Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Young Boomers Watch More Television

Challies recently reported on a new study by Ball State University.
According to a new "Video Consumer Mapping" study, Americans aged 65 and older spend an average of 420 minutes per day in front of a television screen. 420 minutes per day. Let that sink in for just a moment. That is seven hours; seven full hours. Every day. On average. That means that half of the days it would be more than seven hours. Is that three hours in the morning, perhaps 8 until 11 and then four more in the evening, maybe 7 until 11 PM? How is it even possible? It is unbelievable. And it does not even include time spent watching DVDs or Tivo.

But perhaps it should not be that surprising considering that the average American of any age spends just over five hours per day watching TV. Older Americans, those who have retired, simply add a couple of extra hours onto the television they have already been consuming. America is obsessed.

There's no question this growing trend will continue to shift the landscape of our culture. I'm not sure what the future fall-out will be, but it surely won't be good.

Sunday, March 29, 2009

John Calvin on Worship

Challies recently sited this post from Larry Sibley regarding John Calvin's top ten worship planning ideas. It is very interesting seeing this summary of what the great reformer Calvin felt was important for the church to observe in the public gathering. Here is the complete post. Below is a snippit...

People often come to me and ask, “How can we improve or renew our worship?” My response is that we should restore the central things and practice them robustly, using contemporary forms rooted in the practices of sixteenth century pastor and liturgical reformer, John Calvin. Even though Calvin is most widely known as a systematizer (for his Institutes of the Christian Religion, 1536-1559) and exegete (he wrote commentaries on almost all the books of the Bible), his leadership in liturgical renewal should not be ignored in the twenty-first century.

Gender Roles in the Church

Resurgence recently featured a short post by Mark Driscoll on the prominent views of gender roles in the church. I had never seen them organized exactly this way, but find it interesting. Here's a clip from his post:

- - -

There are three basic views prevailing today in the home and church:

  • Egalitarian (Feministic): There is no innate distinction between the roles of men and women in the home or church. Women can be pastors and men can be stay-at-home dads so that their wives can pursue their careers.
  • Complementarian (Moderate): Men and women are partners in every area of life and ministry together. Though equal, men and women have complementary and distinct gender roles so that men are to lovingly lead and head their homes like Jesus, and only men can be pastors in the church.
  • Hierarchical (Chauvinistic): Women are not only commanded to follow male leadership, but are not given a voice with male leaders, as women are often chauvinistically kept under thumb as the polar opposite of egalitarian feminism.
- - -

It is important for us to have a Biblical understanding of the roles of men and women within the church. It's perfectly wonderful to dialogue and even debate on this issue but it is important that our opinions are formed by our labor with the scriptures and not simply grounded in our opinion of what is right or wrong.

Saturday, March 28, 2009

Does Satan Exist?

My wife Carrie and I just watched the recent Nightline Face-Off debate on the existence of Satan. Mark Driscoll was the pastor representing the evangelical perspective. The debate gives an interesting picture of some of the philosophical views that exist today regarding issues of faith. If you've got a little time to do it, it is definitely a good watch.

Friday, March 27, 2009

Piano Shredder

Sorry my recent posts have been somewhat "off task" in terms of ministry related issues. It's been a busy time, so a little levity has been a good change of pace. In a related vein, next time you can't find anyone to take that 5 ton old piano off your hands, maybe you should consider shredding it.

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Free Voice Lesson

For all of you who want to learn to sing or improve you singing quality, you definitely want to watch this video.

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Iowa City Proposes Buy Out

Some of you may have caught this evening's news on KCRG where they featured a story on Iowa City's very recent proposal to buy out buildings and land in area floodplanes. One of the proposed areas for buy out is Parkview's land south of Taft Speedway that is mostly designated wetlands. If you are a Parkview member interested in more information, please stay tuned. The elder board has pulled together a meeting Tuesday afternoon in order to review this proposal from the city. We'll be getting out information as things develop. If you click on the above link you can watch the video of the news segment.

Friday, March 20, 2009

Lance and Lynn Anderson and Agape Flights

The Anderson family from Parkview is preparing to move to Venice, Florida where they will serve with the missionary agency, Agape Flights. This agency is a logistical support to the missionaries in Haiti and Dominican Republic. Lance will be joining their staff as their IT Director. He will also be doing quite a bit of traveling, providing additional management support in other ministry areas.

To read more about the Anderson's you can check out their blog here. Please consider supporting them in prayer and through financial means.

