Monday, December 14, 2009

Church Online in Real Life


Saturday, October 17, 2009

For Everyone Who Has Ever Missed A Deadline...

The Ladder Project - shaping the future

This monday, the ladder project will be holding our final speakers series event.

We will be workshopping two proposals with Paul Vink, a researcher and implementer of development projects. We are hoping that we can crystalise some of the ideas that we have been working on for the last few months and have a real passionate and creative time together.

If you have a passion for changing humanity and a passion for the world around you and want to be inspired about how to change the world, please join us at 8pm at Ramsey House, 8 Kelburn Parade.

Lets get the creative juices flowing, and lets make a difference in this world.

Be the change...

Monday, October 12, 2009

The Ladder Project - Rubber Hits the Road

We met Shirwin from the Phillipines on friday night, and he told some of his story about living in the slums of the Manilla region.

As many of you will know, the Manilla region was hit by a number of Tropical cyclones in the last few weeks. Read some of Shirwins story below.

Sherwin enjoyed his time with the group.

Just to let you know some updates with his situation, that night on Friday as we were heading home he received news that Labas Bakod (the slum he lives in) was set for demolition the next day (Saturday) and people will not be allowed back. He was shell shocked, he so wasn't himself that night and the next morning. He contacted his friend in the council to confirm the news. So 4 days on since the news, the situation at present is that the friend has managed to prevent demolition by force, people in LB will be relocated to an area 2.5hrs away (Laguna) from Metro Manila (which is not ideal for Sherwin and his sibilings who are still studying).

People have till Tuesday (13th) to register to obtain a spot in Laguna, where housing will be a skeleton structure and I suppose people will have to find material to complete it.

Registering in time would mean that people will be allowed to take down their house (or rather what's left of it) where they can use the existing materials to complete the skeleton structure at the relocation. Those who do not register will have their houses demolished for them. Sherwin has told his family to register for a spot in Laguna, but will explore alternatives to continue living in Marikina (for the sake of work and siblings who are at school).

Sherwin's much better now (since receiving the news on Friday night). Last night he was laughing and joking while having dinner with his hosts and myself. Very much himself (well, at least it's the Sherwin I know). God has been encouraging him lots especially yesterday. We hold on to the promise that God works for the good of those who love Him.

Just keep praying for Sherwin as he needs wisdom and strength.

We continue to search for hope, to be the hope, to be the change in the world that people need.

Thursday, October 01, 2009

Where am I at?

As another week winds to a close, what a ride, what an adventure, questions providing no answers, answers providing more questions. Learning to live, figuring out how to become, venturing forward in the hope of new horizons, wondering what is around the corner, and enjoying the adventure.

Capital Mosaic

Capital Mosaic is making an important step this week. We are moving into a new venue, New Crossways. Mosaic is now around 30 adults strong and continues to grow its relationships with those around us. This week have been a struggle for a number in the community, and as we go through our personal struggles, we realise that this step is essential to the growth of Mosaic, character wise, faith wise, numerically wise. We continue to play to our strengths and grow.

The Ladder Project

The ladder project is a joy to be part of, it provides many challenges. We have found our stride and are working on fueling the fires for the next steps. This is a real venture into the unknown. We have come with fresh eyes, learned alot and grown in passion. Our group of journeyers has doubled in size and we are figuring out that many can bring new strengths.

Its great to be journeying on a road where you can make signicant change. I think thats a life worth living. A life that Jesus wants us all to find. Do not beleive its easy, but it is good.

Sunday, September 27, 2009

Love = Acceptance but can I accept Love?

Love, what is it, so intangible, unexplainable, unknown.

Love is to be known truly, and to be accepted when you are known for your deepest darkest secrets, your highs and your lows, your dreams and your nightmares. Love accepts you and provides true equal opportunity.

Love will sacrifice its time, resources, its all so, you will come to know it truly.

Love transforms a dry parched land, broken and eroded by the passing harsh seasons into a beautful abundant garden with the lushest fruits every know.

If to be love it to be known fully, to be accepted in the knowedge that it knows you, do I have the courage to allow this love to engulf me to transform me into something new, and to journey in the reality of this idea. That I am chosen, no matter what I have done.

Only when we accept love, can we truly know true love, but during this journey, we can pass on the idea of true unbreakable love to those around us who need to know the power of love. As we do this we journey into accepting true love.

