Friday Findings: Beyond Evangelical, Church Abuse, and Guilt

Frieday Findings on Modern RejectI have to admit, I’ve been feeling a bit lazy these days. Blogging has not been on the top of my to-do list. Hopefully though, I’ll start to gain some motivation and momentum soon. Thanks for sticking around lately while my number of posts has been a little less than usual.

This week, in my laziness and lounging, I have really just been enjoying being home with my kids, who have been very sick the last week and a half. Granted, being stuck at home with the three of them does make me want to scream some times, but overall it has been relaxing. I’ve also managed to peruse the internet more than usual.

Here’s some of what has struck my fancy this week:

More Mark Driscoll. I’m not here to take sides on the “is Driscoll a jerk or not” debate, but I will point you in the direction of a post by Matthew Paul Turner of Jesus Needs New PR. He wrote a noteworthy post raising the question as to whether or not Driscoll and subsequently, Mars Hill Church, is abusive in their discipline and authoritative roles over their congregation. I commented on the post myself, and got into a bit of a verbal mudslinging match with a few of his readers. Ugh. I hate that, but I just couldn’t be silent. Silly me.

Beyond Evangelical. This is the blog of Frank Viola, who is considered one of the forethinkers on organic church (who also happens to be one of my favorite Christian authors and theologians. Although, I wonder if he would call himself a theologian). I have had the privilege of meeting Frank and he is a passionate, thoughtful, revolutionary for Christ. All that to say, he recently wrote a post series addressing the major streams of evangelicals. Want to know which type of evangelical you might be? Read the post.

The Guilt Idol. My blogging buddy Malisa sent me this post and thought I’d like it. She was right and so I’m sharing it here (P.S. If you stumble across something you think would be a fit for Friday Findings, send it my way). This post is by PC Walker, a writer and pastor, who discusses how we make an idol out of our guilt. Intrigued? You should be. It’s good.

Posters and Prints, oh my. Okay, I’m obsessed with graphic posters and prints. I wish I could just cover the walls in my house with them, but that might be a little much. But that doesn’t stop me from hoarding images of each and every poster I wish I could own. My husband’s new office needs some artwork. My baby’s nursery could use some artwork. My dog could use a poster or two (okay, you caught me, but still….) Here’s what I love right now:

This one for my gorgeous and fiery daughter

This one for my wild monster of a 3 year old

This one for my bedroom, along with this one, and this one.

This one appeals to my inner comic-book-Batman-loving geek.

And this one and this one for my hubster’s new office space.

Also, if you’re on Pinterest and you need someone to follow, I’m available. It is not Modern Reject stuff, just things I love, adore, or covet. Follow me.

That’s all for now. Happy Weekend! But before you go, tell me what you were into this week. What did you lust after, dream of, read, or find inspiring? Share away!

10 thoughts on “Friday Findings: Beyond Evangelical, Church Abuse, and Guilt”

  1. I’m pretty much done with Driscoll and all the other New Calvinists. They can go play in the TULIPs as much as they want. As far as church discipline goes, I don’t know much about it, but I will say this: when I became a member of a local LCMS church a few years ago, they NEVER gave me a contract. There was a membership class, but no contract whatsoever. And the LCMS is a conservative bunch, too!

    I like Viola’s idea of being “beyond evangelical,” but I’m also skeptical. Do we really need another label to separate ourselves from the stereotypical anti-gay pro-Republican biblical literalist crowd?

    1. Travis, as far as Viola’s labels are concerned, I do think we need them (this coming from a girl who abhors labels, in general). I am not anti-gay, in the sense that many think of, but I am Republican–conservative, in fact. I am also a Biblical literalist. Surprised? I’m neither a progressive Christian nor am I a neo-Calvinist. I am not drawn to causes or social justice, but neither am I motivated by systematic theology.

      I have a past that was very much of the Spirit (what Viola calls the emoters) but I have found a balance in that area of my spiritual life, I believe. So where do I fit in?

      I can so relate to Vioal’s description of being those who are in pursuit of a Person. I am not concerned with so much of the other stuff that bogs us down–gay rights, politics, missional communities, causes, dogma, etc.

      I don’t feel like I fit in when it comes to describing my faith, but his description encouraged me. I felt like I was reading about myself and label or not, I’ll take it.

      1. I like the idea of pursuing the person of Jesus. My favorite hymn says that the Church’s one foundation is Jesus Christ, her Lord. It’s not the doctrine of penal substitutionary atonement, or the cross, or even the Bible. It’s the person of Jesus, the full revelation of God, the Word made flesh. (Can you tell I’ve been reading a lot of Barth lately?)

        1. Travis, yes! Moe and more that is where my faith is leading me–to full pursuit of nothing but knowing Christ. All other things can fall away, but He remains. He is the foundation, the Head of the Body, the cornerstone, the Person by which and through which all things were made, and the exact representation of God the Father (I’ve been reading Hebrews).

          This type of thinking transforms us from church-goers, or (fill in the blank)____type Christians to radical followers of Christ. Because we can’t simultaneously chase Him and everything else with the same amount of passion, dedication, and zeal. if I have to choose one thing to chase, as it were, it’s Him.

          What are you reading by Barth? There’s a quote by Barth that reminds me of our discussion here: “Jesus does not give recipes that show the way to God as other teachers of religion do. He is Himself the way.”

  2. I’m glad you said something about lacking the motivation to blog. Glad to know I’m not the only one who has that challenge.

    Woo hoo! I am so glad you enjoyed PC’s post. Guilt is something I unnecessarily strap onto myself and I’m desperately trying to get rid of it! I’m so glad to be reminded that God does not remember our sin.

    1. Malisa, yeah I like to lay on the guilt too. Or ignore it so that it makes me sick to my stomach (my other favorite way to enjoy a plate full of condemnation). So I really enjoyed PC’s post. It resonated with me this week especially.

      Thank you again for sharing.

  3. I had read that post on Driscoll…I now see that you did get yourself into a battle over there, how you feeling after it all? haha

    I used to love MPT’s post’s but have grown very tired of his bashing of Driscoll, I find myself feeling the need to defend him even when I disagree with his or his church’s tactics. All this to say, thanks for stepping up to say something and your willingness to be called a “sugar coated turd.”

    I don’t think you’re a turd if it offers any solace haha.

    1. Nate, Ha! yeah, it got a little crazy over there, but I do love a good debate. I obviously can sympathize with your feelings towards all the Driscoll bashing. I have a post in the cooker right now discussing this phenomena. It’ll be up next week.

      I just wonder how Jesus would really have us respond to this man and his church and somehow the way it has taken place, I doubt is the answer.

      As for”sugar-coated turd,” Dude…maybe one of the best insults I’ve ever received. It will live on in infamy. It’s priceless!

  4. Thanks for the shout-out, Nicole. Honored and humbled, as I deem you to be one of the most interesting and insightful bloggers today.

    btw/ people will want to read Part III and Part IV of the “Beyond Evangelical” series as those answer common responses to Part II (which you kindly post). Part V will be posted next week. Thanks again!

    Your brother in the costly but glorious quest,


    Psalm 115:1

    1. Thank you Frank, for the kind words!

      As for the blog series, I figured people would follow the lead on your blog and find the other posts. That’s what I did. Looking forward to part V. As an aside too, I have been mulling over your Beyond Evangelical series. It has led to some great discussion between Jonathan and I (so cool that you pulled his comment too). I think I’ll be doing a post, or two, inspired by your own–so thank you.

      Thanks too for stopping by.


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