Category Archives: event

The Dragon Awakes at San Diego Asian American Leadership Conference

On April 4-5, 2008, a group of San Diego pastors and ministry leaders (mostly from the area’s InterVarsity chapters) hosted the San Diego Asian American Leadership Conference. What stood out about this conference for me was the level of creativity, contextualization, and going above-and-beyond to serve the attendees (and to bring glory to God). For instance, Saturday’s buffet dinner had not only a wide range of pan-Asian cuisines but the dining room was decked out in beautiful candle-lit decor and ambiance! This really raises the bar for Asian American conferences!

L2 Foundation’s contributing writer, Cindy Hong, wrote up this excellent report about what happened there. This is an excerpt from “The Dragon Awakes”:

“Hoping to Awaken the Sleeping Dragon.” Such was the desire of the planning team in the conference brochure welcome message. For a generation that thinks, lives, and is inspired by metaphors, the image of a sleeping dragon waking up aptly describes the 2008 Asian American Leadership Conference. With 200-plus in attendance, the energy and excitement matched the fire of a roaring dragon: Asian Americans living kingdom-minded lives, making a difference for Jesus Christ, knowing that God has called and positioned them to change the world.

Read the full article online (in PDF format).

The audios from the plenary sessions are online for free listening and download, including talks from Dave Gibbons, Peter Cha, and Ken Fong. Also see the photo gallery.

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Conversation about Homosexuality & the Asian American Christian Church

I just got word of this special event from Pastor Ken Fong of Evergreen LA . This conversation is especially for Southern California Asian American evangelical churches and they are making a short film about this for release in the coming year.

Saturday, May 10, 7:00 p.m. @ Sanctuary of Evergreen Baptist Church of Los Angeles www.ebcla.org

WE NEED TO TALK: A Conversation about Homosexuality & the Asian American Christian Church. Sponsored by the Christian Social Issues (CSI) group, an informal gathering of Asian American Christians who discuss wide-ranging social issues and how they relate to our Christian faith. Join three old friends – two straight and one gay – who will engage in a conversation that needs to happen more often in order to dispel ignorance, quell fear and hatred, and foster greater understanding. Debate about scriptural interpretation or scientific evidence is not within the scope of this dialogue. It is not our intent to resolve this highly complex issue. Though we may ultimately arrive at different conclusions, at the very least, we need to break the awful silence in our churches surrounding this subject. We really need to talk.

If you have a friend or loved one who is gay, or you are gay yourself, or you are a Christian who is concerned about this issue, please join us in this much needed and long-awaited dialogue.

Q notes

There’s a handful of other great notes from the Q in Atlanta, for those who need a reminder (I sure do, tons of top-notch ideas) and those who couldn’t quite get there. Registration for the next Q opens Tuesday, August 14th, 2007. Stay tuned over at fermiproject.com/q or at the new Fermi Blog. [update] Plus, keep experiencing Q all year round by subscribing to Fermi Words.

DJ Chuang @ L2 Foundation Blog (here)::

Duncan McFadzean @ whatsyourpointcaller.blogspot.com::

SBC Outpost has 9 extended notes, generating over 70+ comments on his post on homosexuality and the church panel discussion

Q day 3 last session

James Emery White (President, Gordon-Conwell Seminary) @ 10:06am

we live in serious times.. one of most intruging observations about history.. by Christoper Dawson.. there are 6 identifiable ages of the Christian church, each lasting 3 to 4 centuries, resulting with a similar demise.. each ended in crisis..

we live in a transition, a 7th one.. unique openness to spirituality.. the medieval was wide open to arts and spirituality.. then shifted into enlightenment, rationalism, scientism.. and now it’s a strong swing back to arts and spiritual..

e.g. metrosexual.. redefining masculinity.. think of the possibility of being metrospiritual.. how do you speak into this world? highly recommended Richard Niebuhr’s Christ and Culture, classic book

1. Christ against culture.. if it’s of the world, it’s bad..

2. Christ of culture.. an agreement between culture and church..

3. Christ the transformer of culture.. conversionist solution.. yes, man and culture are fallen.. Christ becomes the converter of humanity.. the goal is to work thru and with culture.. use its own mediums and tools to confront and change it.. the transformation of culture by being transformers ourselves..

