Further Up, Further In Weblog

Chronicling the Journey of the Homeyers

Kim Mulkey Roast July 19, 2008

Filed under: Baylor Stuff — furtherupfurtherin @ 2:42 pm
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This week the Texas Sports Hall of Fame hosted a “roast” of Kim Mulkey, Baylor’s Women’s Basketball Coach. 

Here is a link to an article about the roast. 

Here is my favorite quote from the roast.  It just makes you cringe, but also have to laugh out loud. 

“Of course, Mulkey’s roasters took turns delighting a sold-out crowd at Baylor’s Galloway Suites with an array of zingers and one-liners directed at her — and each other.

When master of ceremonies Steve Fallon introduced former Baylor athletic director Tom Stanton, Fallon said, “Tom is constantly reminding me that he’s the athletic director who hired Kim Mulkey, over and over again. I remind him that he’s also the one who hired Dave Roberts and Kevin Steele, too!”

To which Stanton retorted, “Steve, don’t forget Dave Bliss.””



The Phsychology of “The Dark Knight” July 18, 2008

Filed under: Etc. — furtherupfurtherin @ 6:31 pm
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As many of you know, I am a big fan of movies.  As many of you know, I am an incredible nerd when it comes to movies that I like or that intrigue me. 

Wednesday night the HIstory Channel ran one of the coolest shows I have seen in a long time.  It was entitled, “Batman Unmasked:  The Psychology of the Dark Knight” 

In fascinating fashion it plumbed the depths of the psychology, philosophy, and mythology of Batman (which, did you know, debuted in 1939?). 

As I somehow stumble through work this afternoon in preparation for viewing “The Dark Knight” tonight, and as I know many of you will be going to see the movie tonight (if you didn’t catch the midnight showing) here are a few intriguing thoughts from the history channel’s special. 

Each of these are my own summations of some the info from the special.

  • Christopher Nolan, director of Batman Begins and The Dark Knight says the key to understanding Batman is to understand Teddy Roosevelt.  Teddy Roosevelt’s dad was a wealthy NYC philanthropist.  Teddy’s mom and wife died on the same day and after this tragedy he fled to the Dakota wilderness, many think his intention was to kill himself.  He did return from the wilderness and became the NYC Police chief in a time of corruption and turned the city around and made it safe again.  Of course, we know his history as a Rough rider as well. 
  • The Joker is the ultimate arch nemesis of Batman.  Batman sees the ills of society and the need to bring reform outside of social norms; but, he still sees the need and good in social norms and society as a whole.  The Joker sees presence of random injustice means there is no justice.  The fact that innocence can be destroyed means there is no innocence.  Therefore your life, pretending these things exist, are a joke.  When someone says your life is a joke, there is a challenge, a physical challenge, a moral challenge, an intellectual challenge.  Therefore the Joker isn’t just threatening Batman physically, He’s threatening the premise of Batman’s existence.  THat’s why it’s such an epic discussion they are having through their physical confrontations, mental games, punches, and gunshots.  Ultimately it’s a philosophical conflict, and one that’s not easy to resolve. 

There is much good stuff here.  Batman and his adversaries (Two-face, Joker, Riddler, Penguin, etc) are all victims of tragedy and respond to tragedy differently.  For the villains, it fractures their phsyche and they feel the world owes them something and they are going to take it.  For Batman, his tragedy causes him to work to make sure as few as possible experience the same. 

Is Batman merely working through his childhood issues?  Is he a hero or a mere vigilante? 

There is much humanist thought in this mythology:  We are a product of our choices.  We can choose (to some degree) our destiny.  We have the freedom of response to our circumstances.  There is also much grace and redemption here as well. 

You may have no interest in all this, but thoughts like these greatly enhance my movie viewing experience. 

This special will show again Monday at 9 pm and Tuesday at 1 am.  I recommend it highly.


