Just got back to Columbus from a day trip over to Indy for a Digital Disciples meetup from 2-3:30 PM at the cafe inside of Fry’s Electronics. Neil Cox (who snapped this article’s photo) tapped my shoulder online, and brought up the idea of the Digital Disciples that have been meeting up in Columbus traveling over for a meetup he was organizing today. There were 3 of us that traveled over in the van together, surprised to see another from our Columbus show up by driving over around the same time!
I’ll blog more later about the topics that we discussed, but it was definitely worth the trip (for us 4 in Columbus and 1 coming up from Louisville, KY). Here’s a list of the 17 individuals that took some time out of their weekend to do more than just connect online. I would suggest connecting with / following all of them. If you want to see a few hundred more like us on Twitter, you can peruse a Twitter list of over 300 considered Digital Disciples around the globe or this Twitter list of those that have been profiled on the new website. Praise God for bringing us all together, and already having a plan for what lies ahead. Enjoy your day tomorrow, celebrating the resurrection of His Son – Jesus Christ!
Digital Disciples who attended today’s meetup:
FROM INDIANAPOLIS, IN
Neil Cox, Cheri Herron, Ellen Spencer, Kevin Good, Brian Barela, Brad Ruggles, Karl Kranich, Jim Alstott, David Szpunar, Cindy McClellan-Coleman, Barbara Cross, Michael Boler
FROM LOUISVILLE, KY
We had a great monthly meetup here in Columbus, OH this week. It was great to hear what God is doing in the lives of those that came. A common joke of ours is that we’re actually living more of an analog life by meeting up in person (not just chatting online, LOL). Some have asked our group here to video stream our gatherings live on the web for others to see. Something I have to chuckle at. It’s not like we’re putting on a show, and for some reason they’re missing one of the big points of the Digital Disciples movement – to not just connect online, but hang out and live life together in person. Wow, do people still do that?
And this Saturday a group of us here will taking a road trip to meet some other Digital Disciples in Indianapolis, IN (3 hour drive to the west). Our monthly gathering usually consist of hearing someone in the group share about a project, tool, etc. that they’re currently working on or think might be of interest. Then we usually conclude with a time of looking into God’s Word and opening up a few questions that correspond with the fast-paced life we’re trying to live (and praying for each other). This weekend will be the first time two cities with this same interest and mission meet find out what God might have for us next. Almost sounds like a trip taken by the disciples in the Old Testament, except they might not be bringing their gadgets along.
If you, or a friend of yours, lives in Indianapolis and would like to join us this Saturday at the cafe inside Fry’s Electronics (April 23rd at 2pm) – please use or send them this link for more info and to RSVP -> http://bit.ly/gyg2uW. Stay tuned for news about a monthly gathering starting up in Houston, TX…..and about Digital Disciples becoming a 501c3 non-profit organization. God is one the move!
Thanks for joining us here on the Digital Disciples site as we start discussing Rob Bell’s new book, Love Wins (hard copy / Kindle version). I’d suggest at some point checking out his livestream or MSNBC interviews, but we’re just glad you’re here! Whether you enjoy the philosophy of Rob Bell or not. NOTE: he claims not to be a theologian, so we’ll spare him that title.
What about the flat tire?
That’s the title of the first chapter. A question. It’s actually the first question of all 119 that you’ll find in the first chapter. Thankfully, with my fingers crossed, I just read the last few sentences of this chapter where Bell pleads that this isn’t just a book of questions (but of responses to those questions).
A life spent accepting and following Christ isn’t a simple one (Acts 14:22). Rob does a great job at showing how diverse the thinking of those that call themselves “Christians” is. What it takes to enter heaven / accept what Christ has done for us (the core of the Christian faith) is thought to be resolved after specific things take place in someone’s life.
That’s where the flat tire question comes in. Since God doesn’t audibly speak to each of us (we won’t go there), the path of those that eventually do come to grips with Christ dying on the cross for their sins is often a result of someone else helping them / teaching them. Something some agnostics / atheists believe is brain-washing. I guess I would also believe the same thing if I didn’t understand the work of the Spirit.
So what if that one missionary or friend that God has put in your life to show you His truths gets a flat tire? Do you believe that your future lies in the hands of someone else? If the age of 12 (page 4) is the average age of people choosing to accept Christ (and we debate about infant baptism or the age of accountability / being able to choose for yourself), then why wouldn’t people choose to prematurely terminate the life of those younger than 12 to guarantee their place in heaven and not take the risk?
Jesus isn’t followed only by people that walk the line / follow the narrow path. He’s followed only by sinners (pastors and priests included of course), and sometimes they call themselves “His” when their life doesn’t appear as you expect it would. You know, the antigay / antiscience / bullhorn blower or the Christian in eastern Europe that opened fire on Muslims.
I believe that a God that has given us the will to choose to follow Him is willing to be falsely portrayed. Like most sports teams, I’m sure He’s well aware that he has fair-weather fans that only follow Him closely when it’s going right for them or their church / business is growing like wildfire. I also believe that this God is just, and He is omniscient (Job 21:22, Proverbs 15:3, Revelation 20:12). Something I’m sure Rob will have to talk about in future chapters. Thoughts?
I’m looking forward to getting my copy of Love Wins from Amazon in the mail any day now. By reading some comments in yesterday’s post, I’m starting to think this book (and what Rob Bell is saying) might not deserve to be in the top 10 on Amazon. But, as the husband of an author myself, riding the media circus will eventually end up eating your lunch.
I’m also looking forward to sharing a few notes from each chapter here starting April 1st, and I’d be thrilled if you picked up the book (hardcopy / Kindle version) and joined in on the discussion then. Until then, I’m sure we’ll see a few more media circus interviews like the one below. Or maybe Rob will start realizing that his skepticism of the Christian faith and love for asking so many questions is starting not to sound too intelligent. Thoughts on the interview with Martin Bashir?
If you didn’t catch the post last week, a number of us have pre-ordered Rob Bell’s new book, Love Wins, which releases tomorrow (hardcopy / Kindle version). Some of us have read Rob’s previous books, some haven’t. Some of us are fans of Rob (and his theology), some definitely aren’t.
And of course, that’s not our focus here. We don’t want to put a specific teacher of the Word up on a platform and worship them. We want to listen to what God has to say through them, and simply grow in our relationship with Him and understanding of how He wants us to live (online and offline).
As we prepare to read and discuss the book together, I’m opening up the comments of this blog post as a discussion around Rob’s livestream tonight at 7pm. Feel free to come back here after the stream has ended (tonight or over the next few days), and share your thoughts on what you heard. Thanks for stopping by!
UPDATE – I’ve embedded the livestream video below, since some missed it (people enter stage around 9:50 mark of video). I think it’s a great thing that an event like this broke Livestream’s records of live attendance. The highest I saw watching at one time tonight was 6,121 people online. Feel free to watch it and enter the discussion within the comments of this post. Thanks!