we’re used to a Acts 2 model that proclaims the Gospel, used to talk to the Jews of Jerusalem.. but we’re more in an Acts 17 context.. the most cultural engagement is evangelism, but we have to go further.. there’s also a cultural commission.. to engage government, entertainment, arts, etc.. the real Christians are always revolutionaries.. they’re always dangerous, in the best sense of the world.. (refers to his book Revolutionary Times..)

we’ve got to deepen our minds.. form a Biblical worldview, and to know how to think Christialy..

we’ve got to form our souls.. to have something to offer the world..

answering our vocational calls.. following God on the redemptive call..


e.g. Michael Haynes, who was mentoring Martin Luther King Jr.. any real change had to go through leadership.. a generation of leaders.. 12th Street Baptist Church.. one of the leading urban training centers..


Gabe Lyons and Q team explored how to best move this conversation forward and helping it spread.. helping with next steps.. providing subscription to Fermi Short, monthly 15-page essays to have meaningful conversations around..


Clint Kemp | Expressions of the Gospel & Sunsets @ 10:24am

video about bringing beauty to an old park with cleaning up and art installations.. trash turned into treasure.. beauty point to truth, truth point to God..

this project has turned into collaboration with local government.. our culture is young, our country is small.. this is our investment in the culture, and bringing out the beauty of who we are.. as part of the Gospel..

Gabe: you didn’t set out to influence culture strategically.. so how did you get to doing this?

Clint: had a transformative experience.. realized my faith was mostly intellectual.. “we usually don’t wake people up this late at night”.. became more aware of the experience of God all around.. it was crazy.. beauty and justice just started to rise up.. a mysterious journey for our church..

Gabe: this art installation at your church, with 5 big boulders.. what is it?

Clint: it’s a living memorial to values we hold dear.. 30 ton boulders that can’t be moved.. first was grace stone.. red was commitment to aid.. green stone was covered with sea trash.. one covered with copper for economic justice.. one for social justice.. the idea is it’s a prayer walk..

just down the street was a beach totally degraded by hurricanes.. this is where you begin to lose people with the church.. this is where good people around me were better translators than me.. others from community joined in.. struggle with people to get buy-in..

church has a role to shape environmental perspectives.. social policies.. we’re starting to be a voice there.. faith-based stewardship program to get children involved.. partnering with those folks is perceived as weird.. Bahamas is years behind in terms of environmental issues than the US..

being on sabbatical, I’ve had more time to think about being salt & light… I’m starting to feel that [more and more]…

Gabe: he’s on an island, so it’s a lot easier to measure success.. so it’s easier to see how the culture is getting better there.. how would you encourage others trying to do something for/in culture?

Clint: this has to go back to your own heart.. the mystery of faith.. all that God is creating.. think -> “What does it mean to wake up?” [in contrast to] waking up to integration, and get a strategy, and implement it..

4 pieces: awareness.. reflection.. conversation.. integration.. that spiritual flow is happening to us all the time.. this reflection piece is the toughest challenge.. ‘be still and know I am God”…


Rick McKinley | divine imagination @ 10:44am

what could this experience look like in your context.. we get fired up when we hear those stories.. when we look back, we wonder, why don’t we have those kinds of stories going on in our congregation.. we have the opportunity to cultivate those.. discipleship that totally transforms people.. so much that they’re willing to give it up for a big dream.. whether prison or kids who need shoes..

4 ingredients of divine imagination

(1) strong leadership.. you don’t have to be a creative leader.. you have to be a defending leader.. defending the space so people can create.. space for God to say “what if”.. he died on the cross, you lost a job — [big difference].. we live

we live in this age of celebrity pastors.. how about being the pastor of the guy who invented Toms Shoes.. take the back seat, and celebrate what God does through others.. create space

(2) deeply transformed disciples.. quit talking about church.. start talking movement.. who in my congregation that has been so transformed by the Gospel, and talk to them about giving it all up and going on this crazy journey.. we can grow big churches of undiscipled people, but you won’t transform culture..

