The book signing at Asbury Theological Seminary went well. Sold (and signed) some books and met some great people.
I was also a guest lecturer in Steve Seamands’ Doctrine of the Holy Spirit class. I enjoyed the time in the classroom. I lectured for an hour and then answered questions for about 15 minutes. I shared some of the findings from my dissertation work on spiritual transformation and leadership growth and then taught through my Trinitarian vision of spiritual transformation out of the Shape Shifters book. I made more than one shameless plug for the book…awkward but necessary.
I opened the lecture with references to moral failures in Christian leadership, particularly in Pentecostal/charismatic leadership. I pointed out the flaws in charismatic leadership development, as well as their theology and spirituality. These were flaws that I believe have led in part to the moral failures in that tradition. Each of the flaws were connected to the absence of spiritual transformation within that tradition, one of the reasons I packed my bags and left the charismania.
The Q&A was enjoyable and challenging. Their questions proved that they were engaging in my presentation. One student felt that I was painting Pentecostalism in too broad of a stroke and that we should approach the weakness within charismatic theology/spirituality with humility and love. I asked him to forgive me if he felt that I was speaking with either arrogance or an unloving spirit. But I did say that I was here to pick of fight. I would love to get charismatics to think more critically about the issues in their theology and spirituality.
I also picked up a copy of David Kinnamen’s Unchrisitan. This is the result of a three-year study of the perceptions of Christians from 16-29 year-olds who are outside the faith. It is really telling. I am going to develop this into a teaching series soon. In the book, Kinnamen (and co-author Gabe Lyons) puts all of the data into six broad themes, six common perceptions that non-Christian twenty-somethings have of Christians. Here is what they think of us:
2) Too focused on getting converts
5) Too political
The local church has to continue to change in order to connect the emerging generation. The times they are a-changin…so you better start swimming or you will sink like a stone! They are calling us unChristian; it is time for us to be reChristians.
Here are some pictures of Professor Vreeland:U