. . . to the weblog of
jon p. amos, hollie's
husband & dad of
ethan, levi, finn,
ellie, marley,
& sullivan

My Photo

my complete profile
theology pintnight
hollie's xanga
kids' photos

blog roll
formerly powered by

bible gateway
daily office

Seminary, etc
Why "A minor"?
November 2002
December 2002
January 2003
February 2003
March 2003
April 2003
May 2003
June 2003
July 2003
August 2003
September 2003
October 2003
November 2003
December 2003
January 2004
February 2004
March 2004
April 2004
May 2004
June 2004
July 2004
August 2004
September 2004
October 2004
November 2004
December 2004
January 2005
February 2005
March 2005
April 2005
May 2005
June 2005
July 2005
August 2005
September 2005
October 2005
November 2005
December 2005
January 2006
February 2006
March 2006
April 2006
May 2006
June 2006
July 2006
August 2006
September 2006
October 2006
November 2006
December 2006
January 2007
February 2007
March 2007
April 2007
May 2007
June 2007
July 2007
August 2007
September 2007
October 2007
November 2007
December 2007
January 2008
February 2008
April 2008
May 2008
June 2008
July 2008
August 2008
October 2008
November 2008
January 2009
July 2009
August 2009
December 2010
January 2011
February 2011

A minor


Sunday, April 30, 2006

RLP, "Open Communion"
Now this is a beautiful post.

jon :: link :: comment ::

Saturday, April 29, 2006

The iMonk on Anger
From "Some Thoughts on the Angry Guy" by Michael Spencer:

One fellow I've observed has been angry for days now. He's loud, confrontational and unaware with how all of this is coming off to the watching audience. His anger comes from several sources, but most recently he sees an injustice that's overlooked. What he doesn't see- and what most of us never see- is that his anger doesn't make anyone take the injustice more seriously. In fact, his particular expressions of anger make many of us take the whole matter much LESS seriously.


In graduate school, I learned that anger is a multiple-fronted poison. It turns into depression. It creates rage-a-holics with explosive, abusive patterns of behavior. It makes us into liars. It damages our health, releasing an array of damaging responses in the body. Anger is an explosion that has almost no useful energy, but which is certain to damage the person holding the bomb.

We're reluctant to deal with this problem. It's "excusable" and we expect that others will see it as a common failing. In fact, we need to have people in our lives who can confront us with the details and the effects of our anger. We need to be rid of the notion that our anger is not affecting other people. We need to admit that it is a perception of a threat, and a response to a threat that is often wrong on both counts. We need to look at our anger as others see and experience it- particularly children and observers. A video tape would be embarrassing, but it might do us all a lot of good.


I deplore a kind of phony, saccharine personality that passes for a "Christian" who would never think of being angry. But there is too much needless, hurtful, sinful anger among those of us who believe that "everything is in His hands." If there is any area where we all need to help one another to do a general repentance and walk a better way, I believe anger would be a good place to begin.
Good, helpful stuff.

jon :: link :: comment ::

Friday, April 28, 2006

600th Post
Three and a half years, six hundred posts, and not much to say right now. In the meantime, you might check out Hollie's xanga and amosboys blogs.

jon :: link :: comment ::

Friday, April 21, 2006

"If It Be Your Will"
I recently got together with a couple old college roommates from my first semester in Idaho. Aaron lives here but we seldom get together, and Matt lives in Maryland. Toward the end of the Maker's Mark, we started talking about one of our old favorites, Leonard Cohen, which led to listening to Cohen Live (or singing to it, in Matt's case). The fact that a profligate Jew beats contemporary Christian music hands-down in terms of writing biblically and poetically rich songs makes me wonder if the Israel-now-equals-the-Christian-church equation might be just a wee bit simplistic. (I'm glad I'm not completely alone here; among my friends, at least Tim Gallant advocates a fuller, more complex position in his paper, "All Israel: the saved in Romans 11.26.") In any case, it doesn't get much better than this song:

If it be your will
that I speak no more
and my voice be still
as it was before,
I will speak no more—
I shall abide until
I am spoken for,
if it be your will.

