September 25, 2008

Sermon Series--Q & A 2.0: Nothing's Off Limits

Sunday nights in October at First Hattiesburg, I'll be taking questions from our church that they want to see answered about God, the Bible, life, Christ, etc. There are several ways that you can ask your questions, and I hope you'll get creative with the way that you do it! Here are some suggestions:

1) Upload a Video Response on the YouTube page where the video is located. Here are instructions how. Feel free to simply post the question in the comments section too.

2) Record your question live on Sunday morning, Sunday night, or Wednesday nights at First Hattiesburg. Sunday mornings, I'll have a camera, and Sunday or Wednesday nights, you can find one of our tech guys roaming around looking for anyone who has questions to submit.

3) Email your questions directly to me.

4) Post them on our Facebook page.

5) Post them on our church blog page. You can also record a video comment here.

6) If you are really embarrassed, simply write your question on a slip of paper and drop it in the offering plate on Sundays. Just mark it "Q & A 2.0".

I hope you'll help make this a great time together on Sunday nights. Usually it's one of our staff teaching you what we think you need to hear. This time, you get to decide the content! Make the most of it!

September 14, 2008

CNN Asks a Great Question!

Last week, CNN asked an incredibly intelligent and theologically worthy question about the potential for Sarah Palin to become the nation's first Vice President of the United States. As usual, they provided two opposing viewpoints to debate it out. Their choices were Voddie Baucham, whose introduction doesn't sound as impressive as you would think. Voddie is actually quite an accomplished pastor and speaker. He has a doctorate from Southeastern Seminary and has done post-graduate studies at THE Oxford University. The other voice is Margaret Feinberg, an author and speaker who was listed by Charisma magazine as one of the 30 emerging voices that will lead the church in the next decade. Their conversation is very insightful, and I'm amazed that CNN felt like this was an important conversation to air on their network...because it is:

The weird part is that I've got connections to both of these debaters. In 2000, Voddie Baucham spoke at a camp that my band led worship for in Texas. It is no exaggeration to say that he is one of the most brilliant theological minds in our country today. Every day, we would try to find time with him by buying him lunch or hanging out with him by the pool. On my birthday, we were eating at a small diner in Bee Cave, TX and he intimidated the wait staff into singing me happy birthday by yelling into the kitchen, "'s this man's birthday out here...ya'll gonna sing to him or what?" I should mention that he was a college football player at Rice University with serious pro prospects before quitting to join the ministry. He was gracious with his time and our questions as we picked his brain for a long time each day. When I did youth ministry, I took my teenagers to hear him speak at a camp one year, simply because of his excellence in teaching deep theological concepts to young people.

Last week I was at a young adult ministry conference where Margaret Feinberg was a speaker. It was a small conference, and both mornings, I ended up on the elevator with she and her husband. She analyzed my breakfast trash one morning, and the next morning I implied that we were all lazy for taking the elevator. She was an excellent speaker and breakout session leader, and I enjoyed the conference. I wasn't aware of her CNN appearance with Voddie at the time.

The debate they have is insightful, and I think that Voddie is unfairly characterized as being chauvinistic. Having heard both of them teach, I agree with the majority of their beliefs, and disagree with a few from both of them. One thing I do know is that you DO NOT want to quote Scripture to Voddie...that's one of his strong suits. Better work on another argument there.

No matter where you stand on the election or the theology of a woman vice president, this is an interesting conversation worth having. Will the prospect of a woman vice president, which most evangelicals are energized about, cause conservative churches to rethink the role of women in leadership at their churches? My guess is no.

September 12, 2008

The Greatest Christian Song Ever...Performed!

I've got to say that it's a rare find to stumble across two gems on consecutive days. If you missed yesterday's greatest Christian song ever written, then you won't want to miss today's greatest Christian song ever performed:

Gadzooks, did you see that "break-dancing"? The skill is there, yet there is clearly restraint shown since they are in a church. That takes some self-control, because we all know that once the cheesy, white-bread rhythm gets you...ya' just can't be stizzz-oppped! Plus, the synthesizer and drum-machine have never sounded so holy, yet so...NOW.

At what point was this ever considered cool? Youth choirs, human video performers, drama troupes and show choirs should sit up and take notice. This is how you will look in ten years!

To be fair, though, the trio is appropriately dressed. What better way to listen to/perform churchy cheese-pop than in a suit and matching bridesmaid dress rejects.

If you were part of a church choir or group that performed music like this growing up, PLEASE LET US HEAR FROM YOU. Fortunately, my youth group wanted to do this, but we didn't have the...*ahem*...talent.

September 11, 2008

The Greatest Christian Song Ever Written

Sonseed performs "Jesus is My Friend"...and the world will never be the same.

I don't know what inspires me more...the bass solo, or the "ska upbeat". This is a great reminder of what it looks like when cultural relevance goes awry. Today's cultural relevance is tomorrow's cultural joke.

Cultural relevance is best when it is not a caricature of what the world is doing, but rather speaking the Truth into a culture in a way that is understandable and meaningful.