Jesus didn’t say I needed 30,000 people before I get this thing going.. needing critical mass.. before I go to the cross… think of China, how did the church explode?

how to do make deeply transformed disciples.. read the Gospels… listen to the sounds, smell the smells.. start to imagine again.. listen to this Rabbi who can transform us… pastors who are concerned with making those types of people..

(3) imagining what God could do.. most of the time we find those people, we think about what they can do for us.. there’s only so many ways to reimagine Sunday morning.. how do we collaborate and dream together of what that could look like..

if you start looking at the needs, you can get overwhelmed.. Jesus, you have to be the CEO of the world transformation game.. so, how can we dream together.. what would the Kingdom of God look like, if lived through them.. where would God use them in the city? dream and conspire.. there’s no manual, no book..

(4) find other pastors who you can conspire with.. “I hate Christmas as a pastor”.. what we do at Christmas is we consume everything.. how could we help people to live out prophetically against this.. how do we give a relational gift, the way God did in Jesus.. we didn’t have an hour Jesus and then go back to shopping.. we unleashed people to make Christmas really about Jesus..

what if churches came together to solve the water problem in the world.. Advent conspiracy.. it’s just a small picture of how Jesus came into the world and gives himself away.. when church does that, and act like new life is flowing through us.. then people will be ready to hear about Jesus..

Q day 2 afternoon session

Michael Lindsay | a new kind of leader

author of Faith in the Halls of Power: How Evangelicals Joined the American Elite [sorry, missed this session b/c I was having a great lunch discussion with Bethany Hoang from IJM along with her husband Anthony]


Susan Grant (CNN) | media @ 1:22pm

re: interactive features about the Virginia Tech tragedy — we posted online what people saw.. iReport.. our version of citizen journalism..

re: tension between church and media, feeling unfair portrayal or over-negativity — yes, we’re a business, but what does that mean? we’re not a retail business.. we’re not selling a point of view.. [we do our best to stay on] the focus on the fact, tell the story, the human element, is it relevant.. being online, the viewer/ reader gets to pick, and select.. on the air, CNN decides..

re: future — you might consume news in front of a big screen TV.. or you might get news via mobile device.. you have a choice, we’re taking the position of neutrality, to get you the news any way you want.. CNN is one of the first to go 24 hours, go online with website, added multilingual.. not only one thought process.. conversations at work are highly debated.. creative tension.. we don’t always agree.. we do a lot of second-guessing..

re: we have bloggers in the audience, how do you frame your relationship with them — in the business world, competitors can be competitors.. can be who we work with.. competitors can be our friends.. more points of view.. more ways to get to the fact.. that is a better world.. part of our responsibility..

re: how Ted Turner created the CNN culture — culture started as very entrepreneural.. he’s a fascinating complex person.. least likely person to create a whole revolution in news.. now we’re 27 years old.. we’ve had to become more formal, disciplined, structured..

re: a sensational news item like Anna Nicole Smith — instant data is online.. we do have more reach with CNN than any other competitor.. but another competitor might have more stickness.. it’s about choices.. we do want to be fast [with news delivery].. if people want certain kind of news, we want to deliver it.. in the linear world of television, it plays out linear over time.. but online, people can select only what they want to see.. so I don’t have to ever click on a Britney article, for example..

re: how to have a great role in media — we look at 24 hours as 24 hours.. every day we have 24 hours of news to tell the world about.. what is important.. who should we put on air as contributors.. every show has a producer who is responsible for their hour.. we want a diversity of thought, diversity of point of view.. we’re not married to a few contributors.. we do want people who the audience wants to tune in to see..

we’re not a soapbox.. we do have an editorial standard.. our point of view is to cover the things that are happening in the world, that we think are reaching a broad range of people.. as journalists, our role is to ask questions, not to question you, but to take the point of the view of the audience, and what they’d want to ask.. to clarify.. to understand..


Jon Passavant | model home project – interview with Gabe Lyons

Model Home Project brought a group of models, mostly non-Christians, to build homes for Katrina victims.. learned so much serving with these models.. modeling can be a very insular inward-looking industry.. a number of them (those who worked on the project) began to find hope.. one model said, “this has been the most meaningful thing I’ve ever done”..

