Allan Bevere

Author's details

Name: Allan Bevere
Date registered: March 3, 2012

Latest posts

  1. Allan R. Bevere: Seven Habits of Lazy Leaders: — July 24, 2014
  2. Allan R. Bevere: Easter: Something New from What Has Already Been Done — July 23, 2014
  3. Allan R. Bevere: No Shirt, No Shoes, NO PANTS, No Service: The Problem with Arguments from Silence — July 23, 2014
  4. Allan R. Bevere: Liberals, Conservatives, and Progressives, Oh My! #3: A Third Way — July 22, 2014
  5. Allan R. Bevere: Extraordinary Kingdom, Ordinary Stories: A Lectionary Reflection on Matthew 13:31-33, 44-52 — July 21, 2014

Most commented posts

  1. Allan R. Bevere: Online Communion and Disembodied Gnosticism — 3 comments
  2. Allan R. Bevere: Yes, It Is Unavoidable… in the Head and in the Cafe — 2 comments
  3. Allan R. Bevere: A Last Supper with Helpings of Betrayal and Denial — 1 comment
  4. Allan R. Bevere: You Don’t Get Strung Up on a Cross for Running Around Telling Everyone to Love One Other — 1 comment
  5. Allan R. Bevere: It’s Four Years Later– Will It Be the Same Old Thing? — 1 comment

Author's posts listings

Jul 24 2014

Allan R. Bevere: Seven Habits of Lazy Leaders:

Original post at

Ron Edmonson is spot on!:
1. Assuming the answer without asking hard questions.

2. Not delegating.

3. Giving up after the first try.

4. Not investing in younger leaders.

5. Settling for mediocre performance.

6. Not explaining why.

7. Avoiding conflict.
Ron fills in the details of each one at Ministry Matters. Check it out here.

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Jul 23 2014

Allan R. Bevere: Easter: Something New from What Has Already Been Done

Original post at

from the Biologos blog:
Will the universe have an Easter of its own? Will the present world be transformed someday into a new heaven and earth, in which the lamb will lie down with the lion and there will be no more death? This is the very thought with which Ted Peters concludes his essay: "The primary reason for defending the concept of creatio ex nihilo in concert with creatio continua is that the primordial experience of God doing something new leads us in this direction. The Hebrew prophets promised that God would do something new in Israel. The New Testament promises us that God will yet do something new for the cosmos on the model of what God has already done for Jesus on Easter, namely, establish a new creation."

To see what this has to do with cosmology, read on…

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Jul 23 2014

Allan R. Bevere: No Shirt, No Shoes, NO PANTS, No Service: The Problem with Arguments from Silence

Original post at

Carol and I walked into a restaurant the other night. On the door was a sign that all of us typically see at public establishments: "No shirt, no shoes, no service." I jokingly said to my wife, "So, I suppose it's OK to come here without pants." My family has learned over the years to ignore my strange sense of humor.

But I think this little anecdote, in which you likely have no interest, does lead to an interesting point. The obvious reason such signs do not include the issue of wearing pants is because swirling around in our culture is the belief that it is not OK to fail to wear pants in public; and we are reminded of this every time we read or hear of someone who decides to transgress that boundary and is summarily arrested. In other words, these signs are silent on failing to wear pants because no warning is necessary. The same is true in that the "no shirt," admonition is not directly addressed to men, because they are the ones who would be the transgressors, since it is acceptable in certain contexts for men not to wear shirts in public (e.g. the beach) but never for women. The long and short of this is that it is context that makes sense of that sign on the restaurant door-- what is said and what is left unsaid. It would be silly to conclude that because the sign does not specifically mention the wearing of pants that the proprietors of the restaurant are OK with customers coming into their establishment naked from the waist down, except for their feet.

Arguments from silence, that is drawing conclusions from what isn't said or written, are quite problematic as we all know. Nevertheless, all of us continue to use them. We use them in daily life and we also use them in interpreting biblical texts, which is why it is not all too uncommon to hear someone argue for or against something based on what Jesus or Paul did not say. The response basically goes something like, "Well, Jesus never mentions the subject, so he must have approved," or "Paul never talks about it so it must have been no big deal to him."

So, it is probably best not to use such arguments in referring to the biblical text, but if we are going to use them, we need to ask some important questions around context. I suggest asking the following questions:

First, if Jesus or Paul never mentions a subject could it simply be that it didn't come up in their teaching (Jesus) or writing (Paul)? The fact is that an issue not mentioned does not necessarily mean that it was unimportant to the person in question. It may mean it simply never came up (for some reason) in discussion, or in the case of the Gospels, it was not an issue for the writers. The absence of a subject in and of itself tells us nothing about what the person in question believed about it.

This first consideration really gets us nowhere in suggesting what Jesus or Paul might have believed about a matter for which we have no specific wisdom from them, but it is a reminder that we should not out-of-hand conclude that either figure didn't care or approved of something because they never spoke about it.

Second, then is the question of the person himself. Were they persons who avoided speaking about controversy or were they willing to step into the fray on any given matter? This is important because persons who are non-controversial will avoid such subjects. If we were to conclude that either Jesus or Paul went out of their way to avoid controversy, that could very well explain much as to why they avoided certain controversial subjects in their day.

