Saturday, May 10, 2014
Hypno-Hustler. Spiderman baddie from the 70's. Do I really need to say more? What I find truly pathetic is that with an extremely thin bio, this guy has a fan base. It is possible to take one's love of this medium a bit too far. Sometimes, bad characters need to stay dead, or at least out of public view for, well, ever.
I can't think og anything funny to say because some things are too funny all by themselves.
Hypno Hustler comic art comic books comics villains
Friday, May 09, 2014
Is Prayer About "Effectiveness?"
It’s tragic how easily we can miss the main ingredient in effective prayer.I cannot argue with the assertion that it is God that makes prayer work. But I Have a real problem with appealing to our baser desire to make prayer "effective." What would qualify as "effective" prayer? Getting what we ask for?
In our sin, we’ve been rewired to focus on us — on the steps we should take for our prayers to be heard. We have this bent toward believing that every result is born from method. If something works for somebody we want to know what that somebody is doing.
We’ve developed the assumption that if we can just strip it all down to a reproducible process to put into action, then the results will multiply. While this applies to certain things, it doesn’t apply to prayer — or at least that’s not the vision the apostle James gives us. The main ingredient in effective prayer is emphatically not us.
This means that the locus of effective prayer is not us, but God. Prayer has less to do with the specifics of how we say what we say, and more to do with the one to whom we are saying it.
We pray as ordinary people who have an extraordinary God. We’re just normal, you and I. We’re just normal like Elijah. Prayer is effective, not because of great men who pray, but because of a great God who in Christ graciously hears his people.
He’s the main ingredient. So pray.
I suppose that a case could be made that if we follow this guy's ideas, eventually the Holy Spirit will work on us until we understand that prayer is not measured by its "effectiveness" in changing the world around us, but I have a real problem with appealing to the lesser in us in hopes of achieving the better. At a minimum such makes the Holy Spirit's work in us harder. Not only then will He have to overcome our baser nature, but he will have to overcome the fact that we will think pursuing our baser nature is a good thing.
God always gives us our hearts desires, but often he does so by changing our hearts.
Thursday, May 08, 2014
We Can Learn From Anything, But Should We?
I believe the church is to be a cultural change agents in our communities, but the truth is that many coffee shops have taken some of that responsibility. Starbucks supposedly began trying to be the “Third Place” for the community.My first comment is simple logic - if you want to change something, following someone that did the last change does not sound very smart - that is reinforcing their change, not making your own.
My second comment is theological. Change is not the issue and in many cases it is not even what you change into. Think of the wars that have started in the name of peace. It is HOW the change comes that makes all the difference.
Let's do this by analogy. There is no difference in the work product of a Christian carpenter and a non-Christian carpenter. Both use the same tools in the same way to produce the same cabinetry. But, I'll bet most people would prefer to have the Christian carpenter in their home. Why? Theoretically, the Christian carpenter should be nicer to deal with in every aspect of the job. It is not what he makes, but how he makes it.
The point I would make is that we can learn from any successful enterprise, but if the church really wants to start being the church again, it needs to learn from Christ - not what to do, but how to go about doing it.
church culture lessons
Wednesday, May 07, 2014
A study process under way in the Presbyterian Church (USA) asks church members to “[s]eek clarity as to God’s call to the church to embrace nonviolence as its fundamental response to the challenges of violence, terror, and war.”
And we wonder why we are dying....
Tuesday, May 06, 2014
Learning LIke The Other
If I am going to understand and make myself understood, I need to learn the language of those to whom I am speaking. That's a basic principle of beginning rhetoric, but it is a principle easily forgotten. I suppose I forget it because I become so accustomed to my native religious tongue that it begins to seem like the language everyone speaks—or should speak. The way I speak of my faith within that faith comes to seem like the natural language for anyone speaking of faith.I cannot help but wonder what a different world it would be if more orthodox Christians attempted to understand the Mormons rather than condemn them. How different would it be if the same were true for Catholics and Protestants? Or even if it were true for the fundamentalist and the charismatic.
Finding myself in a Christian world that speaks many different languages, and in which I speak what may be one of the most unusual, what I hope for is the gift of believing tongues. Having that gift wouldn't require that I abandon my claims to truth. It wouldn't require that I attenuate any of my basic beliefs. Presumably it would make it possible to see more clearly how and where my beliefs differ from those of others.
At some point we have come to confuse listening and understanding with approval. Can we not disagree and also love? I think we have to not only think about the definition of disagreement but also of love. Love does not equate to total acceptance or everything about the object of the love. "While we were yet sinners..."
acceptance disagreement love
Monday, May 05, 2014
Dare I Disagree?
There is something which unites magic and applied science [=technology] while separating both from the “wisdom” of earlier ages.I hesitate ever to argue with Lewis, but Lewis out of context is a different story.
For the wise men of old the cardinal problem had been how to conform the soul to reality, and the solution had been knowledge, self-discipline, and virtue.
For magic and applied science alike the problem is how to subdue reality to the wishes of men; the solution is a technique.
The division here is not a wrong one, science does in deed seek to shape that which is around us to suit us. There is nothing essentially unchristian about that when taken at face value - God did in fact give us dominion. But it should be practiced by men who have already "conformed their soul to reality." Science is not separate from the old wisdom, it is simply subject to it.
We should not create enemy where there is none. Science is not enemy - it may be rebel, but it is not enemy. Are we not all rebels in some sense? One of the biggest problems the church faces today is that we see enemies where there are only fellow rebels.
We may fight with rebels, but we do not seek to conquer them, we seek to bring them home. The distinction may not make much difference in the conduct of the fight, but it makes a huge difference in the conduct of the peace.
If Christ is already victorious as we are told, should we not worry more about the conduct of the peace?