Sunday, June 29, 2008

The Missional Church Ethos

Missional church is a community of God’s people that defines itself, and organizes its life around, its real purpose of being an agent of God’s mission to the world. In other words, the church’s true and authentic organizing principle is mission. When the church is in mission, it is the true church. The church itself is not only a product of that mission but is obligated and destined to extend it by whatever means possible. The mission of God flows directly through every believer and every community of faith that adheres to Jesus. To obstruct this is to block God’s purposes in and through his people.

Alan Hirsh, The Forgotten Ways.

Sunday, June 15, 2008

Whats This Life For?

... for we all live under the reign of one king."
Creed, Whats this Life For?

Many times we feel like we walk through the motions, taking steps wondering where we are about to go next. Many of us feel like we are just existing and do not know how to move forward. We are afraid, ashamed of who we are. We are scared of letting go if our past and taking the step into something more, something bigger than ourselves. Forgetting the glorious work that God has done on the cross.

Then others of us are enslaved to a weird view of our salvation, we beleive that everything is after the fact, that since we have been "saved", there is no work to do now in the present. We have heaven coming, we don't need to worry about the present and we do not need to do anything now.

But this isn't the case. Jesus' eschatology and Pauls eschatology and indeed a Jewish view of the world never hint to this. Jesus says the the Kingdom of God is at hand. Jesus declares in his example of how we should pray,

"Our father in heaven, may tour name be kept holy.
May your kingdom come on earth as it is heaven"

Jesus' introduction to ministry started with his declaration that the Kingdom has come, the salvation has come, where he takes the scroll of Isiah and does dis exegisis on it, declaring

"The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, doe hw has annointed me to bring good news to the poor. He has sent me to proclaim that captives will be released, that the blind will see, that the oppressed will be set free, and that the time of the Lord's favor has come."

Jesus' declaration is that the Kingdom has come, it has spiritual, emotional, and political significance to the world we live in. He declares that the broken can find healing, that the oppressed can find freedom, that Israel is to be redeemed, that the world is to be healed and redeemed.

So what does this mean for us, I don't beleive salvation means we get to live happilly in the reality that since we are saved we wait to do nothing, we are called as followers of Christ, that we are called to live in a way that declares that Jesus is Lord.

Jesus addressed, that for the kinfdom to come, there needs to be workers. He said

"The harvest is great, but the workers are few"

I do not beleive in the rapture, if it happens then I'm wrong, but I don't really think its one of the questions that matters at all to my salvation, but it matters to the way I live. People who live looking forward to being taken away forget the importance of our mission here on earth. To be agents of change and transformation. To bring the gospel to the lost. To be agents of change in our city.

I don't beleive we will ever get to an utopian ideal this side of eternity, but seeing people changed, people find wholeness, seeing cities changed (like Ninevah was in the bible in the story of Jonah, Like Jerusalem and the nation of Israel was in the story of Nehemiah) is what I look forward to.

I will end on this point, at the end of the bible, we see the fulfilment of Gods victory, the restoration of a new heaven and a new earth. God brings heaven down to earth and lives again amongst humanity. Relationship between God and his creation is restored. He reigns!

Saturday, June 14, 2008


Yesterday night at work we had a celebration of Matariki. It was a great time of feasting and celebration. We got to enjoy a whole lot a great Kai, including some great creamed Paua and Paua Fritters as a result of some hard work from some of the men of the organisation. There was a great performance by a Wellington Kapa Haka group.

Matariki is the the Maori name for the Pleiades star cluster, which consists of seven stars. This star cluster is used by the Maori people in tradition to work out when it is the best time to grow crops. Matariki in New Zealand appeared on the 13 may 2008 and the best time to have seen it was on the 31st of May.

Its rising and falling are used to declare when the New Year begins. Prior to Matariki's falling is a period of mourning and loss. This year New Zealand lost one of its great symbols of National Identity and leadership with the passing of Sir Edmund Hillary, and in Maori leadership there has also been the passing of some great Maori Kaimatua.

The time we are in now is a time for celebration and for eating and for telling the stories of the past year and looking forward to the coming year. It is a joyous seasion that we are in looking forward to the coming harvest but also the celebration of successes both in our own personal lives and in the lives of others.

