Saturday, January 07, 2012
SPEECHLESS! I am struck dumb. Every now and then you find something in comics that leaves you using nasty phrases. So it is with the arch nemesis of the Doom Patrol Beard Hunter. Doom Patrol has always been known for being weird and strange, but this leaves weird and strange somewhere in the trail dust.
Most amazing is that this character dates to the 90's. Back in the day, stuff like this was par for the course, but in the modern era it's virtually unheard of. Yet here it is.
Here's the back story:
Ernest Franklin is lonely man. He has no friends except for his German Shepard. There’s one thing that’s always bothered Ernest… He can’t grow a beard. Thanks to a hormone deficiency he’s gone without facial hair for all his life and it’s left him a little unhinged. He’s become a vigilante called the Beard Hunter who kills people he deems criminal (which is a very broad definition) as long as they have beards.How does one react to something like that?
Friday, January 06, 2012
The Ordinary Holy Spirit
So far I’ve shown that God guides us through circumstances, Scripture, and community. In my last post, I added that we can be guided through careful reasoning. I want to explain what I mean in this post.Of course, waiting for God to speak to us miraculously gives us a reason not to get up and get busy. Just sayin'.
Because the Spirit’s guidance can be so marvelously miraculous at times, we can overlook or even disparage so-called “normal” processes of reasoning. Sometimes, we even sit around like spiritual couch potatoes, waiting for some special gift of guidance while failing to use the gift of our minds, one of God’s most amazing endowments to human beings.
God has given us powers of reason to be used for his purposes. Whether we utilize these powers to make medical discoveries, teach Sunday school, or discern God’s will, God is honored when we use his good gifts for his glory. Moreover, the Spirit of God works in and through what can seem to us so natural and normal.
I need to know where this pub is and how I can get in the game!
Thursday, January 05, 2012
This is an altogether different kind of headship, an altogether different kind of god. And if this is who he is then maybe, just maybe some of the most apparently difficult material in the Bible isn’t quite as strange and peculiar as we might initially assume, not half as strange and peculiar as this LORD of love.Bish's discussion centers on the disgrace Hosea suffers for following God's command to marry a harlot, as Christ suffered disgrace on the cross. This is leadership of a unique kind.
Indeed it is, leadership as service, to God, to community, to the church. So often we seek leadership as a means to attention, or self-fulfillment, or something else about me. Godly leadership is about everything but me.
I think the church would be an entirely different thing is wee remembered this lesson.
Related Tags: Illuminated Scripture
Wednesday, January 04, 2012
In this post from First Things Matthew Milliner makes a helpful distinction between two ways of thinking about the relationship between culture and Christ as culture.Boy could this analogy get stretched all out of shape. Christianity most certainly did not begin in a turtle like state. The turtle state that developed in Christendom required Reformation. It also was limited to Europe and America - it hit a decidely cultural wall.
The first approach thinks of Christ and culture like the dispensable relationship of the hermit crab and its shell: “The true essence of the gospel might don cultural attire when necessary, but only to just as quickly cast it off, seeking new garb to attract a fresh set of converts.”
The other approach can be thought of along the lines of the indispensable connection between a turtle and its shell: “A turtle is permanently fused to its habitation by its backbone and ribs; the shell is inextricable from the creature itself. Removing it would rip the animal apart. In its single shell lie a turtle’s protection, distinction, and beauty. This unique relationship to its hardened exterior is what places turtles among the earth’s oldest reptiles—contemporaries of both dinosaurs and us.”
He goes on to look at T.S. Eliot’s essays in Christianity and Culture, which advocate a “turtle” approach to culture.
Rather, I think Christianity requires turtles operating in a variety of cultural states.
Think about it.
Tuesday, January 03, 2012
Does Practice Make Perfect?
Spiritual practices (or disciplines) can be viewed as a way to spend time with someone we love. Practices can also be viewed as a way to rest in God and embrace the fact that God created us and redeemed us. We don’t do the work of creation and redemption, and abiding in Christ (John 15:1-11) through various forms of prayer, Bible study or other spiritual practices can help us live into the reality that God is our creator and redeemer.They can, but they can also becomes an idol unto themselves. Like everything else in our journey with Christ - a balance and a tension exists. We must balance the pursuit of spiritual practice with our sinful desire to take charge. Sometimes we really do need to let God do it.
Spiritual practices can also be viewed as a way that we participate in God’s transformation of us, an affirmation of both Romans 12:1-2 (where Paul exhorts us to be transformed) and 2 Corinthians 3:18 (where Paul affirms that we are being transformed into Jesus’ image through the work of the Holy Spirit).
I was a teenager in the 1960s, when “if it feels good, do it” was my generation’s mantra. Being authentic in our feelings, and then acting on them, was raised to a high art. Elizabeth Goudge’s idea that God wants us to build our lives from the outside in, rooted in her experience of the two World Wars, stands in stark contrast to my generation’s ethos. Is it sometimes true that God calls us to act in the way we want to become? Can spiritual practices play a role in that action?
It is vitally important that we know ourselves as we approach something like this, for it is only in self knowledge that we can find the right balance and equilibrate the tensions.
Sometimes practice makes perfect and sometimes, practice becomes the end in itself.
Monday, January 02, 2012
It's All Worship
wor·ship [wur-ship] Show IPA noun, verb, -shiped, -ship·ing or (especially British) -shipped, -ship·ping.Had to look it up when I read this post @ Thoughtful Christian about space exploration:
1. reverent honor and homage paid to God or a sacred personage, or to any object regarded as sacred.
I think there’s a theological reason behind that, actually. Space exploration captures our imagination for many reasons, and one of those is that it can function as an act of worship.I could not help but reflect on what an incredibly narrow idea of worship this author has - it is only "praise" and "song." That is not what the dictionary says, it says "reverent honor and homage."
Part of worship involves coming to know God better in order that our praise is more genuine, relational and sincere. That’s why we study his word during a church service while also glorifying his name in song. That intimacy allows us to lovingly praise someone, not coldly acknowledge something.
Does it not honor God to study His creation? Does it not pay homage to God when we "create" rockets to go to space as He creates space itself? What in the definition of "worship" says it has to come down to a song?
Everything I do is worship if I do it in a way designed to honor God. But then maybe that is the problem. Maybe the new generation has found a different way to keep God in a Sunday morning box. Maybe it is no longer the stale liturgical rituals of my generation - but the effect is the same.
And therein lies the problem.
Sunday, January 01, 2012
New Year's Art
Related Tags: New Year Art Work