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Archive for the ‘Blogging’ Category

A new project is underway to try and advance dialogue between conservative and progressive members of Churches of Christ.  A new website, Grace Conversation, is hosted by two “progressives” (Todd Deaver and Jay Guin) and two “conservatives” (Phil Sanders and Gred Tidwell).  BTW, I hate labels, but sometimes they are the best way of communicating basic assumed ideas.  This promises (but we’ll see) to be a forum which moves past name calling and speaking past each other, to an arena for cordial dialogue in a Christ-like fashion.  My hopes are high and my prayers often, but cynicism and history are pulling strongly at my realism.  I hope that my hope is not a nope.  This site should be up and running in about a week.  Probably worth checking out.  If you are a reader here and not affiliated with Churches of Christ, you might enjoy the site as a case study in patterns of religion!

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Along with some material on the book of Romans, I think I will post some regarding the Holy Spirit.  This will also fit with my current preaching agenda at East Peoria.  My experience of either hearing about or talking about the Holy Spirit has been, upon further reflection, rather shallow and simplistic.  Most discussions of God’s Spirit either pretend He is some spiritual commodity to be obtained and then used for a spiritual high of some sort, or, some distant, antiquated, inactive figure largely responsible for the Bible, confirming Jesus deity and not much more.  I was schooled in the latter and growing up heard very little about the Holy Spirit.  Before I begin saying some things that are constructive, I am just curious if anyone else has had the same experience of hearing so little about a person so prominent?

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Round Two

So I tried blogging once before and reneged.  I didn’t quit because of a lack of desire or interest, but because of a lack of commitment.  I was not committed to accepting the consequences of self-disclosure.  When you blog you say what is on your mind.  I have lived for a long time with a fear of self-disclosure.  This is not good.  I have allowed others perceptions of me to limit my advocacy for what I believe to be right.  Again, not good.  So I’m partly to blame.  However, whenever a person’s (not just mine) convictions and beliefs are manipulated and stigmatized, the other party in the equation bears some guilt as well.  That “other party” in my life is not one individual or one group of people, but rather a complex web of relationships and circumstances.  And this is not isolated to me–in fact, everyone reading this finds themselves in the exact same situation (perceptions–reality–judgments, etc.).  The task then is to be open and transparent and allow these circumstances to work in your favor, rather than against you.  This is a proposition that is easier to utter than to practice.  However, it is my firm commitment to be this type of person, no matter how long and painful the transforming process is (Rom. 12:1-2).

So with that said, welcome to my blog.  Hopefully the members of the East Peoria Church of Christ will find this blog helpful and useful as it will also be a means of supplementing my ongoing teaching efforts there.  Hopefully friends and family will drop by and participate.  Hopefully new friendships will be forged.  Hopefully iron will become sharper.  And finally, hopefully, God will be glorified.

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