So what do I need to be thankful for, what can I look forward too?

- I am thankful for successfully graduating from University last month with Honours in politics.
- I am thankful for getting a great job in a great organisation.
- I am thankful for the headway that Mosaic is making as a community and that God has lead me into this community.

So my prayer for these coming months is:

Dear God, thank you for this time of remembrance. Thank you for all that I'm learning, and thank you for the challenges that are around the corner. I pray that I will follow your heart in the way that I live. That I will passionately follow your call and mission. That I will love others and put thier concerns above my own. God I thank you that you rescued me so I could be on mission to let your kingdom come on earth and I pray that I would follow you. Lord I thank you for placing me in Wellington, I pray that I would learn to serve my city and love this city in a way that transforms it and makes it a light in the dark. I thank you for the creative vision that you have placed in this city, I thank you for the political influence you have placed in this city. Let it be used to honour your name. Let me see it honour your name.

Sunday, June 08, 2008

Alive and Kicking

This post is to let you all know that I'm still alive and well and give an update of my day to day life.

I have just started work in my first permanent job in a Government department here in Wellington. I am really enjoying the variety, also know that I'm having to learn a whole lot more about Government, working with people and everything else. It is really exciting work and I can't beleive that I'm where I am now.

What am I reading
I've just started reading the Presidents by Stephen Grauband, this book goes through from the Presidency of Theodore Roosevelt to George W.Bush. I have just started it, so I will be preoccupied with it for a while yet (especially since I don't seem to have much time. I'm enjoying it, especially with the American election up and coming (Congratulations Obama!) It brings me back to my old politics days!

Sunday, June 01, 2008

Why Did the Emergent Chicken Cross the Road?

From Michael Kruse

Why did the Emergent Chicken cross the road? Here are my top ten reasons in no particular order:
The Chicken was drawn to the candles and incense on the other side of the road.
There was a Hauerwas discussion group at the coffee shop on the other side of the road.
The idea to cross the road emerged from the chicken’s generative cohort.
It was more “post” on the other side of the road. (i.e, postmodern, post-evangelical, post-colonial, post-institutional, post-post, etc. Pick your favorite "post.")
D. A. Carson showed up on the chicken’s side of the road.
Obama was on the other side of the road.
To demonstrate that it is more environmentally sustainable to walk across the road than to drive across the road.
Bono said crossing the road would save Africa.
The chicken was seeking change. Everything must change!
The question is merely a foundationalist modernist attempt to distill complex realities down to a single proposition in accordance with some metanarrative.

The Top 10 Worst Movies about Jesus (not including "The Passion")

As Brought to you by the Wittenburg door. Might provide you with some entertainment over the long Queens Birthday weekend.


This film may have been nominated for an Oscar, but so was Norbit.
Richard Burton, Shakespeare’s worst nightmare, plays Marcellus, a Roman soldier who crucifies Jesus and then wins his robe in a drunken game of dice. Since he can't put the thing up for sale on eBay, he decides to hang on to it. But instead of being the historical keepsake, bathroom rug or future dorm curtain he hoped it would be, the robe tortures him to no end. The very touch of it burns his skin and after he gets rid of it, disturbing dreams of Jesus' death and having to marry Elizabeth Taylor haunt him. The film attempts to portray the power of Jesus Christ by showing how even his outfit can kick your ass.

Widescreen Cinemascope Technicolor made the robe of Jesus look like a fuzzy-wuzzy blankie.
This was the first movie filmed in wide-screen Cinemascope, the format that was supposed to save Hollywood from the threat of television, but all it did was establish the principle that a dirty tube sock magnified a thousand times on a Technicolor screen will still look like a dirty tube sock. Everyone turns the overacting up to 11, which for Burton goes to the level of a drunken Renaissance Faire actor padding his resume.

For the role of Jesus himself, director Henry Koster decided to save money and just use his second unit director, which means the poor guy had to perform just about all of his normal duties in full costume. The studio wouldn't even let him eat in the cafeteria because they felt it was inappropriate for Jesus to be seen eating there in public. Come on, he may be the Son of Man, but that doesn't mean he never needed a Hungry Man meal.


