"The moment the word 'why' crosses your lips, you are doing theology."
—When Life & Beliefs Collide                

Saturday, February 27, 2010

Chickified or Macho Man?

A blog by Dr. Richard Beck, Associate Professor at Abilene Christian University, offers a thought provoking response to Mark Driscoll's campaign to masculinize the church.

Thoughts on Mark Driscoll... while I'm knitting


Dr. Beck raises important points. Do we not have a responsibility to sift thru the rhetoric—throw out the bathwater, so to speak—and get to the underlying problem that causes many (though clearly not all) men to feel marginalized by the church? Surely this is not a problem we can or should ignore. Having said that, is it possible to address this problem without swinging the pendulum too far and creating a similar problem (not to mention a frightening environment) for others?

What are your thoughts?

Monday, February 15, 2010

Forbes' Most Powerful Women Leaders

Lately, I've been finding statements from the public sector that point to the importance of a Blessed Alliance between men and women in the corporate world. I just ran across one in the video below from Forbes' Most Powerful Women Leaders (September 2009).

The point is not simply that women should be given a place at the table, but rather that things improve and better decision are reached when both men and women collaborate.

It is a remarkable and welcome reversal of the battle of the sexes. It's also an unexpected affirmation of Genesis 1—that from the start, God's A-Team was male and female.

Friday, February 12, 2010

Making Choices

Two stories ran concurrently this past week about two marriages, two wives, two choices, and two books. Both stories centered on the husbands' public infidelities and their wives' very different responses in the aftermath.

The February issue of Christianity Today ran an interview with Gayle Haggard, wife of Ted Haggard, Why Gayle Haggard Stayed, on the release of her new book, Why I Stayed: The Choices I Made in My Darkest Hour.

Last Sunday's NY Times published an article, Southern Discomfort, on Jenny Sanford's divorce from her husband, disgraced South Carolina Governor Mark Sanford. Mrs. Sanford has also released her memoir, Staying True.

The two women, both professing Christians, came to a fork in the road and chose opposite paths. Jenny Sanford walked away. Gayle Haggard chose to forgive and stay.

Video interviews of both women are online. (Some of the insensitive 20/20 questions are a reminder of why it's important to think twice before agreeing to a Barbara Walter's interview.)

Q 2009 Interview of Gayle and Ted Haggard

Barbara Walters 20/20 Interview of Jenny Sanford

Both women are being lauded for their courageous choices. Both are under fire. Blogs are buzzing. It's hard to avoid comparisons. More importantly, their stories give us an opportunity to reflect on how the church stands by her daughters when they're facing what has to be one of the worst personal dilemmas a wife can experience.

I have two questions:

First, do both wives' decisions affirm the sanctity of marriage?

And second, if the same thing happened to a woman without this kind of public notoriety, would she find safe haven in the church, no matter which way she turned?

Your thoughts?

Friday, February 5, 2010

Sunshine2010!

Our 6th National Synergy conference is just around the corner! In less than a month now, we'll all be in warm, sunny, no-ear muffs, no-snow-boots, no-mittens Orlando again. I must admit, beautiful as winter is in Massachusetts, this sounds great to me!

This year's theme is “Conflict in The Story—The Shaping of a Leader's Soul.”

Conflict is an everyday part of all of our lives. Hate it. Avoid it. Shut down when it happens. But none of us can escape it. We face conflict from within, from relationships, circumstances, losses, and the turmoil in our world. Conflict takes us into valleys that slow our pace, that darken and define the landscape of our lives and draw us into soul-shaping struggles with God.

Conflict is where God does some of his deepest work in us. It is also where advocates are born and leaders are forged. God uses our private, localized struggles to make us strong, to sensitize us to the sufferings of others, and to embolden us to move out of our comfort zones to do whatever we can to reach out to others who are hurting, taking the Gospel with us everywhere we go.

If you haven't registered yet, there's still time. You can learn more and register here.

If you can't join us, you can still be involved. We need lots of prayer as we come together, March 5-7. And you can make it possible for someone else to attend. $100 will scholarship one attendee. This is a great opportunity for you to get behind your sisters in Christ in a tangible way. We are trying to raise $2000 in scholarships. To contribute, go here.

See you soon in the Sunshine State!

CJ