I awoke early to take dawn pictures at Lake Winnepesaukee in New Hampshire when we were on our trip. It was a cloudy, drizzly morning, so I didn’t get many great shots, but I did happen upon these feathered friends performing their morning routine on Weirs Beach. Like them, we’re gonna wade in, splash some cold water on our faces, and see what we can drag out of the web to chew on today.
So come on, buoys and gulls, let’s ramble.
We begin with great news about one of our own high flying friends. Two of the really good folks, Dee and Deb over at Wartburg Watch, have published the first part of Eagle’s personal story. In his own words, “This is a story of a faith crisis. It’s a story of falling away, wondering in the unknown, struggling to find faith, and finally hitting bottom. It’s a journey of coming to terms with my evangelical past and slowly finding a way forward.”
This is also a story about some of you, who played an important role in encouraging Eagle on his journey. Good stuff.
I’m speaking, of course, of the escalating downward spiral of Mark Driscoll and Mars Hill Church in Seattle. Oh, I suppose it is good news to those of us who have critiqued Driscoll and have felt that the ministry might be dangerous to genuine spiritual formation. But it is sad nevertheless, especially when one considers the justification it gives for people to reject the faith he claims to represent.
- Here’s a report by a local TV station in Seattle about the church and the protests planned at the church this Sunday.
- And this retrospective, “Why the Mars Hill Faithful Have Started to Question Mark,” looks back on a decade of dealings with MHC and Pastor Mark.
- Here is Matthew Paul Turner’s post on Driscoll’s “Pussified Nation” internet rants that have raised such furor.
- Rachel Held Evans weighs in on the matter in her post, “Inside Mark Driscoll’s Disturbed Mind.”
Far and away, the best thing I’ve read on the matter so far is the piece, “Our Only Response to Mark Driscoll,” by Brandan Robertson at Revangelical.
It is undeniable that the absolute collapse of Mark Driscoll’s empire is lying just around the bend. Every day there are new reports of scandal and abuse being uncovered at Mars Hill Church. In this season, it is important for us to continue to speak about the false teachings that Driscoll has propagated over the years and to continue to support, pray for, and encourage those who have been harmed through Driscolls ministry, and there are tons of people who are doing just that. But I want to suggest that it is equally as important- though infinitely more difficult- to keep Mark, Grace, their five children, and the church in our prayers. We should pray that God would continue to bring the truth to light and that through it all, he would humble Mark to a place of brokenness. We should pray that his family would be protected through this tough season as they see their husband and father being publicly exposed for copious amounts of sin and scandal. We should pray for healing, redemption, and reconciliation between Mark and all those whom he has hurt and all those who have hurt him. We should pray that at the end of this season of refining, that God would bless Mark Driscoll and his family.
This is perhaps the hardest teaching Jesus calls his followers to, but it is one of the most important. We are called to love those who harm us and to pray for those who hate us. This is the only way to bring true healing and redemption to everyone involved in this dark situation. In the midst of our (very justifiable) anger and even rage against Mark Driscoll and his teachings, we must be careful to guard ourselves against becoming the very person we are speaking out against. We must not resort to gossip, slander, cursing, or mocking- and I am tempted to do every one of those things when I am talking about Driscoll. We must not become people who speak harmful and abusive words back to Driscoll. We cannot return an insult with an insult. This only continues the cycle, deepens Marks wounds, and adds fuel to the already destructive fire.
I don’t know about you, but I need something to look forward to after that. How about 25 Books to Watch For in the Second Half of 2014? Yeah, that’s the ticket. Our friend, Chris Smith at Englewood Review of Books, has put together a mouth-watering preview of good reads to come soon.
Here are some of the authors with new books this fall: Marilynne Robinson, Wendell Berry, Christian Wiman, Matthew Paul Turner, Christian Smith, Tim Suttle, and Scot McKnight.
I had to wear a bib when reading that post to catch the excessive drool.
Speaking of bibs, you might want one if you go to Red Robin and order a “Monster” double burger, served with “bottomless” fries and a “Monster” milkshake. The Center for Science in the Public Interest named this meal with 3,540 calories the “winner” in its 2014 Xtreme Eating Awards.
The group reviewed more than 200 chain restaurant menus and gave its “awards” to dishes and combos especially high in calories, fat, sugar and salt. Though Red Robin topped the list, the Cheesecake Factory put the most dishes on it. Three of its treats — Farfalle with Chicken and Roasted Garlic (2,410 calories), Bruléed French Toast (2,780 calories) and Reese’s Peanut Butter Chocolate Cake Cheesecake (1,500 calories) — weren’t far behind as contenders.
I hear Jay Leno now: “How FAT are we here in America? . . .
A man in Birmingham, Alabama claims he lost a little weight in an unfortunate way. Johnny Lee Banks Jr., 59 years old, went to Princeton Baptist Medical Center last month to be circumcised as part of urological treatments. Banks claims that, when he awoke, his entire penis had been removed. He and his wife Zelda filed a lawsuit, seeking an unspecified amount of money. They accuse the defendants of medical malpractice, negligence and other wrongdoing. Doctors and clinics involved have asked a judge to dismiss the suit, saying it has no merit.
Now that leads me to ask, as gently as I can, shouldn’t this be simple to prove or disprove?
I always wondered about this in the New Testament too, and perhaps one of our Jewish friends could enlighten me. With circumcision such an issue in the early church, just how did they go about checking to see if a man was with or sans foreskin? Was there a special examination room in the synagogue? I’m gettin’ a little creeped out here.
Too bad Mr. Banks didn’t take Paul’s advice: “. . . watch out for the “circummutilators” (Phil. 3:2, Orthodox Jewish Bible). As for me, if I needed to be circumcised, the last place I would go would be to a BAPTIST medical center. Not their specialty, and in my experience, Baptists do tend to be a bit enthusiastic.
Here is a cool story our children will like. When they were young, our boys in particular were Lego-maniacs. We continue to have a big storage box of ’em here at the house for the grandkids. Well, the BBC reports that a container filled with 4.8 million Lego pieces, many of them nautical themed pieces, fell into the sea off Cornwall in 1997. But instead of remaining at the bottom of the ocean, they are still washing up on Cornish beaches today — offering an insight into the mysterious world of oceans and tides and delighting beachcombers for over 15 years.
[On a serious note, there is a dark side as well, as small pieces of virtually indestructible plastic pose danger for birds and sea creatures.]
At any rate, there is a Facebook page detailing ongoing discoveries around Cornwall. And U.S. oceanographer Curtis Ebbesmeyer suggests that, since 1997, some of these Lego pieces could have drifted 62,000 miles, though none have actually been verified as coming from the Cornwall spill. However, it is possible that they could be on any beach on earth. Theoretically, the pieces of Lego could keep going around the ocean for centuries.
And I guarantee, that if I go to any of those beaches, I will step on one of those Legos in my bare feet. It never fails. I have scars, I tell ya.
Gail and I will be going to hear David Gray in concert this week, thanks to a nice Father’s Day gift from our kids. I love his new album, Mutineers, and have been listening to it in anticipation of a great evening of music.
Here are two of the official videos from the record, “Back in the World Again,” and, to round out Ramblings with a nod to today’s theme, the ethereal, Bon Iver-like “Gulls.”