Mike Cope's blog

Friday, April 22, 2005

As I end two years of Spanish today (since I can't make it next week), I think about the gap between my eyes, my ears, and my mouth. I can READ a lot; I can even UNDERSTAND quite a bit (especially when spoken s-l-o-w-l-y and distinctly by my wonderful profesora, Senora Walker). But when it comes to actually SAYING something, I feel like a first grader. Mi boca no trabaja. Hopefully language school this summer will help. - - - - I've been sent several copies of an ad that's supposed to appear in the Christian Chronicle soon. I think it will have a list of Church of Christ scholars who signed it. I'm especially proud of the many who have opted NOT to sign it. Wish that list could be published, too! - - - - There are so many beautiful signs of spring in Abilene this year: lots of redbuds, bluebonnets everywhere, and actual green grass. (The drought seems to be over!) Two things I miss from the past: the awe-inspiring azaleas of North Carolina (where we lived from 82-84) and the dogwoods of Arkansas (84-91) and Missouri. - - - - Looking forward to hearing Alan Roxburgh today at ACU. He's one of the core members of the Gospel and Our Culture Network. - - - - We get x-rays today for Chris. Would be wonderful to find out that the fracture in his vertebrae is healed and that the compressed part is growing back. He's still going to school in a wheelchair. He's thinking about going to a little league game tonight to watch. Just hasn't been able to up until now. Too sad about not playing. I'm sad about not coaching, too. But on the other hand, I'm not hacking and wheezing every night after practicing in the dust and pollen. (I would gladly take the hacking and wheezing!)

19 Comments:

  • Could you please provide a little bit of elaboration on the ad you mentioned, please (or even post it). I could only guess at the many number of (non-kingdom) topics available to debate about.

    By Blogger Ed Harrell, at 4/22/2005 05:20:00 AM  

  • I, too, would like to have a bit more information about the ad. You teased us with chips and salsa, now give us the who enchilada.

    By Blogger Buzz, at 4/22/2005 05:42:00 AM  

  • Take heart in knowing that I have 4 years of high school Spanish and 2 years of college Spanish under my belt- and was shocked that I was actually able to translate your sentence! Keep up with it; I wish I had.

    By Blogger Kate, at 4/22/2005 05:42:00 AM  

  • Make that the WHOLE enchilada.

    By Blogger Buzz, at 4/22/2005 05:43:00 AM  

  • Hey, no te preocupes - la lengua se sueltara con pratica.

    It'll come. Maybe a couple of lunches with the Almanzas would loosen the tongue. :o) Nothing like talking with someone you feel confident with and whose love erases any fear of making a mistake.

    Cuando quieres, estoy a tus ordenes para charlar un poco.

    Que Dios te bendiga!

    btw-was the mention of the ad, while not giving any details of its content meant to pique our natural curiosity? If so, you got your wish. LOL Any chance you'll share a bit more detail about the ad? Like Ed, one can guess at so many topics the ad mentions. Entonces, sueltalo, amigo mio, tell us. :o)

    By Blogger Kathy, at 4/22/2005 06:55:00 AM  

  • Hey, no te preocupes - la lengua se sueltara con pratica.

    It'll come. Maybe a couple of lunches with the Almanzas would loosen the tongue. :o) Nothing like talking with someone you feel confident with and whose love erases any fear of making a mistake.

    (there well may be a duplicate posting. Hope not)

    Cuando quieres, estoy a tus ordenes para charlar un poco.

    Que Dios te bendiga!

    btw-was the mention of the ad, while not giving any details of its content meant to pique our natural curiosity? If so, you got your wish. LOL Any chance you'll share a bit more detail about the ad? Like Ed, one can guess at so many topics the ad mentions. Entonces, sueltalo, amigo mio, tell us. :o)

    By Blogger Kathy, at 4/22/2005 06:55:00 AM  

  • Sorry for the duplicate post - my ISP has the hiccups, I guess. Please feel free to delete one.

    By Blogger Kathy, at 4/22/2005 06:59:00 AM  

  • Wouldn't if be nice if people were known as Jesus scholars rather than Church of Christ (or any other denomination) scholars!

    By Blogger DJT, at 4/22/2005 07:01:00 AM  

  • Here's a tip...borrow a Spanish song book and sing two to five songs a day. You should know the tunes already. We also would be glad to converse anytime!

    Becky and Joe

    By Blogger balmanza, at 4/22/2005 07:12:00 AM  

  • This is totally off topic and may not be totally within reasonable blog protocol, so please forgive - I think the reasoning, however, is understandable. I re-ran into Joe Hays on this blog because Joe posts regularly here. Many here know Joe and Laura are planting a church with the Manhattan church of Christ in NYC. Laura gave birth to a son Ira yesterday and Ira is fighting for his life today. Please pray for Ira, Joe and Laura today and this weekend - thanks all for the interruption and I know the prayers will be heard. Here is their link:
    http://www.brooklynchurchplant.blogspot.com/

    By Blogger KentF, at 4/22/2005 07:17:00 AM  

  • Come on, we have to have the "rest of the story".

    By Blogger goldlenlocks, at 4/22/2005 09:30:00 AM  

  • Thanks so much, Kent. I hadn't heard that until I got your comment. I just tried to send them a note through Jason.

    For others -- I know, I shouldn't have even brought up the ad. Just wanted people to know when they see the ad that LOTS of people have been deciding not to sign the ad. Even though it's tempting to post the ad here, I don't think the Chronicle would want me to do that (since I'm sure the ad costs quite a bit). And I'm so thankful for the healthier direction the Christian Chronicle has taken in the last several years. It's a much kinder tone than was present a decade ago.

