Abductive Columns

Thursday, September 30, 2004

Creative Missional Engagement (1)

I’m always contemplating creative ways to engage our culture. I’ve found others who are doing the same.
How about redemptive parties?

The Lingering Lemon of Death
Living Room Christmas Redemptive Party

The Living Room

If you have a few examples of creative missional engagement drop me a comment here and I’ll post your idea.

Wednesday, September 29, 2004

Going or Gathering?

A couple of years ago Phil Wyman, moved to Salem, Massachusetts to plant a church. He liked the area but was also drawn to the people, many of whom happened to be witches and/or hardcore neo-pagans.

As a way of trying to make a genuine connection with this unusual community, Phil and his flock volunteered to help set up and facilitate the annual Salem Witches convention. According to Phil 40-50,000 people come into town to learn more about Witchcraft and paganism. And just like us they need chairs set up, too.

In order to blend in (and have some fun) Phil and his church opened a couple of booths. Apparently it can cost up to $60 for a 30-minute palm reading, so his group ran a "free" Psalm Reading Booth and people stood in line for 45 minutes waiting their turn. They also hosted a free Dream Interpretation Booth where they listened to people’s dreams and then told them how much God loves them and wants’ to help them.

Scary? Never mind...it’s about going not gathering! Off-the-Map [more]

Tuesday, September 28, 2004

More Good Stuff From Will Sampson of Willzhead

Will Sampson over at willzhead keeps filling my cup. He points me to the blog of Conrad Gempf the author an intriguing little book titled Jesus Asked. A book at the top of my "best books of 2003."

Surprise, surprise Conard has a blog. [link]


an honest, insightful post by Mike Cope

One of my graduate school professors insisted that a preacher should spend one hour in study for every minute he preaches. That's great advice -- if the goal is to preach sermons. For much of my preaching life, I've preached two sermons a week. That would be 50 hours of study. While in Searcy, I preached three sermons a week. That would be 75 hours of study.

I was trained to do just that. With seven years of Greek and a couple years of Hebrew along with class after class of textual studies, I was prepared to do one thing: study. I had (for the most part) incredible profs. I don't regret most of the classes.

But I was never taught other things: like how to be missional, how to help form a missional church, how to pray, how to disciple people in the way of Christ, etc…

There was never any training and mentoring in how to connect with lost people, how to move Christians from consumer-demands to kingdom-service, how to start justice-based ministries, or how to plan worship that forms people and prepares to send them out in Jesus' name.

Read the complete post [link]

Monday, September 27, 2004

More Emergent Resources

Here's a ton of downloads for those of the emergent persuasion. [more]

Rant On!

David Hopkins, former editor of Next Wave Magazine does a little ranting. Since I have been known to do a little myself I like to advertise a well-intentioned harangue. [More}

Musings on Discipleship

Currently, many faith communities are led by baby boomers (which would be me). Obviously boomer leaders wear modernism's filters. And one of the failures of modern ministry is the neglect of discipleship. (Or is it misapplication?) For too long we have assumed that when a new disciple has made the decision to give their life to God they will “wham-bam,”—miraculous develop kingdom character as the angels party of their behalf. Pray with them, baptize them and they will automatically live by kingdom principles (which, btw, are counter cultural). God saves him/her...they become part of the faith community, then give them a regular dose of linear, rational preaching & teaching and "presto" they have developed the mind of Christ. We know better. People don't overcome the old life that easy (which by the way is much more natural and easier to live). We have to provide a forum that helps people learn to seek reconciliation instead of legal assistance, to walk the extra mile and to turn the other cheek. And most important to teach them that Absolute Truth is not found in a position but in the person of Jesus Christ. All other truth is polyphonic.

As we travel along this continuum of time it's difficult to see clearly since we don't fully understand or see what lies ahead. But as we travel through this POMO tunnel (headed to something else called another era) we all encounter the remnants of modernism. All transitions must put up with remnants of the past (especially early on---the further into the tunnel we travel the fewer leftovers). Remember the Jews who wanted to carry circumcisions into a new era?