Q: what was the role of the local church, when you went through this process? A: it’s been a dark 5 year process.. I can say that this is a success story of how the church got behind someone.. I wrestled with being a pastor, and when that didn’t happen, I felt lost.. the church came along side to validate, to affirm.. it freed me to be there for the people [in the modeling industry].. to build relationships and trust.. start with what they know.. start with what they have.. and when the task is accomplished, they will say we have done it ourselves.. that indicates ownership..

Q: if you could say something to churches, what could church do to better support

A: God implants calling.. I’d cried out in the church for affirmation.. as church leaders, if you want to affect culture, you have lots of people in your church who will do it.. they’re going to do it with or without your support, because they’re called.. support the people already in front of us (you)..


Q day 2 morning session

Dave Kinnaman (Barna Research Group) | The Brand of Christianity @ 9:09am

what people think of Christians.. what Christianity looks like to an outsider, a young outsider.. perceptions of Christians.. thorough research on where our culture is, where it’s going….

current views of Christianity (ages 16 to 29): antihomosexual, judgmental, hypocritical, old-fashioned, too involved in politics, out of touch with reality, insensitive to others..

an open question was asked, what is your perception of Christianity? Shocking answer: present-day Christianity is no longer like Jesus intended.

Christians say that “we hate the sin but love the sinners”, but outsiders call us on it.. we hate the sin and the sinners.

re: “antihomosexual” – survey found disappointing responses of Christian attitudes against homosexuals.. less than 0.5% of Christians say they pray for homosexuals.. us vs. them mentality..

cf. Matthew 23:13 4 out of 5 outsiders have attended church.. why they have these perceptions is due to their interaction with Christians and their experience in churches.. we have to find a way to demilitarize the gap..

slipping image of evangelicals.. only 3% of 16-29 outsiders have a favorable view of evangelicals.. young people have very nuanced perspectives.. there’s opportunity to change these perceptions..
conversations are a means of forming those perceptions, and can also be the way out.. how to speak to them..moving from unChristian to Christian: advancing a faith that exudes service and sacrifice, humility and grace..

see people’s spiritual potential.. a heart that’s sensitive to how God can change them.. God’s kindness is what leads to repentance.. what kind of Jesus are we to outsiders.. how can you start to orient the people in your church to serve the outsiders..

we can be known differently.. reconcile and change the perception.. how can we be known as true Christ-followers..

Gabe: to understand how to change culture, we have to think how to change perceptions..


Andy Stanley (North Point) | church and culture @ 9:32am

I want to answer 3 questions .. can the church impact culture.. should the church impact culture.. how in the world does the the church go about impacting culture..

can the church impact culture? absolutely yes.. cf. recently took a trip to Italy.. walking through Rome, noticed the cross that overlooked the coliseum.. they hang the cross over the entrance of the coliseum.. so the church can influence culture, now you may not like how that church influenced culture.. but church can [and does] influence..

we all can get discouraged.. quoting Billy Graham — after all the evangelism we do, and to see culture going where it is, it can be discouraging.. but there’s good news.. church can impact culture.. history tells us that, and we don’t need to give up..

should the culture impact culture? is this even worthy.. there is an argument that Jesus is coming back, let it all go.. one day Jesus gathered disenfranchised people.. Jesus said, “You are the salt of the earth. You are the light of the world.” think about this.. the whole earth.. the whole earth.. you are going to impact the whole world and the whole earth.. 2 very specific things, both salt and light.. your presence in culture will keep the world from rotting, from being worst than it is.. as you begin to subscribe to my values and live it out, you’re going to be salt and light, preserving the world..

Christianity proclaimed in the first century was entirely minority and radical and brand new.. culture has been shaped by those ideas..

we can give light to who God is.. Christians can illuminate 3 distinct values: grace.. unconditional love.. and forgiveness..

