Just a few links to some stuff I’ve been reading lately. First we have Steve Taylor talking about why the missional church leaves him cold. It has to do with how many "oughts" there are in it. I always give his words quite a bit of weight, because he speaks as a practitioner. His comments give me pause when talking with others about these kinds of things, because I do think some people hear a lot of "oughts" that they can’t relate to.
Jonny Baker links to a spoof youth ministry site, which I found hilarious, especially considering my recent foray into youth work.
Scot McKnight posts about re-defining the concept of the authority of Scripture (he actually says "replacing," which set quite a few people off on quite a few tangents, resulting in 130 comments so far, some of them quite sharp! This issue is bound to get some people riled up, I suppose). Scot’s thoughts reminded me of N.T. Wright’s thoughts on the authority of Scripture, which I actually preached a three-part series on awhile back (although I didn’t talk about re-defining how we look at the authority of Scripture – I was a bit more canny, so as to retain listeners). I talked about reading the Bible not out of a sense of "ought-to" but out of a need to soak ourselves in the story of the redemption of the world, to better understand how we fit into the larger picture. I do think we evangelicals/charismatics need to start to think about a more rigorous and thoughtful theology of the authority of Scripture. Wright and McKnight are trying to point us in the right direction (no superfluous rhyming intended).
Finally, a friend forwarded me a link to an article by Barney Coombs, who heads Salt and Light Ministries, who read a couple McLaren books and is concerned about the implications. I can’t comment too much on it, because I have actually never read anything by McLaren. It was a good critique to read, though, because it came from a father-type figure (he leads a network of churches) who was genuinely concerned for the health of his churches and leaders. He doesn’t have any theological axes to grind, and doesn’t come with a chip on his shoulder. Some of the criticisms out there are actually quite thoughtful and honest, and deserve to be thoughtfully considered.
UPDATE 11/30: On the subject of the authority of the Scriptures, I received N.T. Wright’s newest book today, The Last Word: Beyond the Bible Wars to a New Understanding of the Authority of Scripture. Skimming through it, it looks like the "long version" of the article I linked to above. It also looks like an extremely important book for those concerned with how to frame an understanding of Scripture’s authority in a postmodern context, without having the argument degenerate into conservative/liberal name-calling (which I have seen happen far too often).