Month: April 2007

Neuroscience Confirms Hardwiring for Community

“In a new book called Social Intelligence, author Daniel Goleman explores the fascinating “neural ballet” that connects humans brain-to-brain. And guess what? Goleman concludes that we are hard-wired to connect. According to the author, ‘Neuroscience has discovered that our brain’s very design makes it sociable, inexorably drawn into an intimate brain-to-brain linkup whenever we engage with another person.'”

See the whole article here.

Healthy Church Plants

I just read a church planting scorecard request. This strikes me as rather odd. The metaphor communicates that points and stats drive healthy church plants. The categories requested for the scorecard are: 1) Launch date 2) Average attendance 3) Highest attendence 4) Total baptisms 5) Average offerings.

Noticably missing are: 1) Spiritual maturity 2) impact on community 3) conversions. Thoughts?

Resources for healthy church (plants):

Rohrmayer, Avoiding Church Planting Landmines

Driscol, Confessions of a Reformissionary

Macchia, Healthy Church, Healthy Disciples, Building Teams

Dever, Nine Marks, Deliberate Church

Let There Be No Confusion: Wright is Right on on Penal Substitution

Wright, Matthew for Everyone:

“The Old Testament prophets speak darkly about the ‘cup of YHWH’s wrath.’ These passages talk of what happens when the one God, grieving over the awful wickedness of the world, steps in at last to give the violent and bloodthirsty, the arrogant and oppressors, the reward for their ways and deeds. It’s as though God’s holy anger against such people is turned into wine: dark, sour wine which will make them drunk and helpless. They will be forced to ‘drink the cup,’ to drain to the dregs the wrath of the God who loves and vindicates the weak and helpless. The shock of this passage is that Jesus speaks of drinking this cup himself” [pp. 60, 61]

From Wright’s Romans commentary:

“No clearer statement is found in Paul, or indeed anywhere else in all early Christian literature, of the early Christian belief that what happened on the cross was the judicial punishment of sin. Taken in conjunction with 8:1 and the whole argument of the passage, not to mention the partial parallels in 2 Cor 5:21 and Gal 3:13, it is clear that Paul intends to say that in Jesus’ death the damnation that sin deserved was meted out fully and finally, so that sinners over whose heads that condemnation had hung might be liberated from this threat once and for all.”

From ch. 12 of Wright’s Jesus and the Victory of God:

“God, because in His mercy He willed to forgive sinful men and, being truly merciful, willed to forgive them righteously, that is, without in any way condoning their sin, purposed to direct against His own very Self in the person of His Son the full weight of that righteous wrath which they deserved.”

HT: JH via JT

One wonders how seriously Steve Chalke takes the statement he made about Jesus death being divine child abuse (not a new accusation), and that perhaps it is mean more as inflammatory, heat-generating language (which is another matter). Moreover, I wonder how many people are actually buying into an anti-penal substitution perspective of the cross? And, consequently, how much time and energy this debate is really worth, if a) it was inflammatory, get-attention language b) people are not changing their position or understanding of the cross?

Hiawatha's Wooing

As unto the bow the cord is

So unto the man is woman;

Tho’ she bends him,

She obeys him.

Tho’ she draws him,

Yet she follows;

Useless each without the other.

~ longfellow ~