Saturday, September 26, 2009

The happendedness of the Christ Event

All the world religions have been developed through history in a continuing tradition of rational argument. No religion exists apart from such a historical tradition. And all religions appeal to the authority of great teachers in the past. Nevertheless the distiction is real. The truths which Buddhism teaches would (as Buddhists understand them) be true whether or not Gautama had discovered and promulgated them. But the whole of Christian teaching would fall to the ground if it were the case that the life, death and resurrection of Jesus were not events in real history but stories told to illustrate truths which are a valid apart from these happening....
... The issue is this: Is this relationship with God seperate from your involvement in the ongoing life of the world, your family, your neighbourhood, your nation in the family of nations. Or is your relationship with God necessary bound up with your acceptance of the part God assigns for you in his purpose for his world? If the latter is the case, then your relationship with God cannot be seperated from those acts in which God has revealed and effected his purpose for for the world. Your devotion to God will be expressed in and through your involvement with history as you are now part of it. You will understand your own life as part of a story which is not a story made up by you, not just the story of your decisions and actions, but the story which is being enacted under God's creative and providential control in the events of contemporary history.
Lesslie Newbigan - The Gospel in a Pluralistic Society

Saturday, September 05, 2009

Loving Like Jesus Loved

I know this feels kind of cliche, but this is where I am at at the moment, hopefully the thoughts may lead to action...

Jesus said whatever you do to the least of these my brothers you’ve done it to me. And this is what I’ve come to think. That if I want to identify fully with Jesus Christ, who I claim to be my savior and Lord, the best way that I can do that is to identify with the poor. This I know will go against the teachings of all the popular evangelical preachers. But they’re just wrong. They’re not bad, they’re just wrong. Christianity is not about building an absolutely secure little niche in the world where you can live with your perfect little wife and your perfect little children in a beautiful little house where you have no gays or minority groups anywhere near you. Christianity is about learning to love like Jesus loved and Jesus loved the poor and Jesus loved the broken ' - Rich Mullins

Unrelenting love

I could sense very deeply that God wanted a relationship with Laura. Ultimately, I beleive that God wants a relationship with every human being, but with Laura I could feel Gods urgency. Laura, however wanted little to do with it. She never brought up the idea of God, so I didn't either. - Donald Millar - Blue Like Jazz.

I read these words today with a strong sense of conviction. Lying on the ground, soaking in the sun, these words went off like a bomb in my soul. It shocked me to my very core again. God is unrelentently seeking relationship with us. God is seeking to know you, to dance in the dance of life with you once again.

You and I are broken, we seek to live good lives, but our fear, of lack of conviction holds. We seek to be great, but when we look back at the successes they often feel hollow. But, there is a greater plan.

God has been recklessly seeking out humanity. He came into human history 2000 years ago, as a man, Jesus Christ. Lived amongst us, us broken eikons, eating, living, serving, joking, caring, being with Humainity. He showed what it means to be truly human, to be truly love through and through. He would do anything to show that what we thought was living the good life was really not the good life but was just a bad imitation, a scribble compared to the great movie in vivid colours that we were meant to live in. He showed that we are to love and serve everyone, no matter thier convictions, no matter thier past actions. He showed that God loves everyone, no matter thier convictions, no matter thier action and wants to know them know matter what the cost.

Jesus showed that God loves all, and is passionately wanting to know you by going through severe beating, being spat on, becoming the most despised, and slowing aspixiating on a Cross so that you may come to know him and live a life of joy, grace, peace, wholeness.

God loves you, what are you going to do about it? God loves you, what am I going to do about it?

Tuesday, September 01, 2009

Posts with the Most

My good mate Benn has a great post on how to live a life in search of God given dreams and aspirations that you should read and my mate Justin has a great poem posted on his blog. Both these guys are much better writers and thinkers then me.

The Journey up the Ladder

I recently heard my mate Justin speak about the process of learning, and how it is as important as the destination of our journey. He talked about how we often we fail to go after something because of our lack of character and our inability to man up.

We also forget the joy of the journey, and to fail to stop in the moment and take in what we are to learn from this occassion.

At the moment, me and a group of other four mates are on a journey of discovery. We have a lofty goal. We want to find the best wheel at tackling poverty. The last few months have been a journey first of all is problem definition. We have had to define poverty, and at the moment we are defining just where we should help and what we should do. We have gone up some of the rungs and can see a larger horizon, the climb is still far, but it is teaching us a lot.

