Sunday, May 27, 2007

my box

i don't know why i remember this song from eighth grade. it's weird i know. my eighth grade english teacher, mrs. allard, was a little eccentric (isn't that a prereq for being an english teacher :). but we got to read some really good books. she must have taught us this song by Malvina Reynolds sometime:

Little boxes on the hillside,
Little boxes made of ticky-tacky,
Little boxes, little boxes,Little boxes, all the same.
There's a green one and a pink one
And a blue one and a yellow one
And they're all made out of ticky-tack
And they all look just the same.

since then, i find myself singing this song in my head, sometimes out loud. my kids and wife know it by heart. the song's about houses in suburbia, and more about the values that suburbia represents.

recently, i read a book called technopoly by neil postman. one of postman's main themes is that any new technology brings about a culture change...and western culture is far too naive about how it accepts new technologies without thinking through it's implications.

for example, the monks of medieval times invented a clock (can you imagine a world without a clock?!), to tell them when to stop and pray. the clock, though, later turned out to be the foundation of production (we can now measure the amount of work done / hour) and industrialism.

crazy, eh?

this is what i'm wondering lately: has anyone questioned the implications of the "technology" of a house?
...of each house containing all that is needed in itself for a "good life?"
...of each house being a little haven for a nuclear family, and only a nuclear family?
...of each room being a little haven for each member of that family?
...of the luxury of having enough rooms for kids to sleep in different rooms, when one family used to all sleep together?

i know that there's a move from the suburbs back into the city. the suburbs are looked down on by those city folks. but really, is it any different? so you have a flat or a house that's right next to another house for a box. i have a whole house on a little land for a box. a box is a box, right?

i'm starting to feel that our version of boxes in america is stopping the fulfillment of our deep longing for authentic relationships. i know that others are feeling the same way. is anyone doing anything that is out-of-the-box? :)

Wednesday, May 23, 2007

just jesus

long-expected one
good ruler
life bringer
alpha and omega
creation restorer

he's of a different era, dispensation!
don't model his ministry!
he came for Israel!
he's before the church!
reinterpret his teachings!
be careful with him!

no. jesus. just jesus!
the king of the kingdom
the sender of the Spirit
the teacher of his followers
the savior of all the nations
the master of the universe!

my king! just jesus.

Thursday, May 03, 2007

myers briggs (mbti) and ministry

i've always really liked the personality theory of myers-briggs. well, actually, not always. at first i hated it because i thought it boxed me, categorized me as something without first consulting me to see if i wanted to be categorized.

but now i really like it. REALLY like it. my ENFP friends still really hate it...and thus verify their ENFP description :) . it helps me in at least four ways....

helps me understand myself
helps me understand others and my relationship to them (especially my marriage)
helps me help people in teams understand each other (communication, conflict, etc.)
helps me understand whole groups of people and organizations

this last one is really interesting to me. it seems like you can really understand whole groupings of people by MBTI. this especially helps me understand christian denominations and churches. for example...
~churches that value emotional worship and future-oriented/inspirational teaching (charismatic/pentecostal) seem more NF.
~churches that value doctrine, tradition, and right teaching (baptist, bible churches, conservative presbyterian) above all seem more ST.
~churches who really value service and social justice (more mainline churches) above all seem more SF.
~churches who like ritual and other hands-on worship styles (anyone with icons, statues, candles, etc.) seem S.

(i'm just not sure where NT fits? i am an NT and i don't feel like NT fits anywhere...or better, it might fit uncomfortably almost anywhere :)

i know there's more to church groupings than that. (like socio-economics!) but this perspective really helps me understand groups more. i think ideally, the church shouldn't be grouped by personality types and gifting. but that's just how it is most of the time.

most conflict in church beliefs and between church leaders i think can be partially viewed through mbti. for example, in the emerging church, mark driscoll....high T....brian mcclaren....F. for that matter, it seems most people in emergent village, F, modern christianity, T.

here's a really weird thing to me: i believe that personality is mostly wired in us by God. so if we are drawn to certain beliefs, values and denominations because of personality, it seems like personality might predispose us in our beliefs. i'm still getting my head around that. in any case, this perspective helps me have more grace than judgement on those different than me and if it helps me love like jesus, i'm excited about it. i think if i ever wrote a book, it'd be on something like this.....

you can take a uncredentialed, free version of the test here....