So my point: maybe we talk "emerging and new era" but unknowingly continue to practice much of our ministry in a modern context. What say you?

Sunday, September 26, 2004

Emergent Primer

For those needing a primer on the emerging church Rodger Sellers did readers a favor when he packed up his camper and traveled to twelve emerging, post-modern churches around the U.S. this summer. Roger also has a report on the Emergent Conference in Nashville, Tennessee.

Covenant Community Church, Louisville, KY

Ecclesia, Houston, TX

Journey, Dallas, TX

Jacob’s Well, Kansas City, MO

Pathways Church, Denver, CO

Scum of the Earth Church, Denver

The Next Level Church, Denver

Denver Community Church

Spirit Garage, Minneapolis, MN

Bluer. Minneapolis, MN

Solomon’s Porch, Minneapolis, MN

Church of the Apostles, Seattle, WA

Click here to read his travelogue


According to research by Tex Samples, the brain's ability to read print is about 100 bits per second. Amazingly, the brain’s ability to take in images is approximately a billion bits per seconds. In other words a picture is worth 10 million words.

Missional messengers and prophets for God need to see themselves less as “wordsmiths” than “imagesmiths.” People today don’t remember sermons outlines; they remember metaphors.

Adapted from Rev Magazine

For the Sake of God Consider Your Outdated/Cheesy Church Website (Brochure)

Church web sites can be a cemetery for outdated information and worse – spinning barrels and other animated graphics that shouldn't be. Perhaps a blog can be the cure for what ails church web sites.

The technology makes web publishing easy and affordable and lets your church web site be more than a glorified brochure. A blog can foster and encourage online as well as offline community, and make your site a regular destination for church members.

::from the Church Marketing Sucks weblog::

Saturday, September 25, 2004

Scriptural Application

You can challenge me on this one if you want; but I sincerely believe the most disobeyed Scripture is James 5:16

Confess your sins to each other and pray for each other so that you may be healed. The prayer of a righteous man is powerful and effective.

Are you practicing this consistently in community?

In taking this passage to the other extreme the Catholic Church, at the least, showed their perceptiveness for achieving a greater degree of spiritual healthiness through confession.

And then the most disbelived Scripture—Acts 20:35

It is more blessed to give than to receive.


There are some excellent resources that have recently become available.

Andrew Perriman of Open Source Theology has free MP3 downloads of a four part session by N.T. Wright called the Future of the People of God. These are big files and you might find their server busy at different times during the day but keep going back, these downloads are worth it. I downloaded all the files early in the morning in no less than five minutes (broadband) and then burnt them onto a CD and listened as I drove.

Len Sweet’s new book Out of the Question/Into the Mystery might be the most significant of the twenty books he has written. His existential approach in this book will probably not fit well with the many formal, historic understandings of the Christian faith, but then, that's the point. All of Christendom needs to hear this book but my heritage would especially benefit of what’s in its pages.

Of all the great Christian music now available, in my opinion, no one is better than Chris Tomlin. His new CD titled Arriving was released on September 21. Buy it now!

Friday, September 24, 2004


The following is a clipped email conversation I had with Andrew Perriman in December 2002.

From: Fred Peatross
Date: December 2002
To: Andrew Perriman
Subject: missional movement


I’m here attempting to Carpe Manana (seize tomorrow) in an established pre-existing (progressive) faith community that unknowingly is deeply influenced by modern culture. You apparently are coming at this from outside the traditional church culture. What you have (it seems to me) is similar to picking up a book that has no writing between the covers and you have pen in hand. From my side of the fence your lawn looks neatly manicured while mine appears to be full of weeds. FRED

Andrew Perriman

Date: December
To: Fred Peatross
Subject: re: missional movement


I have to say that from my side of the fence my lawn looks like a small scrawny patch of grass in a neglected corner of a wilderness—but that’s perspective for you! But you are right, at least in as much as we are trying to mobilize an existing church community to make this happen. On the other hand, we mostly remain connected with established churches and I hope we will be able to work productively with these churches rather than isolated from them. It is important to remember that there is not the same level of complacency here (London, England) that there is in the church in the US. One detects at times a real sense of desperation, which may make people more open to try new things. ANDREW

