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I spend my days doing stuff for Soul Survivor NZ and my church "Blueprint" in Wellington NZ. I am perplexed, amazed, in awe of, and spend a lot of time thinking about this revolutionary called Jesus and what it means to follow Him.

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Recommended Reading

Tuesday, July 31, 2007 by Sam

Ok, Karl isnt going to like this (after this post) but here are a couple of things worth reading (in my books.... heheh books..) Click on the pics to get taken to amazon if you wanna buy them.

Im about halfway through this book, and it is absolutely brilliant. Written by the one of the founders of the modern 24/7 prayer movement, the book looks at the questions surrounding God's silence in answering some prayers. A major catalyst for the exploration was His wife being diagnosed with a brain tumour, and so that journey is interwoven throughout the book. Its brilliant.

And Im so 2006 right now, but ive re-read Velvet Elvis by Rob Bell, and it was an enormously life giving read. Probably the book that puts the most wheels in my understanding of the christian faith. I went out a brought a bunch of copies for some friends in hard places, its being so good to read this again. If you havent read it I would recommend it as one well worth the effort.

And latest person to get added on my links page, naked pastor. Quickly becoming one of my favourite reads. Brutal honesty, and lots of hope (in a peculiar way).

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Soul Survivor Website

Monday, July 30, 2007 by Sam

Soul Survivor NZ has a sweet new website, and with a brand new "News" section. You can subscribe to the RSS feed, and we are keeping it updated regularly. Check it out here

Get Angry

Friday, July 27, 2007 by Sam

So after a bit of a hiatus, Darryl is blogging again. Check out his rants here

Im speaking at a couple of places this weekend, and the Soul Survivor crew are hanging out, which will be fun. Writing talks is like doing assignments, and im king procrastinator. I pay for it with stress.
Im an idiot... and i kinda like it (its fun)... but im stressed... (and as you read this you are thinking "and confused")

Why am I writing on my blog when I could be wiring my talk? Why?

That is all


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Humility and emerging church

Thursday, July 26, 2007 by Sam

Muhaha, who feels a little bit lashed on this one??

Classic series of posters having a good dig at the emerging church movement. Check em out here

HT Andrew Jones

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Wednesday, July 25, 2007 by Sam

I thoroughly enjoyed reading this post from Scott McKnight in recent days.

Had a cool time today having a chat to Sean, famous for his blog "The funny thing is". Brilliant yarns, great guy, and a nice hot chocolate from that institution of institutions; McDonald's.
In other news, I discovered some grey hair today after getting a haircut from the someone at my church. I know you don't give a rip, but its big news for me. Has the world ended? Im still working that one out.

And bumped into Karl from Karls Grumpy on my way to have a beer with my mate Andrew Galloway from Not Quite Promethian. Off to home group now with Phill from Virtual Phill and Andy from Think Street.

I like that NZ is a small place.

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All Man

Sunday, July 22, 2007 by Sam

This video was edited by my "friend" Andrew Galloway... the little punk (and yes there will be justice) and is from the first Fuse event (blogged about here). Ive being sitting on this for a little while, mostly out of fear of the "tall poppy syndrome" that we have here in NZ, but its a bit of laugh so here we go... mock on

There are some great conversations developing in the comments section here and here. I have being craving these sorts of yarns for ages, and I hope they are conversations where I can gleam some nuggets of wisdom from those that read this blog because they are both BIG theological issues that have huge implications for our practice and outworking of our faith. If you have any understanding on either of them please chip in (and be nice to each other!)

A bigger - and smaller view of Mission

Thursday, July 19, 2007 by Sam

Selected excerpts from one of the most thought provoking articles ive read in quite some time. Written by John G. Stackhouse who is professor of Theology and Culture at Regent College in the states.

"Much of the energy of the great 19th-century missionary movement among Westerners, and much of the impetus of missions work around the world to this day, has come from the horror of a Niagara of souls pouring into a lost eternity for want of an evangelist. We also need to acknowledge, however, a corresponding horror in the hearts of many—including many missions-minded Christians—about a God who allows whole nations and generations to plunge into a lost eternity simply because no one happened to reach them with the gospel. Does faithfulness to the Bible mean we must retain this picture?"

"No religion is salvific: not Hinduism or Shinto or Islam, but also not Christianity. God is salvific. Practicing religion, however correct it is and however correctly one practices it, will not save you. That is basic Christian conviction. It is trusting God that will save you—that also is basic Christian conviction".

