Street Cred notes

This past Sunday, Pastor Brad Mullinax spoke on about "Street Cred," pushing us to think about Jesus' credibility and how we reflect that in our own lives. Brad is the Pastor at Neriah Baptist Church here in Rockbridge County. He and his wife Bethany love Jesus and, wonderfully, love college students. Below are my notes from his talk:
How does our culture view Jesus?
- An accessory...something to use to make your life a little better
- be used when convenient, but tossed when costly (see politics)
- A be used in times of crisis, but tossed in times of calm

Our culture uses Jesus

Matthew 16:13ff..."What's my street cred?"...urgency, revelation, this stuff will change your life

2 Corinthians 2:17...fragrance of life, fragrance of death...temptation to water-down for acceptance

2 Timothy 4:1-5...everyone to listen to this, have an answer not an argument, tell a's about both life and proclamation

You are here for a reason!

Donald Miller's thoughts

In my talk last Sunday, I referenced Donald Miller's thoughts on voting Democrat. Although I don't agree with everything he says (especially with his endorsing of a candidate), I found his approach to be interesting. Check it out:
Burnside Writers Collective


Talks online

I've started posting our Large Group talks on-line, if you'd like to re-listen to them. The website is: Large Group Talks. You can also listen to last week's talk here:

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Notes and thoughts from Burr's talk

Last Sunday, Burr Datz asked and reflected on this question: "What does it mean to be called?" With his usual clarity and easiness, he offered up several implications for our calling. What follows are my notes and some of my responses.

John 15:16ff calling

"No one goes home humming a homily"...proceeds to play The Summons
I love the way Burr included music in his message. This song, along with the song at the end, created space for to process his message and let it soak in before rushing back off to our busy lives.

Defining freedom...for some, the definition of freedom is to choose for yourself...what happens to this definition when we introduce themes of calling..."You did not choose me, I chose you."

Mark 1...Jesus' calling and baptism...helplessness as a child and teenage love as images of being chosen..."You are my Beloved Son..."

Jesus' choosing is irrevocable...relationship full of call and response...surrender...this proves difficult because we are fallen...Romans 11...we are always going to need mercy because we are always going to mess up...The law is information, love is is a response to being chosen
I love how Burr pushes us toward a relational, rather than rule-based dynamic in our life before God. This often proves difficult for us, as we forget daily that God is a person, not an idea
Being chosen can lead to arrogance...this is why grace is so important...look as the stumbling examples God gives us (Moses, David, Jonah, Peter)...they are us...called = flawed
If we are all called by God, then there's no room for pride. Were we not broken, flawed, fallen, we would need no call. But we have one. What does this tell us about ourselves? About God?
Luke 1...Mary as an archetype of chosenness...Her "thy will be done" echos into the teaching and life of her Son and Savior...Barrenness is a fantastic symbol of where we are not in control...Mary shares her news
Protestants often shy away from the Mary character in the Jesus story. But she is included for a reason. Burr deftly shows us her chosenness and responsiveness, along with her blessedness.

There are a lot of Protestants in GCF and the room definitely tensed up when Burr mentioned Mary. I really appreciate his ability, as a Catholic, to navigate those tensions without undue provocations or compromise. Burr reminded me that I need to think more about the role of Mary in the redemption story.