Posts Tagged pastoral

The Other Inauguration Prayer: Channeling My Inner Postmodern Pastor

Over at Juicy Ecumenism, I give way to my inner poetic, Emergent Church pastor, offering an alternate benediction for the upcoming inauguration, should Luis Leon be pressured out (it happens):

We lay the fears of American Arrogance before you. The first of the flock. The high, not the Lost. Now the meek and the weak, we seek to relish and embellish at your feet. Not like the carrots that Cain once cast down – fake, artificial, genetically modified — but soft as a lamb, tender and cute as I AM.

But not of the Precious-Moments cast, filled with capitalistic crass. We embrace, instead, your ancient Word. Of the ancient hills. Of an ancient world. We enter now into an eternal forest—a sanctuary of trees and stardust, tigers and badgers, bugs and bungalows.

We twinkle ever on. Illuminating. Booming with a flurry of angelic echoes. We pray that you trap the fury of this earthbound crater in the chains of its own creation.

Whisper it. Speak it. Sing a song.

Now, today, we rejoice not in some man. Some idol to our own power and self-gratification. Some President Barack Obama.

No. We pray not to the Fast Brood Nation, instead orphaning our co-dependent thumbs from the revolver of the remote control. No. We now point ourselves toward the One True Jeopardy Host. Read the rest of this entry »

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Russell Moore on the Pastor and Politics

Dr. Russell Moore of Southern Baptist Theological Seminary is one of the clearest voices on the intersection of religion and politics. In a recent forum on the relationship between ministry and politics, my good friend Andrew Walker interviewed Dr. Moore on the subject, focusing specifically on how we should think about these issues in the context of the upcoming presidential election.

Dr. Moore offers plenty to chew on for Christians from all perspectives, but I find his challenges to the Religious Right most prescient.

Key takeaway: Politics is important, but not ultimate. We have responsibility, but in exercising that responsibility, Christians can also have tranquility. Other topics include political authority, political submission, Christian identity, natural rights, and how we engage with other Christians and non-Christians in the public sphere. Read the rest of this entry »

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Trusting God Through the Storm: A Review of Pete Wilson’s Plan B

Plan B by Pete Wilson

What do you do when God doesn’t show up the way you thought he would?

Whether it’s job loss, miscarriage, divorce, cancer, or any number of unfulfilled dreams, we all have situations in which we want to challenge God and say, “This isn’t what I had planned.”

Pete Wilson addresses these situations and the questions that arise from them in his new book Plan B.

When I started reading the book, I was expecting a layman’s spin on conventional suffering theology, but for the most part, Wilson doesn’t even go there. Instead, Plan B is more of a Bible-based manual for coping with unexpected situations than it is a complicated theology for understanding them.

When it comes to the coping component of the book, Wilson offers the following advice for times of crisis (and I summarize):

  • Lean toward God. Don’t run from your situation.
  • Give God room to work. Don’t pretend you have total control.
  • Be ready and waiting for God’s signal. Don’t hesitate when God provides opportunities.
  • Trust and fear the Lord. Don’t be paralyzed by earthly concerns.
  • Base your faith on God’s identity. Don’t base it on His activity.
  • Align your desires to God’s. Don’t be selfish.
  • Find light in the darkness. Don’t forget that God can turn evil for good.
  • Stay in close community. Don’t allow yourself to become isolated.

These points dominate most of the book, and Wilson backs each with examples from the Bible and his pastoral experiences. But he doesn’t completely end it there. He goes on to emphasize that even with our best efforts to navigate these situations effectively, many times we will Read the rest of this entry »

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