Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Dominion or Domination?

I received this little proverb through Heartlight last week and found it very insightful. Hope you do, too:

"Some people work to give their kids a car so they can get away. I'd rather work to give my kids a home that they'd like to stick around so their friends have a place to hang out with their new cars" (Rich Melheim).


Do yourself a favor and take a second to click here. This link takes you to the video of the finals of the Grand National BMX competition last weekend in Louisville, Kentucky. It was there that Woodward Park's own Randy Stumpfhauser won the Grand National Championship.

After clicking the link, click on "Elite Men" then "Elite Men Finals NBL."

Congratulations, Randy! You da man!


The first 100-persons line at the new Fresno Chick-fil-A will be forming this time next week. As with the opening of any new Chick-fil-A, the first 100 persons in line for the grand opening receive one free meal per week for one full year.

That's 52 free meals at Chick-fil-A and that's the next best thing to heaven!

Now, for the rub.

The manager has informed me that leaving the line for any reason other than to use the restroom results in disqualification from the prize. Seeing as how the grand opening is Thursday morning at 6:00 AM and the line can begin forming 24 hours prior to the opening, I am sunk. I have to teach at church on Wednesday evening, which frustrates me greatly since Chick-fil-A closes every Sunday for the express purpose of allowing its employees to attend church.

How do I get around my conundrum? Any sage advice from former first 100 participants? I really need to figure out a way around this due to its potential savings on our family budget.


This week, I am writing a paper for my class at MBBS based on Ben Witherington's book The Realm of the Reign. Witherington prefers the language of "dominion" to "kingdom" because dominion better captures the essence of kingdom theology in Scripture. In western culture, we relegate the term "kingdom" strictly to a place; i.e. The Magic Kingdom, the United Kingdom, etc. Yet, in Scripture, kingdom refers not simply to the physical location of the people of God but to the activity of God (grace) and its accompanying conditions (response) wherever that occurs.

The danger, according to Witherington, is when the church compromises its dominion mentality in exchange for a domination mentality. He writes:

"A domination mentality shows itself when the church announces arrogantly that it is the sole dispenser of God's grace, and that the authority and decisions of its leaders should not be questioned. By contrast, a church that manifests the dominion of God recognizes that only God is God, and that the church's leaders are servants of God, not saviors.

A church that manifests the dominion of God recognizes that true leaders are servant-leaders; therefore, such a church does not indulge or encourage the 'cult of personality' we sometimes find in churches where the loyalty of the people is centered around a powerful person instead of around Christ. A (leader) who recognizes God's rule and saving work in the midst of his people will not think that he is indispensable to the church. Rather, as a servant of God, he will seek to enable the gifts and graces of the baptized, not disable them by trying to do or control all the church's ministries.

Interestingly enough, those leaders who model themselves after Christ's leadership style (see Luke 22.25-27) do not assume the position of the church's Lord but rather the posture of the Lord, namely, that of a servant. It is precisely this posture of a servant that helps to prevent the development of a domination mentality" (34-5).