Big Tent Sexuality with Brian Ammons & Richard Rohr

At the first two Big Tent Christianity events Brian Ammons became the attendee favorite!  On top of being a Duke professor, progressive Baptist church planter, blogger, and tweeter, Brian is a wonderful friend I am pumped to play a part in getting his voice out and about.  Here Brian drops a guide to a Big Tent Sexuality that is post-gay. (Judith Butler would have been very pleased with this pitching of the sexual Big Tent.) After he gets crazy awesome Richard Rohr follows it up with a contribution to the conversation with a little post-Flesh VS Spirit binary.

Ohh I got one more Brian Ammons surprise for you soon….. a chapter that was banned from appearing in the Baptimergent book which did include my very straight chapter.

Coffee House Theology with Ed Cyzewski: Homebrewed Christianity ep.32

Ed Cyzewski joins us this week on the HBC podcast, fresh off his whirlwind blog tour for his newest book ‘Coffee House Theology: Reflecting on God in Everyday Life.’  I blogged about the book previously, so I will just say that Ed keeps getting cooler in my mind and this interview was tons of fun, SO much fun I had to edit about an hour and a half of it out. As you will hear in the interview, Ed and I are far apart from each other along traditional baptist dividing lines, yet we had a passionate and engaging conversation about theology, mission, and his book.  I am very grateful to have talked with Ed and am glad to have him as a Baptimergent friend. I hope you enjoy the conversation.

I would also like to thank baptimergent Dave from South Carolina for giving the HBC podcast a super shout out. Keep on brother. We appreciate feedback from our listeners, even if you deduct a star from our rating on itunes because we do not always use complete sentences. Thanks for caring enough to listen and respond. Brew On!

Other Blog Reviews: 1,2,3,4,5,6,7,8,9,10,11,12,13,14,15,16,17,18

The ‘gay-friendly’ Cooperative Baptist Fellowship and the Associated Press

I am not in North Carolina any more, nor am I even working at a Baptist church, but I am pretty sure I am as much of a North Carolinian and Baptist as ever.  Of late, the yet-to-be-fully-separated Baptist State Convention of North Carolina has set in place the last measure to force the churches that support the Cooperative Baptist Fellowship out.  For non-baptists this means the very conservative SBC churches within NC are going to eliminate the means by which more moderate (and often just mildly conservative) churches can join other baptists in serving the state together.  The state convention spent money on things such as orphanages, disaster relief, and college scholarships for in-state students to baptist schools.  I always assumed it would eventually happen and personally I think the fundamentalists’ thieving procuring of the national and state infrastructure may turn out to be a fight for a millstone too heavy to carry for postmodern ministry.  For this reason I am glad that the Cooperative Baptist is a Fellowship.

Any way, at the recent NC State Convention where the measure was passed the AP decided to do some great reporting and once again demonstrated major media outlets inability to discuss religion sensibly. Since the actual story did a horrible job explaining the events and articulating the position of CBF, I thought I would assist the AP and give them some questions to think about next time.Continue Reading …

Caffeinated God-Talk for Everyone

Ed Cyzewski is not only cool because he is a Baptimergent, but he has done something many people will benefit from, namely he wrote a great book for a wide audience. His new book ‘Coffeehouse Theology: Reflecting on God in Everyday Life’ is actually readable for people without graduate degrees in theology.  Now, I know that isn’t hard to believe for your average book in the Christian book section at Borders, but for one that is packed full of good content, inspiring moments, and actual faith-filled passion, it is.  Ed’s book is a work in contextual theology for evangelicals interested in a conversation about theology that broadens and deepens the landscape of the evangelical community.  Outside of laying out a clear exposition of contextual theology and equipping the reader to turn on their own theological imagination, the book addresses two areas from a unique perspective.  As many theologically interested people know we are in the middle of a Trinitarian revival of sorts and Ed not only joins the revival but talks intelligibly about the Trinity (as in your friend who keeps rolling their eyes when you bring it up could understand it as a substantive and positive contribution to theology).  He does this by developing a rich missional approach to theology and examining how it is informed by God’s own nature.  Ed’s missional focus is on the forefront throughout the book as he discusses other topics like scripture or culture.  I just finished the book and know a number of people who would enjoy it, so check it out.  If you have read the book, are interested in missional thinking or contextual theology, or wonder just what kind of coffee Ed drinks when he is talking theology, send me your question and I will be sure to ask it when I interview him for Homebrewed Christianity next week.

Other Blog Reviews: 1,2,3,4,5,6,7,8,9,10,11,12,13,14

A Refreshing Debate…Brian McLaren and Richard Land

I think this might be the most refreshing political discussion with religious leaders in a long time.

Richard Land says, ‘Conservatives too often think God is on their side….doing so is idolatry….Liberals too often think God doesn’t have a side.’

Brian McLaren is “Serpent-Sensitive?”

Russell Moore, a president of Southern Baptist Theological Seminary, came up with a spicy bit of slander when he called Brian Mclaren ‘serpent-sensitive.’   The Baptist Press has an article on this gem of an observation that you can read.  When I read it this is what I thought.

Russell Moore Thought:

1. Brian McLaren is a close to being an Anabaptist.

2. Brian sees violence as contrary to the Gospel of Jesus Christ (hardly a new or radical idea for a Christian in any era and especially a  member of the Free Church, but I don’t know how free the Southern Baptists are.)

3. Brian wants an understanding of eschatology without divine violence and coercion so it coheres with his understanding of the message, cross, and resurrection of Jesus. (We talk about it during the podcast)

THEREFORE:  Brian McLaren is ‘Serpent-Sensitive’ because he is showing ‘hostility to the most basic aspects of the Gospel message.’

Then he has asks Willow Creek a good question, why would you invite Brian to speak when you are part of a movement that desires to reach seekers?

Here’s my response:  Brian does a great job communicating the message of Jesus and the church’s message about Jesus so that they are connected and serve as an invitation to follow God in Christ.  Willow Creek recognizes that there  thousands of people who take their faith seriously, have growing relationships with God in Christ, and are seeking to participate with God who is at work in the world because of the conversation Brian is a part of and for many because of his books and speaking.

Moore on the other hand, cannot see how a Christian could legitimately think that God could be as loving and as compassionate as Jesus or that God might even love all God’s enemies or that God’s eschatological triumph will come through the same method as the self-revelation of God in the incarnation of God, namely self-giving love.

I know it is important for certain Christians to preserve the idea that God can only be God if a bunch of people get thrown in hell and that after Jesus raptures his friends off the planet God opens up a can whoopin’ on all the sinners who are left in God’s angry hands, BUT can’t y’all just say that those of us who believe the hands of God are eternally loving and bear the marks that demonstrate the end of coercive violence and God’s refusal to do so a break.  Maybe we are theologically deformed and get too excited and over-emphasize when Jesus preaches about a non-violent reign of God that is present and coming, BUT can we please just be deformed Christians who took the Sermon on the Mount literally and not ‘Serpent-Sensitive?’