Tag Archives: divine commodity

questions from the divine commodity blog tour

olive-treesyesterday skye jethani visited a host of different blogs talking about consumerism, christians and the church.  each blog asked him a question, and he responded to each one.  below is a list of the participating blogs and their questions.  please visit the blogs to see their posts and skye’s answer to their questions.  and if you have a question for skye regarding the divine commodity, visit the divine commodity facebook group and post it up there, or visit his blog.

Out of Urno question, but a book excerpt is up

Flowerdust.netFor those of us who have read The Divine Commodity, we know you’re not being divisive or writing about “what’s wrong” with the church.  We know that it’s a book that explores the culture of modern-day faith and Biblical context and wisdom.

Why should a pastor read this book?  How can those of us who aren’t pastors graciously help communicate the message of The Divine Commodity without coming off like we have an agenda?

Stuff Christians Like -In your book you unfold a beautiful picture of Van Gogh’s faith, something that largely, if not entirely, was missed by believers that lived in his generation. Who are we in danger of missing today? What artists, are worshipping and pointing us back to an unbelievably imaginative God, and going wholly unnoticed in our generation?

Mark D Roberts -I would like to ask you to talk about the relationship between your book and the recent Newsweek cover story on “The End of Christian America.” I can think of several interesting connections, but rather than asking about these, I’d rather give you free reign to comment on how you see The Divine Commodity relating to state of Christianity in America, and especially its purportedly waning influence.

Ben Arment -You wrote about the move among churches from collaboration to competition. I totally see this. In fact, the very churches that advocate cooperation seem to be the most ruthless at gobbling up “market share.” How do we get back from here?

Church Relevance -How can a church best avoid becoming a victim of consumer culture?

Bob Hyatt -So, what do you say to the pastor or Christian leader who decides to embrace consumer-driven ideas and principles for ministry because they “work?”

Cole-Slaw -Skye, what is the most extreme example of consumer-oriented Christianity you have seen or heard about?

The Forgotten Ways -Are you hopeful that we can recover an authentic discipleship ethos in the church given our enculturation by consumerism?

Reclaiming the Mission -how can pastors take advantage of this economic upheaval to forge a new post consumer post American way of being church-mission in the world?

Shaun Groves -What message does God have through The Divine Commodity for church leaders and the rest of us who are fretting over the dwindling size and influence of the American church?

Frank Viola -Skye, suppose that the leadership team of a local church of 100 committed members comes to you and asks, “We want to *fully* unleash the imagination inherent in the members of our congregation to express Jesus Christ in creative and effective ways, and we are willing to do ANYTHING you prescribe to accomplish this goal, no matter how drastic or radical it may be.” What would you tell them?

The Gospel-Driven Church -What specific advice would you give the churchgoer who is growing more disillusioned by the moment with the deadening consumerism of his or her church? The closest you come to prescription in the book is saying it is about personal transformation as seed-planting, but imagine someone is telling you personally that their church has lost all sense of the gospel and discipleship in community and that they don’t know what to do about it. What would you say to them?

Lee Coate -One, is the church responsible and even able to “set culture” as opposed to responding to it or attempting to remain relevant with it?  (This question is based on the angst that many younger “professional” (pastors) Christians have expressed to me regarding their desire to see the church setting the pace in culture as opposed to merely reacting to it.  Do you believe this is the churches calling and if so, is it actually possible?  After experiencing the Religious Right, I’m not sure I want the church dictating government and/or the culture.  In our conversations, art and music are usually mentioned as a way in which the church can regain the leading voice in culture.

Take Your Vitamin Z -Imagine you are talking to a new church planter. What are some practical things that you could communicate to him that boil down what you have learned in the process of writing your book that could help him guard against building a consumer church?

Staying Focused -In your book, you talk about the need to relearn the lost art of friendship (page 103).  Coming from an introvert who finds Facebook and Twitter great tools to aid me in keeping up with people, can you please explain what the lost art of friendship is and how we would go about relearning it?  Also, I’ve noticed that people from other cultures can spend hours and days sitting and sharing together. Is this required in this lost art?

Preaching Today -In The Divine Commodity, you explore how rampant consumerism has invaded the church. On a more specific level, how have you seen consumerism affect preaching, and how might today’s preacher remedy any wrongs?

Off the Agenda -What do you say to the Christian leader who favors applying consumer-driven principles to ministry because they “work?”

 

suffering: self-denial or self-centered

0310283752in working with skye jethani and his book, the divine commodity, i have found him to be one of the most thoughtful articulate people i’ve had the pleasure of knowing.  his book has proven to be one that i keep coming back to as well.  consumerism cannot be fixed in 7 easy steps.  it is something that must be consciously dealt with on daily (if not more so) basis.  in the book, skye offers spiritual disciplines to combat our tendencies toward consumerism.

today is a blog tour for skye and all over the interwebs (see full list of other blogs participating below).  the premise is a blogger asks skye a question from or about his book and skye answers it.  then readers of said blog(s) comment and skye will be checking and answering any follow-up questions that may arise.

 

still-life-with-bibleYou speak of suffering as being transformative releasing our desires and following in the steps of Jesus.  When we do suffer many people are looking for comfort or others to help them, and might not lead to self-denial, but self-centeredness.  How would you suggest we think outwardly instead of inwardly in the midst of our suffering?

skyeheadshotThis is an interesting paradox of our faith. We are called by Christ to bear one another’s burdens and to seek to alleviate the suffering of others, but when faced with trails and sufferings ourselves we are to meet them with joy and following willingly in the footsteps of Christ. Consider Jesus’ own earthly life. Virtually everywhere he went he healed those suffering from both physical and social ailments, but he himself embraced suffering and hardship.

