1. "The root cause of a lot of the problems in politics is hardness of the heart." This is a reading of the song "Love and Peace or Else," done before the Vertigo Tour started. I think I've been proven off the mark on at least one point by the live sequencing, but I still like the piece.
2. @U2's Drawing their Fish in the Sand archive was updated this year, and I wrote about my involvement with it in U2 Biblical References....
3. This post, "No secret at all," is probably my major blog highlight of the year, split into 3 parts for length: 1, 2, 3. It's a theological reading of U2's song "The Fly," explaining its new live presentation on the Vertigo Tour in light of previous presentations. I think I am still the only person who has written on this topic.
4.teach me how to sing: U2 world-premiered their 1993 song "The First Time" in 2005; here are some comments on it.
5. Too cute and in-jokey? Maybe, but I made myself laugh with "Best to be upfront about these things."
1. BY WHAT STANDARD INDEED? (In which I explain my religious outlook, which I think can probably be described as classically or typically Unitarian.)
2. HAS FEMINISM BEEN SO SUCCESSFUL THAT IT IS NOW SUPERFLUOUS? (In which I describe the areas in which I believe feminism has continuing relevance.)
3. FEMINISM AND COMMUNITY (In which I address the perception that feminism is an ideology of "selfishness.")
4. HEROISM KNOWS NO GENDER (In which I discuss the fact that both men and women should be prepared at any given time to exercise heroic physical risk and self-sacrifice)
5. THROUGH THICK AND THIN (In which I relate an incident that underscores the significance of gay marriage as a substantive civil right.)
#5 "Why Blog? Top 50 Reasons"
"Truth at the speed of light will prevail at the speed of Light."
#4 "What Keeps YOU Awake At Night?"
The devil's scheme: 'Pride & Divide'.
#3 "An Open Letter to our City Councillors"
'Human Rights Ordinance 622'
#2 "The Ultimate Win"
By one of Jesus' closest Jewish friends
#1 "Transforming the Evangelical Meme"
Debunking the Barna Divorce-rate Myth.
life on the planet
"Apostles are there to change life on the planet," said Anderson Williams from Trinidad, speaking on an 'apostolic symposium' in Switzerland. But he had difficulty giving clear examples of how apostles build in practice. It sparked an interesting discussion on the so-called 'New Apostolic Reformation'.
2. A learning community
The Connect Europe network is committed to intentionally evaluate and learn all the time. Big question: is there leadership in the 'organic' church? And how does it function?
3. A bit more radical, please
When I facilitated an interactive teaching session for young leaders on church and reformation, the organiser came up to me and asked if I could increase the 'radicality factor' a bit more. So I talked about why religious systems can be demonic and keep people in bondage.
4. Multiplying John Maxwell
Evangelical management guru John Maxwell wants to train 5,000 leaders in the Netherlands and for some reason I was asked to join the steering committee for this mega leadership development program. I politely declined the invitation. God didn't call me to multiply John Maxwell in others. Why would an apple tree join a pear tree development program?
5. What is God doing in Holland?
How I was invited to give a vision seminar for Agapè (the Dutch branch of Campus Crusade for Christ) on what God is doing in Holland, and ended up being called a heretic because I baptise people without first consulting a pastor.
More top-5's from the blogging community here, with thanks to Bob Carlton.
5) fear of youth - i wish i had written the piece i linked to, a good distillation of our domestication of young people
4) kasdorf - i didn't write this either, but this is the truth about my childhood faith, though i wasn't raised mennonite
2) casting bread - this idea remains alive and well, in the midst of a tenuous future, it remains an important idea that i am not sure how to flesh out, but is calling me to a deeper sense of my own vocation that i can become one who can live this into reality.
3) ok go - i like the song, i love the video.
1) leadership academy II - the post is okay, the group of young people were fantastic, the time with them and with the staff is a favorite memory of last summer. i'm looking forward to our trip to taize this summer.
1a) sge - also a favorite memory, not a very good post but i got to read the answers given to these questions and i've attended the presentations that came out of the hard work. if i were a better blogger i would have pictures up for this amazing pilgrimage to southern africa with a remarkable group of young people. hard to describe, but i still get emotional when i think about how hard we all worked to learn and be changed by those we met.
1. irony of ironies
I chose this because God met me at a very low point this autumn. He opened my eyes, restored the colour in my life. He gave me a simple message of hope.
2. barefoot and naked I loved reading Buchanen’s Your God is too Safe! This post more or less wrote itself. What’s more I won a prize for it!
3. This post love is a four letter word was written at almost exactly the same time and just flowed too!
4. Owning the mistake was perhaps one of the hardest posts I’ve ever chosen to write. I’m learning a lot about forgiveness. I’m grateful, but it is still hard at times.
5. Prayer is very important to me, though I’ve found it harder-going this autumn than at any other time of my life. Blogging through some prayers early in the autumn was a source of joy for me and helped me tug my prayer life back on track. This one ask of Me is among my favourites.
Shortest - one of my favorite one-liners. Also got a link from the inimitable, the delightful, Maggi Dawn...
