Friday Stream of Consciousness – 148

Featuring Kobe Bryant, Dogs, and the Anti-Atonement folks

stream of consciousness

Here’s what’s on my mind this morning:

  • I’ve been offline a bit…just quite busy and haven’t had much to say. I resolved a long time ago that if I didn’t have something I thought might be helpful to someone…I’d not say it. God knows we have enough idle chatter in the world. Well, I’ve been working on some things I think might be helpful to someone.
  • The blog was made for man, not man for the blog.
  • This is the 148th stream of consciousness. For those new to these Friday posts, they are simply what the title implies. The statements that follow are top-of-mind…not theological or cultural exegesis.
  • The Padres may lose a hundred games this year.
  • Team sports give you an entirely different blessing than individual sports like golf, tennis, etc. Both teach valuable lessons. For the life of me, I can’t figure out why we care as much about how many Super Bowls a QB has won. The same goes for World Series. Now golf and tennis…
  • Two of my favorite spiritual events of every year are both coming up…and both are in SoCal. Check out the Pepperdine Bible Lectures and the North American Christian Convention.
  • The anti-atonement faction of Christianity is a bigger danger to the church than outside forces. This is because they are activists, not simply theologians. They don’t just teach…they are actively antagonistic towards those who disagree and tend to be more actively supportive of secular culture which supports their actual objective (Utopianism with an optional Jesus twist), than they are any form of Christianity that resists their social objectives.
  • The best of the anti-atonement crowd thinks their vision of the world comes directly from Jesus. Yet, His name appears far less than, “justice,” “kingdom,” and slew of other buzz words. Or, Jesus becomes synonymous with their narrative. He has no distinctive existence apart from it.
  • In my experience, anti-atonement progressives seldom demonstrate an epistemic humility that allows for some margin of error in their translation of the New Testament into matters of “justice,” “Kingdom,” etc. You’d think Jesus had given them tablets of stone with specific instructions on what, “fair,” meant economically environmentally, racially, etc.
  • I’ve also wondered why the same thirst for what is called “economic justice,” “environmental justice,” etc. doesn’t apply to things outside a Progressive political vision–say, the unborn, or the human rights of Christians around the world, etc. Well, it’s because the narrative they are actually working under (not Scripture), doesn’t allow for that.
  • Lest I be misunderstood…I believe in working toward a more just world. I just believe it is a means and an end…not THE end. I also do not believe government is the solution to our problems. If Christians haven’t learned another thing from history—we should have learned that.
  • I’m addicted to Carnitas.
  • Give the Warriors their props.
  • We got a puppy, and I generally regret it…at least so far.
  • I think the NFL will fade over the next 20 years, falling victim to what Jim Collins calls, “The Hubris Born of Success.”
  • For those wondering–I’m aware that a “Christian” can be anti-atonement, and not hell-bent on a Progressive social vision for the world–but it’s unusual, in my experience.
  • I’m also aware that “anti-atonement” isn’t the way people who don’t believe in substitutionary atonement would use for themselves. But, that’s OK. I have a lot more to say on this subject…but it needs a much larger post or series of posts than this.
  • My sense is today’s “progressive Christian” movement will go the way of the sixties social gospel folks and the missional church movement. The primary reason is the passion for the vision driving the movement is rooted in a particular narrative of creating a more just earth rather than in God himself. It’s lobsided…a one-winged bird…a an active body with little soul.
  • People ultimately find salvation through recycling lacking.
  • OK, that was a little sarcastic and perhaps rude. Sorry.
  • No really, I’m sorry.
  • It’s just that I’m growing really frustrated with what I see and hear coming from some people I greatly respect and I worry about it’s implications for the life and mission of the church.
  • Kobe Bryant is, at best, the fourth greatest Laker of all time. Wilt, Magic, and Kareem come ahead of him…easily I believe.
  • Marriage tip: trying to fix your spouse never works, and it hinders your own spiritual growth. When I’m trying to get you to be like me or someone else, I’m not focused on becoming more like Jesus.
  • The same goes for those of us trying to fix the world. Maybe it isn’t just the systems of the world that are unjust. Perhaps it’s not the President, not my government, not my mayor, but it’s me, Oh Lord…standing in the the need…
  • Then again, the whole mess could use some prayer, no?
  • Song of the week: the unplugged, acoustic version of Aloe Blacc’s, Wake Me Up.

Dr. Tim Spivey is Pastor of New Vintage Church in Escondido, California. He is the author of numerous articles and one book, "Jesus: The Powerful Servant." A sought after speaker for events, Tim also serves as Adjunct Professor of Religion at Pepperdine University. Tim serves as a church consultant, and his writings are featured on numerous websites, including:, Church Executive magazine, Faith Village, Sermon Central, and Giving Rocket.

Please note: I reserve the right to delete comments that are offensive or off-topic.