If it be your will,
if a voice be true,
from this broken hill
I will sing to you.
From this broken hill
all your praises they shall ring,
if it be your will
to let me sing.

If it be your will,
if there is a choice,
let the rivers fill,
let the hills rejoice,
let your mercy spill
on all these burning hearts in hell,
if it be your will
to make us well.

And draw us near
and bind us tight,
all your children here,
in their rags of light—
in our rags of light,
all dressed to kill,
and end this night,
if it be your will,
if it be your will.
© 1988 Leonard Cohen / Stranger Music, Inc. (BMI)

jon :: link :: comment ::

Monday, April 17, 2006

Simon & Schuster Buys Local Christian Publisher
(This is a couple months old, but it was news to me until just now.)

From Howard Publishing's Who We Are page: "Howard Books has been in business since 1969 and became a division of Simon & Schuster in 2006."

From Simon & Schuster's press release:

Agreement with Growing Christian Publisher Marks S&S Entry into Christian Publishing Marketplace

NEW YORK, February 13 -- Simon & Schuster has acquired Howard Publishing, a leading Christian and inspirational publishing company based in West Monroe, Louisiana.
See also this Publishers Weekly article.

jon :: link :: comment ::

Sunday, April 16, 2006

Easter Vigil & the Nigerians
Last night I went to Grace for the Great Vigil of Easter, my favorite annual liturgy. It's a long service (almost two hours last night), but the prayers, chanted exulstet, candles, readings, baptism - all make for such a wonderful first Eucharist of the year. The choir was excellent, but what I'll never forget was this year's baptism. A Nigerian baby was baptized, and at least half of those present were African. Apparently the number of Nigerian families at Grace has increased from the one or two it was a year ago. Father Andy mentioned teaching a large First Holy Communion class this year - nineteen children - noting especially the class's diversity: "There were Nigerians, Nigerians, and a priest from Minnesota [himself]!" After the service, I happened to walk across the street to the parking lot in a crowd of several African families (incidentally all headed to their new imported cars or luxury SUVs just like the next Grace parishioner; they're all doctors or successful professionals). I never dreamed I would find myself in a crowd at Grace (of all places) where I was the only white American. What a breath of fresh air!

jon :: link :: comment ::

Saturday, April 15, 2006

Married Monastics
In the course of translating a Latin hymn for the Grace Church children's choir, it finally dawned on me why the lyrics seemed so familiar - I knew them from a John Michael Talbot recording, "Come Holy Spirit (Veni, Sancte Spiritus)" [audio sample]. This renewed my curiosity about Talbot's life story, so I started reading online biographies. (I need to pick up a copy of his authorized biography, Signatures by Dan O'Neill [Troubadour, 2003].)

I knew that Talbot was a Franciscan monk who had been in the middle of the country folk-rock scene in the late '60s and early '70s with the band, Mason Proffit. I knew he was the founder and director (or "Spiritual Father and Minister General") of the Brothers & Sisters of Charity and the Little Portion Hermitage and Little Portion Retreat & Training Center in the Ozark Mountains of Arkansas.

What I did not know was that going through a divorce was instrumental in his decision to join a "secular" Franciscan order in 1978, and that he remarried in 1989 with the blessing of the Catholic Church. (His wife, Viola, is a former nun and teacher.)

According to the Brothers & Sisters of Charity website, they are
a Catholic based community made up of an integrated monastic expression of celibate brothers, celibate sisters, families and singles located at Little Portion Hermitage in Berryville, Arkansas, and a domestic expression of those world-wide in their own homes. This unique religious community is the only community of its type in the United States to be granted canonical status in the Catholic Church.
LayContemplative.org also has a nice page on the Little Portion Hermitage, and according to this John Michael Talbot biography page, the Brothers & Sisters of Charity
has been formally recognized as a Public Association of the Faithful and is one of 10 communities around the globe to encompass celibate brothers and sisters, as well as single people, married couples, and families. Though the latter are permitted greater latitude, the essentials are the same. All take vows of chastity, poverty, and obedience appropriate for their state of life.
We tend to forget about lay & married monastics. I'd like to learn more about their ways of life. Any recommendations?

jon :: link :: comment ::

