Monday, July 31, 2006

First day as an evangelist

Today's class was quite enjoyable. Eddie Gibbs is a wacky guy - funny and British so if nothing else he has that great dry sense of humor. He told us this is the last class he's ever teaching, so it's quite special.

Hey, I just got an email about this - check it out.

Anyway, here are some highlights from today's lecture, "Defining Nominality":

"Sometimes God plays dead to see if we notice."

Like the church in Ephesus, we can have a loss of our first love (Rev 2) as we are "professionalized" in seminary.

If you want to know people's religious commitment, don't ask them, observe them. Real figures are 18-25% church attendance in America - and it's not the same people each week.

Gibbs calls some people "submarine" Christians because they surface at regular intervals (Christmas, Easter). And they show up to Hatch, Match, and Dispatch (baptism, wedding, funeral).

There are those who hardly ever attend church - and who can blame them?! Gibbs likes to ask pastors: If you weren't conducting the service, would you really bother showing up for your church's worship?

Schizophrenic Christians result when the church agenda is too churchy - doesn't address what it means to be authentic Jesus followers Mon-Sat. This happens when we dump on people what we've learned in seminary....and don't bother learning anything about their lives.

Seminary: $40,000 to learn a language nobody else understands.

You don't know a lot b/c you know long words. The hard words are the short ones. You can tell a first year MDiv student because every other word out of their mouth is "eschatological." For a first year SIS (School of Intercultural Studies) student, that word is "paradigm shift" - Gibbs: "They turn over in bed and think they've had a paradigm shift!"

"Member" means "limb" or "organ". If you can go missing without being missed you're not a member.

Less than 50% of Americans can name the 4 gospels. Even churchgoers are biblically illiterate. That is the problem with topical preaching - you get feel-good faith with no fundamentals. It is also the trouble with contemporary songwriting - very little content. Why do we hand everything over to Andrew Lloyd Webber to tell? Les Mis tells a story very well - and tells more about life than a worship cd. Desperate need for contemp songwriters to tell story of Bible in language of the street.

Spending time with God: if you lose the battle here in seminary you will never regain it. You won't have more time for this later.

1 comment:

Rachel said...

Spending time with God: if you lose the battle here in seminary you will never regain it. You won't have more time for this later.

I'm really struck by this. Wow.

(I say that as someone who fully meant to begin the day with morning prayer, but got distracted by the to-do list again...sigh.)