Archive for February, 2011

The John 17:23 Network – March gathering (with a special focus on illegal immigration)

February 23rd, 2011 by Paul Louis Metzger

On Sunday, March 13, The John 17:23 Network will take a special look at how the values of the network penetrate the issue of illegal immigration – moving beyond petty politics to people. This will be a great opportunity to engage the many complex issues surrounding this specific challenge to unity in the Body of Christ.

Join us on Sunday, March 13 at 6:00pm at Imago Dei Community (1304 SE Ankeny in Portland) in the Ankeny building, room 101. This event is open to the public. See you there!

For some material to get you thinking, check out the film Papers, this article by J. Mark DeYmaz and this op-ed by Rabbi Maurice Harris.

Consumerism and Drug Addiction

February 17th, 2011 by Braxton Alsop

In this essay, Darcy McGuffin reflects on the connection between consumerism and drug addiction.  In the face of a culture addicted to the illusion of “happily ever after,” the church needs to return to its roots and acknowledge that suffering is a part of life in a fallen world.  She righlty claims that we cannot avoid suffering, but we can follow Christ’s example in the midst of it.

Consumerism and Drug Addiction: Coping with Suffering

What is Biblical Justice?

February 15th, 2011 by Bryan Dormaier

Justice flows from God’s heart and character. As true and good, God seeks to make the object of his holy love whole. This is what motivates God throughout the Old and New Testaments in his judgments on sin and injustice. These judgments are both individual and corporate in scope.

Be sure to check out Dr. Metzger’s article What is Biblical Justice, which originally was featured in Leadership Journal. In it, Dr. Metzger explores what the biblical call to justice is.

The John 17:23 Network – gathering on 2/13

February 11th, 2011 by Paul Louis Metzger

Dear friends,

We thank God for your partnership in The John 17:23 Network. Many of you were able to attend the gathering at Trinity Full Gospel Pentecostal Church on January 30. God moved mightily in our midst through worship and celebration. As many people said during and after the event, they experienced a taste of heaven, witnessing such diverse unity in the body of Christ.

Whereas the January gathering of The John 17:23 Network focused on worship and celebration, the February and March gatherings will be more educational in nature. This Sunday evening, 2/13, Dr. Brad Harper will co-lead with us and share about the importance of developing multiethnic churches. Before coming to Multnomah University to teach in 1999, Dr. Harper was a pastor in St. Louis, Missouri for 13 years. He was very involved with seeking after unity in the body of Christ along multiethnic lines and will bring his experiences and insights to bear on the discussion Sunday evening.

Our February gathering will be held this Sunday, 2/13 at 6:00pm at Central Bible Church’s Wilcox House. Central Bible Church’s address is 8815 NE Glisan St. The Wilcox house is located on the southwest corner of the church’s property (at the corner of NE 87th Ave. & Glisan St.). You can park in the lower parking lot.
For periodic updates and related information pertaining to The John 17:23 Network, stay tuned at or email

See you Sunday!

Paul Louis Metzger

A story of rhythm & grace…

February 11th, 2011 by Paul Louis Metzger

Jimi is an outrageously talented musician, a highly thoughtful pastor, and more recently – a friend of mine. Who else would be inspired to confront racial issues in the church by his history of playing with major rock-n-roll artists (think Jimi Hendrix, The Rolling Stones, etc.)? Austin-based writer Eileen Flynn recently wrote a profile of Jimi. Here’s an excerpt…

My meeting earlier this month with Jimi Calhoun falls into the better-late-than-never category. I’d been meaning to interview him since he first contacted me two years ago about his about-to-be-published book “A Story of Rhythm and Grace: What the Church Can Learn from Rock & Roll about Healing the Racial Divide.”

The great thing about Calhoun, a wiry, youthful-looking 63-year-old who has pursued careers as a rock ‘n’ roll musician and a church pastor, is that he’s both patient and perpetually moving forward. When we sat down for lunch at a Chinese restaurant in West Lake Hills, Calhoun had two new projects under way: a second book and an East Austin multi-ethnic church he and his wife are starting with two other couples.

But first I wanted to get caught up on “Rhythm and Grace.” In the book, Calhoun describes a life spent in “two cities.” In one city, he played bass guitar for big-name rock ‘n’ roll acts such as Jimi Hendrix, Mick Jagger and Dr. John. There, he found that music naturally brought together people of different races. In the other city, he served as a black pastor in a white evangelical community that emphasized loving God and loving people but wasn’t always adept at race relations.

Click here to keep reading.

Related Essays: Mind-set/Beliefs: Divinity and Diversity

February 2nd, 2011 by Bryan Dormaier

At 10:45 on Tuesday mornings, Paul Louis Metzger shrugs on his jacket, grabs a stack of papers, leaves the quiet of his book-lined office and heads down the stairs to his classroom.

Often there’s work to do before students begin filing in. The chairs and tables, filling the narrow room in double rows, need to be rearranged. As latecomers arrive, Metzger takes his chair, in the hot seat, where the circle of theology students comes together.

“Let’s begin with a word of prayer,” he says. Eighteen students from Portland’s Multnomah Biblical Seminary bow their heads. “Lord,” Metzger begins, “you call us to engage the world as Christ engaged the world. Please help us to do that. Amen.”

That prayer, which sounds so simple, is a challenge for Metzger, despite his doctoral degree with a focus on Christ and culture from a London university, despite his book on the theology of Karl Barth and despite five years of teaching at Multnomah…

Click here to read the rest of this article by Nancy Haught of the Oregonian (Mind-set/Beliefs: Divinity and Diversity), which gives an overview of some of the efforts Dr. Metzger has been involved in to bring issues of diversity to the center of Evangelical discussion.

The John 17:23 Network

February 1st, 2011 by Paul Louis Metzger

In April of 2010, many people gathered at Allen Temple Christian Methodist Episcopal Church for “An Evening of Prayerful Repentance and Reconciliation.” Dr. LeRoy Haynes, Jr. and Dr. John M. Perkins led us in a time of worship and celebration and prayerful solidarity that God’s people might become one in the Greater Portland area. Ever since then, many Christians have been meeting in different locations to encourage and exhort and equip the multi-ethnic Christian community in the greater Portland area. There have been ups and downs along the way. However, I now feel that we are gaining traction with these gatherings.

We are now giving a title to our monthly gatherings involving various churches. We are calling our gatherings “The John 17:23 Network.” The aim of The John 17:23 Network is to encourage, exhort, and equip the multi-ethnic Body of Christ in the greater Portland area to fulfill Jesus’ prayer in our midst that we might all be one.

We held our first meeting for the 2011 year at Trinity Full Gospel Pentecostal Church on January 30th. Pastor William Turner, the Senior Pastor of Trinity and his church’s choir, Pastor David Stevens, Senior Pastor of Central Bible Church, Pastor Cliff Chappell, Senior Pastor of All Nations Church of God in Christ, and a large gathering of people from various churches came together to pray and worship and encourage one another to seek to live into Jesus’ prayer in John 17. Many shared after the celebration how encouraged they were by the event. Our prayer is that such gatherings will energize us to run the marathon race of breaking down divisions and entering into the fullness of Jesus’ undying and reconciling love for the church.

Please stay tuned for updates regarding the upcoming meetings. Please see the attached document with details of the January 30th meeting as well as information regarding the meetings in February and March. Thank you. God bless you!

Paul Louis Metzger