There are a ton of B-movie horror flicks centered around Jesus Christ as a bad-ass spiritual hunter sent back to Earth to rid the world of demons and prevent the Second Coming, but this is definitely the best and that's not really a complement.

This cult favorite is so crammed to the brim with mixed genres that its mere stench lifts the lid off the jar and overflows with oozing mediocrity. It's a kung-fu movie. It's a splatterfilm. It's a Mexican wrestling film. It's a musical! It's a Jesus film with multiple personality disorder. And all of them are batshit insane.


It's May 1999 and it's sweeps week. All the other networks have big boffo blockbusters lined up to trick people into watching as much television as possible, but CBS executives find themselves standing out in the cold with nothing but old Murder, She Wrote and Diagnosis Murder reruns on your schedule, guaranteed to attract the oldest demographic since the Weather Channel went on the air. What do you do? Simple. You play on people's fears about the coming Year 2000 apocalypse and produce a made-for-TV Jesus biopic that’s bloodier and more over-the-top than all three of the Evil Dead films combined.

This scene of the final crucifixion features actor Jeremy Sisto being brutally nailed to the cross as he tries to convey agony by screaming the loudest of any torture victim in history. When Jesus tells his father to forgive them for they know not what they do, a grinning Livio--played by G.W. Bailey, better known as Rizzo on *M*A*S*H* and Captain Harris on Police Academy-says in his best Bond villain voice, "We know what we're doing. We're killing you." Oh snap, Jesus! You just got served.

Then in the end he comes back to life in the modern day and beams down Star Trek-style into a short-haired early-thirties guy who greets a group of schoolchildren with a warm hug and walks them out of frame, making you think Jesus suffered for two days and rose from the dead on the third so he could come back to life and babysit for us.


If Night of the Living Dead director George Romero became a born-again Christian, got a ton of funding from a religious film studio and decided to resurrect (no pun intended) his famed zombie movie franchise for a Christian audience, this wouldn't be the movie he would make.
This little film festival puddle jumper conjectures that the reason Jesus returns from the dead is so he can feast on the brain of the living, which we're sure isn't kosher even if you kill thehuman

a certain way.

It's hard to tell from the trailer if the film is an allegorical tale of literal Biblical translation run amok or just another zombie comedy that tries to ride on the coattails of Shaun of the Dead. If it's the second, you can rest assured there won't be any "Take this and eat it, for this is my body" jokes since the film follows Return of the Living Dead zombie rules, which require zombies to eat brains only, and not Night of the Living Dead zombie rules, which allow the undead to consume the entire body.


If faux-science shows like Unsolved Mysteries and In Search Of . . . attempted to tackle the Messiah story, of course they'd have to release their merry band of over-actors to reenact the story of Jesus in ways that made you giggle as a kid in places you weren't supposed to until the pressure from your sinus would blow your brains clean out of the back of your skull.

This schlock docudrama attempted to tackle that very subject. The movie features a stuffy, glass-eyed "historian" who uses the Shroud of Turin as an excuse to research the history of Jesus Christ, complete with so much hammy acting, the film will make you want to go kosher.
Since it ran in drive-ins across the country for years, it was allowed to feature the full crucifixion experience in all of its fake gory glory. So let's do those drive-in totals. We've got two nailed wrists, one stabbed chest, spear fu, Roman fu, Jew fu, Wrath of God fu and no aardvarking. We give it zero stars.


Six-year-old Ginger Prince failed to become the next Shirley Temple.
Have any of you parents out there ever sat at one of your children's Sunday School Nativity pageant and thought you'd like to see your own kids acting out the birth of Jesus on the big screen? Hell no.

Despite that fact of life, that's pretty much what William “One-Shot” Beaudine did with a passion play from Lawton, Oklahoma. Beaudine got his nickname because he reputedly directed more than 350 films without ever asking for a second take. For this project, he was working for the legendary showman Kroger Babb, who specialized in traveling roadshows that would pack the local theater for three days of “educational” or “inspirational” screenings, followed by a quick exit to the next town. Beaudine and Babb took a local production and interspersed it with a film about a young girl who convinces his greedy rich uncle to see the passion play so it will open his eyes to the value of serving, not taking from, his fellow man. The acting in this thing is not only bad, but the Sooner accents were so thick that the entire film had to be redubbed because the angry mob in Jerusalem never sentenced Jesus to die by announcing "Git-r-Done!"

