John Piper on Election 08

Here is a video of John Piper sharing his thoughts on the election. Some interesting stuff, I don’t agree with all of it, but it will definitely spark some conversation.

Thanks for the link Jake.

Top Posts of October ’08

Here are the posts that generated the most traffic in the last month:

  1. 30 Day Sex Challenge
  2. Conversation with Scott Hodge
  3. What They Really Mean
  4. What’s Your Message
  5. The Mission of God:  Unlocking the Bible’s Grand Narrative
  6. Interacting with the Opposite Sex as a Pastor
  7. Sex, Romance and the Glory of God:  What Every Christian Husband Needs to Know
  8. What Vision Does
  9. 88 Ways to Take Action Against Poverty Right Now
  10. Sexy Car Wash

Links @ the Start of the Week: Politics, Issues, Economy, etc.

  1. Brian McLaren on Why he’s voting for Barack Obama (here, here, here, here, & here). (interesting, I don’t know if I agree, but it made me think)
  2. Donald Miller on The campaign trail and where he falls on the “issues”
  3. Todd Rhoades on The financial crisis being a good thing
  4. Dave & Christe LePeau on Countdown to election questions (here & here)
  5. Gregory Boyd’s blog
  6. Books:  How would Jesus vote?, Everything must change, Jesus for president, We the purple

Links of the Week

  1. Perry Noble on The pastor’s pain
  2. Don Golden on The missional church
  3. Tim Keel on The election season
  4. Church Marketing Sucks on The Illusion of Community Part 1 
  5. Church Relevance on Family interaction reduces teen sex and substance abuse
  6. Scot McKnight on Abortion (here & here)
  7. Perry Noble on 7 things senior pastors want their staffs to know pt. 1,pt. 2, pt. 3
  8. John Ortberg on The gospel & happiness paradox
  9. Dave Ferguson on What it takes to catalyze a movement
  10. Reggie McNeal on Prayer
  11. Scot McKnight on Where theology is headed
  12. Ed Stetzer Interviews Thom & Sam Rainer (authors of Essential Church)
  13. CNN on How to save $9,000 a year

What’s Your Message?

Finally, the analysts on CNN are finally catching up to what I’ve been saying since the conventions (maybe the guys at Fox News will jump on board soon):  John McCain and Sarah Palin do not have a message. It is so frustrating. Their message is a response to whatever Barack Obama and Joe Biden say. That is not a message, that is reacting.

I am not saying that Obama has the right message, just that he seems to be the only one with a message.

That is probably why so many Christians are into McCain/Palin because that is what the church does. Our message so often is a reaction to whatever is happening in the culture. Whenever the church feels attacked (note I said church, not, when Christians feel Jesus is being attacked), they react instead of moving their message forward. Jesus seemed to come to earth with a message, spread that message and basically told everyone to catch up to what he was about. The prophets did the same thing, that’s why we call them prophetic. That is what the church is supposed to be/do. Reactivity never works. As Rob Bell says, “We need more prophets.” I agree.

This season the words of Greg Boyd ring true, “If Christians would make the kingdom of God their first priority, politics would take care of themselves.” I believe you could insert any word for politics and that statement would still be true because then Christians would be living out the values that God calls us to, the values of the kingdom of God.

Okay, I’m getting of my soapbox. Does anyone agree? Or am I off base?

Links to Start Your Week

I don’t check my google reader after Friday afternoon until Tuesday morning so this morning I had 349 blog posts to read through. Here are some of the best ones:

  1. 2 shoutouts:  My brother-in-laws Jacob (who lives in Kuwait) and Matt (who lives in Germany) are blogging, check them out.
  2. Five Things Andy Stanley is Thinking About
  3. Ben Arment on the Burden of a leader pt. 1 & pt. 2
  4. Scot McKnight’s Tax Plan
  5. Sean Benesh on Trends in worship
  6. Brian McLaren on a Letter sent to John McCain (Brian is an Obama supporter, but his take is interesting and a good idea to keep in mind when it comes to our Arab and Muslim neighbors)
  7. Greg Despres on Market Woes (this is funny)

Date night is tonight, really excited about that.

Reflections on the Conventions

When I started out in college, I started as a history major. So politics has always fascinated me. For the last 2 weeks, I have been following the conventions very closely.

Because I am on every conservative e-mail list (I don’t know how), I have gotten all the forwards about Barack Obama and how his dad has killed his sisters, him being a Muslim, etc. I was blown away on Thursday night of the DNC. Obama & Biden can bring it, they are great communicators. Obama seems to tiptoe around different issues (at least he did at the Saddleback Summit).

What I found disheartening about the Republican convention was that they didn’t lay out a clear plan. Sarah Palin seemed more interested in just talking about what was wrong with the other party. I am not saying that what she had to say is or isn’t true, but thinking through the leadership lens. People respond to vision. I really felt like she missed the mark. I did appreciate McCain sharing his story last night and talking through his journey and how that has prepared him to be President.

Here are some books that I think Christians should read as we think through politics and the direction of our country. (Disclaimer: While all these things are worth checking out, I do not agree with everything in them, but they will stretch your thinking):

Am I supporting a candidate? Not here. That’s none of your business. My point with this post is that Christians need to be more aware of what is happening in our country and in politics. But also, what is important. Gregory Boyd made the comment once, “If Christians made the kingdom of God their first priority, politics would take care of themselves.” I totally agree.

I went into the conventions convinced about who I was going to vote for, now I’m not so sure. I’m very interested to see the debates and do some research.