Thursday, March 29, 2007

Fish stink

Luke 5:1-11

Fishing. Now that's something that Peter could do. You don't find yourself, some 30 plus years of age, doing the same thing over and over again since your daddy taught you when you were a little runt and not being pretty darn good at it. Peter had to have been a good fisherman, but sometimes you land a sweet catch and sometimes you don't. This time he didn't. All night long and not even a wandering crab (provendential failure, perhaps?)

Contrast this with the next scene: a haul of fish so massive that neither the net nor two fishing boats combined could sustain the weight of the catch.

And the difference between the two scenes: a program? an ideology? a strategy?


A great catch of fish, but it didn't come easily. The fish could only be found in deep waters. Deep waters. But deep waters are ... deep! They're dark! They're far away from shore, from home, from comforts. Out there in deep waters, there's so much uncertainty! We're sitting ducks at the mercy of the sea!

That's what we think.

Jesus, he just thinks, deep waters ... where else can I find enough space to summon all those fish to mash themselves into Peter's net?

And the rest is history. After Jesus comes on the scene, everything changes, nothing matters anymore. The earth-shattering, record-breaking, career catch of fish, the busted nets, the soggy boats; they're all left to rot on the beach. Jesus has just walked into their lives and it is no gamble for them to leave everything and follow him. From now on, they'd be catching men. From now on, they'd be forever caught by Christ.

Tuesday, March 27, 2007


On a certain mountain stands a tall tablet shaped stone with a flat surface. On it are inscribed words. The words are not in any foreign language, and although the phrases are a little mysterious in meaning at times, what it says is generally straight forward. Many people gather at the foot of this stone. They carefully read the words and then scribble their own words onto a parchment and head back down the mountain and tell others what they wrote. Of course not everyone has the same reflections about what the stone said, so they spend their time arguing with one another to see who's right. Some people go to the stone, read what it says, but don't write anything down. They simply try to remember what the stone said, head down the mountain and begin putting it into practice as best they can.

Much of theology can be reduced to grown men who don't know how to say those 3 precious words: "I don't know". What they do not know they strive to know and in so doing build vast systems to help them organize their thoughts on God. God is in no way impressed with them. Rather, he delights in the one who meditates on his words day and night, who remembers what it says and puts it into practice.

The emerging church is moving in the direction of orthopraxy over orthodoxy (right living over right knowing) and I don't think it's such a bad thing. Of course there are some fundamental truths that can never and should never be compromised. There can never be a truly postmodern, relativistic Christian. But I can appreciate the emphasis. It's time to move. It's time to start living as if we actually believe in the supremacy of Christ and the desperate need this world has for the gospel. It's time we come down from the mountain and show the world that we know God and we have his word.