Next, another humorous one, but this time a somewhat elaborate Emergent related April Fool's joke that worked way better than I could have dreamed:
Third, an account of the consecration of Nedi Rivera as Bishop Suffragan of the Diocese of Olympia. I've had the opportunity to work with her quite a bit this year, and the lady is remarkable. Her husband Bob is also a real joy.
Fourth, here's an account of the shenanigans going on in the worldwide Anglican Communion. Still a mess, and I've with everything else going on, I've given up caring about this issue for a while. I'll get back to it, though...
Finally, a tough choice, but I'm going to go with this one about my reservations about neo-colonial do-gooding...
5. October 24th's Reunion Review: A Note on Memory, Myopia, and Grace.
4. July 26th's "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" and the Right to a Private History.
3. November 7th's A very long and personal post about men, women, childishness, and responsibility.
2. May 18th's More on older men and younger women, a long response to "Kate".
1. February 9th's A beginning attempt at a Christian male pro-feminist theology of appetite -- or further proof that I have lost it completely.
At the level of the gross realm, love is an emotion. But at the subtle realm, it is also a name we give to the soul’s archetypal desire to be reunited with the Source of All Being, and the actions that come about as a result of that desire. And in the realm of spirit, love is another name for the very process by which all manifest reality is reunited in history with Spirit. In this sense, it can be said that God is Love...
The futility of which I speak is that the fundamental conflict involved--the war between traditionalists and those at post-traditionalist levels of development--is utterly unresolvable so long as the parties remain at their current level. Really, the only way to "win" the culture war would be to utterly demolish the foundations of the traditionalist's religion...
When I closed my eyes just now, I see bright concentric circles. A bright sun. A neuron? It looks like a balloon. The mind is a balloon. It is filled with heat and light and it expands. It is filled with stuff that moves faster than we can see. It is able to change its shape and appearance. Each thought is like a different balloon animal. The mind can twist itself into different shapes...
Cowboy Troy pioneers new territory. But in respect of its deepest themes, the music fits squarely within the mold of the core rationalist values of self-expression and self-reliance that are so deeply prized by the rap and rock musical genres. "Do Your Thang, Baby Do Your Thang!" Its teen/youth rebelliousness against convention is most original and fascinating not for being shocking, but for its choice of particularly striking pre-conventional memes with which to shock...
Basically, what you have here with this pronouncement by the homophobe-in-chief is an expression of a partially healthy and partially unhealthy view of human sexuality as it looks from a relatively low, traditionalist level of development. It's neither (entirely) right or wrong. It's primitive, child-like, unenlightened, terribly unfortunate, and rather dull.
— Okay, that’s five… now for the bonus round:
1. Must Hear Speech by Barak Obama and the Power of Podcasting http://havefundogood.blogspot.com/2005/12/must-hear-speech-from-barack-obama-and.html
2. Look Ahead Where You Want to Go http://havefundogood.blogspot.com/2005/08/look-ahead-where-you-want-to-go.html
3. How Cool Is UNICEF Now? http://havefundogood.blogspot.com/2005/09/how-cool-is-unicef-now.html
4. Do Good Gifts http://havefundogood.blogspot.com/2005/11/do-good-gifts.html
5. The Purpose Prize http://havefundogood.blogspot.com/2005/11/purpose-prize.html
Will Samson's Top 5 for 2005
2. The next generation of theologians will start as bloggers...
and the follow up to the controversy
these new theologians will not be content with restating the given truths of a bygone era nor, certainly, the cosmologies, philosophies or economies of power that these language worlds of the past came to dominance within. an explosion of nuanced thinking around the myriad details of existence will be felt as the voices of a million empowered perspectives articulate a new network of worlds no less foreign to us now than our's would be to those who labored in Calvin's Geneva, Muhammad's Medina or Augustine's Hippo. a great preponderance of these voices will be coming not from the seminaries or vocationally religious with their shrinking coffers and ever-disgruntled constituencies, but rather from the interconnected lives and words of the normal women and men of Santiago, Montreal, Mozambique and Bangalore...
...these are the questions mumbled forth in silent mourning over the unconscious pain of being sensorially sated to the threshold of boredom; of an informational obesity that sits on one's frame like so much congealed fat trapped under the surface of the skin--pinning one down as if oppressed by an outside force; trapped in the phonemes of narrative systems that do not hold, exploded from the inside by the 1's and 0's of a complexity that will not abate; that spills out in every direction...
...when we state that community is a purpose that we organizationally drive toward we begin spinning our wheels because the insemination, gestation, birth, life and death of community is not purpose-driven. community is outside of our direct volitional control. it is a second-order effect of other things: proximity, common cause, familial and filial love and, most fascinatingly, those sparks of intriguing difference that seduce our imaginations and beckon us to go deeper with a person....
5. The Twelve Days of SmartCommons ChristmasThe next generation of theologians will start as bloggers...
and the follow up to the controversy
3. My last sermon: Harvest - Sermon: Never Lose Sight of the Kingdom
4. Some thinking that fed my last sermon: Grid::Blog::Gospel
5. More thanks to Bob for inviting me to participate: Stumbling Toward Faith - Virtual Book Tour Stop