Monday, May 24, 2010

A Jason Kettinger-Style List of Random Thoughts for the Day

1. Dr. Mark Dalbney is pretty dang solid. This is a Reformed-to-the-hilt worship professor at a conservative denominational Presbyterian seminary who manages simultaneously to follow the Presbyterian Church in America party line while engaging heretics like Jeffrey Meyers in a friendly and sympathetic manner and speaking of elements of New Covenant worship in terms of sacrifice, making him far more conversant liturgically with the Church Fathers than probably any thinker in this segment of confessional Protestantism. He's faithful to his confessional commitments but he's also ecumenical, putting forth a robustly sacramental and classically-Reformed ecclesiology, eschatology, and theology of worship. I may only say this because he has affirmed so much of what I have already arrived at, but his Christian Worship class is mighty good.

2. The thought strikes me that leadership of a national or catholic Church by a single monarchial head or of a congregation by a single head pastor is much more compatible with a radically monotheistic conception of God than it is with a Trinitarian one.

3. Steven Curtis Chapman is really needed on today's CCM scene. I'm aghast at how singularly obsessed Christian radio has gotten with the narcissistic emotional struggles of individual Christians who seem unable to conceive of Jesus as anyone other than a being who exists solely to make me feel better about myself. I listened to an afternoon of K-LOVE the other day and found it sounded too much like my own selfish prayers. I went home and pulled up Steven Curtis from my Rhapsody archives and played some songs like "Heaven in the Real World" and "No Better Place on Earth Than the Road That Leads to Heaven." I was uplifted immediately to consider the glory of God and how big and awesome and the cosmic this thing God is doing in Christ really is. Christianity is so much bigger than my personal struggles to find worth and meaning in this life. I don't know enough about Steven Curtis to know whether or not he’s writing from the point of view of an unhealthy, over-realized eschatology that says, "Health and prosperity now for everyone!", but he sounds a needed note of anti-Gnostic enthusiasm about the mission of the Church—a mission more comprehensive and world-affirming than the escape plan of the dispensationalists and far more transcendent, otherworldly, Christ-centered, and effectively activist than what the emerging church and other progressives would offer us.

4. After last night's "Lost" finale I'm still a little lost but in a good way. It's only appropriate that a series that has made its living off of mystery should end yet shrouded in mystery. This show has really been TV at its best. I'm sad to see it end.

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