Saturday, September 23, 2006

culture matters

tomorrow's the big meeting/run through for the new service my church is starting to reach the "emergent" generation. we're going to talk the interested people in our church through our vision and strategy for this ministry. it appears that i'm going to be saying something about why such a thing is even necessary.

so i've been thinking about this--actually since last Sunday when i was in church. i've been thinking about the peace child. since the apostle Paul, Christians have entered cultures and tried to communicate the message of the Gospel. Paul looked around & pointed to the unknown god, and said that's my God--let me tell you about him. the missionary in the peace child went and lived among a people group for a really long time, studying the language and the culture, and eventually he saw something that they did that was a picture of what God did. so he pointed to their ritual of the peace child, and said let me tell you about my God, who sent his own peace child to earth to restore all mankind's relationship to him through that child.

and i think--how powerful.

did the message of the gospel change between Paul and the peace child?
did the truth of God's word change?
did the truth of God and his character change?

but the way that message is communicated changed--it had to change.

so often we trip over language and culture when we try to communicate who God is and what he has done in us. it takes a student of culture to learn the words and the pictures that are already present in a culture to accurately communicate those truths to that culture. if we don't, then we can speak the truth, but who will hear us? who will understand?

culture is. it exists. it's not good, it's not bad, it just is. we communicate within the context of culture. we have to understand culture in order to truly communicate cross-culturally. if we don't, we're just saying words that don't make sense to anyone.

so that's what's behind our new ministry. we need to learn how to communicate to the heart language of the post-modern/emergent/emerging culture. we are not experimenting with the truth. we are not leaving the faith. we seek only to effectively communicate the message of Christ to a new generation.

Tuesday, September 19, 2006

interviews & transitions

so i had my second interview of the season today. the first one was last thursday--an interview for a research position with a court of appeals. today's was a law firm in a somewhat grungy midwestern town. they actually interviewed at my school though, so i only had to drive about an hour.

i really hate interview season. i don't mind the interviews themselves... sometimes they're even kind of fun. but all the planning & preparation & driving. yesterday i must have done 20 cover letters and assembled that many application packets. it takes forever! and i just got another interview scheduled today for a west coast attorney general's office. i'd have to fly out there if i get a second interview. so then i have to ask how much money i can afford to spend on these little shindigs. when you interview with the government they don't pay to get you there. i don't really know what to think about those things. then there's the question of how much school to miss. i have a really small course load, so i think if i never went to class i'd still be able to pass my classes. so i don't know. i'm praying for wisdom about all that & that i'll just find the right place to go next.

funny thing about the firm job. what is somewhat appealing to me right now is the thought that i could stay there for a while. there's no end date. i could just work there, i could stay for 7 years & become partner (or shareholder, as they call them there). but anyone who knows me knows that the likelihood that i'd stay at a firm for that long is not that great. as much as i'd like to invest in one community for a long period of time, my exposure to the world has been too vast. there is always one more thing that i want to do for one more underserved population...

so transitions are coming. there will be tough decisions to be made. knowing my academic record & my recent work experience, i will probably have several options. so yeah--this will be a year of transition & decisions.

Tuesday, September 05, 2006

just a few more days

ok, so i know i've been terrible at posting. i had an awesome summer at my government job. i got to write some awesome things and do several court appearances. then i had a lovely trip to visit my family in asia. one of my best friends met me there & we caught up for several days. now i am back home, with school just begun, and am trying to get a feel for things again. in addition, my roommate of about 5 years is going to be moving overseas to teach english. she leaves in about two weeks. so i probably won't post much between now and then, but after that... get ready. i'd expect that i'll have a lot of time to write and think about things.