the Facebook thread.

Joseph Holbrook said...

I sent the facebook note out with a link to encourage people to come here and give suggestions.

Hi Jeremiah!

Jeremiah said...

Hi guys, I'm responding to Brian's invitation. I would rather carry on the discussion here.

Jeremiah said...

btw, check out the website:

www.normalchristianliving.com

to see what we are doing at the end of February. Speakers are Dennis Cole, Steve Humble, Myself, Jon-Mark Sandquist, Jason Sandquest, John Lastinger, Dwight Cunkle + MC's OKC, Steve Gollnik, Linton Sharpnack, Paul Cradduck.

John I didn't see your response on FB

Joseph Holbrook said...

Jeremiah: nice! It looks interesting.

Brian: Steve Humble responded on facebook to suggest that we consider a conversation about stewardship of the environment.

Brian Emmet said...

Yes, let's keep the conversation here rather than on facebook.

Jeremiah, good to hear from you. If I may channel Alex Trbek for a moment, could you please put your answer in the form of a question?

Steve H's suggestion has been duly registered, but I'd again ask Steve to frame a question of two in the area of environmental stewardship.

What else would make this a must-visit blog for you? That "you" is the you who hasn't weighed in yet!

Brian Emmet said...

Here's something from John O'Donohue;s book "The Inner Landscape of Beauty" (mentioned on NPR's program "Speaking of Faith")about good conversations:

"When is the last time you had a great converasation, a conversation that was not just two intersecting monologues... but a conversation in which

--you overheard yourself saying things you never knew you knew
--you heard yourself receiving from somebody words that absolutely found placess within you that you thought you had lost
--the two of you were brought onto a different plane
--the conversation continued to sing in your mind for weeks afterwards?"

To the extent that blogs can have these kinds of conversations, let's have them!

Jeremiah said...

How strong of a case can be made for the Cross standing independent of the Resurrection and "The Way of the Cross" being an eternal part of GOD?

Joseph Holbrook said...

Awesome Brian, the art of a good conversation. I wonder if we can locate the concept of conversation within the Tinity? The Word was with God and the Word was God.

Good suggested question Jeremiah. The "way of the cross" is a great topic ... I think we are going to collect 10 or 12 suggestions before we launch in to one in particular.


Anyone else?

Brian Emmet said...

Yes, the purpose of this post is to collect ideas, suggestions, recommendations for "great conversations" (see my comment just above).

Patrick said...

Hi guys. I haven't been around in a long time, but I am happy to have dropped in.

Hope things are well!

Robert said...

The subjects have been noteworthy...the responses may not convey the value. Some of us check in but are behind the curve and feel like we are jumping in on a topic without being able to offer adequate comment because we are catching up...not enough to engage with thoughtful comment. Jumping in without thoughtful comment seems like jumping in for the sake of jumping in. Maybe we could just say, as Frasier Crane would state..."i'm listening."

How about an inquiry as to who is listening? it would be fun to see who is checking in even if they are not, for whatever reason, posting comments.

Robert

Brian Emmet said...

On the other hand, not being adequately prepared to comment doesn't stop some of us!

If you've been "listening" lately, please let us know that.

John M. said...

You can ditto that, Brian! I'm a prime example!

Robert said...

Hey, everybody that has been 'listening" but not posting...send an "I'm listening" post...just so we will know who is in the shadows!

John M. said...

Let's see, lurkers, here is something non-thological about which you might have an opinion.

Who will win the Super Bowl?

A topic suggestion: We could take the above question a little deeper by discussing the pros and cons of the "Super Bowl culture" and the American sports scene that is epitomized by the Super Bowl.

Jeremiah said...

What can you deduce about a society based on what kind of buildings and architecture it spends its money on?

Jeremiah said...

What is the difference between society and culture?

Jeremiah said...

What is the interrelationship between a societies artistic expressions and its religious/philosophic beliefs.

Jeremiah said...

What is the most effective, practical way we can take over and control American Society so that it better reflects Heaven?

Michael said...

I am listening.

Here is a good article that I found to be very challenging. You might have to cut and paste the link. I don't know how to make it active.

http://www.peacemaker.net/site/apps/nlnet/content3.aspx?c=aqKFLTOBIpH&b=1084263&content_id={5ABDAC18-A702-4E90-91C2-131813699B5B}&notoc=1

John M. said...