Christians can explain to the world thru their living, lifestyle, and worship.. to transform culture at the micro-level and the macro-level.. it’s the only hope in the Middle East.. apart from grace, love, and forgiveness, there is no hope..

how do we do it? we must figure out how, within our context.. context is huge.. we look for easy answers.. what does it mean to be salt and light.. in middle school vs. high school.. rural vs. inner city.. training and teaching people how to be salt and light, preservers and illuminators.. specific to our context.. we’re not going to transform a culture by hanging out a cross, or Christian film or music or art.. exhibit Christian values, and to live out light.. to expose people to what God is really like.. that he doesn’t hate anybody..

to hang on to grace and truth.. depending on the way your church background you’ll play hard to one of these and soft to the other.. Jesus was not the balance of grace and truth, he was full of grace and truth..

too much truth, you’re seen as intolerant.. too much grace, you lose your value to culture.. don’t compromise either grace or truth.. these are 2 things we have to teach our people to hold onto..

while not letting go of our convictions, also say I love you no matter what you do.. we have the potential to transform culture, because history tells us its possible, Jesus calls us to do it, and we can figure out how..


panel with Mike Foster, Shane Wheeler (All Souls) and Chris Seay on homosexuality and the church @ 9:53am

Shane – with homosexuals: sexuality is so wrapped up in their identity.. they perceive that we think God hates them as people..

Chris – are we called to be the Gospel, or the moral police.. we make it clear we’re not anti-homosexual.. when they want to talk about homosexuality, I want to talk about Jesus.. about love and forgiveness.. how to talk about sins in the public.. involves talking about our brokenness.. embody humility..

Chris – I went to Sundance.. watched a film “Bible tells me so”.. on Christianity and homosexuality, showed stupid things that Christians say about homosexuals.. in that audience there, felt like being kicked in the gut.. those people on that film were more scary than terrorists.. we have a great deal to repent for..

Shane – they have an assumption of hostility.. we have to respond with more grace.. show more humility..

Chris – let’s be honest with our own sins.. allow the Spirit to do what only He can do.. to convict of sin..

Shane – homosexuality is not the worst of all sins! there are all kinds of sins.. putting yourself in a posture of journeying together.. we all need the gospel in the same way..

Chris – the forgiveness of sins is the basis of Christianity.. this is good news to everybody..

Shane – everyone comes to church with agenda.. wanting to fashion the Gospel into something for us.. liberal or conservative.. we are not going to promote any agenda except the Gospel.. what does Jesus say about an issue, and bring it into more conformity of how Jesus wants us to live.. everyone of us has to hear that.. when we preach that Gospel, it starts to sink into people’s lives, and utterly transforms them..


Richard Cizik (NAE) | creation care @ 10:23am

interview with Gabe Lyons about how to love, serve, and protect for the earth.. in the Bible from beginning to end.. evangelicals are going to arenas now [with going green] where we’ve never been before.. it’s not just seeing a different world, it’s to see this world differently..


Majora Carter (Sustainable South Bronx) | Green the Ghetto @ 10:45am

referred to Streetblog’s post, The New Jane Jacobs vs. the New Robert Moses?, a media setup of the battle..

Duncan McFadzean took better notes on this than me — see Duncan’s blog post and video clip of Majora’s talk recorded at TED 2006

Q day 1 afternoon session

Donald Miller | how narrative shapes culture @ 2:05pm

the making of a story.. there has to be an antagonist, a challenge.. I realized that I’ve been living in a story.. and soon as I got to my goal, the story ended.. the elements that clarify and make a story better is something you can use in your life..

story is in decline.. stories are not as good as they used to be.. I walk out of 30% to 40% of movies today, because I’m bored.. went to a seminar with Robert McKee, who does 3 days of 12 hour seminars, the guru of story..

Robert McKee: “The final cause of the decline of story runs very deep, values, the positive/ negative charges of life, are at the soul of our art. …. This erosion of values has brought with it a corresponding erosion of story.”

to have a good story.. you have to have some sort of ethics, or holistic morality.. having good and evil… that helps to make sense of life..

we tend to identify with certain kind of story — 1 person doing a simple task in 3 acts.. that single protagonist has to have a dream or vision.. if s/he doesn’t want something, the story doesn’t make sense.. we’re concerned about selfish ambition and wanting things, but that’s only an issue if it’s wanting bad things.. wanting good things is great.. how to know if it’s a good dream: if the protagonist dies, and the dream with him/her, what happens to the world..

story is the most powerful way to teach, to educate, to fill in someone’s worldview.. the Bible is full of narratives, and stories..