"I am a professional theologian, so of course I think theology matters. Theology can help us live better or worse, depending on its quality. But theological accuracy is not the heart of the gospel. Encountering God's Spirit and responding in faith to him in that encounter is what finally matters. And how God meets people, through whatever theology they might have, in whatever circumstances, is ultimately not visible to us".

"God is not interested in saving merely human souls. He wants human beings, body and soul. Furthermore, he does not settle for saving human beings, but the whole earth. He made it in the first place, pronounced it "very good," and he wants it all back. So he is saving us, the lords he put over creation, as part of his global agenda to rescue, indeed, the globe."

It sounds quite liberal in bite size (dont you hate how labels box stuff in) but in its entirety is pretty solid and makes some solid arguments. I have being carrying some fairly big questions around the heaven and hell doctrine - the call to evangelism and reconciling it with the small percentage of the worlds population that call themselves christian, and this to date has being the most concise exploration into these issues that I have read.

I am a frustratingly slow processor so it will take some time before I will be able to critique it from my filters of scripture, tradition, experience and reason (go the Wesleyan quadrilateral!). But something of this article resonates with me. Would be interested in your thoughts or insights (but read the whole thing please!).

On another tangent

I am stealing Mr Darnells discovery here but I dont think I can hold off. There is a whole radiohead tribute album to radiohead's "Ok Computer" for free here.
And it is absolutely stunning - though very very unusual.

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Sunday, July 15, 2007 by Sam

A classic clip from some very funny Wellingtonians. A much needed break for this blog from ranting and raving to having a look at other issues many of us ignore.

Like "rogue unicorns" and the "happy monkey disease".


Friday, July 13, 2007 by Sam

I'm slightly suprised

HT Marko


Money money money... and p0rn

Thursday, July 12, 2007 by Sam

It turns out my last post was one of a couple here in NZ on the subject yesterday. I feel strangely prophetic, and very cutting edge - haha whatever.
Couple of very respected voices speaking to the issue of giving, money and prosperity theology in a far more clear and concise way.
Mr Ritchie
Mr Windsor

Related is this post by my good mate Chez. What frustrates me about this post isnt the disappointment at a porn king helping out a bunch of war vets and saving their RSA. Its that I dont think we have any right to call anyone a "vile son" or a "spawn of Satan". Crikey, I would lump myself in the same boat as Mr Crow when it comes to a desperate need for the grace and mercy of God. Im always a disappointed when people call others names like that. *sigh* Its too easy to do on a blog and I dont think it is a prophetic statement at all. Loving your enemies, blessing those that hurt you, giving to the poor, standing with the marginalised and those on the fringes, serving others without a hidden agenda is a prophetic statement in my books. And its prophetic when it is actions not words.

God help me not waste my time and energy getting too frustrated with theologies practices of others. And help me to become more aware of the practices and understandings in my life that need changing. Help me to be a person who builds your radically inclusive and upside down kingdom so that others may know your insane grace and how sweet it is being in relationship with you.

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Consumerism Sucks

Wednesday, July 11, 2007 by Sam

I have some beliefs, and I have some unbelief's. I just don't know what my unbelief's are yet. I believe stuff thats wrong. Ive yet to discover that stuff.

In that context, I want to say that I cant believe how prevalent the "prosperity" doctrine is here in NZ. And it really jars with me. Turning God into some sort of investment pokie machine where you "sow" into your future blessing and then enjoy the fruit. Arggghhhh. And its feels like its everywhere, normally quite subtle, sometimes really overt. I have being surprised this year a number of times when these talks and this theology pops up. In my opinion it butchers scripture, it poops over what Jesus modelled, taught and lived. It doesn't fit with the narrative of scripture from genesis to revelation as I understand it .

From my perspective it is simply morphing the values of the world in which we live and lumping them on following Jesus. And it appeals to my desire for more stuff. Consumerism wins.

William D. Taylor who is the global ambassador for World Evangelical Alliance and the Mission Commission wrote:

Why have younger and appealing heresies, such as the theology of prosperity, had such an impact not only in the rich West, but also in the economically poor South? Might it not be time for us to openly address heresies assaulting (either like a quiet virus or an open attack) Evangelicals that must deal with?