    Generally, it is a request to hold onto our heritage/tradition. (Oddly enough, Hans Kung, the Catholic theologian who's been out of favor with church authorities, is quoted as endorsing their position. I wonder if Kung would sign the document!) It focuses on baptism, the Lord's Supper, and a cappella singing. As you might expect, some of what they say is very insightful and helpful.

    By Blogger Mike, at 4/22/2005 10:29:00 AM  

  • Alan Roxburgh and Brian McLaren were both at Fresno Pacific University in February doing a tag team seminar. Though I wasn't able to attend, I've been listening to the CDs of their lectures. They were very helpful and thought-provoking.

    One thing Alan mentioned was the incarnational idea of "pitching your tent beside the other." In other words, we'll never be a part of God's inbreaking kingdom if we don't do what Jesus did: pitch our tents in the world. As Eugene Peterson puts it, God in Jesus "moved into the neighborhood". It's a wonderful word picture. And I am especially thankful to see how the Highland church has decided to missionally move into its neighborhood. You've set a great example for us.

    Do you know if ACU recorded Alan?

    By Blogger Owen B., at 4/22/2005 11:37:00 PM  

  • I heard Alan Roxburgh speak yesterday, twice. I enjoyed the thrust of what he had to say to existing church leaders about the state of the church and the necessity to do something differently, but I did have a few problems with it.

    Here goes.

    First, he made no mention of church planting. Almost everyone agrees that planting churches among unreached people groups is both redemptive to the unreached people and the sending church. Alan didn't once mention church planting.

    Second, he took quite a while saying that the process of changing into a missional church will and should take between 12-18 months, breaking it down and systemizing it into neat time categories. Here's my problem with the idea: We don't have that kind of time. The fact is, the world is changing faster than we can realize it, and by the time a 3,000-member church identifies a people group or neighborhood it wants to begin reaching, comes together as a congregation and discusses it, decides on a strategy, implements an experiment, and then moves forward with implementing a concrete plan, the situation of that unreached people group or neighborhood likely will be different. I'm not saying that any church ought to rush into irresponsible decisions, but it certainly needs to move in a definite direction faster than 12-18 months. That's just how our world's moving.

    Third, he lightly bashed "simpler" expressions of church in North America, hastily lumping the house church movement, for instance, into the same category as the emergent church movement. He called Michael Frost and Alan Hirsch (of The Shaping of Things to Come fame) "theologically bankrupt" for their prophetic words that "church" needs to move back to the margins of society -- the pubs, parks, and parlors of our lives.

    While Roxburgh had some decent thigns to say about the need for change, his methodology thereof pretty much stinks. Churches that want to be "missional" (whatever that means anymore) need to really go back to the drawing board about what constitutes being the church, and not simply change the way Sunday mornings look, for goodness sake -- quickly.

    Our continent depends on it.

    note: Frost's and Hirsch's research in Australia, the U.K., and the U.S. indicates that only 1 of 50 churches can truly make the necessary shift to becoming "missional" (whatever that means)...this should tell us something

    By Blogger Steve Jr., at 4/23/2005 08:21:00 AM  

  • While my own interest was piqued quite a bit by the ad teaser, I'm glad you didn't post a link. I think that sometimes we bring more attention with negative press than with positive.

    As for Spanish, I took French in high school, but during my year of waiting tables there were many cooks who I had to speak to in Spanish to get my point across, "Mas pan, por favor" became the standard call, and "lo siento" was used used quite a bit on my end. I tell you, emmersion in the language is the only way.

    By Blogger Kyle, at 4/23/2005 12:07:00 PM  

  • Alan said exactly the opposite -- that we needed to move to the margins -- when he was in Fresno with Brian McLaren. Hmmmm. That's interesting.

    By Blogger Owen B., at 4/23/2005 06:46:00 PM  

  • Mike, are you going to Guatemala with Matt this summer to attend the Christian Spanish Academy? Because that is where I am right now. I'd love to talk to you about it more some time, and I'd be glad to give you any inside info you need on Antigua - good places to eat, etc.
    Buena suerte con la lengua. Yo necesito mucha suerte tambien.

    By Blogger kentbrantly, at 4/23/2005 08:05:00 PM  

  • Alan may have said that in Fresno, but his strategies for "moving to the margins" still involve doing church pretty much the same as it's been done (and failed, largely). What's true is that truly moving to the margins actually involves leaving behind the structures we have married and truly "pitching our tent" next to people (enter their world), not expecting or asking them to leave theirs to enter ours. Any form of church that says, "this is where the action is happening, so if you want to be a part of our church, you need to come here," (including many of the popular "emergent" forms of church) is actually extractional in nature, to use a missiological term. Alan is trying to live in both worlds (the "church" world and the world world), and is calling others to do the same. We cannot.

    By the way, I could be completely wrong about Alan Roxburgh. I just heard him twice this weekend, and those were my reflections on this brief encounter. If his heart is otherwise, it didn't show this weekend.

    By Blogger Steve Jr., at 4/23/2005 08:15:00 PM  

  • Hi, Mike -- A friend forwarded your comments on "A Christian Affirmation," of which I was a signer. Your readers can see the statement at www.christianaffirmation.org. I didn't sign the affirmation because I thought that it represents the majority position in Churches of Christ but because it expresses convictions I share about baptism, communion, and worship and the life that worship shapes (not just a cappella singing). My hope in signing it was that it will lead to healthy and constructive conversations about matters that all Christians should agree on and matters about which we should learn to disagree ("In matters of faith, unity; in matters of opinion, liberty; in all things, charity"). I appreciate your ministry and hope you will consent to be involved in that conversation. All best wishes in Christ -- Jeff

    By Blogger Jeff Peterson, at 4/26/2005 03:33:00 PM  

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