Then there is our speaker series, where we have had to figure out the best ways to promote and get people along to the events we are holding. We have made mistakes on the way, the most memorable was that we did not organise a sign up sheet so we could communicate with those who wanted to be connected with us.

The journey is long, but as we go along, we are learning more about each other, growing in community and in passion for what we are doing. I can not wait to see what we do, whatever it is.

Monday, August 31, 2009


I have finally given in and set up a twitter. This is because I naturally say what I think in short sharp bursts and I have lost the ability to write in long boring prose.

Anyway my twitter is and the R.S.S feed is I have put a feed up on the blog so you can follow my wise and unwise thoughts online.

Sunday, August 16, 2009

Lauryn Hill on The Gospel and her Journey

One of the little gems in my music collection is the Lauryn Hill MTV Unpluged. The album is basically the story of her struggle with fame and the music industry and her discovery of herself and God.

Listen to this interlude...

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

District 9 Preview

I went to the preview screening of district 9 tonight. This is Peter Jackson's latest production, done alongside rookie director Neill Bloomkamp. This film is the brainchild of Neill Bloomkamp, who was given the chance to direct the film alongside Jackson after thier joint Halo film project failed to receive major backing.

The premise of the film is that a alien spaceship entered the earths athmosphere 28 years ago at Johanasberg. These aliens have become refugees in a slum called district 9 and most if not all humans see these refugees as unwelcome guests.

The film is set both as documentary and home video and is very intense. This is created through the use of handy cam and fast camera changes.

Stand out role goes to the actor Shartlo Copley, who had never acted in a major role.

This film is likely to become a major cult classic in the next few years but may not gain the same major popular appeal as other films by Jackson. The film also highlights Jacksons courage and ability to back other budding directors and fund projects which are high risk.

Coincidentally, Peter Jackson made an appearance at the beginning of the film to thank those who had come and seen the premier. Awesome to see him take the time to come and thank the fans and supporters of his work!

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

The next rung on the ladder

The Ladder Project has its next speaker series event on Monday 17 August, at Ramsey House, 8 Kelburn Parade. Cara Bentley is speaking at this event. Shew is a Development researcher. Her topic is "Below the surface: History of Povery in Southeast Asia."

If you want any more information contact or go to the ladder project.

Sunday, August 09, 2009

The Violinist

One day in the dingy New York underground. A lone busker, dressed in jeans and talked walked and set up his gear. He placed down his old shabby violin case and took out his precious possession to start and play.

He began playing, in anticipation of the passers by. Playing for the passion of playing, playing for someone who may appreciate. People walked by. After the 15 minues he had collected a few small coins a the moments notice of a couple of people. In the next 15 minutes, a parent with her unassuming child walked through. The child listened and was caught up, they wanted to stop. The parent, stressed by the fact she was running late and had a board meeting pulled the kid by her hands, tearing the kid from the magnetic hold of the music.

Other uassuming kids tried to stop their parents from filling their daily working grind. They wanted to listen to what impacted their imaginations, that made them dance, rather than pound the pave way with their busy overworked parents.

At the end of the 45, the man had collected 35 dollars and 7 steers from individuals.

This man was Joshua Bell, an award winning violinist, who playing one of his most celebrated pieces.

How often do we miss the beautiful because we are focused on the mundane?

How often do we miss focusing on what is beautiful because we fail to stop and listen?

H.T: Rob Bell

Sunday, July 19, 2009

Ben Thirkell White - speaker series

Join Us 8PM Monday, 20 JULY @ the Ramsey House (located at 8 Kelburn Parade) to hear the first speaker, Ben Thirkell-White as he helps us enter into the conversation of poverty and development. Ben Thirkell-White is a Senior Lecturer in International Relations at Victoria. His research is about development finance, with a particular focus on the politics of World Bank and IMF policy. He has written one book about the IMF and Southeast Asia and is just completing another about the international politics of poverty policy. He’s done a little volunteer work on development projects in Southern Africa and has been teaching development for over ten years.

For more information, check out The Ladder Project

Friday, July 10, 2009

The Ladder Project - Speaker Series

The Ladder Project Speaker series is all go - these are being help at Ramsey House, 8 Kelburn Parade Wellington at 8 pm (except for Andew McGregor, which will start at 7.30 that night.)

The Dates and Speakers are:

Monday, July 20
Ben Thirkell-White; Academic Staff, School of History, Philosophy, Political Science and International Relations, Humanities and Social Sciences (yeah don't know if we need all that)
Speaking on poverty & development.

