6.21.2007

A Romans Road thread.

This is really worth checking out. Below are recent discussions on Jesuscreed.org
I believe Scot McKnight is circumspect in his observations on the current discussion on evangelism in it's traditional evangelical and emerging 'methods'. I think inherent to this particular topic are the important nuances that are often overlooked in the "atonement" debates/dialogue.

The nuances that I am referring to are having to do with grasping the broad scope and elements of the scriptures story, picture, worldview or narrative. Instead of looking at things in one perspective we need to consider that there are others; a multiperspectivalism.

I don't know if I will be able to get on here and blog on the atonement topic. However, I really do want too. But my life-style and managing time for this activity is very difficult. We'll see.

I encourage you to read the threads linked below. I apologize for the primitive method of linking. For some reason I do not have the capability of incorporating active links on my blog post. Only in the title can I. So you will have to copy and paste the link to your address bar.

Peace,

Letters to Emerging Christians: Romans Road Pt. 1
http://www.jesuscreed.org/?p=2463#comments

Letters to Emerging Christians: Romans Road Pt. 2
http://www.jesuscreed.org/?p=2465#comments

6.20.2007

I will kill your dog...

Click on the title to read an amazing article on Fox News regarding a man choking a Bobcat to death after it jumped him.

I must say that I was thrilled in reading this. Recently Danae and I were taking our boys for a walk throughout our neighborhood. Our boys wear little monkey backpacks and the monkey's tail is a leash. Danae was ahead of me with Jonah and Aidan and Asher and I were laggin behind a bit just strolling and enjoying our walk. Out from the corner of my right eye a rather large Boxer started to charge us full throttle like it was going to attack....behind it were two other non-menacing dogs and two twenty something year old ladies.
I immediately picked Asher up and shouted, "Hey!" to the dog and the dog eventually stopped about 15 yards away from us after it's owner had shouted for it. The young lady sincerely and sorrowfully apologized for the dog and said that it was a very friendly dog. Okay. I'll take your word for it.

We still go for walks...albeit with vigilance. I tell Danae now...if a dog charges us and is going to attack you or the boys I will kill it.

I will choke your dog. I will kill your dog. I will do what it takes....break it's neck or split its mouth wide open like King Kong or Samson or King David. I will.

Why? Because my wife and my little boys cannot.

I appreciate you taking that stand brother and killing that Bobcat. God bless us and His creatures. These creatures do not know any better.

6.17.2007

[UPDATE]Notify Blogger about ojectionable content on this page.

I AM NO LONGER FLAGGED. INTERESTING. PERHAPS IT WAS "PORN."


That's what it says when you put the cursor over the "Blog Flagged".

Just wanted to remind you that you need to contact Blogger and let them know the objectionable content.

Thanks for the privilege of being flagged.

Have a happy flux in fixedness my friend.

Manhattan Artist Accepts $29G Settlement From City After Topless Stroll

I don't want to see your boobs. So, your gonna say to me, "Well, then don't look over here!" ???
I'll keep my shirt on if this is going to be the case. This is messed up.

We're going there people. We are going there...............

Perhaps Origen would've gouged his eyes out if he were here now. Blessed is that brother.

6.16.2007

6.07.2007

Some interesting words by Vanhoozer.

I liked what was said here by Kevin Vanhoozer in this interview conducted by Gary Shavey (who contributes to the Resurgence). The excerpt is taken from the interview which was a plug for his recent published editorial entitled, "Everyday Theology."

" Gary Shavey: Do you see a growing marginalization between Christians and our "cultural text"?

Kevin Vanhoozer: Contemporary culture is actually made up of a vast array of "texts" – that is, humanly produced works that have meaning and significance. The implicit message of cultural texts is "This is what it means or looks like to be human"; "This is what the good life looks like". In other words, culture programs our imaginations to think in certain ways just as it programs us to live in certain ways. Think of culture as the software that runs the social hardware – the various institutions (e.g., schools, government, family) that comprise our life together.

On this model, I think we can safely say that the main programming in contemporary culture is not particularly Christian. The values that drive our culture are not distinctly Christian; indeed, many are inimical to Christian values. For example, George Ritzer speaks in his book The McDonaldization of Society of the way in which fast food values – efficiency, calculability, predictability, and control through technology – have taken hold of many other institutions, including, to some extent, the church! Similarly, James Twitchell speaks of the "branding" of America: everything, even Jesus, is fair game for marketing. But should the gospel be "marketed"?

