Month: February 2009

Where was the Samaritan?

Terry sent me this video. Looks like we are still walking on the “other” side to avoid people.

Creativity and Church … “Utopia Joe”

Oppositional thinking often leads us to exclude the very things that might give us life. Evaluating options often leaves us choosing between “this” or “that.” And, when we make our choice we moralize that choice in such a way we assert we made the “right” choice rather than the “wrong” choice.

When it comes to life and faith we must admit there are things that are not squarely set between the moral poles of right and wrong. Some things are different. But that does not mean wrong. Too often different is feared. It may lead us to . . .. Creativity and Church are often like oil and water. Yet, some of the language in the Scriptures is image rich as to evoke strong emotions – a creative art.

I read with interest of Joe Bohrer, “Utopia Joe.” It seems at points along his experience church and creativity were at odds. Read More

Denying the Resurrection

A few years ago a friend pointed me to some original music he had done. I was intrigued by the title, Practice Resurrection. In the description of the song he pointed to a Wendell Berry poem as inspiration. Since then I have been tying that song title to Dallas Willard’s assertion that belief cannot be separated from practice. In other words, if we say we believe we should exercise and we do not exercise, then we really do not believe we should exercise. As you can imagine this line of reasoning would call into question many of our closely held beliefs. Especially as they expose the fact we really do not practice those same beliefs.

So what would this mean to the Christian conviction or belief in the resurrection of Jesus. How would we demonstrate such a belief? Is it merely mental assent? A vocal delcaration? Peter Rollins posted “My Confession: I deny the Resurrection.” Read More

Nouwen on Surviving the Struggle of Life

The danger of individualism often exposes itself in struggle. Christian traditions flowing out of the Reformation place such a premium on “preisthood of all believers” the tendency is toward a hyper-individualism. Such a move gives me the privilege of “interpreting for myself,” “deciding for myself,” and “being responsible only to/for myself.” The island we create gets lonely when in our interpretation of life, deciding my own fate, and limiting the scope of my actions to myself results in “nothing and nobody waiting” with/for me/us in the midst of deep pain and hurt.

Nouwen wrote,

A man can keep his sanity and say alive as long as there is at least one person who is waiting for him. The mind of man can indeed rule his body even when there is little health left. A dying mother can stay alive to see her son before she gives up the struggle, a soldier can prevent his mental and physical disintegration when he knows that his wife and children are waiting for him. But when “nothing ad nobody” is waiting, there is not chance to survive in the struggle for life.” (quoted from A Guide to Prayer for Minsters and Other Servants, p.78)

It is too easy to say in some sort of supra-spiritual turn a person may survive the struggle with Jesus when it is precisely the model of Scripture that Jesus shows up in the person of a “somebody.” Who will you journey with during the struggles of life so they may survive the depths of pain?