Monday, August 17
Carla Bently; Community Trust worker, development reseracher.
Speaking on the history of poverty in Southeast Asia.

Monday, September 21
Andrew McGregor; Senior Lecturer, School of Geography, Environment and Earth Sciences; just published book on Development in Asia
Speaking on the cultural stories in Southeast Asia.

Monday, October 19
Paul Vink; Developer, Investor.
Sspeaking on his practices and workshop for us to work on our project.

More to come...

Wednesday, July 01, 2009

The Ladder Part 2- Follow our Journey

Me and a group of co-conspirators have a project that we would like you to join - its called the Ladder. We are aiming to attack poverty in Southeast Asia (Defined as India, Bangladesh, Thailand, Mayanmar/Burma, Cambodia, Laos, Vietnam, Philippines and Indonesia). After working with poor and abandoned kids in an orphanage outside Addis Ababa for three months, Demelza Woolston came back to New Zealand exhausted but inspired. Her stories, told via blog and Mosaic Community shared meals combined with Mosaic’s own ethics pushed us to start a process of discovery and response in the area of poverty, orphaning, and people trafficking.

Our aim is that our group can find the best solution to poverty. We are inspired by movements such as Toms Shoes and the Clapham Sect.

Join us as we journey. We will be holding a speakers series in the next semester at Victoria University.

Take up the challenge: Be the Change in this world

Saturday, June 20, 2009

The Ladder

The Ladder is a project of a group of Wellington friends who were inspired by a fellow sojourner who went to ethiopia to serve orphan kids for three months. The stories could not be ignored, we have been spurred into a need for action, because we hear the cries of humanity. You can follow our journey of discovery, action and formation at the Ladder.

The story we find ourselves

The story of humanity is fraught, we live in a world where hopelessness seems to overpower light, where pain seems to overpower joy. We understand that a story has been playing out for generations, but we see hope, a light over the horizon. We want to be part of bringing hope, bringing life to our world.

Follow the journey...

Monday, March 30, 2009

Response to Mark Sayers

I posted Mark Sayers blog yesterday on the Missional movement and where we are at with the whole emerging missional church.

My Journey to the emerging missional church movement

I have personally been on the journey into the missional church since 2005. I went through a period of time looking at the way I was living and realising that it was not what I thought it was. I realised I was basically a hyprocrite putting up visades and living a double life. I realised that during this time I wasn't following the basic creeds of Christ, but living in a system that was focused on keeping myself safe and happy without needing to change and grow.

During this time I basically dismantled what I knew about God, the Church, and living the christian life. This was done at the same time as doing study of Jesus and Paul at university.

The first person I was introduced within the emerging missional church was the controversial figure of Mr Brian McClaren - reading through his book generous orthodoxy - this book introduced me to ideas that were seen as dangerous in communities that saw black and white as the ideal.

I spent a lot of the next year thinking about what it meant to be a christian, trying to figure it out on my own accord - and with some help from others. I became quite disconnected from what I communities I once found safety and found a home (this wasn't the fault of the communities - but a result of me stepping back and questioning much of what I had once thought was the only way to do things.)

During this time I was introduced to Neo-calvinist Mark Driscoll. I have always had a love-hate relationship with Driscoll. I respect his stand and that he wont budge but disagree with him on a number of issues. I respect Mark Driscoll because he puts his money (and his churches money) where his mouth is and is developing churches. I don't think his model is the only way to do church - but see that the Acts 29 movement is going to have a big impact on the Church. I

I have also spent a lot of time being influence by the Neo-Monastics - I love the Neo-Monastics - again they sincerely put thier money where thier mouth is and are doing a lot of good around the world. One thing I find though with Neo-Monastics is that they are highly idealistic - because they are prophetic in nature they can be quite hard to deal with if you are a middle class christian. They often get ridden of as not understanding the complexities of life and are seen as needing to grow up and get a real job.

But I think Neo-Monastics have real guts. Living in community as they do is hard going and challenging. I have good freinds within monastic communities and think they are a healthy aspect of the church. Plus I was quite close to wanting to get involved in Urban vision for a while.

I was introduced to the Neo-Missiologists by a freind of mine Mike Brantley in the states. The whole story of my journey has been about distilling the Christian faith back to the essentials - that is that we are to be spurred into mission by love, living by faith and being a force of hope in a broken and desperate world. This has shaped my view that structure doesn't matter - all that matters is the message of the Gospel - and that is simple - God is missional - he loves and wants to restore relationship with his creation. He showed his love by sending his son to earth, to show a new way of living, a whole way of living, then his son went against evil, was sent to death on a roman cross, the rose again in victory over sin and death. Through because of this we can live healed lives.

