Category Archive for: ‘Carl’s Thoughts’

  • Question #6: Who is the “we” when you talk about those you’re working with? Sometimes I’m not sure who is on your ‘team’ or your accountability system.

    This is a great question. I don’t get it often, but every once in a while someone will ask who the “we” is. And it’s a great question to answer anyway…

    Legally, we’ve always been accountable to our non-profit board. That has remained constant. We also have an additional “core group” of three couples who know us well and meet with us regularly to inspect and encourage every part of our lives.

    We have also been relationally part of the Vineyard churches and Frontiers for all of these years.

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  • Question #5: You never use numbers of people who have come to follow Jesus or any type of qualitative data for what you do. Why is that? It’s hard to follow what’s going on sometimes with your ministry when we don’t see specific or clear reports.

    A fairly typical newsletter from those in Christian Ministry will have quantifiable measurements of success built into the letter. So you know who you’re supporting and what they’re accomplishing. Fair enough. I’d say that’s the norm. So…why don’t I do that?
    Churches planed. Souls saved. Baptized. Or even conversation hours logged with those you’ve shared your faith. Maybe how many bibles or Jesus Films you’ve given out in the last year. How many homes you’ve visited. These are the things many ministries focus on.
    First let’s try to answer why most ministries do that. Why do you think they do? Here are my thoughts:

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  • Question #4: What is your position on Israel? As you’ve gotten more involved there, I’m often concerned that you may be anti-Semitic.

    I hope you can appreciate that I am attempting to tackle some huge issues, of which 100’s of books have been written, in a short space, in simple terms and in manner that reflects my heart and theology clearly.
    So here’s a biggee – “What about Israel?” I was recently almost disallowed from speaking at a Promise Keepers event because they weren’t sure I was “pro Israel enough.”
    I’ve already written one blog on this – it was a few months ago. You can find it under the name “Israeli for the sake of the Gospel.” Here would be my main thoughts:

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  • Question #3: Are you Evangelical in Your Theology and Missiology?

    Are you Evangelical in your theology and missiology? I never hear you use words that my other evangelical friends use and you always sound a bit fuzzy – almost like a Universalist or something. Can you clarify?

    This is the question I’m most often NOT asked, but I know people are thinking. Of course, “Evangelical” has come to mean many different things, much like the word Christian. So I typically don’t use it when referring to myself.

    The idea of someone being an “Evangelical” was popularized in the 1950’s by Billy Graham and then the publication Christianity Today (and Wheaton College). It was partially as a balance to the thoughts of “Fundamentalist Christians” who were becoming a bit stoic and overly focused on right theology (which, of course, was their theology). Rules and regulations had seemed to overshadow a vibrant relationship with Jesus. So some Christians were arguing for a more compassionate and embracing word to describe their belief as taught in the scriptures (as they saw it).

    The word “Evangelical” seemed to make sense because it had roots in the word “evangel” or the Good News (gospel). And someone who believed in the good news of Jesus Christ, would surely want to spread that news and we call that Evangelism. All fair enough.

    But, of course, words need reformation every few generations, just like cultures do.

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  • Question #2: Your idea that Muslims can follow Jesus and somehow stay Muslim has always confused me.

    This is a big one. And a cornerstone of what we believed God has called us to be a part of…seeing Arab Muslims love and follow Jesus and stay within their context.

    First of all, I’m not a Universalist. The scriptures are clear that a personal relationship with Jesus Christ is the one and only way to life here on earth and forever. All ways do not lead to God. Only Jesus does.

    Let me try several ways to describe what I mean when I say “Muslims following Jesus,” because it is complex.

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  • Question 1: Why do we insist on not using some words and always using others?

    Question 1: Why do we insist on not using some words and always using others? When words like “Christian” or “Missionary” or “Evangelism” have been used for centuries, why would you discard those and try to “make up” some new ones when it only confuses people?

    There are so many times when I think it’d be easier if I simply said to you – and the rest of the world – “Yes I’m a Christian. Church Planting Missionary among Muslims. Making them into Christians and getting them into Churches that meet at 10 am on Sundays.” That would be so much easier!

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  • What do Muslims think of Jesus?

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  • Exploring the Impact of Media

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  • Why Not Talk to Terrorists?

    Remember when I asked your opinions about me writing for the Washington Post? Well, I wrote what I thought I could write – and get it published – and then sent it and never heard back. Just yesterday I found out that they published it back on May 6th and forgot to tell me. So here it is…. Remember, this is for a secular political blog – so I got as much Jesus stuff in as I could and still get it published. Read it through that lens.

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  • Which Religion Saves You?

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