Tuesday, April 11, 2006

Finn & Kyrie
It is rather difficult to get two babies to look at the camera simultaneously. And then you can just about forget getting them both to smile. I think Finn was more interested in Kyrie's cool toys anyway. Or maybe he was just mesmerized by a pretty girl.

jon :: link :: comment ::

Thursday, April 6, 2006

The Big Easy
I'm writing from the lobby of the New Orleans Pontchartrain Hotel. I'm down here for some training for work, and the whole family came along to go to the zoo. It's nice to sorta have a break. Today's class time ended up being cut in half, and tomorrow's class is only scheduled to be four hours. The downtime is much needed: I left work Monday about ready to kill one of our "team members"; I was sick Monday night and Tuesday; and Wednesday was about as hectic as they come. Thank God for the Big Easy.

Driving across I-10 into the city yesterday, trying to find food in the Garden District last night, walking downtown and through the French Quarter today - it all seems pretty surreal. Many things - probably half - are still closed (including, to Hollie's chagrin, the Copeland's Cheesecake Bistro next door to our hotel and, to our boys' chagrin, the St Charles trolley, which ordinarily stops in front of the hotel), but the city seems alive and well, considering. It will never be the same (not necessarily a bad thing), but it doesn't look like it's going anywhere. God bless it.

jon :: link :: comment ::

Tuesday, April 4, 2006

The Post-Reformed Color Purple
I just read Scot McKnight's post, "Is the Reformation over?" which fits nicely with the last couple posts. (Here's some background on "purple theology.")

jon :: link :: comment ::

Post-Reformed Credos
I think the last two are my favorite:
6. Being Post-Reformed means you regard Arminians, Emerging Churchmen, and Roman Catholics as Christians...and treat them as such. You work vigorously to build unity, without compromising truth, to demonstrate the visible unity of the Body of Christ, wherever you can, to the watching world. The Post-Reformed man takes the Beatitudes seriously with great longing in his heart: "Blessed are the peacemakers for they shall be called the sons of God."

7. Being Post-Reformed means having enough confidence in your Reformed theological convictions that you can interact substantively with Christians in other traditions without fear. The fear that often masquerades as dogmatism is replaced by a love for the truth and your brethren.
Read them all.

jon :: link :: comment ::

Saturday, April 1, 2006

What I Mean By "Catholic"
This post was inspired by recent conversations on Jeff Steel's blog and on our theology pintnight discussion group.

I'm a Reformational, evangelical, ecumenical catholic. I can't deny that I'm a Protestant, but I'd like to think that I'm an evangelical, ecumenical catholic, too. What does this mean?

For one, I prayerfully long and work for the unity of the church. I believe that the church was instituted by God for the life of the world - it is the missio Dei. So I believe in an institutional, missional church. However, I agree with Bishop Bledsoe that metropolitan rather than denominational unity is what the early church had and is where the church of the future is headed. And metropolitan unity is a very organic, messy, wonderful thing.

For another, having said this, I have no problem with the bishop of Rome's primacy. I don't think his primacy is written into the law of the world - I don't think it's Gospel or unalterable tradition, but I think it's historically and currently undeniable. The Holy Spirit has chosen to lead the vast majority of Christians worldwide through the pope. Who am I to argue with Him - or him?

But I'm a Protestant, so I do argue with him, or at least protest a few things about the papacy. I think our divisions will be largely healed once the Vatican makes three reforms (and they may well be in the works):

1. The papacy must return to a pastoral model of primacy rather than a juridical or authoritarian one, and he must be primus inter pares, first among equals - not the one man who can speak infallibly ex cathedra.

2. Clerical celibacy must become optional. Enough said.

3. Anything with even the appearance of idolatry must go. That means eucharistic adoration, invocation of saints, veneration of icons, crosses, relics, etc, for the Lord our God is a jealous God. (Cf. Articles 22, 25, 28, 29, and 31.)

I'm not on the road to Rome. I'm on the road to the church of Jesus Christ in Monroe, which includes a number of Roman Catholics. But once the Catholic Church makes certain reforms, I think the church of Jesus Christ in Monroe will be all the better and stronger for it.

jon :: link :: comment ::

This page is powered by Blogger.
Site Meter