Millenial July 15, 2008

Filed under: Pastoring Stuff — furtherupfurtherin @ 1:42 pm
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I was introduced to the term “millenial” a few weeks ago through my uncle’s blog, bucknerprez.typepad.com.

He has invited several different people who are in their 20’s to blog about church and faith from their perspective.  Millenial is a new term that has been developed to describe those living in their 20’s.  We are a unique generation and have a unique perspective on life, faith, and church. 

Those of you who are members of Fellowship certainly need to read these blogs.  You have a millenial pastor and hopefully these blog entries will help shed some light on the generational differences in outlook and perspective.  It is a healthy and great discussion. 

The rest of you need to stop by as well.  We are living through an utterly unique period in Church history.  When else have we needed this pantheon of generational labels just to keep track of the vast differences between those born in each decade since the second Great War? 

We are, most all of us, part of intergenerational families, churches, workplaces, and social networks.  Our tendency is to see others through our own lenses and perspective.  Joining in on discussions like the one going on on Uncle Ken’s blog help us understand the perspective of others, which can breed empathy and ultimately a deeper community. 

Today, tomorrow, and Thursday I will be writing the posts for Uncle Ken’s blog.  I ask you to stop by and join the discussion. 

Here is the link.  Check it out. 


Pastoral Authority July 14, 2008

Filed under: Discipleship,Uncategorized — furtherupfurtherin @ 4:47 am

A pastor acquaintance recently emailed me asking to joining a group called, “Dead Pastor’s Society” (Think, Dead Poet’s Society). 

I am looking forward to meeting with this group.  The other pastors are all much more experienced than myself and are serving in churches different than mine own and I am looking forward to the community that will accompany our meetings.  I crave it. 

BUT, in the email, this pastor wrote something that has really had me thinking for some time now. 

At the risk of horribly misquoting him, here is the gist of his words,

“God reveals His will for churches to the pastor, as the pastor preaches and lives out this call and vision, it disperses to the people of the CHurch and is enacted.”  Consequently, we, as Pastors need to be disciplined and faithful in seeking God’s will for our lives and our congregations and need community to help discern and be held accountable to God’s will. 

This brought to mind the issue of pastoral theology.  What do I believe the role of pastor to be?  What authority does the pastor have in or over the church and what authority does the church have in or over the pastor? 

I’ll admit, my own pastoral theology has been challenged by this and I have found out it is not as thorough and thought out as I previously assumed.

This pastor’s theology seems more like a top-down system.  The Pastor is the spiritual head of the church, God’s will for the church is dispersed through the Pastor as is accepted theology, scripture interpretation, and church polity.  This puts the Pastor in a fearfully powerful position.  In faithful, humble hands, a church could certainly thrive under such pastoral theology. 

My own practical (as in, “in practice”) and yet in-process (as in “still forming”) pastoral theology is more organic, or bottom-up.  I believe, this model of pastoring is traditionally Baptistic.  We are all capable (is this the right word, perhaps “equipped by the Holy Spirit”) to receive a word from the Lord.  Perhaps it is my fear, my youth, and my inexperience, but I believe GOd’s will for the church evolves from the hearts of God’s people, not just God’s person. 

Certainly, the pastor plays an integral role in this process.  The pastor leads, the pastor preaches, the pastor casts a vision, the pastor prays, discerns, and is specifically trained, called, gifted, and equipped to lead God’s people.  But can we biblically, reasonably, and confidently say that we, as Pastors, are the sole proprietors of God’s will for our congregations? 

Perhaps I am fearful to wear that mantle.  Perhaps I simply disagree with the theology.  Perhaps there is no black and white answer to the question. 

It seems to me that most church splits, infighting, and forced resignations are products of misunderstandings and miscommunications between pastors and churches and within churches on this very question.  What exactly is our pastoral theology?  What authority does the Pastor have?  It is a question we all might well think, read, and pray deeply over. 

I’d love to hear your thoughts.  Especially if you have some good sources to help discern and educate on this question.