McKee: “The storyteller’s selection and arrangement of events is his master metaphor for the interconnectedness of all the levels of reality… his map of life’s hidden order.”

that’s why God tells stories.. as if we’re standing on a giant map..

there has to be conflict.. learn to love it.. without conflict, there’s no story.. e.g. I walked up and down the stairs twice, vs. I climbed Mount Everest twice last year.. the only difference in those 2 stories is conflict.. conflict makes your story..

our job is to tell a better story.. when we reach a resolution, you don’t have to win, you just have to try.. everyone tells a story..


Jeff Johnson (BET producer) | hip-hop culture @ 2:27pm

tired of talking about Imus? Imus wasn’t really the issue.. small piece of the issue of race.. in America, people are racist.. we speak of multicultural churches, because we just love Jesus.. [as if] Jesus wouldn’t see our color, our ethnicity..

we become like those people who excuse race and ethnicity.. they’re racist but they love Michael Jordan.. b/c he’s just a great basketball player.. they’re racist, but they love Condi Rice..

desensitized to racist messages, whether they’re really racist or not.. Russell [Simmons] doesn’t care about the language being used, he cares about being paid.. there are those in this room that know absolutely nothing about hip-hop..

“G-unit” scrawled on a wall in Liberia(?).. people know this around the world even in places that don’t have BET or MTV.. in China, I’ve seen B-boys and B-girls (that is, breakdancers) better than those in New York.. hip hop has infiltrated cultures that have had nothing to do with the forming of the art form..

hooking up 2 turntables.. was the beginning of hip hop.. change the feel and atmosphere in a room.. those who were disenfranchised.. thus, they had no voice.. hip hop became that voice.. the voice of music..

instead of fighting with chains.. battle thru breakdancing.. slow evolution of this culture…

worst thing that happened to hip hop is someone figured out that they could make money with this.. people would buy it.. this destroyed hip hop.. no longer is it a voice of the disenfranchised.. now it is about selling urban American imagery to the rest of the world..

juxtapose this with the first post-soul generation.. no one went to church.. 40 yr grandmothers go kickin’ it with granddaughter to the club.. complete disconnected from church, but connected to the club… the church should be on the front of dealing with racism, and punks out.. we need to speak prophetically.. when does that conversation take place?

hip hop is relevant to this discussion for 1 reason.. because it has been able to transcent ethnic and cultural communities.. in a way that Black, Latino, and Asians can come together, without shedding our culture… what brings up together is b/c we love Jay-Z..

so many times I’ve seen urban ministry is just suburban ministry with black face..

“I am us.” that’s what hip hop does..


Chris Seay | consumerism @ 2:47pm

culture is telling us this counterfeit story that we have to buy into….. in the midst of a difficult situation of an airplane.. then I get this irresistible urge to buy something.. I browse the Skymall catalog.. selling stuff nobody needs but marked up 400% because you’re stuck in an airplane..

the reality in this culture.. God creates us for perfection.. in Genesis, they had everything we really want.. but then, they want more.. with the Israelites, they’re getting food from the sky, and we want more..

in America, we’re the riches people in the history of the world, and we want more.. it’s empty and it’s meaningless.. this is the counterfeit story that we’ve been sold.. buy something and we’ll feel better.. we crash from these consumer binges..

we’re created and called to be co-creators, collaborators.. what about this question: could we have too much?

around Christmas time in America.. when we celebrate the birth of Christ, and we buy xbox’es [and so much stuff].. “This year, Christmas will fork over $795.86 each, up 5% from last year, according to BIGresearch… Q attendees spent an estimated $344,000 on Christmas Gifts this year.. that’s an average of $625 per person.. in the communities we represent here, we spend maybe $344 million… $18 billion on makeup..