One of the most vivid examples of these two elements of Jesus’ life side-by-side is when he’s hanging on the cross and sees his mother and John below (John 19:26-27). Although suffering terribly, he still cares for his grieving mother by commanding John to “adopt” her into his home and care for her as his own mother. Even at the pinnacle of his pain, Jesus still finds the capacity to alleviate the pain of others.

I saw this in my grandfather when he was dying from leukemia many years ago. The disease caused him to lose his eyesight. While in the hospital, he spent time meeting with other blind patients undergoing treatment. He always saw himself as existing for the benefit of others, even in his pain.

As the Apostle Paul says, “To live is Christ, to die is gain.” I believe he’s acknowledging that while we live upon this earth our purpose, like Christ’s, is to be a servant—to be an agent of his kingdom wherever we are. While in our pain and suffering we should be praying not merely for God to deliver us, and that is certainly a legitimate prayer, but we should also be asking him to illuminate the ways he wants us to use our circumstances to bless others. But apart from this sense of calling, this divine impulse, we are likely to turn inward and allow our pain to become an excuse for narcissism. 

please visit the other blogs participating in the tour!

Out of Ur (OutofUr.com)

Flowerdust.net (http://www.flowerdust.net/)

Stuff Christians Like (http://stufffchristianslike.blogspot.com/)

Ragamuffin Soul (www.ragamuffinsoul.com)

Monday Morning Insight (http://www.mondaymorninginsight.com/)

Mark D Roberts (http://www.markdroberts.com/)

Ben Arment (www.benarment.com)

Church Relevance (http://churchrelevance.com/)

Bob Franquiz (http://bobfranquiz.typepad.com/)

Bob Hyatt (http://bobhyatt.typepad.com/)

Cole-Slaw (http://cole-slaw.blogspot.com/)

The Forgotten Ways (www.theforgottenways.org)

Reclaiming the Mission (http://www.reclaimingthemission.com/)

Shaun Groves (http://www.shaungroves.com/shlog)

Frank Viola (www.frankviola.wordpress.com/)

The Gospel-Driven Church (http://www.gospeldrivenchurch.blogspot.com/)

Christina Meyer (http://w2christina.blogspot.com/)

Lee Coate (http://leecoate.wordpress.com/)

Preaching Today (http://blog.preachingtoday.com/)

Gathering In Light (http://gatheringinlight.com/)

Off the Agenda (http://blog.BuildingChurchLeaders.com)

Take Your Vitamin Z (www.takeyourvitaminz.blogspot.com)

Staying Focused (http://kimmartinezstayingfocused.wordpress.com/)

blog tour for the divine commodity

skyeheadshotSkye Jethani, Managing Editor of Leadership Journal and author of the new book, The Divine Commodity, will be visiting over 20 blogs this Thursday, 16 April to talk about his book, and consumerism’s effect on Christianity.

0310283752

In the book, Skye interacts with both consumerisms’ grip on American culture as well as the artwork and life of Vincent van Gogh and connects the two.  In the end, Skye offers a way to break free of the grip of consumerism by practicing several spiritual disciplines.

Please visit this blog and the others linked below to read Skye’s answer to some great questions.  Also, post your comments and questions as well to the respective blogs, as Skye will also be interacting with commenter’s on each blog.  For more about The Divine Commodity, visit Skye’s blog (SkyeJethani.com).  Here is a list of the blogs involved this Thursday:

Out of Ur (OutofUr.com)

Flowerdust.net (http://www.flowerdust.net/)

Stuff Christians Like (http://stufffchristianslike.blogspot.com/)

Ragamuffin Soul (www.ragamuffinsoul.com)

Monday Morning Insight (http://www.mondaymorninginsight.com/)

Mark D Roberts (http://www.markdroberts.com/)

Ben Arment (www.benarment.com)

Church Relevance (http://churchrelevance.com/)

Bob Franquiz (http://bobfranquiz.typepad.com/)

Bob Hyatt (http://bobhyatt.typepad.com/)

Cole-Slaw (http://cole-slaw.blogspot.com/)

The Forgotten Ways (www.theforgottenways.org)

Reclaiming the Mission (http://www.reclaimingthemission.com/)

Shaun Groves (http://www.shaungroves.com/shlog)

Frank Viola (www.frankviola.wordpress.com/)

The Gospel-Driven Church (http://www.gospeldrivenchurch.blogspot.com/)

Christina Meyer (http://w2christina.blogspot.com/)

Lee Coate (http://leecoate.wordpress.com/)

Preaching Today (http://blog.preachingtoday.com/)

Gathering In Light (http://gatheringinlight.com/)

Off the Agenda (http://blog.BuildingChurchLeaders.com)

Take Your Vitamin Z (www.takeyourvitaminz.blogspot.com)

Staying Focused (http://kimmartinezstayingfocused.wordpress.com/)

ZonderFann (http://zonderfann.com/)

The Divine Commodity blog tour

good-samaritannext thursday skye jethani, author of the divine commodity, and managing editor or leadership journal will be on blog tour and visiting over 20 blogs answering questions and responding to comments regarding his new book.  the divine commodity explores spiritual practices that liberate our imaginations to live as Christ’s people in a consumer culture.  skye interacts with Scripture, history, culture and vincent van gogh and offers hope for the future of a post-consumer christianity.  for more about this book and skye visit his blog.

be sure to check back next week for a list of the blogs involved and info on how you can get a free copy of the book.  here is skye talking about the divine commodity:

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