The following post was written by Heather Goodman.
If you’re in a conversation with someone about some way of thinking you think they need to see from your perspective, the following statements are unhelpful and bad form:
1) “You can only understand what I’m saying by revelation.” (Gee, what are they supposed to do with THAT?)
2) “You need to go research a bit and then come back and talk to me.” (How do you know they haven’t researched this topic more than YOU and *still* see it differently than you do? Don’t make assumptions!)
3) “You need to stop thinking so much / get out of your head / stop being so intellectual about this.” (What that usually means is that you are weak at explaining your position, so you’d rather the person just swallow what you are trying to teach them without thinking much about it.)
4) “I used to think like you on that topic – but God set me free.” (Do you know how this sets up your own experience/perception as the authority and puts the other person beneath you as you are the expert and they are still in your prior “childish” state?)
See also . . .[Continue Reading…]
Earlier this year (2012) my friend Alan Hirsch released a book called The Permanent Revolution.
Like any book that challenges the conventional wisdom, Alan and his-coauthor Tim Catchim received a fair bit of criticism on their book. Among other things, Hirsch was accused of “vilifying people in the clergy” and far worse accusations.
As I’ve often said, criticizing a work on its own merit is one thing. Like me, Alan Hirsch welcomes constructive criticism. Neither of us claims immaculate perception and we’re both learning and growing . . . as are all Christians.
However, setting up a straw-man and then lighting a torch to it is another thing altogether.
As I’ve demonstrated in past posts (below), misrepresenting someone’s work is a tactic that some will pick up to dismiss an important contribution. But “we have not so learned Jesus Christ” to wield such tools (to quote Paul).
Anywho, Alan Hirsch and Tim Catchim wrote an interesting response to one critic who misrepresented their book. With Alan’s permission, I’m republishing it here.
Every reader and every author would be wise to read Hirsch’s response as it highlights the typical hand-waving tactics that are used to try and discredit someone’s work.
Point: every dubious critique has the same anatomy. Hirsch’s response, therefore, applies perfectly to all works – written or spoken – which have been misrepresented by others (such as N.T. Wright, who regularly gets distorted by his detractors).
Here it is . . .[Continue Reading…]
“Writing a book is an adventure. To begin with, it is a toy and an amusement; then it becomes a mistress, and then it becomes a master, and then a tyrant. The last phase is that just as you are about to be reconciled to your servitude, you kill the monster, and fling him out to the public.”
~ Winston Churchill
The title of this blog post is the title of my new podcast episode which is now available for download or streaming.
In it, I talk about the behind-the-scenes story of how Len Sweet and I wrote our new book, Jesus: A Theography.
The podcast includes our struggle to co-author this titanic book, how long it took us to write it (which is both comical and scary), and why we deliberately chose not to have any endorsements.
We also had first-rate New Testament scholar Craig Keener critically review the book before we published it, to ensure it’s accuracy.
So far, people who are N.T. Wright fans (especially his work on Jesus) and people who are John Piper fans (especially his work on the Bible) are loving the book. That might be a good gauge for many of you who are undecided on whether or not to get a copy right now.
I used to spend much more time on the Internet than I do now. In fact, most of the Christians and non-Christians with whom I have face-to-face relationships aren’t active on the Internet at all.
Most of them either aren’t on Facebook or they rarely use their accounts. And most don’t use Twitter.
On the flip side, a good portion of you who read this blog are pretty active on the Web. That includes the blogosphere and various social networks.
Internet tools can overwhelm a mortal. And some of them can become first-class time vampires.
Over the years, I’ve struggled to keep my online presence in balance, managing (and sometimes juggling) the various tools I use to connect with people I’ve never met face-to-face.
There have been days where I’ve been tempted to deactivate all my social accounts – including this blog – and like N.T. Wright, relegate my online presence to personal Email.
While my online activity is a very small piece of my life, I presently use online tools for ministry purposes. They’ve allowed me to share the gospel with those who don’t yet know Jesus as well as to encourage God’s people.
Your mileage may vary of course, but the following is how I’ve simplified my online life to the point where it’s become . . . well, sane.
I’m still experimenting, tweaking, and looking for better ideas. So consider this a progress report.[Continue Reading…]