My point is that the powers and principalities against which the church now struggles are those of cultural programming. The purpose of our book is to de-program culturalized Christians. Sleepwalkers of the world, awake!

My own hunch is that we need to recover the imagination in order to set the cultural captives free. I believe that many people in today's society, and church, suffer from an impoverished imagination. By imagination I mean the cognitive power of seeing things together, as wholes; clearly a worldview is an affair of the imagination, at least in part. In any case, I believe that our imaginations are captive to secular stories/worldviews that do not nourish our souls. Eugene Peterson says something similar about the function of the 10 plagues of Egypt: they were intended to free the imagination of the Israelites from thinking that the power of Egypt was sovereign. The plagues systematically deconstruct Pharaoh's power. It takes imagination to see that what God is doing with a small tribe of slaves is greater than the might of Egypt or the grandeur that was Rome. Similarly, it takes imagination to see that North Americans are not in bondage to similar powers and principalities: consumerism and therapism, to name but two. I wonder whether in our haste to preserve doctrinal truth, we have not done our evangelical churches a disservice in surrendering our imaginations to stories (and advertisements) that serve the interest of some worldly empire (or multinational corporation) rather than the kingdom of God.

Pastors need to make it a priority to teach their congregations how read Scripture theologically, and this requires the imagination, the ability to make sense of thing by fitting the little bits into larger patterns – the big canonical picture. It takes imagination to see the Bible as a unified whole, and then it takes even more imagination to fit one's own time and place into this biblical drama of redemption.' "

What I like in what I read here is Vanhoozer's idea of a "text" no only being literature or letters on a page but appropriately symbolys of communication which go beyond the printed page and to everywhere our eyes can see. The text of creation for example; which communicates the wonders of our world both good and bad. The texts of our grand medias displays on the billboards and the television screens etc. These "texts" serve as tools or conduits of formation of a person, a people and a community. And what Vanhoozer is saying is nothing new but said well. The biblical story is our text and so is the Christian community. And what we as the church need to do is take back our creative processes to re-imagine our world, our environment after the text of scripture....the Story of God handed down in and by the Church. Some of you may simply say that this is nothing more than good presuppositional apologetics/ analysis. Yep! That's right.

Those who are informed of these things are responsibile to translate it to our communities and really think after our "text".

For those interested in Vanhoozer's works I would suggest reading, "Is Their A Meaning in this Text?" and "First Theology." It's not necessary reading for all of course. The stuff is dense and seminary level. But if your into hermeneutics and contempory philosophical discussion then they are worth your time and brain rigor.

Peace

6.05.2007

"A Community Called Atonement"


This November will be released the first installment of the "Emergent Theology Series." The first of the series with the above title is head up by Scot McKnight. I am really looking forward to this read. His book, "Embracing Grace: A Gospel For All of Us" is one of my top-ten books to read. His "Jesus Creed" is on my shelf and will be devoured hopefully soon.

While I know very little of the "Emergent Theology Series" the title does speak for itself. If you are familiar with "emergent" thinking than you will know that what is being produced is a very incarnational blend of theology (as if there should even be a distinction between the two.) Theology is and was always meant to be contemporary thought spoken and put into being. Theology is nothing less then the churches contemplation and reflection of the scriptures. As my brother Joshua has for his blog title "Toward Praxis: Theology without action (praxis) is the theology of demons” —St. Maximus the Confessor". That is the point of theology. Never meant to be an abstracted knowledge void of personal embodiement and communion theology is nothing but the churches dialogue of what it means to be a human being created after the image of God in and through the work of the incarnation, death and resurrection of Jesus Christ.

As a special FYI to my eastside homies the second installment of the Emergent Theology Series will be by John R. Franke. And that one will be on "Truth". Hmmmmmm. I wonder why "A Community Called Atonement" comes before "Truth"? Hmmm, perhaps it is because "truth" is and can only be mediated by a community!!!!!! Man I love this !&%@!

Here is a brief descriptor of McKnight's book. Click on the above title if you want to check out the publishers site for the book as well; Abingdon Press.