He goes on to say that "wholistic commitment to the Triune God allows us to address these issues of poverty, transformation, advocacy, religious liberty, public engagement and such from a robust theology of God, the world, the church. We must be sure that we don’t lose sight of those aspects. We must deal with a theology of violence, suffering, persecution and martyrdom."

What really bites from my perspective is that young people get hurt... get really really nailed. When you give your little heart out, make a huge pledge that ultimately will probably benefit those running the event or the person speaking... and your new girlfriend doesn't turn up, you don't get your new dream job, your don't walk into financial blessing, your friend still has cancer - well you start questioning whether the whole enchilada is a hoax.

Best case scenario is that these people who get burnt by this excrement (and actually have the courage to journey through the pain of it and not completely bail on Jesus) wind up in churches but are so jaded and cynical about anyone talking about money that they don't do give anything to anyone and consumerism wins again.

Stu (Mr Wisdom himself) said "i don't think that the test of the authenticity of Christianity is in it's weathering persecution, i think persecution distills fortitude in people and will make a cause worth dying for (even if it isn't).i think the test of the authenticity of Christianity is how it weathers through the apathy of affluence. If Jesus can work with that messy substance, then he can work with anything. found at this post

We are meant to give. We need to break the hold that consumerism has on our lives. In following Jesus I would argue we are called to be recklessly, wonderfully generous, especially to the poor. And in doing so live a life of freedom from being owned by the dollar. Its fun being generous, its a great reputation to develop, the poor are better off. And its surprising how simply we can actually live. Two places I would suggest to give some coin regularly; Tear Fund and Amnesty NZ. And support missionaries and YFC (or inceedo) workers and others that live off the generosity of others and blueprint soul survivor workers : ) Comprehensive list of places to flick some coin here Stop thinking about it so much, stop justifying your consumerism, stop being lazy and apathetic and just do it. Just set up the automatic payment, start living more simply. Start feeling the tension of having so much in a world that has so little.

And lastly, a cool little post I just read that is totally unrelated but "hehe" funny as well as kinda true.

The thing about evangelism is this: People can spot it a mile off and they run a mile (so they generally end up two miles from it, depending upon the relative speeds of the evangelism and their running). I have found that evangelism is probably the least effective form of evangelism. If you want to communicate your faith to someone else the best way to do it is not to try.

And read this

You can go now

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Breathe in the air

Sunday, July 08, 2007 by Sam

Me and Dad went for a walk to enjoy the sunset this evening. I reckon we are spoilt here in NZ to have these sorts of views on our front doorstep all the time. These pictures were taken literally 20 meters from our house this evening. After a busy and sometimes stressful couple of weeks, it has being a wonderful day of slowing down and inhaling again. Some nice waves today, cold water!

Kapiti Island

Dad :)

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Midwinter Sludge

Friday, July 06, 2007 by Sam

There is a certain point normally around this time of year when life kinda bites. I think its the lack of sun, cold, rainy days with a sense of groundhog to the days and weeks - and for heaps of people its a real tough place where things seem to hit the fan a little more frequently and with a little more ease than they normally do.

Two recent posts in the order that they need to be read that reflect well the place that I find myself at the moment.

And to completely overstate things and get all dramatic (coz I am absolutely no where near living to the ideals of this statement below.... by many country miles) check out this great quote

HT Markitos

And finally an amazing quote that I found on my mate Nick's facebook page (how embarrassing).

"We are the middle children of history. We have no war and we have not lived through any great depression. Our war is a spiritual one, our great depression is our lives"


Monday, July 02, 2007 by Sam

No bloggy woggy for a couple of days, being up in Wanganui as per last post, and had a blast at Matt and Monicas wedding yesterday, another blueprint wedding. For such a small church, there just seems to be wedding after wedding. Must be something in the water. Now if I could just find that tap...

Here is a video that has inspired me in youth work more than any other. I try and watch it once ever couple of months, or whenever I need a rev up. Mike Yaconelli died in 2003 but his life keeps on affecting people all around the place. Tribute, writing etc etc can be found here. I wish I could have heard him in the flesh, but I count it an honour to know the dude that stepped up to replace the man, Senor Marko de Los Angelos, another wild and wonderful creature. I would give my firstborn if Soul Survivor NZ could develop a reputation for cheering on and encouraging youth workers like Youth Specialties has in the states.