Neo-Missiologists way is simple - boiling it down to bear essentials - its about living in proximaty with broken people, being a presence of hope and love like Jesus was and proclaiming that love by our words and deeds. I would probrably say that I'm closest to this school of thought.

I have a lot of time for the blenders - these guys are attually pretty amazing. They have alot of patience with a whole lot of people who have differing opinions. Erwin McManus has an awesome ability to view future trends and develop healthy community, and this has been shown by Mosaic LA. Dan Kimball is a traditional evangelical but has such a heart for reaching the lost in ways that people can understand - and is able to communicate these ways.

How is the emerging missional church shaping up in New Zealand

The emerging missional church is still small and only taking shape in New Zealand and because of this isn't as fractured as in the states. My main concern is to see the Church as an agent of hope in New Zealand, showing people that God cares for them.

Sunday, March 29, 2009

The state of the emerging mission church movement... oh movements!

This is a cool post from Mark Sayers - If I get time I will comment on it.

I just finished reading Alistair McGrath’s fantastic history of protestantism Christianity’s Dangerous Idea. It’s interesting how when the Reformation began, Protestantism united itself against what it saw as its binary opposite, Catholicism, but as time passed, Protestantism began to split into various movements and factions (eg Calvinist, Anabaptist, Anglican, Congregationalist etc), overtime these groups began to define themselves against each other rather than against the perceived enemy of the time, Rome.

The history of protestantism is a classic example of movement dynamics. Dissatisfaction creates a ground swell of support against a perceived problem, injustice or enemy. This ground swell coalesces into a movement; at first the movement’s energy and internal dialogue is centered around defining itself against the common enemy. But then as time passes the internal dialogue of the movement begins to shift away from ‘defining against’ to ‘defining itself’. Then the conversation changes and people inside the solidfying movement begin to discover that although they are united in their distaste of their ‘enemy’ there is much that they disagree with each other over. Then tensions and differences arise, fractures are followed by factions, and the new movement breaks up. (For another historical example of this check out the French revolution.)

The emerging missional church seems to be following a very similar path, having seemingly fractured into multiple movements. In the early days it could define itself against the perceived enemy ‘the mainstream church”.The problem was that whilst everyone agreed that something new and different must be birthed that is in contrast to the ‘mainstream church’, many had differeing definitions of what ‘mainstream church’ was. For some it was large mega churches who had seemed to have capitulated to consumer culture, for others it was irrelevant, overly traditional mainline churches, for others it was churches that were too theologically conservative, but others were rebelling against what they saw as a mainstream church that was made impotent by liberal theology. Some saw the task as being centered around creating a contextually appropriate church for post-modern people in contrast to the ‘mainstream church’ which was perceived as being too closely wedded to ‘modernity’.

Many in the United States saw the enemy as the conservative Evangelical ‘religious right’, whereas some in the UK saw themselves creating something fresh and culturally relevant in contrast to the perceived irrelevance of many Anglican parishes. For some the problem with mainstream church was it’s politics, for others it was a lack of genuine mission. So as time went on and as conversations went deeper, many in the emerging missional movement found that they were more divided than they realised. For a while a sense of tribalism and common cultural interests seemed to hold these divisions at bay. But then things started to get weirder as something unexpected happened. Not all, but many institutions, leaders, and churches that had been labelled ‘mainstream church’ by the new movement began to listen to, converse with and imitate the emerging missional movement.

Justice went from being a sidelined issue to one of the hottest causes in many mainstream churches. Books like Blue like Jazz , the Shack and The Irresistible Revolution, which most likely if had been released ten or even five years earlier, would have only been read by a small amount of readers within the emerging missional movement, began to sell by the container ship load, and most of the readers were from ‘outside’ the movement. The line between mainstream church and the emerging missional church had become very blurred.

Inevitably the movement began to fracture and I believe now has broken up into a number of mini movements. Here is my rudimentary attempt to name and describe some of them.

