Month: June 2007

Two Articles: Discipleship and Story just put out two articles of interest: “Rethinking Discipleship: A Framework for Discipleship in Church Planting” and “Is the Bible Just A Story?” The first article has some helpful suggestions for approaching evangelism and discipleship, in particular is the Allen Taha’s use of Discipleship in the Moment (DIM). He writes:

In this current gathering phase of the church plant, I have rethought discipleship and developed a strategy of gospel-discipleship that emphasizes the Scripture, prayer, and kingdom. This new approach arose in part because of the importance that each interaction I have with someone is a discipling experience. I call this “discipling in the moment” or DIM for short. Discipling in the moment is a way of discipling without a program that sees Christians and non-Christians brought closer to their Savior over the course of the conversation or interaction.

Whether you are a church planter or not, this article is helpful. The other article is a reprint of one of my blog entries, which explores how we read and appropriate the Bible, often in unbiblical ways, just to stroke our moral ego, pacify our psyche, or entertain our children. With the Bible-as-Story being popular terminology, I thought it would be a good idea to show a few ways how it isn’t a story.

Designing Cities for People

Lester Brown at the Globalist presents a compelling case for people-centered urban design, to promote the overall quality of life in cities. He writes:

With more than half of the world’s population living in urban areas, pollution and traffic congestion are an ever increasing problem. In an age where public parks are being sacrificed to make room for parking lots, Lester Brown proposes that city planning should benefit people — not cars.

I raised some similar issues in my article “Hate the City, Love the City.” However, Brown does deeper but without the lens redemption. Read the whole article and share your thoughts.

Global or Local?: Trends in Shopping and Globalization

Living in Austin has a lot of benefits. One is the culture of “Keep Austin Weird,” which among other things, advocates supporting local business. From Whole Foods to Austin Java, local business in Austin offers the consumer a diverse, unique, and often of high quality shopping experience. We’ve bought into the ethos; it’s great to eat, shop, and frolic locally.

According to the Globalist, going local is a rising trend that may clip globalization. Stephen Roach points out that globalization has led to a higher standard of living in third world countries, while producing more consumers. India and China’s standards of living have doubled and quadrupled over the past 15 years. However, richer countries like the U.S. aren’t benefiting from increased consumers and globalization, as imagined.

Roach writes: “With labor costs easily accounting for the largest portion of business expenses, this has proved to be a veritable bonanza for the return to capital — pushing the profits share of national income in the major countries of the industrial world to historical highs of 15.6%.” In other words, “An era of localization will have some very different characteristics from recent trends: Wages could go up, and corporate profits could come under pressure.”

Local or global? Do you see these trends as economical delusion or definite possiblity?