Category Archives: culture

fruit with a bite out of it

A few weeks ago, I was communicating about the significance of images and used the logo of Apple, among others, to highlight the power of image and specifically the meaning of this image found in story of the forbidden fruit in the story of Genesis 3. Whether we recognize it or not there is meaning and thus power embedded in the images that we encounter in our lives.

This morning, a friend (thank you Brandon Rhodes) posted an article regarding the historian Henry Adams and his take on our life in the information and technology age.

While I disagree with the two options at the conclusion of the article, I wonder too how our human ingenuity and technology gets in the way of our connection and engagement with God and with one another. Take a moment and read the article; it is worth your time. What’s your take?


changing paradigms by Ken Robinson

Another talk about Ken Robinson pn Changing Paradigms. This time with a creative way to visualize it.

What implications might this have for Sunday school and spiritual formation?

imaging God

Life has suddenly turned busy over the last few weeks as I continue to work, now have 2 kids in school and have started back to school myself in a doctoral program focused on discernment of images and activity in a shifting culture (depending on what you call it).

In one chat session with our cohort last week, we discussed the picture to the left that is Michaelangelo’s painting of God’s Creation of Adam on the ceiling of the Sistine Chapel. In September 2004, I saw this painting from the floor of the Sistine Chapel but I had never considered the significance of the painting.

As you look at the painting some questions to consider: What is the focus of the painting? How is Adam portrayed in the painting? What is God doing? How are they interacting? What does the space between signify?

See what you come up with as you think through this painting. The image is powerful and certainly communicates more than a 1000 words.

how do you know?

“You keep telling yourself what you know. But what do you believe? What do you feel?” said Mal to her husband Cobb.

There are many layers to the movie Inception and on my second viewing with new friends from my new doctoral cohort, I was captivated by the questions surrounding how we know, believe, feel and experience reality.

As a part of an earlier conversation in the day, Len Sweet shared that we can recognize reality by it pushing back. This is the future story we will live with holograms and avatars. Inception poses the solution of knowing reality by the physical marker of a totem–a physical item with specific characteristics and weight unique to every person. This makes a great deal of sense to me when I think about the Reality of God.

What are your totems that bring you back to the Reality of God?

emerging adulthood?

A friend passed this link onto me earlier today and it’s an interesting read on a societal trend.

What do you think is happening in our culture? Is there a new “emerging adulthood”?

the curiosity of a “man of the cloth”

I’ve had some experiences lately where I’ve been addressed or introduced as a “man of the cloth.” Up until this morning, I had no idea what this phrase meant but through the wisdom of the internet, I was brought up to speed.

Here is the article that set me straight.

How about you, are there odd ways that you are addressed or introduced?

kids included in church?

Check this post out by Jonathan Acuff, author of Stuff Christians Like.

This is what I wrote in my comments on the SCL site:

“First, this video is hilarious and the opinions are all over the map.

Rooted within the video is an interesting belief about how we practice and understand church. The question that Jon asks is a small look (microcosm) of how the church in North America has come to practice – the larger the church, the more likely the church is segmented by age and stage of life. If we are asking this question about children (or teenagers) and using terminology like “big church” and/or “adult worship” we might be missing the point of the church and our role in discipling all ages and stages.

If you are interested, take a look at this article by Kara Powell in Leadership magazine from a few months back: Is the Era of Age Segmentation Over? It is worth the read as we think about segmenting or segregating kids (or others) from the body of Christ.”

What do you think, could we be missing the point of church?

innovation and the church

This video is good news for the church.

In 20 minutes, author, speaker and business thought leader Gary Hamel speaks on innovation and the church. Here are some of his key ideas for churches who desire to become more innovative:

(1) Overcome our natural tendency to deny things that discomfort us.

(2) Generate higher numbers of new strategic options…experiment and fail forward.

(3) Challenge our orthodoxies or dogmas (habits on how we do or are the church).

(4) Think from the outside-in. We are called to work with outsiders as we co-design.

(5) Have a stance or posture to being open to as many people as we can.

(6) To build an organization that is innovative, we need to turn the pyramid (power relationships) upside down. For example, mission shaped communities.

(7) Stay focused on core values. The why of what we do rather than the what and the how.

What do you think about Hamel’s ideas?

the smell of a new book

A few months ago, I pre-ordered a few copies of Jonathan Acuff’s new book called Stuff Christians Like. Acuff writes one of my favorite blogs as he laughs at himself and the rest of the Christian subculture in North America. In the midst of his humorous writing, he has a way of uncovering truth.

Today, to my surprise, two copies of the book arrived and I am so excited to read it and send another copy to a good friend that needs a good laugh. I have a feeling that this new book might delay me finishing all the other books that I am in the middle of.

innovating culture change

In the last 6 months, I’ve had the opportunity to learn from both Alan Roxburgh and Scott Cormode about change and I’m not certain I know what I’m doing.

I read this blog post by Alan Roxburgh tonight and I think this is one of the most difficult realities of leadership today?

What do you think of this challenge?