Neo-Anabaptists: Some have called this movement the new monastics, which is quite a helpful term, but I think that a more accurate description would be Neo-Anabaptists, as this group is shaped by the ethos of the Anabaptist movement. This movement tends to be pacifist, favours incarnational living amongst the urban poor, and has a strong distrust of power, sees contemporary Western Culture and Society as being controlled by “Empire” and thus favours an approach of prophetic action by small grassroots Christian communities.I would also place in this group the growing Christian-Anarchist movement in Australia and New Zealand. This group tends also to be strongly influenced by the Catholic Worker Movement started by Dorothy Day. A key leader in this movement would be Shane Claibourne. Key books The Irresistible Revolution. The New Conspirators by Tom Sine.

Neo- Calvinists: This group puts an emerging spin on classic Calvinism. This group views reformed theology as way out of the morally relevatist mess created by postmodernity. Whereas aditional Reformed theology viewed gifts of the spirit with suspicion, the new calvinism tends to have a charismatic edge. The neo-Calvinists also in contrast to early Calvinism, place a high emphasis on mission, and thus have begun a number of church planting efforts. Key Leaders in this movement, Mark Driscoll, Tim Keller.

Neo-Missiologists: This group are in many ways the heirs to the church growth movement created by Donald McGavern, a returned missionary who advocated a missional approach to the West. However whereas church growth was influenced by the mechanistic leadership, marketing and organising techniques of the corporate world, the new missiologists borrow instead from the organic models found in nature. Building on the work of Christian Schwarz this group favours small simple highly reproducible forms of church. This group is also highly influenced by the missiology of Leslie Newbiggin and Paul Hiebert and favours an incarnational mode of church, that is not ‘attractional’ but rather missional. This group also borrows some of its eccleisiology from House Church theorists and practitioners such as Robert Banks and Wolfgang Simson. Thus many label this movement ‘missional’. Key leaders Neil Cole and Wolfgang Simpson and Frank Viola. Key books the Forgotten Ways, Pagan Christianity and The Organic Church.

Neo-Clapham’s: A strange name yes but I think a descriptive one as this group tends to be influenced by the ideas of William Wilberforce and the Clapham Sect. Whilst this movement is technically not concerend with ‘church’, one cannot underestimate its effect upon the contemporary church, and the lives of christian young adults. Whilst just as passionate about justice as the Neo-Anabaptists, the Neo-Clapham’s tend to take a very different approach. Whereas the Neo-Anabaptists tend to favour an approach which is local, grassroots and suspicious of larger institutions, the Neo-Clapham’s take an approach that is global, large scale and campaign driven.In contrast to the Neo-Anabaptist’s, this group are less suspicious of power and thus work closely or within corporations, governments, the Entertainment industry, NGO’s and denominations. Much of the energy of the Neo-Clapham’s can be found in various movements such as Make Poverty History, Fair Trade, Human Trafficking, Blood Chocolate, and so on. Key Leaders Jim Wallis, Tim Costello, Bono, Steve Chalke, David Batstone.

Digital Pentecostals: This movement is a recent development within Pentecostalism in the West, specifically developing out of Australia. While Pentecostalism classically was defined by outward expressions of response to the Holy Spirit, the digital pentecostals create experiential spaces through cutting edge media and technologies in which participants can respond to the Holy Spirit. This group attempt to reach out to postmodern culture by creating large church worship experiences which are highly experiential and tech savvy thus being attractive to postmodern tech savvy, experiential Gen Y’s. Many Digital Pentecostals has eschewed the ‘prosperity theology’ of their parents and instead are highly influenced by or part of the Neo-Clapham movement. In many ways this the second generation of Gen Y kids who have come of age being influenced by Hillsong. Key Leaders Joel Houston, Judah Smith. This group would not have ever seen itself as part of the emerging missional journey at any stage, but never the less is an interesting response to post-Christian culture.

Neo-Liberals: Many who began in the Emerging Church have taken the journey further and embraced a kind of 2oth century liberalism with an emerging spin. In an attempt to reject what was seen as the cultural captivity of evangelicalism, many have questioned a number of key components of evangelical life and theology and found themselves swimming in for want of a better term ’soft liberalism’. Whereas traditional liberalism was born out of an attempt to create a theology that fit with modern sensibilities, the Ne-liberals find themselves creating a new theology in response to the post-modern context. Interestingly this group seems to be finding more and more in common with mainline liberal Churches in the United States than they do with Evangelicals. Critics would place some of the voices within the ‘Emergent” camp here.

Blenders: This group would have placed themselves in the emerging church camp five years ago, but in response to the move away from evangelical theology by many of their former travellers (the Neo-Liberals) they have re-affirmed their commitment to evangelical theology. This group also seems to be questioning some of the assumptions of the Neo-Missiologists and are attempting to blend a missional approach, whilst still affirming some elements of the attractional mode of church, hence the term blenders.Key leaders Erwin McManus, Dan Kimball.

