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Why "A minor"?
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A minor


Monday, October 30, 2006

Mark Horne on Madonna & Geneva
Take a few minutes to read Mark's extended post, "What Hath Madonna to do with Geneva? Thoughts for Reformation Day." The quotes from Luther were a good reminder - especially for those like me who sometimes romanticize life in monastic service and community - that raising children in God's service in a "life of Christian normalcy" is itself a great gift and missional opportunity.

jon :: link :: comment ::

Leithart Visit
Saturday I attended Peter Leithart's lectures on postmodernism for the Dabney Center's Fall Special Session. If you're looking for a well-read overview of the history, theory, and implications of postmodernism set against the backdrop of Ecclesiastes, you'll want to get these lectures from Auburn Avenue Media. You'll also want to listen to his Sunday morning sermon on Ecclesiastes. I'm sure his Sunday School lecture on 1 & 2 Kings and his evening sermon at John Knox were good, too, but I didn't hear those - yet. I also didn't really talk with Dr Leithart other than to shake his hand, say hi and thanks, but that's what BH conferences are for; hopefully I'll be able to continue my accidental tradition of going to the BH conference every-other year (2001, 2003, 2005) and make it next year. Worship and biblical-theological talks by day; afternoons off to go to the beach, visit, shop, rest, whatever; more worship and biblical-theological meditations, followed by eating, drinking, smoking and fellowship by night - doesn't get much better than that.

(Photo snagged from someone who took a bunch of pictures at my sister's wedding a couple years ago.)

jon :: link :: comment ::

Monday, October 23, 2006

Nashotah's Proposed MA
I'm more and more interested in this program, especially after talking with Grace's new curate, the Revd Deacon Bill Estes, who finished his MTS at Nashotah in May. Bill's background is Presbyterian and Reformed Episcopal, and he's good friends with Franklin Sanders (who himself is now vicar of an REC mission church in Lawrenceburg, TN, Christ Our Hope). Here's the proposed degree program design:

The proposed requirement for the M.A. in Ministry degree is 48 semester hours of credit to be earned by taking eight six-credit modules, one at a time [each costing about $2,000, making the degree's total tuition around $16,000 -jon]. Modules are planned to be approximately three months in duration and consist of one week of intensive residential study on the Nashotah House campus with the remainder of the module consisting of lectures, assignments and class interaction through online distance education. The eight modules will be based on the seven subject areas specified for ordination preparation in the Episcopal Church Canons of the General Convention, Title III, Canon 8, Section 4, item (e).
While I'm sure it would be better, faster, and even easier in some ways to just move to Nashotah and become a regular, residential student there, this seems like a good alternative in the event that such a move weren't feasible, or until such a move were feasible. Plus, it would cut down on the required amount of time in residence at Nashotah to earn the MDiv, probably cutting 3-4 years down to 1 or 2. This is an especially big pro for Hollie since she can hardly bear the thought of spending even one winter in the Milwaukee area.

jon :: link :: comment ::

Saturday, October 21, 2006

Google Docs
Why am I just now finding this? I just went looking for a big form to type in or cut & paste online (to aid proofing, spell checking, etc), and I found something that kept a revision history, allowed me to save as PDF, etc - all things Word doesn't even do. Google never ceases to amaze me.

jon :: link :: comment ::

Wednesday, October 18, 2006

It's the Same Old Song
Today, driving home from New Orleans, all my radio could pick up for a bit was a country crossover station, and I heard this song that sounded really familiar musically. I just looked it up and learned it was Carrie Underwood's "Before He Cheats." Anyway, after listening for a minute, I placed the famliar sound as Aerosmith's "Dream On." Anyone else noticed the similarity?

jon :: link :: comment ::

Sunday, October 15, 2006

At All Times
Probably the one thing I appreciate more than anything else about the Catholic tradition is the way they have church all the time. And by "all the time," I mean a lot more that once or twice on Sunday. If you miss the 10am Sunday service, you can go to the noon service or the 4pm service, or you can plan ahead and go to the Saturday vigil or the 8am Sunday service. If you wake up at 6am on a weekday and think to yourself, "Man, I could really use church right now," you're in business. If you leave work early or manage to pull off a long lunch break, there's probably a weekday noon service at a Catholic parish or chapel somewhere in town.

