Saturday, November 26, 2011
Ok - This post is almost pointless. I have finally encounter the comic book character about which I know NOTHING - Hidden Man. But then, The site that lists every character in the Marvel Universe had this to say about our friend here:
The Hidden Man is up there pretty highly on the Obscure-o-meter. It took me a few months to place him after seeing him in Maximum Security.That made me laugh so hard I just had to put this post up. Makes me marvel at the historical team at Marvel. Can you imagine....
Oh yeah, and one other thing, whoever designed this guy's look? - EPIC FAIL!
Friday, November 25, 2011
As I share my research on Christians and the environment, my students are shocked to learn that evangelicals and Episcopalians are working toward common goals around care of creation, such as weatherizing low-income homes in our town. These young activists boycotted Taco Bell and Burger King in support of fair wages for tomato pickers in Immokalee, Fla., but didn't realize faith communities, along with students, were critical allies in these campaigns.Sounds like a leftie with an agenda to me, but she is right about one thing. In a secular world, a world predisposed to mocking us, especially when the silly among us stick their heads above ground, we have to reclaim our narrative.
As a Christian, academic and mother, I believe in a faith journey with more questions than answers, more stories than rules, and more models of believers working toward a common good.
Perhaps if we reclaim our narrative, we can make heaven a place on earth, just as pop singer Belinda Carlisle predicted in the late 1980s. Now that news might make a special edition of Us Weekly.
Not a narrative that conforms to societal whims (read environmental "concerns") but simply the truth. The truth is only Jesus Christ can make us into the people we were created to be. People that are better in appreciable ways than those without Jesus.
That's the narrative we need to reclaim, we need to be better people. Then the idiots amongst us will be obvious.
Thursday, November 24, 2011
Oh Thankful Day!
Wednesday, November 23, 2011
What's The Point?
If you were to ask the average Christian sitting in a worship service on Sunday morning to summarize the message of Christianity, you would most likely hear something along the lines of "The message of Christianity is that God loves me." Or someone might say, "The message of Christianity is that God loves me enough to send his Son, Jesus, to die for me."I, like Mark will leave that be - 'Nuff Said.
As wonderful as that sentiment sounds, is it biblical? Isn't it incomplete, based on what [we see] in the Bible? "God loves me" is not the essence of biblical Christianity. Because if "God loves me" is the message of Christianity, then who is the object of Christianity?
God loves me.
Christianity's object is me.
Therefore, when I look for a church, I look for the music that best fits me and the programs that best cater to me and my family. When I consider the house I will live in, the clothes I will wear, the way I will live, I will choose according to what is best for me. This is the version of Christianity that largely prevails in our culture.
But it is not biblical Christianity.
The message of biblical Christianity is not "God loves me, period," as if we were the object of faith. The message of biblical Christianity is "God loves me so that I might make him--his ways, his salvation, his glory, and his greatness--known among all nations." Now God is the object of our faith and Christianity centers around him. We are not the end of the gospel; God is.
Tuesday, November 22, 2011
Competition Gone Very Wrong
Set me to thinking. If I am completely honest, I loved John Piper before he became JOHN PIPER. Now I worry when he seems to have some sort of psuedo-intellectual theology comment about everything. And no I won't step over the line the guy int he video has, I would like to think I am a bit smarter than that. My point is the bigger the media presence this higher my suspicions rise.
As a rule of thumb, mass success means compromise of some sort in the realm of ideas. But in the internet age where one can acquire a significant niche audience, is that true? Oh, self-promotion is still required and that is a issue, but not my point.
My point is the pride involved in such judgments. I may not make the same compromises as someone with mass success, but we all compromise on something. AS Piper probably makes mistakes, so the fundy preacher makes mistakes and so I make mistakes.
The question is how we handle them.
Monday, November 21, 2011
Fruit Can Rot On The Vine
As I sift through a mountain of emails, I’ve learned to quickly dismiss forwarded “junk mail,” even if it’s from people I consider friends. At the same time I learn to recognize which email “clicks” might actually reap spiritual blessing. When I get an email from a particular dear friend who works with the Navigators, I pay attention. A few years ago he forwarded an email of a quote passed along by one his friends. The blessing and challenge of that email made such an impact on me that I’ve saved it to this day. The email read:Oh goes on to look at the personal lives of leadership. Good stuff. But this profound observation also says something deep about the church.Years ago, I asked Jim Downing, one of the patriarchs of the Navigator work, “Why is it that so few men finish well?” His response was profound. He said, “They learn the possibility of being fruitful without being pure. . . they begin to believe that purity doesn’t matter. Eventually, they become like trees rotting inside that are eventually toppled by a storm.”
Consider for a minute - the church's first priority is not evangelism - it;s to make holy men and women. If evangelism is to truly work, I mean truly, then the cycle of flame out needs to be broken. In fact, I think it a worthy question to be asked if the fruitful but impure have even accomplished anything.
Purity, "maturity" is the term I prefer, requires time, study, mentoring - sacrifice, sacrament - a whole lot of stuff that is not present in the current dash to evangelize.
Any pure, mature Christian will evangelize by the nature of being pure and mature.