Babb took the film on the road and then tried to sell the audience Bibles after the screening, which wasn't very successful because the movie ran four hours. It's hard to sell Bibles to a bunch of people whose faces had melted off from boredom.

The film became an even bigger failure when it tried to launch the career of Ginger Prince, the actress who plays the little girl in the film, as an attempt to step on the pituitary gland of an aging Shirley Temple. Again, films that melt faces off of their audiences won't help your career, not even in a "so bad it's good" kind of way.

Some of the world's most astute film critics and historians have lauded Italian director Pier Paolo Pasolini's retelling of the Gospel of Matthew with glowing words that will never be used to describe directors like Ed Wood, Uwe Boll and the guy who made the Rollerball remake. But anyone who’s ever had to sit through it in film class, struggling with the idea of a Marxist Jesus with a homosexual subtext, will realize why Pasolini boasted about his lack of research. He basically turns the birth and resurrection of Jesus Christ into a kung-fu flick starring George Takei as Judas. Oh my.

Pasolini–an atheist who was expelled from the Communist Party and had a movie based on the Marquis de Sade banned by the Italian government before being knifed to death by a gay hustler in 1975–films the Christ story with a shaky-cam documentary style that even gives blind people headaches. Some of the Jewish leaders have hats so ridiculous that even the Pope wouldn't wear them.

Look, up in the sky! It's a skydiving hippie! It's that guy from Three Dog Night in a jetpack! No, it's Ultrachrist

In this low low low low low budget film that looks like it was filmed in every high-rent/low-maintenance apartment in the Big Apple, director Kerry Douglas Dye poses the scenario that if Jesus returned to Earth he'd have to reinvent his image by taking on the persona of a superhero in divine Spandex. Well, at least he's got the body for it. That's right, Affleck, I'm looking at you, flabby.

Christ runs around New York City in his street-bought sandals and clip-on utility belt that doesn't seem to be holding any utilities in his never-ending quest to fight crime. Eventually the big man upstairs decides he doesn't like his favorite son's new public persona and the Antichrist is on the rise and Christ finds himself stuck between appeasing his father or ridding the Earth of unholy evil, much in the same way the audience finds themselves struggling to either return the video to the store for a full refund or throw the thing in an incinerator to spare anyone else from watching it.

Get ready to see Jesus like you've never him before--in crappy, old-fashioned stop-motion animation that even kids don't use when they're making Star Trek fan films in their basement.
If you thought that Sunday school film of the death and resurrection had more wooden and hollow actors than a Renaissance faire, wait until you see these actors who are actually made out of hollow wood. It's a stop-motion "3-D" film of the Jesus story that looks like the makers of Robot Chicken phoned in their last episode so they could clear the animation studio space for Assy McGee in time.

It also features an all-star cast of celebrity voices including Alfred Molina, Miranda Richardson and Ralph Fiennes as the voice of Jesus, because, after all, the Son of Man spoke with a stuffy British accent though he was born and raised in abject Bethlehemic poverty.

The book that everyone in your office cubicle said you have to read is now a big-budget overblown movie without any big words or scary facts about religion to give you a headache. The book and movie dares to uncover the greatest cover-up in the history of the Catholic Church, unless you don't count the church's refusal to stand against the Holocaust and the string of priest molestations and the selling of indulgences as a form of penance and the fact that eating meat on Friday between Ash Wednesday and Good Friday is no longer a damnable sin.

The movie suggests that the Son of Man was also quite the Ladies' Man because of an alteration in Leonardo DaVinci's famed "Last Supper" painting. Of course, it doesn't get to that juicy little tidbit until after two-thirds of the most excruciatingly bad acting and dialogue is done. But it doesn't end there. There's this big M. Night Shyamalan ending that reveals Jesus had a family tree, and after you calculate what you’ve had to sit through to get to that one scene, you realize that Christ may have died on the cross for our sins, but now we’ve paid him back by remaining faithful all the way to the excruciatingly painful end.