first eleven: most viewed

Eight years of blogging.
This is my 400th post.

I love blogging. My friend, Mike Crudge, was the one who suggested it to me. [NB: Mike has recently followed that advice himself, with his own blog here]. Mike was right. It suits me. It is the most energizing thing I do, often early on a Sunday morning. I have an active mind and blogging helps me stay creative and critical and clear in my thinking. I know I break the rules all the time. My posts are far too long, for example. However it must be remembered that I do write, primarily, for my own benefit - but am happy for people to be looking over my shoulder, if they wish. And now - after eight years - I have the most fabulous personal resource: 400 posts gathered under 22 topics. I think I'll keep going for a bit longer...

Anyhow, I thought I'd celebrate with a series of First Elevens, a cricketing equivalent to a Top Ten. Where do I start? I guess 'most viewed' is the obvious place. So, let's give it a go. Leaving out 'book reviews' - which I'll do separately - and recognising that this creates a bias towards the more recent which have been viewed more, here goes:

#11      being odd
A theme often overheard in this space... The unwillingness of Jesus-followers to stand out from the crowd. Then they wonder why they are so perennially ineffective. Duh?! They have missed an elemental dynamic to mission as it is biblically configured.

#10     man of steel
Always on edge with Hollywood's allusions to the gospel story. The majority world tends to equate Hollywood with the 'West' - and then the 'West' with Christianity. This effort to link a superhero to the Jesus story left me distressed at the damage done to the name of Christ around the world.

#9     if i was bill bryson (part one) ... and also (part two)
While I am no patriot (and find the very concept to be alien to the mission of God in the world), I do love Aotearoa-New Zealand. Driving through its ever-changing scenery is one of life's great delights - matched by any opportunity to plan an itinerary for others doing so for the first time.

#8     all god's people said 'ouch'
In the middle of debates about the emerging church, I stumbled across an Epilogue that stunned me with its prophetic clarity - and reminded me why I just could not sell my soul to the 'emergent' theories. They only have the church at Ephesus in their sights. There are six others to worry about...

#7     leading and creating
Two transformative truths that swept through me to bring healing and conviction. I stumbled across both of them 'in the Word' and 'in the world' at about the same time. Now they are foundation stones in the way I understand what serving God and each other looks like.

#6    snobbery
A bit of fun - but with some deadly serious intent behind it as well. Suggesting that to CS Lewis' subversion of a 'chronological snobbery' (an attitude to history) needs to be added a similar subversion of 'geographical snobbery' (an attitude to culture).

#5     redeeming short term mission
Confession time. Not a big fan of short term mission trips. All sorts of reasons. But they are here to stay and so this is an effort to make them better. Hoping this post might make its way into church mission committees discussing policy and short term mission teams doing orientation.

#4     a 90s kind of guy
I have tended to stay away from anything that looks remotely like sermonizing - but here is an engagement with a part of the Bible that just took off. I simply shared my love for the Psalms in the 90s as they have impacted me decade by decade.

#3     corruption
As I've shifted into the Langham world, this blog has defaulted a bit to alerting Christians, in places like NZ, to what is happening elsewhere. From this distance the headlines on NZ news websites can look silly. 'Is it going to rain on Christmas?' Deary me. Wake up. Start with engaging corruption.

#2     an open letter to those besotted with relevance
I can't think of a bigger blindspot in the life of the church in the 'West'. The irony is that the very thing they prioritise on the way to effectiveness is the very thing that tends to sow the seeds of an enduring ineffectiveness. Plus, it is an exhausting kind of life to live.

#1     preaching from revelation
It was a simple idea. I wanted to spend a year busting my fear of Revelation. I read the text. I reflected on the scholars. I developed a sermon (outside of ch2 & 3). I gathered what I learned into a (long) post and offered it to others. It struck a chord and seems to have helped lots of people.

nice chatting



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