Well, kids. The calendar says it’s March, so it must be that time again in which for two weeks we pretend to know and care about college basketball while we inwardly pine for the beginning of football season. In other words, March Madness.

Before I go any further, though, can we please just stop and take a minute to admire the awesomeness/hilarity of the uniforms above? It’s nice to see Zubaz¬†finally getting into the atheletic uniform business.

To be honest, I’ve been even less excited about the NCAA tournament than I usually am. I’ve had more than my share of madness over the past few months and was thinking maybe this year we could try some March Mellowness instead. (Which is probably really popular in Colorado right now.) But since that doesn’t seem to be an option, I guess I should fill out a bracket, post my predictions, and wait to be disappointed.

So here we go!

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Christian-author-turned-motivational-speaker Donald Miller recently caused a minor firestorm on the internets by writing on his blog that he rarely goes to church and doesn’t get much out of it (and sorta clarified his statement in a follow-up post). This sort of heresy, of course, can simply not be tolerated, and therefore every Christian with a blog and/or Twitter handle is obligated to chime in with his or her opinion on the matter (including me, I suppose).

Initially, I was going to title this blog post, “Why Donald Miller is wrong about church”, but the thing is, I don’t think he is. At least not entirely. Actually, he makes some rather interesting and thought-provoking points, not all of which I agree with, but that’s OK. Christians will never fully agree with each other on everything. Instead of proving who’s right and who’s wrong in this debate, I think the more important thing is that it raises the question of what the role of the church should be (or more correctly, what our role should be in relation to the church). So that’s what I’m focusing on here.

Before I begin, go read Miller’s two posts (here and here) and then read Mike Cosper’s outstanding response to them. I’ll wait.

OK, now that everybody’s caught up, let’s get started.

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I was tangled in the all wires
Tied down and I felt the fire
There was nothing for me to do
I was searching but not for you…

I’ve been walking backwards

– Leagues, “Walking Backwards”

Are you a follower of Jesus or just a fan? Are you fully committed, fully surrendered, fully immersed, or just going through the motions out of habit or obligation? That’s the central premise of Kyle Idleman’s book Not a Fan: Becoming a Completely Committed Follower of Jesus.

As I skimmed through the sample on Amazon, my first reaction was, “Well, obviously I’m a follower.” But then I had my doubts. Maybe I’m just a fan. After all, I don’t give enough money at church, I don’t serve enough, I don’t pray enough, I don’t read the Bible enough, there’s so much more I could be doing. But there’s the trap. The legalistic conundrum that equates doing with being. And then I got angry.

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“So Jesus explained, ‘I tell you the truth, the Son can do nothing by himself. He only does what he sees the Father doing. Whatever the Father does, the Son also does.’”

– John 5:19, NLT

Every year I do a Christmas blog post, but this year I wasn’t really feeling it. To be honest, I haven’t felt much like blogging lately and I’ve been really busy anyway. So instead of doing a Christmas post, I thought maybe I could do a quick recap of my year, a sort of end-of-year/New-Years post. But then who wants to read that?

But it did get me thinking about this whole idea of reflecting. At the end of the year, we’re supposed to reflect back on the last twelve months, all the good, bad, and ugly, reminisce with our loved ones, sing Auld Lang Syne, and then make a few New Years resolutions that we have no intention of keeping but it sounds good at the time. It’s all very noble and usually well-intentioned, but it’s kinda pointless at the same time. Not that we shouldn’t take time to remember, but those memories tend to be skewed by our own perceptions.

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