Shalom

"Over the centuries the church developed a number of metaphors, such as penal substitution or the ransom theory, to speak about Christ's death on the cross and the theological concept of the atonement. Yet too often, says Scot McKnight, Christians have held to the supremacy of one metaphor over against the others, to their detriment. He argues instead that to plumb the rich theological depths of the atonement, we must consider all the metaphors of atonement and ask whether they each serve a larger purpose.

A Community Called Atonement is a constructive theology that not only values the church's atonement metaphors but also asserts that the atonement fundamentally shapes the life of the Christian and of the church. That is, Christ identifies with humans to call us into a community that reflects God's love (the church)--but that community then has the responsibility to offer God's love to others through missional practices of justice and fellowship, living out its life together as the story of God's reconciliation. Scot McKnight thus offers an accessible, thought-provoking theology of atonement that engages the concerns of those in the emerging church conversation and will be of interest to all those in the church and academy who are listening in."

My Back-Ward Journey.


Late Sunday night shortly after retiring I began an extended journey into pain via the sciatic nerve. Almost ten years ago I developed sciatic nerve pains but the pains back then were significantly adolescent compared to what I now have underwent beginning last night. If you have had this pain or know someone who has had it you will know that the spasmodic episodes of nerves and muscles can bring about a death wish for very quickly. Once the pain started last night it never stopped. Moments of relief were moments when my pain threshold had reached such peaks that lower but still acute forms of discomfort seemed to be the quelling lull of the painful tempest.

Dude….I was crying. I never cry from pain.....because I hardly ever have physical pain probably. This really sucked.

I can describe the feeling very vividly. Have you ever paid attention to a hotdog cooking under the radioactive “heat” of our microwaves!?! Yeah…..those wieners just rip right open. They just split down the center, at the tips or straight down the little funny looking processed food object. Okay, now picture that……what my entire leg felt like from the back of my waist extending down my buttocks down my quad, down through my knee, down my calve and shins right to my foot and it’s little big Mesa toes….was an incessant storm of high voltage electrical currents trying to rip open my leg like beef-frank! My leg felt like it was going to explode!

Now of course I have no idea what it’s like to be a hotdog being ripped open, but these hair-line sensory string nerve things were real physiological lightning bolts, very real high voltage electrical currents parading their creative wonder through my 80 pound leg.

So I ended up at Wishard ER and hung out like an open nerve ending for approx five hours so I could get some Federally Regulated Narcotics. No not medicinal marijuana….which Sir Eric Howard ( Outreach, Inc.'s Exec. Director who is now on a three month sabattical) so casually asserted to me could be an “alternative” treatment !! wink, wink. At the ER I was given a seven day treatment of Prednisone which tapers throughout the course of it’s use and I also have a drug Diazapam for muscle spasms and Vicodin for pain.

Last nite I had controlled spasms; like little painless bubbling virulent tremors. I took a muscle relaxer and one Vicodin and off I went to sleep. It was the best night of sleep I have had in a very long time. No discomfort...no pain. The downside today is that the drugs make me feel a little foggy. But I am drinking coffee right now to combat the spirit of haze. The coffee will also serve to grant me lucid and clear thinking. Perhaps the combination of narcotics and caffiene will give some kind of psychedelic astral-projective experience. I more than likely wont be caught up to the third heaven but will be able to traverse through the walls of my house and through the television set into one of my favorite movies like "House of Flying Daggers."

My leg feels weak and asleep. There are patches of numbness from the foot all the way up my calf. This morning I after walking around a bit I began to feel the pressure developing from my foot ascending to my calf. It felt like my leg was having the beginning pressures to want to explode again. The numbness is still throughout and it becomes much more pronounced as I am standing for a while. The numbness throws off my equilibrium a bit. If I attempt to shuffle step to the left I can easily just tip right over. I either have nerve tissue damage or the inflammation up in my back pinching the sciatic nerve is so pronounced that once the inflammation dissipates then so will the numbness.