New Musical Instruments

Wired Magazine recently posted about a contest for newly invented musical instruments. Here are a few samples of the contestants. Not sure any of these will be joining the worship band soon, but hey, maybe some day.

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Unreached People of the Day

I just added an "Unreached People of the Day" box to the right of my blog page. This box is updated daily with a different unreached people group in the world. The idea being that it is our responsibility as global minded followers of Jesus to pray for the people not yet reached with the good news of Jesus Christ. Feel free to use this box as a trigger point for your prayers, or even better, check out the Joshua Project's website where you can learn even more ways about how to pray for or get involved in global mission.

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

More Americans Have No Religion

Not a shocker in our postmodern society, but religion is playing less of a role among the unreached. What this means is that missionally effective churches must contextualize the Gospel for the religiously illiterate. The starting point for preaching in the pulpit and proclaiming in your life must adapt to this reality in order to reach the culture.

Here's a clip from recent findings in an AP article:
A wide-ranging study on American religious life found that the Roman Catholic population has been shifting out o of the Northeast to the Southwest, the percentage of Christians in the nation has declined and more people say they have no religion at all.

Fifteen percent of respondents said they had no religion, an increase from 14.2 percent in 2001 and 8.2 percent in 1990, according to the American Religious Identification Survey.

Northern New England surpassed the Pacific Northwest as the least religious region, with Vermont reporting the highest share of those claiming no religion, at 34 percent. Still, the study found that the numbers of Americans with no religion rose in every state.

Reality Shocker

When one's goal is to expand God's Kingdom on this earth, the globalization of technology within a growing international landscape can be mind-blowing. This video illustrates the world we're called to reach in a very powerful way. Though our global context presents challenges for mission it also presents us with an unprecedented platform for the flourishing of the Gospel. Without a doubt God is up to something.

(HT: Already Been Chewed)

Thursday, March 12, 2009

Love Your Wife Above All Others

In the closing chapter of Sex, Romance, and the Glory of God, C.J. Mehaney reminds husbands that nothing, aside from their love for God, should contest their love and affection for their wife. Not the children, sports, careers, etc. Because our marriage covenant is a reflection of God's covenant with the church, I wholeheartedly agree that guarding our heart for our God and our spouse is fundamental in our life having purpose and integrity for the glory of God. Here's a quote C.J. shares from the puritan John Wing:
A husbands love for his wife, "must be the most dear, intimate, precious and entire that the heart can have toward a creature; none but the love of God.... is above it, none but the love of ourselves is to follow it, all the love of others is inferior to it."

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Childlike Wonder

I don't know if any of you out there are Coldplay fans, but here's one of their new creative videos, "Childlike Wonder." Funny.

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Will the Church Be the Church for Homosexual Christians?

In my college days, and years of ministry since, I have had numerous friendships with homosexual men who were working desperately to reconcile their feelings with their faith. It is a difficult place to be. The church is generally uncomfortable welcoming and loving people with same-sex desires and the homosexual finds himself wrestling in the private hell of wanting close companionship, yet being unable to enjoy a relationship that is incongruous with their Biblical convictions.

This article by Wesley Hill really captures the struggle of what it's like being the person who wrestles to find hope in the midst of homosexuality. What I appreciate most about this article is the indirect appeal Wesley makes for a the church to be a caring community for people wrestling with these issues. I appreciate Wesley's heartfelt thoughts and look forward to his book, which should be coming out soon on the topic of Christianity and homosexuality.

Here's the article.

(HIT: Taylor)

Easter Times Announced

The following are the service times for this seasons Easter services.

Good Friday Services: April 10
  • 5:30 pm
  • 7:00 pm
Services will be located in the worship center and child-care will be provided for ages k and under.

Easter Services: April 12
  • 8:00 am - Service 1
  • 9:30 am - Service 2
  • 11:00 am - Service 3
Services with live music will be happening in both the Chapel and Worship Center. Child-care will be provided for ages k and under. We'll be offering a complimentary breakfast (via free tickets) for those attending the early service in time increments starting at 7 am.

More information will be coming in the near future!

Monday, March 09, 2009

Land On the Horizon

By a large majority, Parkview Church voted this evening to move forward with the acquisition of a 32 acre plot of land that straddles Coralville and North Liberty two miles north of the Coralridge Mall. There are numerous contingencies that must be met for the deal to be final, but if everything lines up, we expect to close on the property no later than Fall 09. The next major steps involve making a decision regarding what to do with our existing property and beginning master plan development for our new site. Below is the recent image of the Forevergreen property we voted to purchase.