Saturday, October 17, 2015
Friday, October 16, 2015
Imposing Our Agenda
We talked about God a lot this year in pop culture, but not the same way.In other words, we tried to define God rather than discover God. It is truly an amazing time we live in - we really do seem to think we can create reality instead of understand it. Pop culture is one thing, but I know a lot of people anymore than simply deny the reality around them - congregations that pretend their denominations have not slipped off the foundations, or people that listen to you say something but hear something altogether different. It seems almost pathological to me.
One of the things I think Christian faith should do in our lives is make us see reality. It starts with the reality of our own sin. Christ reveals the reality of our own corruption to us. Sometimes haltingly, sometimes painfully, but always in love and only as much as we can take. When we attempt to define our own realities, we move away from God, we deny that which is He trying to reveal to us.
Be creative, but be creative within the boundaries of reality.
creativity reality sin
Thursday, October 15, 2015
Self and Society
Perhaps the key figure in Siedentop’s narrative is Duns Scotus who carefully distinguished between the freedom of the will to act and the notion of justice. Freedom to act was a necessary condition of moral behavior but not a sufficient condition: Acts also needed to be in conformity with what was just. Scotus thus gave conceptual clarity to the relationship between the individual human agent and the common standards of moral action rooted in shared human nature.Read the whole thing.
The Civil Rights movement was built on the egalitarian assumption that African Americans shared with those of European ancestry a common humanity which transcended and ultimately undermined racial categories; by contrast, LGBTQ politics assumes that self-determined individual sexual identity trumps everything. It is thus built not on the foundation of a common humanity but on the priority of the individual’s will.
This is not a stance unique to LGBTQ activists. In fact, it is one of the major assumptions in the contemporary political climate. Much of modern politics—right and left—operates with an impoverished, solipsistic definition of selfhood. The result is that we have lost the classic liberal balance between the constraints rooted in the concept of a shared humanity and the rights of the individual. The late modern self would seem to be understood primarily as a self-determining agent whose desires are curbed only by the principle of consent when brought into relationship with the desires of another self-determining agent.
justice self society
Wednesday, October 14, 2015
- LGBT inside church and ministries.
- The Christian response to issues of race and law enforcement.
- The year of the Christian film
- Pastor Mark Driscoll's leadership, resignation, and the dissolving of Mars Hill Church
- The fall of the celebrity pastors.
- Rising discussion about Pentecostalism.
- The pope's view on things.
- The shallowness of evangelical theology.
- Next generation ministry.
- What really is the state of the Church?
Tuesday, October 13, 2015
Praying the truths of these two verses became a pattern for my life over the next year.So often we fight to come up with something to pray about, and yet scripture can be our prayers. The Psalms, of course, are prayers, but other parts of scripture can become a major part of our prayers simply asking God to make the true in our lives.
One of the most amazing things about the Old Testament is that it is people living lives and in many ways suffering the same trials tribulations and joys that we do. In praying for Nehemiah, we pray for ourselves. Or when reading the prophets, we ask for their prophetic utterances to be real. There are so many way to use scripture in prayer. Do you?
Monday, October 12, 2015
The Reality of Evil
It seems to me that the reality of evil isn't so much an either/or as a both/and. Evil comes from beyond us. It also comes from within.Fair enough, but I think she misses the real problem with modern concepts of evil. Media requires "big evil," murder, rape.... It is a function of storytelling. What I would love to see is that evil is also in the little things. The sorts of things that Jesus talked about in the Sermon on the Mount when he said, "But I say to you that everyone who is angry with his brother will be liable to judgment...." You see, evil is not born big, it starts small and grows. Even serial killers start with small animals.
More amazing is how small evils add up. Most small evils are little petty acts and often we forget them, until that person has done so many little petty things that the total picture starts to change. Suddenly someone moves from forgetful to selfish, and things that we were willing to dismiss before begin to really, really hurt. That's a real evil too.
Of course, Christ calls us to keep forgiving when it is someone else. The point of examining evil in this way to so we can see it plainly in ourselves. What are our small, petty evils. I do know that one good place to look is the person that has moved away from us for some reason that we don't fully understand.