What's it about Michael? Jerimiah, good to "see" you on the blog again. You're full of ideas!

John M. said...

Are you a "Christian Hipster"? Cut and paste this link to find out.
You might be surprised!

http://stillsearching.wordpress.com/2010/01/27/where-to-find-christian-hipsters-10-u-s-cities/

Michael, maybe we can get Joseph to teach us how to post them live.

Joseph Holbrook said...

here are a couple of suggested questions for discussions from one of our young atheists on Tuesday nights:

Sex – pre-marital & post-marital. How is our life affected in negative and positive ways when we engage in “mankind’s great greatest past-time”?

Marijuana – is smoking casually a detriment to our health and our relationships? Is there such a thing as self-control if the personal decision is made not to abstain completely but to limit ourselves to occasions where we consume it sporadically and in small amounts?

Randy R. said...

A voice from the past, snowed in on a Sunday morning . . . 30+ inches! Like Robert, I am an occasional lurker. I have become more and more appreciative of FB and the tool that it can be for networking/communication. However, I am more than willing to leave the decision in more capable hands, especially those who regularly contribute to this remarkable blog! Just listening, and referring to someone who was referred to in an earlier post, Richard M., I am continually seeking to develop a "hearing heart," one like the Father's. Love you guys! RR

Joseph Holbrook said...

Richard M! How we miss him, even more than we realize. He was a remarkable man with a true shepherd's heart.

His teaching on the 5 levels of fellowship(which he role-played with Robet) made a lasting impact on me and helped me learn how to go to deeper levels of intimacy.

Enjoy the snow Randy!

Joseph Holbrook said...

sorry "Robert" ... I really do know how to spell your name.

by-the-way all you northerners ... it is about 65 degrees today and the sun is shining beautifully. Deb and I are headed out to putter around in the yard. Want me to send you a picture?

Randy R. said...

Love a picture! Thanks, Joseph!

Patrick said...

Approaching marriage, I'd personally find the sex topic relevant. On the marijuana side of things, I've got a good friend who is trying his darndest to be a light to his friends who smoke weed. He's an avid Blogger, so I think he'd join in that discussion.

John M. said...

Good to hear from you Randy, you should get snowed in more often. Joseph, on my facebook, I have adult friends (not all teachers) who are jealous of those under the 30" blanket. I think we all yearn for more solitude and quiet than we get. When an involuntary halt is called, we rejoice, because it's so difficult to do a personal halt when the current all around is moving with so much momentum.

If we discuss one (or both) of those two topics, do you think it would bring some of your young friends into the conversation? That would be awesome. Besides, they're pretty hot topics for us all -- especially sex, and perhaps our attitude toward weed, even if we don't, ourselves, inhale.

P.S. I ordered Capon's "The Parables of the Kindom" just before the discussion was called off. It came yesterday. The introduction, "A Word About Parables" is worth the price of the book. It could radically change or significantly altar the way you look at scripture.

John M. said...

Patrick, didn't mean to ignore you. Your post came in "on top" of mine. Congratulations on your upcoming marriage.

Patrick said...

No worries John. i am jealous of your 30" blanket of snow. I think some folks would talk about weed bc It's relevant to them. Sex is always a magnet. But it might borderline shallow convo for the sake of getting people involved. (although I'd personally benefit from it.

John M. said...

Patrick, what's shallow about sex? It can either be one of the most joyful or most troubling aspects of life -- sometimes both.

Patrick said...

Sorry, that's not what I meant. Um...honestly I'd prefer that subject

Joseph Holbrook said...

don't worry John ... we can come back to it later, or if no one else is interested, you, me and Brian could have a three-way conversation about it.

Patrick: I personally like sex ... no-- I LOVE it! and I think the feminine gender is the most awesome and beautiful of all God's creation!

Here are three more points my young atheist friend (who shall henceforth be called "R") offered:

Money – is it the root of all evil? Should we view money as exactly the opposite of what the secular world describes (ex: if you don’t got any you aint shit)?

Masturbation – is there ever a right time for this? Can this lead us to real trouble, if so how so, if not then how?
Pornography – Same as masturbation.

Relationships – Are all relationships good? When do we determine that a relationship is harmful, when do we determine when it is positive? Where do we draw the balance in knowing the difference between the two, and how do we approach our friends when we have been hurt?


by-the-way, R is an alumnai of the Camp of Champions and grew up in our youth group in Miami. Somewhere we dropped the ball ... but I might have a second chance.

