Information is not knowledge and knowledge is not wisdom. We live in an age of information but we are not necessarily in age of wisdom. A lot of people I have met who live on the streets have a lot of wisdom yet not as much access to information as me. I think I can learn a lot from them. I'd like to take an information fast for a while, so I have time to process information I have into knowledge and then the time to live that knowledge into wisdom.
Friday, August 29, 2008
Monday, August 25, 2008
I know it's been a while since I've banged on about atonement analogies other than penal substitution. But, everytime I do it seems to be the one subject that generates more emails (rather than comments) than anything else. In his latest tbook, Everything Must Change " Brian McLaren outlines a sickness model of atonement - which he describes as "emerging view", paralleled with the good old penal substitution - which he describes as "conventional view". What impressed me most was the succinct way that he packages the explanation, which I have written out below.
The Human Situation: What is the story we find ourselves in?
Conventional View: God created the world as perfect, but because our primal ancestors, Adam and Eve, did not maintain the absolute perfection demanded by God, God has irrevocably determined that the entire universe and all it contains will be destroyed, and the souls of all human beings—except for those specifically exempted—will be forever punished for their imperfection in hell.’
Emerging View: God created the world as good, but human beings—as individuals, and as groups—have rebelled against God and filled the world with evil and injustice. God wants to save humanity and heal it from its sickness, but humanity is hopelessly lost and confused, like sheep without a shepherd, wandering further and further into lostness and danger. Left to themselves, human beings will spiral downward in sickness and evil.
Basic Questions: What questions did Jesus come to answer?
Conventional View: Since everyone is doomed to hell, Jesus seeks to answer one or both of these questions: How can individuals be saved from eternal punishment in hell and instead go to heaven after they die? How can God help individuals be happy and successful until then?
Emerging View: Since the human race is in such desperate trouble, Jesus seeks to answer this question: What must be done about the mess we’re in? The mess refers both to the general human condition and to its specific outworking among his contemporaries living under domination by the Roman Empire and who were confused and conflicted as to what they should do to be liberated.
Jesus’ Message: How did Jesus respond to the crisis?
Conventional View: Jesus says, in essence, “If you want to be among those specifically qualified to escape being forever punished for your sins in hell, you must repent of your individual sins and believe that my Father punished me on the cross so he won’t have to punish you in hell. Only if you believe this will you go to heaven when the earth is destroyed and everyone else is banished to hell.” This is the good news.
Emerging View: Jesus says, in essence, “I have been sent by God with this good news—that God loves humanity; even in its lostness and sin. God graciously invites everyone and anyone to turn from his or her current path and follow a new way. Trust me and become my disciple, and you will be transformed, and you will participate in the transformation of the world, which is possible, beginning right now.” This is the good news.
Purpose of Jesus: Why is Jesus important?
Conventional View: Jesus came to solve the problem of “original sin,” meaning that he helps qualified individuals not to be sent to hell for their sin or imperfection. In a sense, Jesus saves these people from God, or more specifically, from the righteous wrath of God, which sinful human beings deserve because they have not perfectly fulfilled God’s just expectations, expressed in God’s moral laws. This escape from punishment is not something they earn or achieve, but rather a free gift they receive as an expression of God’s grace and love. Those who receive it enjoy a personal relationship with God and seek to serve and obey God, which produces a happier life on Earth and more rewards in heaven.
Emerging View: Jesus came to become the Saviour of the world, meaning he came to save the earth and all it contains from its ongoing destruction because of human evil. Through his life and teaching, through his suffering, death, and resurrection, he inserted into human history a seed of grace, truth, and hope that can never be defeated. This seed will, against all opposition and odds, prevail over the evil and injustice of humanity and lead to the world’s ongoing transformation into the world God dreams of. All who find in Jesus God’s hope and truth discover the privilege of participating in his ongoing work of personal and global transformation and liberation from evil and injustice. As part of his transforming community, they experience liberation from the fear of death and condemnation. This is not something they earn or achieve, but rather a free gift they receive as an expression of God’s grace and love.
Tuesday, August 19, 2008
Listening to the Religion Report last week I heard Jewish ethicist Avraham Steinberg say...
we approach the issue case by case, and will build up towards the principles, rather than having a principled approach which is the current secular approach. In the Western society at large, they look on four or five principles and they apply it almost automatically on each case. Whereas the Jewish approach looks at the case specifically with its nuances and special characteristics, and builds up towards the principles. This can cause a lot of differences in the end outcome
Working from cases towards a principal is something I think Xy doesn't do much of. Although there are times when Jesus & Paul espoused ethical principals there are many more times when Jesus & Paul dealt with issues purely on a case by case basis, and perhaps we have quickly assumed that these are general principals rather than one of many cases from which we might start to derive a general principals. Paul's lack of condemnation of slavery in Ephesians is one example.
With many Xns obsession with proof texts perhaps we miss what the Bible is saying and only hear one persons understanding of just one text.
Saturday, August 16, 2008
Everybody wishes they had a cool uncle and there is but a small window of time when my nephew thinks that my banjo-mandloin makes me a super cool uncle.
I fear my cool status won't last into his teenage years.
But, I'm loving it while it lasts.
Monday, August 04, 2008
Last week I had the pleasure of inflicting some Valley Songs on the church I hang out with. As well as some foot stomping Johnny Cash we decided to finish with this song, my wife's idea.
I’m sure somewhere there are two worship song rules that say you should never have overly long notes that or really quick phrases that are difficult to say. It was fun breaking both these rules.