Q attendees spent an estimated $344,000 on Christmas Gifts this year.. that’s an average of $625 per person.. in the communities we represent here, we spend maybe $344 million… $18 billion on makeup..

cf. I have 4 kids.. if one was thirsty, and the other sibling had water and didn’t provide it, I’d be very upset.. it’s within reach for us to provide water, so people don’t die from the lack of clean water..

we’re called to participate in God’s redemption in the world..

Q: How can you personally consume less or consume smarter?


Blake Mycoskie (Founder of Toms Shoes) @ 3:15pm

interview with Gabe Lyons about his shoe company, every time they sell a pair of shoes, and they’ll give one away.. after some time, we were able to put Argentina kids into 10,000 pairs of shoes..

shoes that have a message, simple message: you buy a pair, we give a pair.. that story is about service, about giving back.. people buy these shoes and love to tell the story.. lesson learned: you’re never too young or too old to do something, to serve..

re: idea of consciously consuming.. everything we wear, everything we do, everywhere we go, says something about us.. conscious consumption is realizing the power you have when you buy, everyday..

Gabe: he sought to serve, and God has brought to him influence.. into the culture..


@ 4:00pm – we had 4 Talkback breakout sessions, I went to hear Jeff Johnson who handled Q&A from an overpacked SRO (standing-room-only) room. As a resource, he mentioned “Truth Is Power”, which specializes in leadership and curriculum development, media strategy and social branding. [need to find his website]


Mark Rodgers | political engagement @ 4:30pm

formed a group that brought believers up on the Hill.. and how the Gospel is relevant to the issues we’re working on.. there are so many foundational issues.. what does it mean to be human.. justice.. sexuality.. finding ways to have gentle outreach to explore how culture creators can shape the culture..

when the church looks at cultural engagement, it doesn’t look at it as a means to bring peace.. but more like propaganda, to have outcome.. rather than be salt & light.. William Wilberforce exemplifies the right cultural engagement.. realized society as a whole had to be reformed.. more human, everyone had dignity..

in our context, the church needs to realize the synergy.. politics alone will not shape things.. work for the common good, for the peace of the city.. in postmodernity, where truth is relativized, we have to look at narrative to find a way.. the cultural creatives will communicate truth..

in conversation with Bono, wrestled with how Christians are to create cultural artifacts for the whole [society].. [church] is the carrier of truth, but it won’t let the artists ring truth.. so artificial on its constraints on artists..

(3 suggestions for the) church — encourage our young artists to live that out vocationally.. educate and equip the artists who are pursuing this call.. and not outed to be something they’re not called to be.. engage with those artists in the crafts they’re trying to create.. investing in them, we live in a commercial context, so we have to invest in them.. to have the capital to create the products.. to reflect the true and beautiful..

living example – reads the FourBoys Films mission statement:

FourBoys Films seeks to provoke and entertain audiences with stories that illuminate the human condition in all its terrifying glory. …


Josh Jackson (editor of PASTE magazine) | celebrating the good

starts with John 17:15.. we tend to insulate ourselves from anything that might corrupt us.. we cease to be in it at all.. we have abandoned our role in shaping culture.. movies are probably the most powerful forms of media.. we’ve done that with journalism [too].. they’re not dealing with Christians in the news room.. this stems from bad theology..

2 errors [with how church has related to culture]: the conservative error, the idea that all humanity is fallen.. so all culture is corrupt.. so we reject culture; the liberal error is that culture is all good and pure.. but that leads to lack of discernment… the balance of these two is assimilation nor rejection..

instead, [celebrate culture] wherever you see beauty and truth.. [recognize] it stems from the Creator!


David Batstone (Founding Editor of Business 2.0) | human trafficking @ 5:21pm

speaks passionately of the Not For Sale Campaign.. to fight for justice and freedom for today’s modern day slaves.. an abolitionist movement.. open source activism.. On May 20th, an international fellowship of Abolitionist Churches will worship with one voice to declare the end of slavery in our lifetime!



Jon Foreman (Switchfoot) | good music @ 7:54pm

[for the evening session, Jon plays an acoustic set] … “art in many ways defines the vehicle we travel into the future with…”