Patrick said...

Any/all of those sound like good discussion points

John said...

Wow you guys have been active today =OP I think Brian, John, and Joseph should start a TV series called Men of a Certain Belief.

Brian Emmet said...

Thanks, all, for chiming in, and great to hear from everyone. The sex topic interests me--I've just finished a marvelous book called "Sex and the iWorld," which I highly recommend--BUT, you won't have to read the book! But I think I could bring some of its insights into a discussion like that. Unless, Patrick, your question was about sex techniques and that sort of thing, in which case, Joseph will have to take charge. [winky emoticon]

OK, we're getting close to final call on this thread. Anyone else wanting to suggest anything else as a possible topic/subject--remember to read the title of this post and then comment!

Travis said...

I haven't been around in a while, but I'm listening and ready to jump in the conversation. Let's go.

John said...

I agree with the sex topic, that seems to be a major issue in today's culture. The marriage factor is probably an important one, but I think that a lot of young guys these days are growing up on pornography and the idea of "the perfect woman," and I believe that when someone meets the reality of sex and a relationship it becomes difficult to reconcile the two. Also, I know that growing up I always heard "Sex is bad unless you're married," but either I had a tendency to just hear the first part or they had a tendency to emphasize the first part, not sure which.

Maggie said...

Other ideas:
I watched 'Lord or War' last night because apparently I managed to suppress how disturbed I was the last time I saw that movie.

The first time I saw Lord of War I decided, for some horrendous reason, to watch it immediately following 'Hotel Rwanda' which is a terrible idea.

During the course of 'Lord of War' you watch as Nicholas Cage's character becomes more and more morally depraved as he becomes more deeply involved in the arms trade. You're torn as he is the main character of the story and Hollywood just happens to good at making you like terrible people, and yet at the same time you want to hate him because he's knowingly selling weapons to countries that arm children. Then when he's finally caught by the interpol agent who has fought a perfectly clean fight in catching him and who genuinely believes that he's finally going to be able to stick the bad-guy with consecutive life sentences the agent finds out that the guy is going to get off, because the government considers him a necessary evil and will not only be releasing him, but paying him for the inconvenience of having been arrested.

Just before the credits roll we read "Based on actual events" and goes on to explain that the 5 largest arms dealers in the world are the US, UK, France, Russia and China - the five permanent members of the U.N. Security Council.

Such a movie leaves you physically ill on it's own, quite worse-so following 'Hotel Rwanda'. In light of this my question would be:
How do we square the practices of our government with our faith? In what ways are we complicit with their actions?

John M. said...

John, sex is good. It's God's idea. He created male and female and said, "get it on" -- a rough praphrase of "be fruitful and multiply". Satan, who never created anything, but only distorts and destroys what God has made, distorts our sexuality and succeeds all too often in taking God's original intent and causing destruction with it. Mis in our own lust and sinfulness, and it can be a recipe for disaster. But none of that changes God's original creation and intent. The scriptures are clear that God has put strong boundaries around the expression of our sexuality -- for our own protection. But in the physical union between a man and woman [within the permanency and commitment of marriage; that's the rub, right?] an aspect of His glory is expressed that is lost in the objectification of sex that our culture encourages and condones.

Maggie, wow, that's a meaty topic. It definitely prods our tendency toward complacency and hunkering down in our comfort zones -- not to mention the Church's tendency to participate in our secularized form of American Civil Religion that identifies patriotism and nationalism as synonoymous with Biblical Christianity. The Kingdom of God on earth, America ain't!

Btw, welcome. I don't think I know you.

Joseph Holbrook said...

John M.: Maggie is my friend from FIU. She is majoring in History and English (right Maggie?). She is interested in some day becoming ordained to the pastoral ministry and, if I am not mistaken, is Presbyterian. She has come to a few of our god-parties and has enjoyed them. Her roomate, Sarah, is the Campus director for Intervarsity.

Welcome Maggie! your perspectives are valued and needed.

John M. said...

Thanks Joseph. Welcome Maggie. Hope you can jump in whatever topic is chosen.

Patrick said...

What's going on, Maggie? Hope you enjoy participating here.

Are we still looking for topic suggestions or have we decided?