Obviously there is much cross-pollination between these groups. As well as many problems with my analysis. I am sure that there are more that I could come up with, maybe you can think of some too.

Sunday, March 01, 2009

Comfort and Selfishnes

Recently I had a mate come to stay for a week and a half in my room. He's a great guy who's just joined Urban Vision* for the year. I thought it would be cool to offer some hospitality to a mate of mine. What I found surprising to me was my reaction to him being here.

I had feelings of protection for "my space", "my stuff" etc. I wanted to control the environment and make it work out for me the most. There was alot of selfishness running through me as I tried to maintain the order in my life that I had created.

As I thought about this, I realised again how important our space is in New Zealand culture, this is because New Zealand is pretty unpopulated space (created through our isolation on the southern corner of the Pacific Ocean.) I have my own space in a flat, which is frankly really really large, and I do not use all of it at all. But I feel I have a right to the space because I have had a busy day at work to get out of.

I realised how much we care about space and take it for granted, and how protective New Zealanders are of thier space. I live in a room that would fit 5 or 6 families in a slum in india, and I find it hard to share it with one other person. I have realised how important it is to be hospitable, and need to learn how to be truly hospitable to people in my life.

*Urban Vision are a missional order to the urban poor in Wellington.

Monday, February 23, 2009

Google Meme

Since I am bored, but not tired enough to go to sleep, I thought I would fill in this google meme.

Google your full first name and the word “needs” like this - “Nathanael needs” - and then post the first 10 things that Google finds.

Nathanael needs a Wikipedia Page

Nathanael needs to meet a westie

Nathanael needs a disciple

Nathanael needs a novelist

Nathanael needs a web user interaction designer

Nathanael needs a flicker photostream

Nathanael needs a revolutionary army

Nathanael needs a university lecturer

Nathanael needs a diary on his life

Nathanael needs a wasteland of contradictions

I tag Joshua, Sym, Andrew Watson, Justin Blass and Benn Crawford.

Sunday, February 15, 2009

Tired, blistered days

I fulfilled one of my goals for the year, to complete a half Marathon. I completed it in 2 hours and 15 Minutes. My friend Lynda knew that I wanted to do a half marathon and hunted out one. We ran from Frank Kitts park to Shelly Bay and back to Kirbirnie park.

I have to say that it was a beautiful day, and I got focused on taking in the beauty of the Wellington more than I did focus on taking in a reasonable amount of air.

One of my aims this year is to work on my physical fitness. At the end of last year I noticed that I was becoming more seditary, yet still eathing alot of food. I was having nightmares every time I walked past someone who was overweight in town and worrying about the fact that I could turn out to be a fat thirty year old who would be working himself to an early grave. I wanted more energy and to be physically stronger and healthier. I started going to the gym and working out and have seen the results both in my physical health, but also in helping me to become more focused in the things that I do.

I managed to get myself huge blisters on the bottom of my feet and impressed the nurse who said she had seen very few blisters like the ones I have! I am walking around the flat feeling stiff and in pain, but also feeling proud that I managed to do the run.

Today was terrifying for me, I took a risk to see if I could sustain a run for 21 Km's and I did it. I want to do better than this next time, get fitter and faster. I see this as important to how I live.

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

XXX Church "Sin City Saviors"

I've talked about XXXchurch before. This group is truly being missional in the context of Los Vegas, Nevada. These guys are hard-hitting, yet loving. They have a vision of setting up a church on the strip, which can be supported at

These people and many others are taking risks, going into the areas which are dark, dangerous and scary and sharing the gospel of Jesus Christ. They come into promiximaty and proclaim Jesus to those who may have never know the gospel

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Giving to Live

I posted this on Capital Mosaics website this week. Read and see what you think

There is a lake in the middle of a desert. You would think that it would be the source of life for all that surrounds it, but there is nothing there.

The environment is bland; the lake has no fish at all.

It is dead.

The place is called the Dead Sea.

The Dead Sea’s lack of life is brought on by one simple fact - the water does not flow out. With this, all the natural sediments that would normally give life build up to a level which is literally toxic, doing the complete opposite to what is intended.

Humanity is like this too. If we live for our selfish desires and do not give to something more than ourselves we become toxic. We may live, but many times the life we live is unhealthy, and it isn’t at maximum drive and energy.