If Protestants could learn one thing from Catholics, I think it would be this: Yeah, they have their carnal Christians, who pride themselves on their Catholicism but live like hell and go to church maybe once a year - but we have those people, too. Where they have us beat hands-down is in having church without ceasing, serving both their devout members and the down-and-out who show up for weekday or alternate weekend services.

If the church exists for the life of the world - if the church is the mission of God to the world - how can we be content to celebrate the Eucharist once a week on Sunday morning? The world needs more than that. I have a feeling that we'll all eat together with Jesus a lot more than once a week in the kingdom, but you wouldn't know it from our life here & now in the church. Why is that? What else are we doing that's so important?

jon :: link :: comment ::

Saturday, October 14, 2006

On Controversies Between Christians
Josh Melton pointed out this good post by Josh McInnis: "Everything You Need To Know About The Alluded To Controversies Between Christians."

jon :: link :: comment ::

Sunday, October 8, 2006

Clarification: Note the "Not"
The post below was not written by someone on the brink of "converting" to the Roman Catholic Church. It was written by a reformed catholic evangelical who, despite strong disagreements with Roman Catholicism, is far from being anti-Catholic. I believe that the same Holy Spirit who leads me also leads my Catholic brethren, and with Christ, my prayer to the Father is that we all may be one.

That said, I don't think the reunited church of the future will be Roman Catholic per se. With Lutheran theologian Carl Braaten, I do think it will have a pope and a college of bishops in apostolic succession, but I think these "papal and episcopal structures will only be acceptable to Protestants...when they have been divested of every authoritarian feature, both in theory and in practice" (Mother Church, page 32). Likewise, I doubt they'll be based out of Rome, at least not all (or even most) of them. I think the bishops who rise to primacy will continue to serve in their native sees, whether Nairobi, Seoul, Pittsburgh, Buenos Aires, or Rome. I also believe the reunited church of the future will have embraced the firstfruits of the Protestant Reformation.

So while I'm far from being anti-Catholic, I'm also far from being Catholic. I blogged the post below so that I'd have it in my archives for future reference, not to generate discussion, concern, or excitement. I'm grateful to my Protestant friends for writing and encouraging me to keep the faith, and I'm grateful to my Catholic friends for writing and encouraging me to embrace the fullness of the faith, but you can all chill now. Sorry if my post below was unclear and alarming, but like I told one friend, I fully expect that I'll always be reformed and reforming, just like I'll always be white.

jon :: link :: comment ::

Wednesday, October 4, 2006

Confessions: Why I'm Not Roman Catholic
I cut & pasted (and slightly edited) the following from an extended conversation some friends and I recently had with a buddy who's becoming Roman Catholic. In my usual conflicted way, I both sympathized with him and gave him my unabashed reasons for deciding against his path.

  1. Lately I've wondered if the main thing keeping me from becoming Catholic is fear. I'm afraid of losing dear friends and being viewed as an idolater by heroes and mentors. What scares me, though, is how lame a reason that is. Fear. "Have I not commanded you, 'Be strong and courageous'? Do not be terrified. Do not be discouraged, for Yahweh your God will be with you wherever you go." Call me a weaker brother for kinda wanting to be Catholic, and I'll tell you I'm a weaker brother because I'm too chicken to do it.

  2. Even though I'm about as ecumenical as they come, I'm pretty stubborn theologically, and I don't buy a lot of Roman Catholic stuff, from magisterial infallibility and celibacy as the norm for priests to anti-contraception and all manner of lingering Marian superstition. I wouldn't be willing to "renounce my former heresies" or whatever (if there's really such a line in the vows) and commit to being a blind follower. In my less wussy moments, it's that stuff that keeps me from becoming Catholic, not fear of rejection by my Protestant friends.

  3. Have you ever seen the "true church" syndrome run amuck? It's not pretty. That's really what keeps me from converting. (I know, this is the third reason I've given for why I'm "really" not Catholic.) I can imagine myself as a Roman Catholic, but not as a "true church" convert. I've already had my fill of that BS in my short, blessed life. Consider the arrogance and divisiveness (KJV, "heresy") of "true church" claims. No thanks, man.

jon :: link :: comment ::

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