Thursday, September 23, 2004

from Len Sweet's Annual West Va. Mountain Retreat

Without comment: From the September Len Sweet Mountain Retreat with George Barna and Sweet (in my home state of West Virginia)--

· Currently only 65% of self-professed Christian in America experience their faith through the local church, and that is diminishing every year. He predicts that by 2025 only about one-third of Americans will experience their faith through what we would define today as a local church.
· According to Barna, the people who sit in our pews on Sunday morning are statistically unrecognizable from everyone else in the culture in terms of their actions and attitudes. Great quote from Sweet to augment this thought: "John Stuart Mills said if you base a religion on a set of beliefs in a very short time the followers will look just like the rest of the culture. Mills was a prophet."

::taken from Will Sampson's Weblog; for a more complete report following this [link]
better yet visit Will Sampson's "Wilzhead" Blog a compliation of great thoughts on emerging church::

Wednesday, September 22, 2004

Thoughts that challenge

I have a shepherd friend who emailed me the following challenging thoughts.

Fred: I’m in a hotel near Birmingham England. Visited a couple of cathedrals on this trip; neat places. Love to go to them and think about the effort, time, construction methods... and people it took to build them. I can't help think about how I can see the evidence of faith (imperfect faith maybe... but faith) in man and the results of their faith hundreds of years later.

When I think about our religious efforts today, I wonder how they will pass the test of time. I’m okay with even leaving buildings and structures behind for the next generations to see the evidence of our faith, but those structures must be relevant to society today. So I have spent some time thinking about what type of “hardware” we should be investing in to serve our society today and then be an inspiration for the next generation.

Wandering aimlessly in the wilderness may have weeded out the weak ones from God's people, but God's plans for mankind didn't go forward until they moved once again with purpose across the Jordan. I also wonder where our Jordan is that needs to be crossed.

We plan on getting together and thinking these thought through. Want to contribute to the conversation? We'd love to hear your thoughts. Be sure to post your comments.

A New Christian Lexicon: Evangelism or Ordinary Attempts

I don’t like the word evangelism. It’s a word with a good heart but a bad reputation. Jim Henderson of Off-the-Map says we should start calling our evangelistic efforts Ordinary Attempts (OA). I like that phrase much better because it suggest what we do…

So make a few OAs today…

Ask someone “how they are”…and actually listen.

Pray “behind someone’s back” and then tell them later

Ask a “tip sensitive” server about her life, outside work.

Hold the door open for someone

Give a little money away

Tuesday, September 21, 2004

God Is Writing on the Pages of Our Life

After years of "putting up with" the criticisms my writings and ministry concepts have brought with them, I ended up taking the road of least resistance; rolling up in a cocoon of self-preservation to protect myself from these "other" Christians. Only recently have I endeavored to move outside this protective wall and engage with other believers in any meaningful way.

The irony of my story is that I've made many pre-Christian friends and for the first time in my Christian life I now have more non-Christian friends than Christian.

Monday, September 20, 2004

Abductive Columns Newsletter

I write a companion newsletter called Abductive Columns; it is sent out periodically with no definite schedule. Sign up! I believe it will seize your imagination and transport you from the comfort of your current world.
Fred Peatross

In the Midst of Transitioning

In this ongoing transition from modernism to postmodernism we have a mix of people with copious worldviews. But in the very near future we will watch a generation be born in an exclusively postmodern environment. The United Kingdom, Western Europe, Australia, and Canada have been post-Christian for a decade or more. Western America is quickly becoming postmodern while eastern America brings up the tail. Latin America is a decade behind us in this transition. This being so, we need to see ourselves as missionaries.

Guess what? Missionaries cross borders to incarnate culture.

New Birth

Well, here's the evolution of (another) new blog; the third one I've started. I'm not sure why but it seems over time I have the tendency to fall behind and then lose interest.