Monday, April 27, 2009
Just a few thoughts on my weekend in D.C. with emergent village friends... a group of 24 people who are re-imagining the future of this amazing living organism. ~ I was honored to be with such an extrordinary group of people. ~ Hanging among the clouds on the ninety minute trip home, again I was reminded of how amazing God's people and God's creation really are! They are. ~ While many people wanted to attend, and the process of selecting a small group to attend was deeply flawed, the Spirit isn't flawed. This particulare group of people was extrordinary... oh yea, I said that already... I bettter head to bed. A prayer as I head to bed: Thank you Lord God, Father, Son, and Spirit, for the amazing things that you have done. And for the amazing things that you have yet to do. In Jesus name.
Posted by Randy Buist at 1:32 AM
Sunday, April 19, 2009
Tony Jones wrote a piece that included a reference to my school hallway brawl with Kevin DeYoung a few weeks back. Here is the link to Tony's post which I find honest and accurate: http://blog.beliefnet.com/tonyjones/2009/04/calling-kevin-deyoung-to-account_comments.html
Posted by Randy Buist at 11:04 PM
Committed to the ways of Jesus Christ, and also aware that we only know bits about our God, I have questions for this day. The questions involved the evangelical idea that we can 'know God.' I realize this is an over-statement. In reality, we can know things about God but not fully know God. In turn, some voices challenging our rethinking of church and following Jesus, propose that following Jesus can not stand apart from propositional truth. My questions: What is propositional truth? What does it even mean within the context of faith? If God is fully knowable, then faith isn't faith. Instead, God is something to be proven like a complext math or chemistry equation. The idea of propositional truth within conversations about faith seem entirely out of place... We know God thru the Spirit that dwells within us. We know God through the community of believers, often referred to as "the people of God" within the biblical text. We know God thru the biblical text. To suggest that we know God thru propositonal truth that stands within the biblical text but not within the church nor the believer, we make the position of the church as well as the moving of the Spirit secondary to the text. One could even suggest the biblical text becomes primary to knowing God. Yet, the biblical text doesn't point us in this direction. It almost always points us toward the Spirit and the community of believers when it comes to affirming our faith. Back to propositional truth... my wife is a chemical engineer, and A+B somtimes equals C. Sometimes they do not. So, if this is the case with chemistry, how is it the case with a living and breathing God?
Posted by Randy Buist at 9:58 PM
Wednesday, April 15, 2009
Read this facebook update this morning from a fifty-something guy... a great blue collar guy who loves Jesus... one grandchild and two on the way... had three of his kids in youth group back in the day... "not news we wanted or expected the tumer in my kidney has grown, the lympnodes in my chest are showing activety. he (doctor) is a little concerned as to how that is affecting the bone cancer. changed my chemo to the one released last monday but did not get it yet from the manufacturer. should be this week. now hoping the va will pay for it cause its so new and cost about 3-4 thousand a month." Brokenness abounds. Yet, brothers and sisters in Christ (myself included) are arguing about stupid stuff that we will never fully understand (i.e. how and why the atonement works). All the while we neglect the ministry of reconciliation. Brokenness abounds, and yet we throw rocks at one another claiming our particular beliefs on salvation are the only correct ones. I John 4:2 reads: "This is how you can recognize the Spirit of God: Every spirit that acknowledges that Jesus Christ has come in the flesh is from God." So, how do we dare add things to that simple list left for us by John, the one Jesus calls 'beloved'? Some argue that we need to hold to the penal substitutionary theory of atonement to be 'Christians.' If this is the case, what are the rest of the faithful called? Frankly, I know this: We are called to the ministry of reconciliation. My friend has cancer and is likely dieing. People are dieing around this world for lack of food and water and health care. Let's get real, and be faithful to the gospel. Perhaps we need to forget about being 'right' and instead be 'righteoues' by wrapping our arms around a world in need of God's goodness, grace, and love. For only these three things remain in the end: Faith, hope, and love.
