Tag Archives: notes from pepperdine lectures

Notes from The Pepperdine Lectures – Rick Atchley & Jonathan Storment


Notes from Rick Atchley & Jonathan Storment’s Class at The 2009 Pepperdine Lectures – “When Past Meets Post: What’s a Church to Do? pt. 1” – Wednesday May 6, 2009 – 8:30AM. This was the first class in a series of three discussing the church and postmodernism.

  • Postmoderism is “the collapse of inherited metanarratives.”
  • Modernity says, “We’re going to make the world a better place by reason, science, technology, etc.” Postmodernity says back to modernity, “The report cards are in, and you’ve failed!”
  • When Rick was in elementary school, the teacher taught him how Columbus sailed the ocean blue and found America. When Jonathan was in elementary school, the teacher taught him how Columbus sailed the ocean blue, found American, and butchered the Indians.
  • Our culture has a problem with the exclusive claim that Jesus is Lord – ONLY. That’s because our culture values consumerism above all else. The world revolves around self.
  • Churches have become more akin to the Home Shopping Network than a revolution!
  • Depending on mass-media too much reverses the incarnation – truth needs a body (the role of the church)!
  • Tony Campolo quote (not exact): “Mixing the gospel and politics is like mixing horse manure and ice cream. It won’t affect the horse manure that much, but you might not like the ice cream.”
  • Moderns come to a church and ask, “Is this true?” Postmoderns come to a church and ask, “Do I want to be like these people?”
  • Moderns: Believe –> Behave –> Belong
  • Postmoderns: Belong –> Believe –> Behave

Things that are going to happen to the church as a direct result of postmodern thought:

  1. Postmodernity is going to diminish the rule of legalism.
  2. Postmodernity will diminish self-righteousness.
  3. Postmodernity will encourage the church to embrace mystery.
  4. Postmodernity will call the church to be more authentic.
  5. Postmodernity will cause us to hold up Jesus instead of the church. The church is embodied in a person. Where the church hasn’t looked like Jesus, we must confess and repent.
  6. Postmodernity will cause us to rethink and rearticulate our story. Its hero is one who died on a cross.

For more teaching from Jonathan and Rick, subscribe to their podcast here.

Also, check out Jonathan’s blog. There’s a good post on keeping the Sabbath (taking a day off) there today.

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Notes From The Pepperdine Lectures – Brian Simmons

Notes from Brian Simmons’ keynote presentation at the 2009 Pepperdine Lectures – “The Triumph of the Cross” covering Colossians 2:8-15 – Thursday May 7, 11AM.

  • Starts out polling the audience about their fears – more people in the audience are afraid of spiders than anything else.
  • Tells a story about a college girl in a class he was teaching sitting on the front row. He noticed a spider dangling over her head during his lecture. He decided to ignore it instead of calling her attention to it and making a scene.  The spider eventually dropped down onto her head and got in her hair. Other students noticed and once someone told the girl a spider was in her hair, she jumped out of her seat and started freaking out running around pulling at her hair screaming and crying until she ran out of the room. They didn’t see her back in class that day.
  • The next time the class met, she came to the door and opened it up, and before she crossed the threshold she stuck her head in the room, looked around, and asked, “Are there any spiders today?”
  • Spider as an illustration: there are only a few spiders in the United States that can actually hurt us. Black Widows and Brown Recluses are bad, but 95% of the spiders we encounter can’t hurt us at all.  That doesn’t keep people from being afraid of them though.
  • The girl gave that tiny spider authority over her – the spider couldn’t hurt her, but the girl treated it like it could. All the power it had over her it had because she gave it power over her.
  • The same thing was going on in Colossae at the time of Paul’s writing – Christians had given authority to something small that really didn’t have any authority over them – only the authority they gave it.
  • If sin has power over us, it’s because we’ve given it power over us.
  • Christ and _______ (insert whatever you’d like) is not the gospel!
  • Tells real people’s stories he’s encountered – 1) Dan is a drug dealer who got a bunch of kids hooked on meth. Came to Jesus, but doesn’t feel forgiven, so he slipped back into his old lifestyle. 2) Mary is a woman who came to Jesus, but still struggles with doubt – doesn’t feel saved.
  • Dan and Mary don’t believe they’re saved, because they need Jesus and a feeling. That’s adding to Jesus!
  • Colossians 2:23 – people give power to things that don’t have power
  • The Cross has triumphed over the powers and authorities of this world!
  • Colossians 2:9 – Christ is so much more powerful than the thing that’s victimizing you!
  • You don’t need Christ and a “really, really, remorseful feeling.” You just need Christ!
  • Colossians 2:15 – Christ “disarms” – this word is used to describe a battlefield encounter where the victor defeats his opponent, takes his weapon, holds it over his head, and gives a victory shout. He completely dominates his opponent. That’s what Christ does to sin!
  • “In my house, I’m the spider-killer!” Tells story about his daughter screaming in the middle of the night because a spider was on her wall. He, as daddy, entered her room with a tissue, smashed the spider, wadded it up in the tissue, and triumphantly flushed it down the toilet. “I triumphed over the spider!”
  • Triumph = a complete conquest.
  • Christ has not only triumphed, but has rescued us as well! Why do people have such a hard time believing this?
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Notes From the Pepperdine Lectures – Curt Sparks

Notes from Curt Sparks’ keynote speech – “You Have Died With Christ” covering Colossians 2:16-23 – Thursday 7PM.

  • Starts presentation by playing a clip from The Sixth Sense – little kid saying “I see dead people … walking around like regular people – they don’t see each other – they only see what they want to see – they don’t know they’re dead!”
  • Paul is saying the same thing in Colossians 2 – he sees people who’ve died, only they’re walking around living like everyone else not realizing they’d died to their old way of life!
  • Colossians 2:12 and Romans 6:1-14  link becoming a Christian to dying to your old way of life and allowing Christ to live through you. Paul taught and modeled this (Galatians 2:20).
  • The “philosophy” mentioned in Colossians 2 rejected the work of Jesus on the Cross by adding to it. Teaching “Jesus + _______” as a path to salvation rejects the effectiveness of Jesus’ dying for our sins on the cross. Jesus does not need help from another religion or spiritual philosophy to save people. In fact, to add to the message of Jesus is to destroy it.
  • Working for your salvation leads to arrogance, pride, and a spirit of exclusiveness  – that is, the people doing the works will be the ones saying who’s in and who’s out (case in point: the Pharisees).
  • This “philosophy” in Colossae was an approach to religion based on fear and superstition likely tied to a folk religion. The people needed to understand that Jesus had already taken care of any dark powers present and they needn’t worry about them.
  • For the people in Colossae, it wasn’t the getting it (being saved) that was the issue – it was keeping it (staying saved) that was the issue. Voices were telling them “you must do x, y, or z to stay saved” – the x, y, or z was tied to folk religion or paganism.
  • Things like this still occur today – denominations and faith tribes have set up “markers” – there are certain things you must teach or do in order to be deemed “saved”
  • Many Churches of Christ have set up markers like this – there’s an entire platform you must carry, and if you change one point of it “you’re out!”
  • “We should no longer be offended for God when God is not offended!”  (Amen to that!)
  • “Living in fear of retribution does not equal abundant life!” (Amen to that too!)

Great stuff! Listen to more of Curt’s preaching by clicking here.

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