Skip to main content

Jesus People USA

Just heard about Jesus People USA from a co-worker of mine, Tom, who knows a few of the people that were closely involved with starting it. They're a community of evangelical protestant Christians who live together in common, all ~500 of them at one address on the north side of Chicago in the Uptown neighborhood. Very exciting to discover them, though disappointing to also discover that with all their inclusiveness, they are explicitly sola scriptura (disclaimer: I haven't read through that wikipedia article, though I do lend the site some trust).

Intentional community is the phrase that gets touted in groups like this and the People of Praise. It has intense meaning within it, first hinted at in the Acts of the Apostles, and still very much counter-cultural. It toys with your definitions of freedom and responsibility, ever whispering in your head, "Not enough!"

That said, I google-datamined the site in an attempt to learn more about it's stance on other Christian denominations, ones who profess a belief in some truth outside of scripture, and was mildly relieved. In various instances of their past, JPUSA has learned from Catholicism, and seems to be easing towards something of a limited relationship with that theology, moreso than the nonexistant one in their earlier years. Here is one excerpt:

Jean Vanier, leader of the Catholic community L'Arche, was later quoted in Cornerstone to illustrate true community versus sect:
A true community becomes more and more open; a sect seems open, but over time in fact becomes more and more closed. A sect is made up of people who believe that only they are right. They are incapable of listening; they are enclosed and fanatical; they find no truth outside themselves. Their members have lost their capacity for individual reflection; only they are elect, saved and perfect; everyone else is wrong.

Communities are also distinguished from sects by the fact that the members of a sect focus more and more on a single reference--their founder, prophet, shepherd, leader or saint. It is he who holds all the temporal and spiritual power and keeps all the members under control. They read only his writings and they live from his words alone. This false prophet refuses to allow anyone but himself speak to the group; he dismisses anyone who could threaten his all-powerful authority. He surrounds himself with people who are weak, incapable of any personal thought ("Community," Cornerstone 9, no. 5 [1980]: 37).

Emphasis mine. Regardless, it's exciting to see such a devoted group of Christians learning to think of others more than themselves. It would be great to visit them and work with them sometime.

Popular posts from this blog

Wonder of wonders

I still can't believe it. That's all it takes for it to be a miracle, right?

Another video from the same moment, and a photo of us shortly thereafter.

Now then, onto a new awesome phase of life. Wedding planning! :)

p.s. I love Cathy Grill!

Encountering Embodied Humans

A couple nights ago I went to Theology on Tap to hear John O'Callaghan speak about "The Church & Science and Technology - Are Science and Technology the Enemy?" He didn't refer directly to the Catholic Church at all throughout it, but referred more implicitly to the body of Christ which the Church consists of. I'd like to summarize my experience of it rather than a comprehensive overview of all of it.Regarding the ethical dilemma of creating technologies that may be used for evil, there are two things to consider:
We need to remain concerned about the big picture and not just the work on our desk. I work in a small division currently which forces me to be aware of the business opportunities and risks rather than just the programming that has been assigned to me. This needs to be equally true of our moral ethics.
The relationships we experience in our work are quite possibly more important than our work may be.
We struggle with whether the variety of emerging…

Innocence leads to broken jaw

This is a story from my friend K. If you know who I'm talking about, please don't use his name in the comments or I'll have to delete them. If you'd like to know who it is, feel free to email me and ask.

Major facts are just wrong:

Both men eventually pulled into the Speedway gas station at Edison and South Bend Avenue, police said, and about 30 seconds later a third vehicle, a black Dodge, pulled in as well, blocking the victim from leaving.

Intending to apologize, the victim exited his vehicle, police said. He was met by the driver of the SUV, who punched him several times in the mouth, knocking him unconscious.

I had my seatbelt on the whole time, and I wasn't punched by the SUV driver. I was sucker punched by his buddy from the second car while I was paying attention to the driver of the suv who was walking around yelling.

This all happened in the early hours of Sunday morning. Th…