This is a part of My Back-Ward Journey

6.01.2007

"Intellectual Spirituality Exchanged for an Anti-Intellectual Spirituality"



"The shift into postmodern culture is a shift from objective knowledge to subjectivity, to relativism, and to mystery. The new fashionable thing is to say phrases like, "I don't know. That is complex. It is buried in mysticism." The mystery at work in the universe is the mystery of God creating, becoming incarnate, and re-creating. This Chrisitian mystery and fashionable cultural mystery, however, are two different realities. The Christian who unthinkingly refers everything to mystery may be embracing cultural mystery, which is not at all the mystery of true Christian spirituality. Paul writes of the "mystery of Christ" that "has now been revealed" (Eph. 3:4-5). God's mystery in Christ can be freely explored, talked about, contemplated, and participated in.

Recently I was speaking at a conference designed to help younger people with the journey from modernity to postmodernity. During the question and answer time a person raised this question: 'I have been told that we no longer know anything, that everything is mystery and ambiguity, but you seem to suggest there are some things that we do know. How do we know these things?' "

I love this part.............

Continue qoute...."I answered, "It is not that we do not know anything anymore. It is not like all that we have held to be true is simply up for grabs. Truth has not changed. It is our way of knowing that has changed and what we are willing to bleed and die for."
"The Christian way of knowing," I continued, "is reflection on Scripture within community." We in Christ belong to a community of faith connected with Israel that goes all the way back to the beginning of things. This community has been reflecting on what it perceives to be God's actions in history and on God's self-revelation in Scripture for centuries. Out of this reflection comes the first order truths that all Christians embrace-mainly the story of the Triune God, creation, fall, incarnation, death, resurrection, and re-creation of all things at the end of history. It is the second order systems that people now question as truth. These systems of theology (both conservative and liberal), rooted in the Enlightenment, attempted to answer all questions with certainty, leaving no room for ambiguity or mystery. Because thse modern systems are now in question, we are able to get behind them to the narrative of faith from which they sprang. We do have truth. It is the story of God handed down in Scripture, in the church, and in its ministry of worship."

"The antidote to an intellectual spirituality is not an anti-intellectual spirituality but a spirituality rooted in God's story that stands on its own. What I mean by this is that God's story is a vision of reality that does not need to be supported by reason, science, or any other discipline. Instead of interpreting God's story through the academic disciplines, God's story is the vision of reality through which the world, its history, and all the structures of existence are to be interpreted. So an anti-intellectual spirituality is as much rooted in the self as an intellectual spirituality. When we stand within God's story and interpret all of Life, we see life through God's vision. And it is an intelligent vision that speaks the truth about life."

Taken from Robert E. Webbers "The Divine Embrace", pages 92-93. Published by Baker Books, Grand Rapids, MI.

A few things I would like to say after reading this qoute.
Firstly Dude.....I love Robert Webber. He is bad-ass. ( an odd cultural way of saying someone is really a "cool-person". Yeah I know...the word "bad" & "ass"....go figure! Welcome to twenty-first century western culture!!)

Secondly; to really get the thrust of what he is saying here you really have to read what preceded it especially "Intellectual Spirituality" and it's sub-text "Origins of Intellectual Spirituality."
The excerpt above is taken from the same chapter entitled, "A Modern Dislocation (1900-2000): Rescuing Spirituality from Legalism and Romanticism". This is chapter 4 of part 1. Part 1 is called, "The Crisis".................Wooooooooooooooh!!!

I love words.............it breaths suspense, adventure and the arousing of the senses!!!!

If you have read Robert Webber before and you haven't read his last published work, "The Divine Embrace: Recovering the Passionate Spiritual Life"....than you must. At first glance of the title you might think this may be another christian pop-spiritual book on, "living the life you've always wanted to live....", No! Far from it! If you know Sir Webber you know the guy had done his share of research into history especially the history of christian thought and practice.
Included in the first part of the book he gives an abbreviated although detailed picture of the captivity of "spirituality" in the ancient christian church through by it's culture through philosophy and other forms of thought to our contemporary time that has created false dichotomies, dualisms, REDUCTIONISMS (amplified fo my people out there) and over emphasis on certain themes of christian thought which have served a great deal of conflict spiritually.

Webber's book is on the top of my list. I believe it is essential reading for my friends who study spirituality and theology....Ha! there is one of the dualisms right there eh? Can you see it? No?

Well than, "Tolle Legge"....."Take Up and Read!!"