I have two über pastor friends who are doing or have done things that I wanted to tell you about.
1. Chris Brauns, the author of the best book on forgiveness, is leading a webinar tomorrow from 11:00-12:00 AM EST at the 2010 Peacemakers conference. Space is limited, but if you are able to participate you will learn a lot about forgiveness.
2. Zach Bartels teamed up with Ted Kluck to write the first spoof on the emergent church, Kinda Christianity: A Generous, Fair, Organic, Free-Range Guide to Authentic Realness. Ted writes in the beginning that “This book isn’t meant to spur dialogue. This book isn’t meant to really encourage anyone. This book is meant to make people laugh, and that’s it.” Some people will no doubt be offended, but these are the same people who love Jon Stewart and Stephen Colbert. So they will need to get over themselves.
How funny is it? Well, I couldn’t pry my copy from Gary Meadors until he had read the whole thing (the book is brief, but that’s appropriate given the lifespan of its subject). Here are a few highlights to give you an idea. An endorsement by Allen Iverson: “We talkin’ about orthopraxy? Orthopraxy?!” Another endorsement: “In every way, a dispatch from the front, it is also a love letter of sorts…from affectionate, seasoned writers to those who would dare to believe, worship, and serve not only now, but also beyond now, into the roiling, churning decades ahead”–from Cory Hartman, age 12.
Zach and Ted tell you how to dress emergent, where to live and work emergent, what emergents drive, how to do theology in an emergent way, and so on. The book is complemented by Zach’s drawings–which includes a spot on depiction of D.A. Carson as the Joker. In sum, this book is not for everyone, but it’s the perfect catharsis for many of us.
3. On a side note, the book also illustrates the benefits of self-publishing. Zach and Ted eliminated the middle man by starting their own publishing company, of which this book is the first. I could tell no difference between the production values of this book and one published by a traditional publishing house. And the main benefit is that Zach and Ted were able to get the book out fast. If they had went the traditional way we wouldn’t be reading their work until 2011, and by that time Emergent would have not only jumped the shark but would be circling back for another run at it. I expect that in 5-10 years many more of us will be going this route. I think I’ll name my publishing house “Blast from the Past,” because we’ll only print books that celebrate the soundtrack of the eighties.
4. In other emergent news, I recently came up with a few new examples to disprove their argument that the Hebrew and Eastern centered-set way of thinking doesn’t understand our Greek, Western bounded-set thinking. If this is true, how do you explain North and South Korea? Start walking north from Seoul, and you’ll soon find out whether the Eastern mind understands the concept of boundaries. Or what about Prov. 23:10, which says “Do not remove the ancient boundary stone”? This text is found in the Hebrew Old Testament. And what is the central event of the OT? Isn’t it a bunch of Hebrews crossing a boundary? I’m pretty sure that even their Hebrew minds understood that they were not in Egypt anymore.
5. Speaking of things that move, last week I passed a sign near my house which said “Free Range Eggs $2.50.” I don’t get it. If the range eggs are free, why do they cost $2.50?