The healthy giver is then like a river that flows out and gives life to those around it. It gives energy to the surrounding valleys. It does not stagnant. The healthy giver realises that they have a bigger purpose. Their streams bring life and health to those around. As we practice giving, we practice living as healthier people.

Friday, January 09, 2009

Adventures in the South Island

I have been taking a bit of a break down in the South Island, spending four days in Nelson, and three nights in Kaikoura. Yesterday I went whale watching and today I went Dolphin watching. Yesterday I managed to see three Sprem Whales. These whales are the largest of the tooth whale family and are the fourth largest whale species on the planet. They are bigger in length than a Brontosaurus. They are the largest predator on the planet.

The Highlight of my trip was getting to see the acrobatic Dusky dolphin today. On our tour we managed to meet a pod of 15o or so Dusky Dolpins. I managed to catch a few good shots of these awesome creatures on my trip.

For me the highlight of the trip was seeing the dolphins. I have been fascinated with Dolphin and Whales all my life. This is the first (and maybe only) time I have been able to see these animals up-close. Still havn't been swimming with dolphins, but maybe next time.

Pioneers vs Townspeople

Heres some good thoughts on Pioneer Theology verses Townspeople Theology from Mike Brantley, a practitioner of Pioneer theology living in New Orleans.. As a christian who wants to reach the 85% of people that the traditional church (including mainline, traditional, evangelical, charismatic and penticostal churches) do not reach.

Subjects: • Subject theology: wants it settled, organized, safe.
• Subject churches are in the town square, the courthouse framing and mandating life in the town. It hosts the trials, taxes collected, symbol of stability.
• God in Subject theology, he is the royal, the aristocrat, the magistrate, the aristocrat…dictating. He is ordered and not seen, predictable. He is dressed like coronation day. In some denominational towns. Scotch is replaced by soda, cigars by gum. Peace and quiet are his concerns.
• His sheriff is sent to check up on pioneers riding in. Jesus is the sheriff. He is sent by the aristocrat with a white suit of armor, drinks milk, out draws the baddies. He determines the jailed.
• The Holy Spirit is a pub girl. Her job is comfort. Her job is helping when they are lonely, tickles them under the chin. She squeals to the sheriff when things go bad. Whisky is non-alcoholic.
• The Christian is the subject, fears the unknown and open. Wants to stay in good stead with the lord mayor and avoids the Sheriff. He wants peace, order. Keeps his money in the bank. He stays in the shade and never misses the ice cream social.
• Faith is the safety of the town, obeying the laws. Sin is breaking one of the towns laws.
• The clergy is the banker. He is respected and hides his gun. He has a lot in common with the sheriff.
When we wait in the town, do not go out and share the gospel with those outside the walls of the town, we lose our potency. We are called to be sojourners, journeying with those who do not know Christ, out in thier natural habitat. We are called to be ambassadors to a foreign land, that foreign land are the places that we see as unsafe, the wildernesses. They are naturally dangerous, hold many traps and snares, but we go in the faith that God will keep us safe.

  • Pioneer theology: live the strange gift of life, a wild adventure to uncharted land. In Pioneer theology is not the church in the town square, but a covered wagon, but scarred, bandaged, where the action is, ready to move, doesn’t glorify it’s past. It is about exploring.
  • God in pioneer theology he is the captain on the explorer ship, the rough and hard one who gets in the water and in the mud, keeps it going, slugs the soft. His fist is an expression of His concern.
  • Jesus is the scout or the wild one who climbs the rigging to the crow’s nest – dangerous, solo, there in the storm and the dark. He is out ahead showing the dangers, suffers the hardships, feared by the subjects. He shows concern and sees the future. He is willing to go ahead alone, and calls others to risk the same. He carries a cutlass and a gun, loaded all the time.
  • The Spirit is the hunter, unpredictable. He scares the subjects. He rides into town just to shake up the subjects, can’t wait to get back out to sea, to the new lands.
  • The Christian is the pioneer, ready for the new. He is tough. He knows how to use a gun. He tries to tell the subjects back home about life on the trail.
  • Faith is the spirit of adventure – to risk. It is obedience to the restless voice of the captain explorer.
  • Sin is wanting to turn back.
  • The clergy is the one who serves what the hunter provides, ready when the trail boss calls, just a pioneer who learned to cook. He serves the wagon train.
I have been learning this last year what it means to be a pioneer, the country is unchartered, the road is dangerous, but it is rewarding.