Thursday, July 15, 2004

whale rider, the bible and mission

Today I am travel to Auckland for 4 days. I am speaking at a theological conference. I am using a scene from Whale Rider as my main “text,” and focusing on theology as re-weaving the broken ropes.


I am weaving in 2 texts: Emmaus Road (Luke 24) and Abraham’s visit by “strangers” (Genesis 18). I am asking 3 questions: who are our strangers? what is our table? what does hospitality mean? Full abstract is here.

I have really enjoyed preparing, I trust the participants enjoy it equally!!

UPDATE: This went well; despite some technological hiccups, and managing to naively hit some trip wires around the whole gay and lesbian debate. (Duh. Me and my big talking mouth.) People loved the creativity and freshness. Best of all, I learnt some things in conversation afterward, and so the learning goes. It was a huge buzz to have Paul drop by. Thanks mate.

Posted by steve at 06:28 AM

Tuesday, July 13, 2004

How do we go deep?

We live in a very surface culture. The blog world is instant. There is huge pressure to produce. Maggi Dawn touched on this in a recent post. Yesterdays post is old news. There is a constant thirst for new technology.

A few weeks ago I got some space to write. I should have been listening to a conference. But I took my laptop, found a good view, plugged in my music, and wrote a journal article; “Co-authoring Christianity.” Immersed, I suddenly realised I was deeply, deeply happy. “When I write, I feel God’s pleasure

Yesterday, I was preparing for a paper. I was deep in a commentary, exploring Genesis 18. Immersed, I suddenly realised I was deeply, deeply, happy. “When I research, I feel God’s pleasure

Now, researching and writing don’t make for instant blogging. It takes time for ideas to emerge. It takes time to do the research. It takes time to publish.

Don’t get me wrong, I love my blog. It is the place where you can skim across my surface, see the worship result of a week of wrestle and struggle with a text or an idea. Yet I know that for me, the pressure to produce, the blogging surface, needs to be matched by the time to go deep.

There is a breathless, headlong feeding rush in the emerging church. What drives this? Desire for another new toy to play with? Boredom with the hard yards of the here and now? Missionary excitement?

How do we go deep in our surface world? Am I alone in this?

Posted by steve at 02:27 PM


A live-in rolling conversation among friends about issues to do with emerging church. This years themes will revolve loosely around worship and art.

We’re moving from Auckland to Christchurch to support our Southern Men and Women. Costs will be maybe $20 for 2 nights accommodation at Governors Bay and a share of whatever we decide to eat. The accommodation is an alcohol-free zone (not a free-alcohol zone!) so you’ll have to be creative. Travel costs are your own.

We’ll aim to start at midday on Monday 9 August and finish with lunch on the Wednesday.


UPDATE: Will include guided tour of new Christchurch Art Gallery, and discussion of curating the visitor experience: stimulating us to draw the links to worship and mission “curating visitor experience”

Posted by steve at 09:38 AM

Monday, July 12, 2004

tech question

can I download quick time movies, on a PC, without having to buy Quick Time Pro?

Posted by steve at 05:57 PM

textures of spirituality

I am a Protestant. So the Bible has been part of my spirituality. I normally use the lectionary readings; a psalm and a gospel, daily, as part of being centred and attentive to God. The Bible, you see is intrinsic to my spirituality.

Confession time.
Not sure if I should blog this, but you see,
I forgot to take my Bible on holiday.

We had driven 45 minutes when Lynne looks at me and notes that we have no Bible. The Protestant in my paniced. Not sure what the Protestant in you is thinking. 45 minutes, with 2 kids in the car. Too far to go back.

During the rest of the drive, I noticed the detail, the fine patterning of the back on bare maples.


Embolded by Jesus words in Matthew; Consider the lilies of the field, I sensed that the spiritual task of the holiday was to “notice the detail”; the textures of snow, the patterns and colours of bark, exploring the backroads of Geraldine, the cooking of my children.

Today I returned to this;
I have no need for [offerings]
for every animal of the forest is mine
and the cattle on the thousand hills
- Psalm 50:9-10.

A [Biblical] reminder that God is not just in text, but also in the textures of all creation.

Posted by steve at 10:01 AM

Sunday, July 11, 2004

cooking spirituality

A holiday highlight for me was cooking with my 7 year old. Last year I brought her a kids cookbook. A favourite day off activity for me is cooking with her;
: She chooses something from the cookbook;
: We go shopping together;
: We cook together;

So on holidays we made 4 evenings worth of meals – nachos, macaroni and asian salad. I love cooking as a re~creative pursuit, so this combines relaxation and spending time with my kids.

It also reminds me again that food is intrinsic to spirituality. It is one of the things I miss in the move from Graceway to Opawa Baptist. At Graceway we worshipped around food, and so much of our life was spent in cafes.

Posted by steve at 04:47 PM

Monday, July 05, 2004

braking b4 breaking

you take breaks, or the breaks will take you,
either way you will take breaks


So I am braking here for a few days.

Posted by steve at 04:07 PM

blessed to be a faithful witness

The theme of Sunday was blessed to be a faithful witness. The challenge is to move that head/heart knowledge to hands/feet/body action.

As part of the response, I “drew” a street map on the floor, using white tape to mark the main streets of the east side of our city.

People were given stars, and invited to place a star on the place in the city where they are blessed to be a witness. (This was mixed with communion and a song by Ben Harper, Blessed to be a witness, from his Diamonds in the Inside album.) It was an hands/feet/body way of praying.


As I took some photos the morning after, I realised how seriously people had taken the exercise. There were stars up on the balcony, people who live and work in the country.


There were even stars on the door, through which people leave church. I am continually blown away by the way that people “work” with symbols, making them personally and interactively relevant.


Posted by steve at 01:24 PM

Sunday, July 04, 2004

sermon bibliography

most essays I have marked this week have included a bibliography.

So what would a sermon bibliography look like? Well this week, I would like to acknowledge .:
The Bible
John Driver’s Understanding the atonement for the mission of the Church
Dr Suess’, Horton the Elephant
U2′s, Pride in the name of love
James Belich’s, History of New Zealand.

A very eclectic mix!!

Posted by steve at 04:41 PM

Friday, July 02, 2004

u2 go home


Just found U2 Go home DVD cheap
(At the Warehouse, for all the NZ U2 groupies).

It’s not many bands that in one concert, both protest arms dealing and conclude singing

Dear God,
please may U2 lead worship at my celestial pad.

Posted by steve at 09:38 PM

Thursday, July 01, 2004

leader as safe or good

Further to my reflection on pastor as chaos agent:


They asked of Aslan, the lion,
“Is he safe?”
Those who knew him replied,
“Safe! No, but he is good.”

- CS Lewis, The Chronicles of Narnia.

PS The movie, due for release Christmas 05, is being filmed in New Zealand as I blog and you read.

Posted by steve at 12:38 PM