Posted by Randy Buist at 9:30 AM
Tuesday, April 14, 2009
A friend of mine recently suggested that 'emergent' believers of Jesus don't hold being 'right' a high value. On the other hand, many followers of Jesus think it's imperative that we are 'right' about the things of our faith. I have some questions about being absolutely right: ~ How do we know if we are absolutely right? ~ Even if we are right, what is the cost of being right? ~ Is being right a higher value than our love for God and our love for our neighbor? If being right is of higher value than living at peace with our neighbor, then we don't really take Jesus command to love our neighbor seriously. In I John 4, the disciple closest the the heart of Jesus writes, "7Dear friends, let us love one another, for love comes from God. Everyone who loves has been born of God and knows God. 8Whoever does not love does not know God, because God is love." The text is clear that we are required to love one another and not simpy love God. Thus, it's not really an option if we are to love our neighbor. So, can being 'right' really be a value that is of more importance than loving our neighbor? Perhaps being 'right' is a value assigned to our faith by the reformation more than the biblical text.
Posted by Randy Buist at 1:29 AM
Monday, April 06, 2009
Writen by a very good friend as well as an amazing theologian... Joel McClure Since it is Holy Week, I figured it worthy of pulling out. We believe in the Resurrection of Jesus. We don't just believe that the resurrection happened. We don't just believe things about the resurrection of Jesus. We believe in the Resurrection of Jesus. In a world where it appears that death wins, where violence, murder, disease, and terrorists might cause us to fear and lose heart, we say that we believe in the Resurrection of Jesus. We say that there is a power beyond our understanding that is able to give life back to those who've lost it. And not metaphorical life, but real, actual, fish-eating, hand-touching, word-speaking, bread-breaking, sitting down at the table life. Keep reading here.
Posted by Randy Buist at 10:00 AM
Sunday, April 05, 2009
Palm Sunday with great friends gathering around our kitchen table. The same table that stood in my grandparents home. The same table where I ate many great peanut cookies as well as mashed potatoes and beef roasts. The same table where grandma always invited us to for our annual Christmas cookie decorating. Real gingerbread for some of those cookies. The same table where I learned reverence during the reading of the Bible and during grandpa's very, very long prayers. More than once I was scolded for opening my eyes, giggling, or sipping my drink. The same table now stands in our kitchen. The same table calls us into constant faithfulness to the same God. This morning, on this Palm Sunday, great friends gathered. All are hoping and dreaming and living into faithfulness and righteousness. All of them embrace a 'baptised life' in heart, soul, mind, and strength. At the end of several battling weeks, I hope Holy Week is a reprise for eight days. After Scripture reading, song, and the breaking of bread together, there is no doubt that God's faithfulness continues on to the generations. My grandparent's hopes and dreams are honored and continue to live. So, to the critics of my frineds and of me, today I only say, "You know not of the things of which you speak." I may not always be sure of all things about God. I may care more about living a baptised life than determining whether infant or believers baptism is more correct. I may not always know, but I do know this: God is near.