Now, I hope that I do not have to argue that Jesus and Paul were controversial persons. Jesus didn't get crucified for preaching some shallow and sentimental notion of love. Indeed, Jesus clearly was a controversial figure and not afraid to step on people's sacred convictions. Paul spent some serious time in prison on account of his ministry; and he is still a controversial figure today in that some Christians don't even like him and take issue with some of the things he wrote two millennia ago.

This is important because it cannot be claimed that Jesus or Paul failed to deal with certain issues because they were afraid to "rock the boat." Indeed, both men were first class boat-rockers.

So, that finally leaves us with the context question-- what I will call for the sake of this post the "no pants question." Perhaps Jesus or Paul didn't address certain issues because they simply accepted and agreed with the Jewish consensus of their day? Just as the vast majority of us in the United States don't specifically have to be told to wear pants in public, and we believe that doing so is a good idea, so Jesus and Paul do not broach certain matters because in reference to those issues they found themselves to be within the mainstream of Jewish belief and practice? Indeed, if Jesus in particular ever spoke on such matters in his own Jewish context, perhaps the Gospel writers do not mention them because they simply would not have been news in their context. You don't have to reinforce the truth of a certain conviction that everyone believes. And, if indeed Jesus ever went against the common consensus of his culture on a particular subject, one wonders why it was excluded from the Gospels? Jesus was news, in part, because of his non-conformity.

Now, none of this suggests that there is a conclusive method for assessing arguments from silence, but it should be a reminder to us that if we are going to use them in reference to the biblical witness, we need to see them in light of the context of the text, and just not assume that silence means unimportance or insignificance.

Before we draw conclusions about what isn't said, we need to clothe the biblical text with context. Otherwise, our discussions could very well be obscene.

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Jul 22 2014

Allan R. Bevere: Liberals, Conservatives, and Progressives, Oh My! #3: A Third Way

Original post at

My thoughts in this blogpost can be heard in an interview I did with Rev. Drew McIntyre, who blogs at Via Media Methodists. I thank him for the invitation. When I meet young pastors like Drew, I have hope for the future of United Methodism.

The interview starts somewhat after 17:00, but I encourage you to listen to the entire podcast as Drew and his compadres talk about the book, Finding Our Way: Love and Law in the United Methodist Church (they are giving away free copies-- listen for details), and also an entertaining discussion on breakfast cereal.

This latest edition of the WesleyCast can be heard here.
NOTE: You may need to download iTunes (it's free) to listen.

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Jul 21 2014

Allan R. Bevere: Extraordinary Kingdom, Ordinary Stories: A Lectionary Reflection on Matthew 13:31-33, 44-52

Original post at

Matthew 13:31-33, 44-52

The proclamation of the Word depends, not only upon the preacher, but upon the hearer. There will be those who will reject the truth being proclaimed no matter how poetic the preacher and how convincing the argument. Others will receive the word gladly, only to allow the cares and frustrations of daily life to choke off the excitement.

Jesus comes proclaiming his Kingdom. The preacher and the message are the same. Yet throughout Matthew, people receive his Word differently. It is an explosive message he proclaims, which is why he speaks in parables. Just as one cannot look directly into the sun, so the proclamation of God's Kingdom must be given in a type of indirect speech, a kind of code language, a way of speaking about the things of God in a way that reflects the truth of the Kingdom, in the same way as one sees the sun be observing its rays shining on the grass and the trees. It is a radical message to those who believe that the Kingdom will come by violent power and might, and it is an extreme proclamation to persons who want to keep the Kingdom from coming. The former will reject Jesus' Kingdom message because of the way he says it is now breaking in; the latter because it threatens the status quo, the benefits of which they enjoy.

The Kingdom of God is surely here, but it does not come in the way the religious leaders and the masses expect. So, Jesus speaks of the Kingdom in ordinary ways with ordinary stories containing ordinary things. The Kingdom is like a growing seed, even a tiny mustard seed. It has been planted and now it grows right under the noses of the religious establishment, those who are supposed to know about Kingdom things. The disciples must pay attention to what is being said. The more they understand and the more they seek to understand, the more they will receive the benefits of the Kingdom. If they don't attend to the things that will deepen their faith, they will eventually lose what little they have. Grace is not an excuse to be lazy when it comes to discipleship.
The mysteries of God's Kingdom are the treasure that must be sought. It is more valuable than fame and fortune, even that one pearl of great price. That Kingdom will continue to move and grow with or without us. Jesus' call to all to repent in response to God's Kingdom come as an announcement and an invitation. It is an invitation to join Jesus' Kingdom movement, and it is also an announcement that the Kingdom has arrived and will not pause and wait. There is no time to waste. Those who reject God's Kingdom come in Jesus because it does not come in the way they want or expect will find themselves left remembering the invitation they missed because the announcement was not heeded.
The ends never justifies the means. It not only matters that God's Kingdom comes-- in what way it comes is also of great significance.

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Jul 20 2014

Allan R. Bevere: The Methodist Blogs Weekly Links of Note

Original post at

This week's noteworthy posts from the Methoblogosphere:

Dan Dick: "Antagonisn't"

Steve Heyduck: "Pest Control and Evangelism"

John Ed Mathison: "Apologies for Miscommunication"

Erik Marshall: "Do You Care About Your Vision? Then Sell It"

Andy Stoddard: "How to Endure"

Drew McIntyre: "Heroism, Martyrdom, and Suicide: Thoughts on Self-Immolation"

Ken L. Hagler: "Continuing to Open Our Eyes to Disabilities in the Church"

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