The Thoughts of Gunnar

I Lied In My Last Blog
February 25, 2009, 6:04 am
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My review of the Frank Viola book Reimagining Church is coming…but in my last blog, I mentioned that I may give away many copies of this book, I, this time, would be keeping one for myself. I lied, apparently. My great buddy Rod left on a trip to Costa Rica for 4 days, and after hearing me sing the praises of the book a few times, implored me to loan it to him for his trip. Thus, not only did I lie about always keeping a copy for myself,–that copy is now halfway around the world!
When Rod gets it back to me, my review is coming.
As a hint, I LOVED chapter 7…and it is a bit of an appetizer, so to speak, of Frank’s next book coming out.


Frank Viola’s Reimagining Church Part 1
February 20, 2009, 10:27 am
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Frank Viola’s Reimagining Church Part 1.

I am just finishing up reading Reimagining Church for the second time.  (Full disclosure, more like the 1.5th time, if there is such a thing.)

I will be blogging shorty with much more detail, but I did want to take a few moments to share some heartfelt thoughts  concerning the book, such as in, “you really,  really, really need to read it.”

More than just being a bit of a church historian, theologian, and passionate speaker into church ecclessiology, what Frank is really gifted at, through his writing, is giving us a much better pair of eyeglasses to read the Word of God with, so to speak. Instead of reading into the Word with glasses that are of a truly innapropriate wineskin, his writing provides glimpses that open up so many scriptural truths, mandates, and principles have have tragically been overlooked, and at what I fear at a great cost to the church itself.   The insights of myself and many friends who I discuss and attempt to live the Word of God out with has been deeply enriched due to exposure  to many of Frank’s works.

Reimagining Church is no exception to this:  in fact, I feel it is one of his strongest works to date in that vein.  There is not one book that I know of that Frank has written that I have  not read…and I am even talking about earlier versions of many of his more updated, current books.  Reimagining Church holds a very special place in my library, due  to Frank really bringing some of his passions and heart together in an effectivly powerful unveiling, providing a generous glimpse into the awesome things God has in store for His family, His home, His son’s very body and bride.  More than any other author, I have given Frank’s books to those I deeply care about.  At times, I have, at a real feeling of risk to me, given away a last copy of one of Franks books.  I AM DEFINATELY KEEPING A COPY OF THIS BOOK!  (Just  to provide more thought for that last statement, I have worked for a publishing company I absolutely LOVE, and had  complete access to free books to give away, and I am not sure if I have even given away as many of those books as I have Frank’s!)

More coming later…but I’d much rather drink caffeinated beverages with you and discuss  your thoughts on the book too!

Does Your Church Have Type 1 Diabetes?
February 17, 2009, 2:34 pm
Filed under: Uncategorized

Weird question, I know.  Let me break it down a bit.

I have type 1 diabetes, personally. I was diagnosed when I was 7 years  old.  The disease begins when the insulin producing beta cells of your pancreas are destroyed.  (So, keep in mind, that just because a few cells are no longer able to do their  job, diabetes occurs!)  Because  these cells don’t produce  insulin, one’s blood sugar levels will vary.  Long term, kept out of control, Diabetes can cause amputations, blindness, heart disease, diabetic comas, dental problems, it can affect one’s reproductive capacities, and I am just getting started.  Basically, because just a few cells in one mere organ of the body stops  doing their job, or their calling, lets say…virtually every system of the body is adversely affected, and can break down.

The new testament is fully loaded in describing the church functioning in ways that would be atypical in most  of our American church meetings.  I love the book of 1 Corinthians, and Ephesians, which are overflowing with directions of every member and every part having a role to play in church life.  The horrible, horrible thing, is far too often in our church gatherings, we either ignore those directives, or kinda say we do them, with very minimal revelation on them.

The last few months, the group I am being the church with has just been a wonderful, marvelous time of seeing all the parts come into play.  We are not perfect…in fact, far from…but it is in that imperfection that the beauty of it has been revealed.  Every week, someone different seems to have the theme, or the word, or the point, that really hits home. Even though amongst us, undoubtedly there is differing maturity levels…(and no, I don’t know what they are, personally) everyone has had moments of sharing really key things.

This past weekend, while gathering, my brothers and sisters took time out to pray for me, and for  the healing of Type 1 Diabetes in my body.  Yeehaw for that, is what I say! However, during the moment, I became greatly moved…not for me having the disease, but for how it cripples the body…and how, when we practice being the church while shutting certain cells down with our practices…it breaks down the body systems long term…no doubt about it!

What really scares  me is that not only do I think much of the church practices what it does in a ‘diabetic body,’ but they cannot even diagnose the disease within itself!  Most of the churches I have been to, you end up  having such limited imput from the body….the vast majority of it is  shutdown.  Jesus Christ, and Him alone, is the head of the church.  He gave us such awesome insight in the new testament on how churches operate…and we have so turned church into a business model format.  (I know, not suI ch new news for most of my readers.)

While if you saw my personal, literal, physical body from a distance, you would not have too much reason to be concerned.  But the reality is because a few small cells in one part are not working, everything else in my body will tend  to be off kilter, and sometimes, it can be quite dramatic…(diabetic coma, etc.)

A really ‘sick’ church in the New Testament was the Corinthian church.  If you read Paul’s first letter, you will find they were dealing with all kinds of ‘way out there’ challenges when it comes out to living the faith.  Paul did not instruct them to go out, find a strong leader  or two, build an organization, get everyone in line, and have only ‘strong people’ dominate.  He made huge appeals to gather together, and let everyone bring the gifts they had to bring, and how each part was essential and important…even with a really ‘weak’ church.

Is your church doing that?  Are you?

Unfortunately, I could go on and on about this, but I am more convinced  than ever that as the corporate body of Christ, change really, really, really needs to come.   His body, which He gave His very life for, is sick, unless every part can function as it was meant to be.  We need much less hierarchy, and more organic body life.