Posted by Randy Buist at 3:46 PM
Friday, April 03, 2009
The past week has been frustrating on one front. I've chosen to engage various conservative voices regarding the 'emerging church.' Two quick thoughts this morning: 1 - I enjoy the intellectual excercise. Thirteen years of Christian day school, five years of a great liberal arts college founded on Calvin's theology, and three years of seminary make for a good biblical background. So, I enjoy interacting with the biblical text as perceived by others. 2 - Perhaps this bantering isn't healthy at all. I was just reminded of the biblical text... "For he (God) is slow to anger and abundant in lovingkindness." I get angry at people who quickly make determinations about the eternal well-being of my friends. i.e. Kevin's words last week: "Doug Pagitt, who is in no recognizable way a Christian..." When very frustrated and equally angry, the idea of 'abundant in lovingkindness' is forgotten by me. The idea of both 'slow to anger' and 'abundant in lovingkindness' is nearly impossible for us humans to pursue well. Yet, if we are to follow the God we love, if we are going do more than admire God intellectually, then being 'slow to anger and abundant in lovingkindness' are more righteous than being intellectually right in our heads... A read thru Hebrews 11 reminds me again that the faithful live differently than others. Righteousness comes at a price; it excludes throwing sticks and stones as our primary way of interacting with others. Kevin condemned a good friend with whom I've broken bread and shared wine, received and shown hospitality, and with whom I have shared in the body and blood of Christ. So, when you tell me that a friend of mine is not a recongizalbe follower of Jesus, you also question the God of the Scriptures.... and you make me more than a bit agitated. In turn, my family ends up living among my frustration. This is why I question if it is healthy for me to engage.
Posted by Randy Buist at 11:22 AM
Thursday, April 02, 2009
Looking for some generosity: KenyaMatters.org is looking for some people who might be socially conscious and want to make a difference. We have some projects that need attention in Karia, Kenya where we are helping fund an orphanage and community development projects. We have two projects that I want to see funded by the end of April. 1 - Looking for people to donate dollars for mosquito nets for our 30 orphan kids. $10 is enough to buy a treated net as well as installation of that net. So, this will cost $300 bucks total. Any and all donations are appreciated. 2 - We have a micro-business that we are hoping to fund. It is an animal husbandry project involving rabbits. This project looks to be sustainable, and it will give employment to a handful of young people who have graduted from high school but are unemployed. This project will cost a total of $1500. If you are interested in helping with this effort, I would love to talk more...
http://kenyamatters.blogspot.com/ to donate!
Grace & Peace.
Posted by Randy Buist at 11:43 PM
From two great friends in Grand Rapids! Hello Beloved Family and Friends: Jayne & I wanted to invite you to a justice conference that is being puttogether by a group we are involved with. It is going to be on April 18at Oakdale Park CRC near Hall and Kalamazoo. I think we have a greatline up of speakers focusing on timely issues...If this is something youcan forward to your friends/network, please feel free to share withanyone you think would be interested. We are hoping to get a fullhouse! So here is the line up, with a link to our website. You can registeronline - $10 covers lunch and can be pd at the door too. We're trying to firm up the numbers, so if you can register this week it would be helpful! Child care is provided for the morning (register early for this!). Keynote: * Jonathan Bradford, President/CEO of ICCF speaking on "FindingHope in the Foreclosure Crisis" Breakouts:* ICCF will also do a breakout session on how a church can respondif one of its members is facing foreclosure * Kurt VerBeek (live video feed -hopefully - from Honduras)President of Association for a More Just Society. Case study on landreform in Honduras. * Kojo Quartey elder at a local African Church, board member for CR World Missions. Dean of the School of Business at DavenportUniversity, featured in the local media will comment on the globalimpact of international economic crisis, particularly in developingcountries. * Dave Allen (GR Public School Board) will discuss the impact ofthis economy on our local urban schools* Tim and Sharon VanderKodde, Jotham and Marie Ippel, Bruce Boman,- panel on intentional housing choices and the opportunity to do justicethrough where you live. * Kate Kooyman, CRC office of social justice and the MichiganOrganizing Project on the impact of this economy on local immigrantpopulations. * Darrell and Missy Jackson, Bean By Bean Coffee, Local couple andparents of 3 kids under age 6, running a fair trade coffee business outof their basement in Hudsonville, and the relationships they have beenable to build with the farmers they buy from in Guatemala. * Trillium Haven Farms and Mud Lake Farms - Consumer choices,buying locally.Register at: www.justiceinthiseconomy.comWe would love to see you there. Again, please pass this along to anyoneyou think would be interested! Thanks, Keith (and Jayne) Ver Beek email@example.com
Posted by Randy Buist at 6:13 PM